Oral Bacteria Can Travel through your Body

Oral-SystemicIf you are one of the many Americans who is afflicted with periodontal disease, you probably think your biggest concern is tooth loss. While this is a valid concern which might reach fruition without good oral hygiene and preventive dental care, there are more reasons to worry about the presence of gum infection. Oral-systemic health is the concept that your dental health can affect your overall health. You may wonder how bacteria in your mouth could possibly survive traveling through the rest of your body. If you think about it, the potential journey of bacteria which originates in your mouth and ends up elsewhere makes a lot of sense.

Inhaling Bacteria

Various germs can enter your gums, and then your body, through your salivary output. Crafty bacteria adhere to the microscopic water droplets which float around in the air you breathe. Each time you inhale, some of the droplets enter your lungs. The attached germs are then liable to be aspirated, leading to potential pulmonary infection, or even pneumonia. For the elderly, babies, or people with weak immune systems, these types of health conditions are particularly dangerous.

Secondary Infections

Once the bacteria which ignite gum disease enter your body, you are likely to have a systemic inflammatory response. This inflammation can contribute to (or complicate) certain dangerous health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart (more…)

Toothbrush Care Basics

When is the last time you switched out your toothbrush? How often do you rinse your brush thoroughly with tap water? Do you store your oral cleaning instrument in a case, or in a cabinet? Many people perceive the toothbrush as being an instrument to remove plaque from the teeth and gums, but what they don’t understand is that your bristles may be a home to bacteria. (more…)

Lifestyle Choices for a Healthy Jaw

It’s time for lunch, and you skipped breakfast. Your stomach was rumbling so loudly in the office all morning that your co-workers were giggling. You are starving. You can’t wait to make a b-line to the restaurant up the street where you can order a burger so big, you can barely open your mouth up wide enough to consume it. Normally, you order lighter, but today you’re just hungry enough to devour the whole thing. As you open up to take that first juicy bite, you feel a shooting pain in your jaw. Beware that this could happen to you if you don’t eat mindfully.

Biting Off More than you Can Chew

Many of us are wired to believe that “bigger is better.” Bargains take precedence over better judgment. Why order the six inch sub, when the 12 inch with double meat and cheese is only dollar more? Beyond the obvious caloric concerns, the answer is that taking a bite that’s bigger than the size of your mouth can simply cause damage to your jaw and the joints which hold it together. Even if your friends are cheering you on to eat the gargantuan corn dog at the fair for a good picture, over-extending your jaw in such a way can lead to real issues with your temporomandibular joints (TMJs).

Wise Choices

Do you remember the classic commercial from the 1970s where Mr. Owl is questioned as to how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? While Mr. Owl is thrilled to implement the necessary scientific research to get the answer, after three licks, he can’t resist taking a hearty bite out of the hard candy shell. You may be tempted to do the same with similar hard candies and foods, but this is another way to hurt your jaw and teeth. Chewing hard substances (including non-food objects such as pencils and fingernails) can cause chips and cracks in your teeth and inflammation in your TMJs.

ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY COSMETIC DENTISTS:

At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.

Do Teeth Stains Mean Your Teeth Are in Danger?

woman with embarrassed smileTooth sensitivity may be among the most diverse signs of dental trouble, and can indicate anything from a developing dental disease (cavities or gum disease) to structural tooth damage. Teeth stains, however, are perhaps the most common source of dental concern, and can occur from something as simple as eating and drinking. When your teeth are stained or discolored, their appearance can make your smile seem as though it’s in serious trouble, but not all stains indicate an immediate need for restorative dental treatment. In fact, quite often, teeth stains are just teeth stains, and can be erased with a simple, unobtrusive teeth whitening procedure. (more…)

The Truth About Cavities

woman with contemplative expressionIf you’ve never felt the discomfort of a cavity, then you might not consider the condition a major concern. After all, you brush your teeth twice or more every day, and you’re careful not to indulge in too many sweets or sugary drinks. Nevertheless, a good hygiene routine and a healthy fear of sugar aren’t necessarily a guarantee against tooth decay—the disease that leads to cavity development. By understanding how they form, you can better protect your teeth from destructive cavities to preserve your healthy, natural smile.

Sugar Isn’t the Only Danger

Because of the countless warnings that many of us received as children about candy rotting our teeth, many patients believe that sugar is the main, and only relevant, reason for your teeth to cavities. The truth, however, is that sugar is only a small part of the tooth decay equation. The real culprit lies within the hundreds of kinds of bacteria that contribute to dental plaque; mainly Streptococcus mutans. (more…)

Prevention Is the Best Dental Treatment

pretty woman with approving smileConsidering the frequency with which you should practice it, you may not consider brushing and flossing your teeth a form of dentistry. Nevertheless, cleaning away the food debris and plaque that clings to your teeth every day is perhaps the most important preventive dental measure. Besides home hygiene, your teeth also require regular professional checkups and cleanings to remove plaque and its calcified cousin, tartar. Preventive dentistry is the cornerstone of good dental health, and can help you avoid the need for cosmetic or restorative treatments to improve your smile’s strength and beauty. At our Shrewsbury dentist’s office, Dr. Pizzi offers expert preventive care, including routine dental checkups and cleanings, to help ensure the long-term health and beauty of your smile. (more…)