Posts for tag: preventative healthcare
We all have a bad habit or few that we know we should stop but haven’t managed to yet. A bad habit is anything that negatively impacts your health and wellness or the health and wellness of others. Oral bad habits are common. It is likely that you will be guilty of at least one of the habits on this list of habits that need to be broken.
You know what they say though, there is no time like to present to kick a bad habit and replace it with a good one!
Brushing too hard
Brushing too hard, especially with a firm-bristled toothbrush can cause the enamel to wear away on the surface of your teeth over time. Without this protective layer, you are more prone to tooth sensitivity and cavities. Opt for a softer bristle toothbrush and take your time brushing your teeth using a gentle circular movement on each tooth.
While brushing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for maintaining a healthy and clean mouth, your toothbrush isn’t capable of cleaning out those tight hard to reach spaces between your teeth. If you don’t floss, you are only removing around two-thirds of gingivitis-causing plaque from your teeth.
A commonly offered piece of advice from your dentist goes something like this; “You don’t have to floss all of your teeth, just the ones you want to keep.”
Grinding your teeth
Grinding your teeth is very harmful to your oral health. Grinding can cause your teeth to chip or crack, the protective enamel layer to wear away, and can cause muscle tenderness, joint pain, and headaches. If you are a chronic grinder, make sure you talk to Dr. Blake or Dr. Steve about some easy solutions to break this habit.
Biting your cheeks
While we’ve all accidentally bitten the side of our cheeks at least once before, habitually biting your cheeks is problematic. Whether this occurs due to misaligned teeth or as a nervous tick, this habit can lead to mouth sores and serious infections. It is speculated that cheek biters are more prone to developing oral cancer too.
Ignoring your lips
The skin on your lips is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. For this reason, it is more susceptible to chipping, cracking, environmental damage, and early signs of aging. It is essential to keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun on a daily basis.
Using the wrong toothpaste
We live in an era of choices. There are dozens of toothpaste brands and types readily available for all different concerns and flavor preferences. While some toothpaste may claim to “control tartar,” be careful that the toothpaste you are using isn’t too gritty. Some “tartar control” toothpaste are too abrasive and will erode the enamel on your teeth and can cause receding gums. The most critical ingredient in your toothpaste is fluoride. The rest is all personal preference.
Using your teeth as tools
Your teeth are not intended to be used in place of scissors or nail clippers. Stop using your teeth to open packages! Using your teeth for anything other than eating puts you at a higher risk of chipping a tooth, injuring your jaw, and swallowing something inedible and harmful.
Crunching hard candies and ice
Bad, bad, bad! Crunching hard candies and ice is a recipe for disaster! This hard habit, especially when done over a long period can lead to chips or cracks in your teeth and damage existing dental work.
Carbonated sodas contain phosphoric acid, which over time can erode your teeth. Sodas contain excessive amounts of refined sugar, as well which is not healthy for your teeth or your body. The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas have negative impacts on your overall health, as well.
It is time to learn to love water! If you do drink a soda though, make sure you brush your teeth afterward.
Smoking is good for nothing! Aside from significantly increasing your chances of developing oral cancer, lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and painful lesions in the mouth, smoking also reduces your sense of smell and taste, contributes to bad breath, stains your teeth, increases your chances of losing your teeth, and can cause your gums to recede.
Don’t ignore symptoms like bleeding gums, bad breath, pain, or sensitivity in your mouth if it lasts more than a few days. It is far easier to treat a condition when it is addressed in the early stages. At Parker Dentistry, we are always here for you and always just a phone call away.
“The mouth is a mirror of health and disease in the body.” - U.S. Surgeon General
When most of us non-dental professionals think about our oral health, we tend to only focus on concerns like cavities, bad breath, tooth discoloration, crookedness (malocclusion), and bleeding gums. Our oral cavity is typically viewed as a completely separate entity from the rest of our body.
If we have bad breath, it’s because we haven’t been flossing and brushing enough. If we have a toothache, it’s because we have a cavity or need a root canal. If our teeth are crooked, it’s because of genetics. While there is truth between these connections of symptoms and conditions, it is also important to consider that the symptoms you are experiencing in your mouth aren’t always directly linked to something else in your mouth.
As dentists and hygienists at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we know that the mouth is an excellent indicator of what’s going on in the rest of your body. Based on the alignment of your teeth, the condition of your gums, the coloration and texture of your tongue, and the smell of your breath, we can tell a lot about your current state of health. This information is then very useful so that you can act either curatively or preventatively to address the health concern depending on what we find.
Just by having a look around in your mouth, we can identify potential signs of certain types of cancer, anemia, kidney or liver failure, gastroesophageal reflux, lung abacuses, bronchitis, tonsil stones, a sinus infection, vitamin deficiencies, and widespread inflammation. As we have discussed at length before, inflammation, in particular, is at the root of most chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. When there is a lot of inflammation in your mouth, it is likely that there is a lot of inflammation in the rest of your body.
Several conditions such as diabetes, kidney and liver failure, bronchitis, and gastroesophageal reflux can be guessed based on the distinct smell of your breath!
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness we are firm believers in preventative healthcare, and it is through our oral assessments that we can help you help yourself in becoming your healthiest self. This is one of the many reasons why it is so important to stay on top of your oral health and keep to your twice a year professional dental cleanings. We care about more than just your teeth. We care about you as a whole!
The term antioxidant is thrown around a lot when you hear or read about anything that relates to diet, nutrition, health, and wellness. While it is relatively common knowledge that antioxidants are important for your immune system, do you know what antioxidants really are and why are they good for your immune system and overall wellness? And where can you find antioxidants and how can you make sure that you are getting enough of them every day?
Antioxidants are molecules that stop the oxidation of other molecules. Antioxidants fight the damage that free radicals cause to our cells. Free radicals come from air pollution, rays from the sun, bacteria, cigarette smoke, alcohol intake, and other toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis or choose to expose our bodies to. When your body doesn’t have enough antioxidant-support, excessive oxidative stress can take place, which can damage your internal and external body. Free radicals are also responsible for signs of aging, cancer, inflammatory aliments, asthma, diabetes, and even dementia.
Fortunately, antioxidants are found in a delicious abundance of natural foods. The main antioxidants are vitamins C, E, and beta-carotene. Red, orange, yellow, dark greens, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables typically contain very high levels of antioxidants. This is one of the major reasons why you should “eat the rainbow.”
Beta-Carotene-rich foods include asparagus, beets, broccoli, kale, mangoes, spinach, tomatoes, watermelon, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Vitamin C-rich foods include berries, kiwi, oranges, papaya, bell peppers, grapefruit, and snow peas.
Vitamin E-rich foods include avocado, mustard greens, pumpkin, nuts, sunflower seeds, and chard.
Are you worried that you might not be getting enough antioxidants in your daily diet or do you want to ensure that your body is always ready to fight back against the constant flood of free radicals?
Juice Plus+ Vineyard blend is packed full of the real powerhouse antioxidants. Each capsule contains concord grapes, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, black currants, bilberries, raspberries, pomegranates, and elderberries. Are you eating bilberries and elderberries every day?
Antioxidants are key players in the fight against heart disease, neurological and mood disorders, the flu and common cold, outward signs of aging, vision degeneration, periodontal disease, infections, and inflammation. Adding Juice Plus+ Vineyard Blend to your daily routine can have significant benefits to your present and future health.
As we’ve talked about in the past, preventative healthcare is the best approach to healthcare and your diet is a major part of your preventative healthcare plan.
Talk to Dr. Blake or Honi, if you like to learn more about easy antioxidant support.
Remember how at Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuventation and Wellness we are always talking about how your oral health affects your overall health? Well, a recent study discovered that there is actually a link between certain types of cancer and periodontal disease. “Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, which included comprehensive dental exams from 7466 participants from Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina. Subjects were followed from the late 1990s until 2012. The data showed that 1648 new cancer cases were diagnosed during the follow-up period.”
Let’s back track a little first and talk about what periodontal disease is and how you get it.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in dental plague. “Interestingly, it is your body's response to the bacterial infection that causes most of the problems. In an effort to eliminate the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that cause inflammation and destruction of the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This leads to swollen, bleeding gums, signs of gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease), and loosening of the teeth, a sign of severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).”
When your oral hygiene routine is subpar and or you don’t keep up with your biannual teeth cleanings, your risk of developing periodontal disease is very high. Smoking, misaligned teeth, grinding, stress, certain medications, certain types of chronic ailments, and genetics also play into your risk factor. This preventable disease has also been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease.
Now, on top of the fact that you could lose your teeth, develop heart disease, or have a stroke from having periodontal disease, but you might also develop cancer. The study found that there was a significant increase in the risk of developing lung and colon cancer in particular in patients who also suffered from severe periodontal disease. Some aspects of our health are out of our control, but fortunately a great deal is within out control; and your oral hygiene and health is definitely one of those things.
If you find that your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss, talk to Dr. Steve or Dr. Blake during your next visit, as this is an early sign of periodontal disease. It is far easier to a prevent disease than it is to cure one. Preventative healthcare is the best approach to your health and well-being and by preventing periodontal disease, you are helping to prevent a lot of other diseases in your future.
Last week we discussed the importance of taking your health in your own hands. We shared simple ways in which you can start being proactive about your health and wellbeing, like being adamant about annual and biannual check-ups, knowing your family medical history, listening to your body, and living an active lifestyle. To wrap up this first month of 2018, we thought it was important to talk a bit more about proactive and preventative personal healthcare.
The United States Congress designated January of every year as Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Each month of the year is designated to one or more health and wellness issues or concerns. This idea is simply to spread awareness about the disease and issues that are affecting us, whether directly, indirectly, now, or in the future. Each year, around 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer. The number of devastating diagnoses of cervical cancer can be greatly reduced though. Annual screenings and follow-up care can significantly reduce your chances, as a women, of a potentially life-altering prognosis. This is a perfect example of being proactive and preventative about your personal health.
The sooner the better when it comes to your health! If there is something going on in your body, idol time is often the greatest destroyer. A simple screening at your gynecologist, a quick check-up with your general physician, or a short visit to the dentist can make all the difference because it is far easier to prevent a major health episode than it is to fix one. That’s not to say that everything is preventable, but earlier care and treatment is always better than waiting for the worst.
The new year is young though and there is no better time to take the reins and steer this year in the direction of a healthy one. Schedule your appointments, come visit us, and make this year your best and healthiest year yet.