August 23, 2017
A note from Dr. Coambs:
Here are a few photos from our team planning retreat. It was such a great day for team bonding, goal setting, and office vision plans! Can you believe Imagine Dentistry has been at the Arboretum for 5 years!? Cheers to the next 5 years!
August 15, 2017
With regular dental care and good daily habits, you'll likely have your teeth for a lifetime. As you get older, however, natural changes in both your mouth and general health can put you at risk of dental problems. Knowing the vulnerabilities that come with aging will allow you to effectively manage your oral health care, and prevent these dental complications.
Risks for Tooth and Root Decay
Elderly adults often suffer from dry mouth because of conditions requiring treatment or medications that have side effects. This includes cancer treatment or the use of cardiovascular medications. Regardless of the reason your mouth is dry, saliva helps neutralize the bacteria and acids that can damage your teeth over time.
If you're a senior with gum recession, be aware that exposed root surfaces are softer than tooth enamel, and therefore decay more quickly. According to Oral Health America
, root decay can rapidly reach the nerve portion of your tooth and lead to an infection, or cause the tooth to break off of the root completely in severe cases.
By now, you probably have fillings in your mouth that may be due for replacement. Decay can easily start under broken, chipped or leaky dental fillings, so it's important to keep regular dental visits, even if you're not feeling any pain.
Risks for Gum Disease
According to the Academy of General Dentistry
, severe gum disease affects 25 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 years old. If left untreated, this can lead to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and the more serious periodontitis (inflammation of the bone around your teeth). Diabetics, whose blood sugar levels can make them more prone to infection, are at higher risk for periodontal (gum) disease as well.
Tooth Removal and Replacement
If you've had one or two teeth removed through the years, remember: You're never too old to have them replaced. Missing teeth can cause surrounding teeth to drift and create areas around the gumline where food and bacteria collect, making the perfect spot for gum infection to start.
Manage Your Oral Health
Regular checkups with your dentist can keep you one step ahead of potential dental problems. These professional cleanings are needed to remove the plaque and tartar from your teeth that can lead to periodontal disease. While you're at home, brush twice a day with a soft brush. If arthritis limits your ability to do this, ask your dentist about special dental aids that make brushing easier. Interdental cleaners and floss holders are also available if you have difficulty flossing between each tooth every day.
Consider using products that specialize in the conditions you're at higher risk for. Fluoride toothpaste can help strengthen your tooth enamel, and fluoride rinses and gels, such as prescription strength Colgate Prevident
is ideal therapy for patients with high cavity risk, crown and bridge work and/or orthodontic decalcification.
Other Good Habits
The dentist chair and the bathroom aren't the only places where oral care can take place. Attack dry mouth by staying hydrated. Use artificial saliva products and chew sugarless gum. And talk to your dentist about any medications you're taking that could cause dry mouth.
As your doctor may have already advised, eat healthy foods that are low in sugar and high in fiber. The American Dental Association's (ADA)
Mouth Healthy site suggests older adults need 1,000 milligrams a day of calcium from low-fat dairy products to prevent osteoporosis, which can affect the bone surrounding your teeth..
Finally, reduce your oral cancer risks. Because oral cancer is common in older adults, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends eliminating tobacco and alcoholic products, staying out of the sun or wearing sunscreen, and having your dentist examine your mouth for signs of oral cancer.
Mark Twain once said, "Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." But as you age, good oral health care does matter. By understanding the dental risks that come with aging, you and your dentist can work together to prevent oral health problems so that you can keep your teeth for a lifetime.
August 1, 2017
Eating a variety of nutritious food is good for your overall health, including your oral health. Some vitamins in particular have demonstrated benefits to building healthy teeth and gums
, namely calcium and vitamin C, so be sure to include foods rich in these nutrients in your diet.
Calcium for Teeth
Calcium has been shown to help build strong teeth, and vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that also plays an important role in collagen synthesis, by which it helps you develop and maintain healthy gums. Dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of calcium. Also, try switching to low-sugar or sugar-free varieties of yogurt, since sugar (and bacteria) can promote tooth decay.
Vitamin C for Gums
Many fruits and vegetables including berries, oranges and cantaloupe, as well as green vegetables including broccoli and spinach are excellent sources of vitamin C. Of course, in addition to eating right, it's important to follow a consistent dental care routine of twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to promote oral health. And be sure to see your dental professional regularly and talk to them if you have questions about how your diet might affect your oral health.
If you suffer from bleeding gums and your dentist rules out poor dental hygiene, reassess your diet. Be sure to consume plenty of foods rich in vitamin C. They aren't hard to find. Oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, and red peppers are especially high in vitamin C. Try to get your vitamin C from actual fruits and vegetables, instead of fruit and vegetable juices. Besides being high in sugar, most fruit juices are quite acidic, and they can promote erosion of the tooth enamel. Fruit juices are fine in small amounts, but drink them with meals, or use a straw if possible to minimize the juice's contact with your teeth.
Vitamin C is water-soluble, which means that the body doesn't store it long-term and you need to consume it every day. Multivitamins or vitamin C supplements can help you get enough, especially if you are ill or following a restricted diet and you have problems eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Many multivitamin formulas contain vitamin C, or you can find it as an individual supplement.
Recommended Vitamin C and Calcium Dosages
The Institute of Medicine recommends 90 milligrams per day for men older than 18 years and 75 milligrams per day for women older than 18 years. Many physicians recommend 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium daily for most adults, so you may want to consider a calcium supplement, especially if dairy products aren't a regular part of your diet.
Want to see what other foods can help and hurt your mouth? Check out this blog!
Gum Treatments at Imagine Dentistry at the Arboretum
Periodontal - gum - health is the foundation of oral health. If the picture that you envision is a beautiful and healthy smile, then the frame around that picture is your gums.
Periodontal disease can be the silent killer of teeth and can have a significant impact on the overall health of the individual, so we provid a thorough periodontal health screening.
We can manage many levels of periodontal infection through education, in office treatments, medications and enhanced oral hygiene skills training and products.
Request your consultation today!