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27 Jan 2022
January 27, 2022 by David CaseBlogDental HealthPatient Care

Oral Health & Alzheimer’s

Did you know that unhealthy gums might put your brain at risk

Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, which harms your memory, ability to think, and can cause changes in your personality. It’s very common and usually affects people aged 60 and over. And, Alzheimer’s might be significantly more likely to happen if your mouth and gums aren’t healthy.

The Link is Inflammation 

A New York University College of Dentistry study found, “long-term evidence that periodontal (gum) disease may increase the risk of cognitive dysfunction associated with Alzheimer’s.” 

Gum disease is a case of inflammation in your mouth. Inflammation is a natural and appropriate response in your body to fight invaders and infection. Gum disease and oral inflammation can be a minor problem or become very serious. But chronic inflammation causes a variety of health concerns that can affect everything from your oral health to your brain. Unfortunately, inflammation problems are increasingly common in the US.

The study at NYU found that gum inflammation might actually contribute to brain inflammation, which leads to neurodegeneration (the breakdown and decline in the health of brain cells and neurons) and Alzheimer’s. This was the case both for people in good health and people with existing cognitive impairment. Sometimes studies only show that two conditions are correlated, but the researchers at NYU believe gum disease is actually one of the causes of Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s & Gum Disease

In the NYU study, people with Alzheimer’s had significantly more antibodies and inflammatory molecules in their blood if they had gum disease.

In addition, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that a certain kind of oral bacteria could travel through your bloodstream and cause harm in other parts of your body, including the brain. Some oral bacteria are good and necessary. But keeping your mouth clean and healthy is the foundation for oral health and to prevent gum disease.

Signs of gum disease include:

  • swollen gums
  • bleeding gums
  • discolored gums
  • gums pulling away from teeth
  • loose teeth
  • persistent bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth

If this is what inflamed gums look like, can you imagine if a brain was inflamed?

Prevention 

If you could maintain a few simple habits that supported your oral wellness and brain health, why wouldn’t you? The benefits of daily oral hygiene are both immediate and long-term. You can make it a “mental habit.”

The most important and basic routines for oral wellness and overall health are:

  • brushing teeth for two whole minutes, twice per day
  • flossing or cleaning between teeth once per day
  • regularly visiting your dentist
  • eating a balanced diet low in acid, sugar, and avoiding snacks

If you have more questions about the oral health link to Alzheimer’s, or you want to become a part of a dental family, come see Dr. David Case in Portland. Make an appointment at Family Dental Health today!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Jan 2022
January 13, 2022 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Destination Dentistry – Are the Savings Worth the Risk?

Ah, vacation. The sun, the sand, the… gauze in your mouth? Dental work and recovery might not be your preferred use of your precious vacation days, but some people are packing their bags and heading to exotic locations for dental work in hopes of saving money. As medical education and technology improve all around the world, destination dentistry or dental tourism is becoming an attractive option for many. Dental tourism is a kind of medical tourism and can reportedly save up to 70% of costs compared to getting dental work done in the US. 

Who Gets Destination Dentistry? 

You might have to be a little adventurous to leave your home country for something as vulnerable as dental work, but healthcare costs in the US prevent many people from getting dental work they might really need or want. Due to cheaper education, licensing, materials, and less bureaucracy in other countries, dentists abroad are able to charge a fraction of those in the US. The most common treatments for patients seeking dental care abroad include dental implants, crowns and dentures.

If you’re already flying out of the country anyway, you’ll have the opportunity to spend a few extra days somewhere exciting. But dental tourism may not be all it’s cracked up to be, and there are some issues to consider before renewing your passport. Those licensing and bureaucracy standards in the US do serve an important purpose for your safety and well-being.

Top Destinations

The most popular destinations for dental tourism include:

  • Mexico
  • Thailand
  • Spain
  • Turkey
  • Czech Republic
  • Dubai
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Costa Rica
  • Hungary

Destination Dentistry Pros & Cons

The potential benefits of dental tourism include:

  • Your dental work is likely to be a lot cheaper.
  • You can visit an exciting or relaxing foreign location.
  • You can find quality care in many places outside the US.
  • In Europe, dentists have similar education, training, and oversight as dentists in the US, and dental practices are held to the same standards.

However, reasons not to travel for dental work include:

  • The practices and conditions might not be to a standard that you’re used to or comfortable with. National standards in the US ensure clean facilities to prevent infection, and drugs and equipment are regulated for safety. This may not be the case for dentists outside the US.
  • It will be very hard to get follow-up care from the same dentist who did your work.
  • You probably can’t get an exact quote for your total costs until the dentist sees you in person for a consultation.
  • Some dental treatments (like dental implants) require two visits, which means more time away from home.
  • Costs of airfare, hotels, car rental, and food add up quickly.

Considerations

Weigh all of the pros and cons of traveling far away for dental work, and consider your current lifestyle and well-being. If you’re already very busy and tired from the responsibilities of life, you might want a real vacation and not a medical one. Any health complications could also seriously hurt your chances of having successful treatment in a foreign country. Talk to your primary care doctor to get their opinion. 

If you’re interested in destination dentistry, talk with your Portland dentist first. Even if your dentist isn’t a fan of this idea (they probably won’t be), the decision is ultimately yours, and it’s still important to keep your dentist (who knows your medical history) in the loop. We will probably need to send x-rays and files to the dentist abroad and will want a way to contact the dentist in case of questions about follow-up and recovery.

If you decide dental tourism is right for you, do your research to find the highest quality of care possible. The Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP) has a checklist that can help you determine if you are making a safe choice for dentistry abroad. And the World Dental Federation is a good place to check for qualified dentists around the world.

Your oral health is crucial to your overall health and long-term well-being. Only you can decide if the gamble on safety and quality is worth the potential monetary savings. If it’s just a matter of saving money, many dentists offer payment plans and flexible financing options to help you afford the dental care you need. Or, you might qualify for state support to cover costs.

If you have any dental needs or concerns, before you pack your bags, make an appointment with your Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health today and let us be your partners in health!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

 

27 Dec 2021
December 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains how oral health can impact your heart health.We all know that it’s important to take care of our health, but that’s often easier said than done. Health and hygiene routines are an investment of your time every day. So, wouldn’t it be great if you could accomplish more by actually doing less? 

As it turns out, when it comes to oral health and heart health, you can! Taking care of one is actually taking care of the other. Count that as one less thing you have to do each day. Dr. David Case explains how oral health and heart health are closely connected.

 

How Your Mouth Affects Your Heart
There are a number of ways that your oral health is directly related to your heart health. What we know for sure is: 

  • If you have gum disease, you have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation, and it ranges in severity. Inflammation is a normal immune response in your body, but too much of it (like gum disease) is not good. Bacteria in your mouth enter your bloodstream through your gums and can cause a number of heart problems. Bacteria in your mouth can also cause your liver to overproduce certain proteins, which inflame your blood vessels. 
  • Signs of gum disease include red, swollen, bleeding, and receding gums. Treating gum disease can help lower inflammation in other parts of your body. See your Portland dentist immediately if you think you have any problems with your gums.
  • If you have a lot of plaque buildup on your teeth, it can be a sign that you have similar build up in your blood vessels and arteries, which is very dangerous. A number of other diagnostic tests use samples from your mouth to look for any signs of pathogens throughout your body. 
  • Heart conditions might affect how you receive dental care, so it’s important that your dentist knows your full health history. If you have any history of pacemakers, antibiotics, blood thinners, heart attacks, or stroke, tell your dentist before going into any cleaning or treatment.

 

The Big Picture

Dentists, medical doctors, and researchers are working hard to better understand these links between oral health and overall health. Gum disease isn’t yet proven to directly cause heart disease, but they are proven to be very closely connected and frequently happen at the same time.

Your mouth may feel far away from your heart in the whole scope of your body, but because your mouth is full of blood vessels, bacteria and germs can quickly travel from your mouth to anywhere else in the body! Seeing the dentist and taking good care of your mouth sets the foundation for good oral health and overall health.

Of course, diet is a major link between your oral health and heart health. Diets high in fat, sugar, salt, and acids will negatively affect both your mouth and your heart. So eat a balanced diet full of unprocessed foods that prevent health problems and support overall wellness.

You can protect your heart by keeping your mouth clean!

The American Dental Association says that the best ways to maintain oral health are:

  • Brush your teeth twice per day
  • Floss or clean between your teeth once per day
  • Eat a balanced diet with limited snacking
  • See a dental professional regularly

Get Healthy! 

If you’re serious about improving both your oral health and heart health, make an appointment with your Portland dentist at Family Dental Health soon. We can be your partners in total health and wellness.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Dec 2021
December 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Services

Could White Teeth Help You Land a Job Interview?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains how whiter teeth can help your career, improve your salary, and land you a second date!A recent, three-part study by Crest® puts numbers to what most of us already knew – white teeth are beautiful and powerful! The study used both qualitative and quantitative measures in multiple settings to determine what effect white teeth can have on a person’s life. 

In a portion of the study on employment, researchers found that whiter teeth greatly increased a person’s chance of being offered jobs but also of receiving higher pay. In a portion of the study on romance, subjects went on simulated dates and found the dates were more successful after their teeth had been whitened. 

Dr. Dacher Keltner, a smile psychologist and psychology professor, says, “This study provides some of the first findings that speak to the powerful benefits of having a whiter smile.” 

Why We Like White Teeth

There’s no arguing it, people like white teeth – on themselves and on others. Perhaps this is because white teeth appear healthier and cleaner. Some scientists also guess that having white teeth is a sign of good genetics, which is attractive to potential mates. Dr. Keltner says a white smile is “the intense focus of what other people look at, and a sign of our warmth, confidence, and health.”

Why Some Teeth are Whiter

Healthy, white teeth come in a variety of hues and shades. We are all unique, and so are our smiles. The white of your teeth actually comes from the outer layer, the enamel. Healthy enamel is like a strong bone and protects the inner layers of your teeth. Protecting your enamel is a good way to maintain white teeth.

Some people still have naturally whiter teeth than others. Maybe it’s a result of good oral hygiene, maybe it’s just good genetics, or maybe they’re just young enough that their teeth haven’t started yellowing yet. Unfortunately, all of our teeth tend to yellow and discolor with age. 

Some bad habits that stain your teeth include:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Drinking red wine
  • Drinking coffee
  • Drinking cola
  • Eating dark-colored berries
  • Taking certain medications (i.e.,tetracycline) 

How You Can Get White Teeth

People have used a variety of products and procedures since the beginning of time to brighten their smiles. In ancient Egypt, white teeth were a sign of beauty and wealth. The ancient Egyptians used a paste made of ground pumice and wine vinegar to whiten their teeth.

Modern bleaching with peroxide and trays was an accidental discovery. Dentists knew that peroxide was a good antiseptic and used it to treat gum disease. As they tried to find ways to keep the peroxide on the gums for prolonged periods of time, they saw the peroxide also made teeth whiter! Today, whitening products come in all forms: strips, trays, paste, rinses, and laser lights to speed up the process.

Not all teeth have to be blinding or unnatural looking to pass the test. Your dentist can help you determine the best shade of white for your own teeth based on the rest of your coloring. Excessive teeth bleaching may increase your tooth sensitivity, so consult with your Portland dentist before you start any whitening treatment.

If you’d like a consultation for teeth whitening or any other oral health goals, contact us today! 

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Nov 2021
November 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

What’s Lurking in Your Saliva?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains all about saliva – what it is, what it does, and why it’s important for oral and overall health.Saliva. Just the word can conjure an array of images in your imagination. From salivating at a delicious meal to studying Pavlov’s dogs to watching a baseball player spit, life is full of saliva! And that’s a good thing because saliva is very important for oral and overall health. Problems with saliva can lead to dry mouth, cavities, and bad breath. Read more below from Portland dentist, Dr. David Case to learn more about your saliva.

Composition of Saliva
Saliva is 98% water. It also contains electrolytes, mucus, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. Saliva travels to all parts of your mouth via “saliva ducts.” Saliva is made in your salivary glands and the contents come from your blood. Ancient doctors believed saliva and blood were “brothers” when it comes to a person’s wellness. 

Because saliva is so similar to blood, research is growing on how to use saliva samples to test for diseases. Saliva samples are already used to test for HIV, but studies are finding you can also detect breast cancer, oral cancer, gum disease, and viral hepatitis in your saliva! Saliva samples can also help doctors understand a person’s immune system. 

Functions of Saliva

Your saliva is hugely important for hygiene, digestion, wellness, and more. Some functions of saliva include:

  • Calcium, fluoride and phosphate ions keep teeth healthy and strong
  • Antibacterial compounds fight disease in your mouth and prevent cavities and infections
  • Helps you taste your food
  • Moistens your food and enzymes break it down to aid digestion
  • Washes food and debris off your gums and teeth
  • Maintains countless overall health functions that we learn more about every day

The more you chew, the more saliva you make. If you have problems chewing, or if your mouth seems overly dry, it’s important to see the dentist right away. People usually make less saliva at night, which is why it’s extra important to brush your teeth before bed.

Health Risks & Benefits of Saliva

Your health depends on your saliva and having just enough of it. Without saliva, you would be very uncomfortable, have trouble eating, and your breath would smell awful. Smoking, certain diseases, and prescription medicines can cause saliva deficiency. 

It can also be a problem if your body makes too much saliva (hello, drool). A dentist or doctor can treat you for either too little or too much saliva. Remember to avoid contact with another person’s saliva if they have a contagious illness because spit can carry those germs.

Treating a saliva imbalance can have many benefits for your overall health, including things like:

  • Acne
  • Cholesterol
  • Male pattern baldness
  • Cancer
  • Stress
  • Heart problems
  • Allergies
  • Cold body temperature
  • Sleep problems
  • Inability to absorb calcium
  • Trouble conceiving children

It’s easy to take your spit for granted, but you’ll notice right away if anything is wrong with it. If you have any questions about saliva or how it’s related to your health, make an appointment at Family Dental Health today. We can help you achieve your best oral health and overall wellness!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Nov 2021
November 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Brushing Your Teeth – Are You Doing It Wrong?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares one common tooth brushing mistake that’s doing more harm than good.Did you know that certain times of day might be better for brushing than others? While it’s always recommended to brush your teeth twice per day, and floss once per day, your timing is also important. 

If you love your pearly whites and want to keep them around as long as possible (because face it, life would be pretty difficult without your teeth), read more to improve your tooth brushing game. 

The Acid in Your Mouth
Some level of acid in your mouth is normal, especially after you eat. After you eat, the healthy bacteria in your mouth go to work to break down microscopic bits of food leftover (yum!) and they produce acid as a result. However, consuming too much sugar increases acid production beyond a healthy level. Snacking all day also keeps those bacteria working and producing more acid than your teeth can handle. 

Why does this matter? Because long-term exposure to acid can erode your enamel, causing your teeth to become weak and decayed. Enamel is the hard, white, outer layer of your teeth and it’s essential for keeping your teeth strong, healthy, and decay- and pain-free. It’s important to understand the effects of acid on your teeth so that you can brush your teeth at the healthiest time of day.

Brushing After Eating

Highly acidic foods like citrus fruits can really take a toll on your tooth enamel even without the help of bacteria, and brushing too soon after eating can make matters worse. You want to protect your tooth enamel because it can’t ever be replaced once it’s gone.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if you eat something highly acidic, you should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. It’s best to rinse out your mouth with water after eating instead. Be sure to spit the water out, don’t swallow it, and you can chew sugarless gum with xylitol if you really need to freshen your breath (hello, 2 o’clock meeting).

We know people have their preferences and routines, and people are usually firmly in one camp or the other when it comes to the habit of brushing either before breakfast or after. This information might make the case for brushing your teeth first thing in the morning (before breakfast), instead of after—especially if you’re going to have oranges, lemons, grapefruit, or coffee with breakfast.

Brushing does a world of good for your teeth in the morning, even before you’ve eaten. This is because you produce less saliva overnight, and saliva is very important for keeping your teeth clean and healthy!

The one time this rule doesn’t apply is right before bed. Having a midnight snack without brushing after is linked to increased tooth loss and tooth decay. No matter what you ate, you should always brush your teeth right before bed, just be sure to rinse your mouth with water first to minimize acidity and enamel damage.

The Importance of Brushing

Brushing your teeth properly is the foundation for oral health. Anything else you do would be pointless without brushing. Use fluoride toothpaste, a toothbrush that’s no more than three months old, and brush for two whole minutes twice a day. Brushing and flossing gently clean your teeth and prevents many potential problems that can develop if your oral care isn’t managed.

If you have questions about acid, enamel, or how to brush properly, make an appointment at Family Dental Health in Portland today! Dr. David Case is a professional dentist who can help your smile look and feel its best.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Oct 2021
October 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

An Alkaline Diet for Oral Health

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains how an alkaline diet can benefit your oral health, overall health, and well-being.Acids and bases might sound like something from far back in your memory, like middle-school science class, but the concept is still very applicable to every aspect of life today.

The foods and beverages you consume daily have a very big effect on your oral health and overall health, for better or worse. You can protect and support your health by eating the right foods. We know this isn’t news to anyone, but it’s much easier said than done, right?

Dr. David Case, Portland dentist explains below how an alkaline diet can benefit your oral health and overall health.

What is an Alkaline Diet?
Everything around us is made of chemicals that are either some level of acidic or basic (alkaline). Chemicals are numbered on the pH scale from 0-6 as acidic, 7 as neutral, and 8-14 as alkaline and more people are talking these days about the negative effects of diets high in acidity. A minimally acidic—or alkaline—diet will contain mostly foods with a pH above 7.

Research shows that some chronic diseases (such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease) and even cancer are linked with eating a highly acidic diet. An acidic environment is a breeding ground for bacteria, disease, and decay, and is the primary culprit behind chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is one of the main contributing factors for many different health problems. 

Eating an alkaline diet can counter these effects. Your body actually has great natural processes for balancing your internal pH, but you can relieve stress on these systems by eating less acidic and more alkaline foods. An alkaline diet aims to support your internal organ systems and the overall function of your body. 

Benefits of an Alkaline Diet for Oral Health

Too much acid in the body can leech calcium, which is bad for your bones. Eating an alkaline diet can help protect your teeth and oral health

Of course, acidic foods can be a problem for your teeth even before you fully digest them. Too much acid wears down your enamel (the hard, white, outside layer of each tooth). This is bad for tooth sensitivity, cavities, and the life expectancy of each tooth. Some studies found that the acid in dark soda (phosphoric acid) is particularly bad for your teeth.

Unfortunately, the standard American diet is high in processed, acidic foods like sugar and dairy, so it takes some effort to lower your consumption of them. But don’t worry—eating more alkaline foods is easier than you might think – and actually quite enjoyable!

Alkaline Diet Foods 

Alkaline foods tend to be raw and unprocessed. Think of fresh leafy greens, salads, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The more colorful your diet, the better off you will be.

The most alkaline foods include:

  • Fresh vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, celery, cucumber, endive, garlic, grasses, kale, parsley, sprouts, spinach
  • Fresh fruits – avocado, coconut, grapefruit, lemon, lime, pomegranate, rhubarb, tomato
  • Beans, lentils, quinoa
  • Oils and fats – flax, hemp, avocado, olive, evening primrose, borage
  • Nuts and seeds – almonds, buckwheat groats, caraway seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds
  • Hummus, tahini

Acidic foods you should avoid include:

  • Grains
  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Meats
  • Processed foods
  • Saturated fat
  • Vegetable oil

While citrus fruits are highly acidic in their natural state and can do damage to your tooth enamel, many of them actually become alkaline once digested and can provide a number of health benefits. Citrus fruits should be consumed in moderation, and you should always rinse your mouth with water after enjoying them to minimize damage to your teeth. 

Whenever you try new foods, it can take a while to learn how you like them prepared. Don’t be discouraged, but look for recipes and spices (other than salt) to enhance your alkaline diet.

If you have more questions about how your diet affects your oral health, Family Dental Health would love to empower you with information and support. Make an appointment to see us soon!

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Oct 2021
October 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Can Plaque Cause Tooth Loss?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains all about plaque and how to fight it with good oral hygiene and quality dental care.If you’ve ever gone too long between brushing your teeth, you know how slimy and dirty your teeth can feel. Some people lovingly call this layer of grime “teeth sweaters.” But it has a real name: plaque. Plaque is common but it can cause poor oral health if you ignore it. Read below for more information on what plaque is and how to deal with it.

What is Plaque?
To best understand what exactly plaque is, let us paint you a picture of the inside of your mouth after a meal. After enjoying your delicious food, someone else (or something else) is enjoying the leftovers. Oral bacteria are natural and normally present in everyone’s mouth. 

These bacteria feed off tiny bits of leftover food on your teeth – kind of gross, but it’s true! As bacteria eat the food, they digest and process it. Finally, the bacteria produce plaque as an aftereffect of digestion. This process happens with any food you eat, but the bacteria especially love carbohydrates and sugar. 

Plaque sticks to any and all parts of your teeth. In fact, the plaque on the sides of your teeth and near your gums can be different than the kind of plaque found in the grooves on the chewing surface of your teeth. 

Effects of Plaque on Teeth

The real problem with plaque is that it contains acid, which ruins your teeth. Over time, acid can erode your enamel and harm your gums. While plaque is totally normal, it’s still important to keep it at bay. 

The buildup of plaque can cause:

In summary, plaque is the basis of most oral health problems. Left untreated, many of the oral health problems listed above can lead to tooth loss and other oral health complications down the road.

What Causes Plaque?

You can’t avoid plaque completely. Plaque is simply the natural outcome of oral bacteria. Either the bacteria naturally reproduce or you pick up new bacteria from your environment. And some oral bacteria are actually good for you. 

So the idea isn’t to completely get rid of bacteria in your mouth. But certain foods (like sugar) and bad habits (like not brushing and flossing) can cause excessive plaque and harmful buildup that hardens into tartar and can wreak havoc on your oral health.

Fighting Plaque

The benefits of good oral hygiene go far beyond just your mouth. A healthy mouth is important for a healthy body and a joyful life. 

To keep your mouth healthy and plaque-free:

    • Brush your teeth for two minutes twice every day, especially in the morning and before bed. Saliva helps wash food off your teeth, but you have less saliva while you sleep, so it’s important to go to bed with very clean teeth to give the bacteria less to enjoy. Also, be sure to replace your toothbrush every three months to keep it clean.
    • Floss and clean between your teeth every day. A lot of plaque hides along and under the gum line, and flossing is the only way to get to this hard-to-reach plaque that brushing will miss.
    • Mouthwash can help loosen up plaque before or after you brush your teeth, and most have ingredients to fight bacteria. You might be sensitive to mouthwash and mouthwash should never replace regular brushing and flossing, so talk to your dentist about using it.

    • Eat less sugar. Especially avoid sugary drinks, which prolong your mouth’s exposure to sugar all day. Sugar is sneaky, you might be surprised how many snacks and beverages actually contain it. If you do have snacks with sugar, rinse your mouth with water right afterward.

    • Eat fewer snacks between meals. If you eat all day long, it’s like giving the bacteria in your mouth an all-day buffet. Eat a healthy meal, then either rinse your mouth or brush your teeth, then give your mouth a break from the plaque process.

    • See your Portland dentist. You can do a lot to fight bacteria and plaque every day, but professional cleaning is still necessary at least twice a year.

    • Ask your dentist about dental sealants for an added layer of protection against plaque and tooth decay.

To schedule a professional cleaning for your teeth, or to develop a new relationship with your Portland dentist, contact Family Dental Health today! Dr. David Case is taking new patients and would love to serve all your oral health needs, and help you keep plaque at bay.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

27 Sep 2021
September 27, 2021 by David CaseBlogDental Health

Could Brushing & Flossing Prevent a Heart Attack?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health explains the connection between poor oral hygiene and heart attacks.A lot of healthy lifestyle choices benefit more than one system within your body. Eating well, exercising, good sleep, and fresh air all support a lot of your physical needs. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that what hurts one area of your health can easily hurt another area, too. An important (though less known) connection in your health systems is the connection between oral hygiene and heart health

Heart Disease

Your mouth is home to countless kinds of bacteria. Most of these bacteria are normal and good, but some may put you at a higher risk of cardiovascular (heart) disease. Heart disease is an umbrella term that covers a wide array of less-than-desirable conditions in your heart and its connecting vessels. Your heart muscle, valves, and rhythm can all be affected by heart disease.

If something prevents your heart and blood vessels from working properly, the consequences can be devastating. That’s why it’s important to know how your oral health and other lifestyle factors can support (or hurt) your heart health. If you have gum disease or dental plaque, you are at an increased risk of developing heart disease.

Gum disease isn’t always obvious, though somewhere around 50% of all adults will get it. Warning signs include redness, swollen, and receding gums. The same bacteria that cause these problems also put your heart at risk.

Science shows that some bad oral bacteria can travel through your bloodstream and harm not only other parts of your body but the arteries they travel through. 

Harmful oral bacteria can cause:

  • Increased cholesterol buildup in your arteries
  • Arterial walls to thin and become more vulnerable
  • Arterial walls to become sticky and attract more cholesterol and other pathogens
  • The buildup in your arteries blocks your blood flow and can cause a heart attack or stroke

You can see how keeping a close eye on your oral health can compound positive effects. And the good news is that oral hygiene is simple and anyone can do it. (Even children need daily oral hygiene habits and should be taught how to care for their mouths.)

Prevent oral problems and heart disease by:

  • Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day
  • Flossing once a day
  • Getting routine dental cleanings and check-ups
  • Eating a balanced diet with limited snacking between meals

Bonus: eating a diet rich in unprocessed foods and vegetables supports heart health, too! See, everything really is connected.

Healthy Lifestyle for a Healthy Life

The health of your mouth can affect countless other health concerns and desires you might have. Oral health supports your sleep, heart, digestion, immune system, brain, and pregnancy.

The field of research that studies these kinds of connections is called the oral-systemic link. As research grows, we know a few things for sure. Prevention is everything, and knowing your risk factors is always important. Having relationships with a doctor and a dentist you trust can help give you the life satisfaction you desire.

Your health is truly a tightly woven map of interconnected parts and systems. Don’t be overwhelmed by everything there is to know, but find the right health care providers, and definitely make use of all the simple ways you can take care of yourself.

Dentists are Doctors 

Dentists are medical professionals who can take care of a wide range of health and wellness needs. If you are looking for a Portland dentist who can get you on the right track, come to see Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health. Make an appointment and let our team of caring, knowledgeable staff give you the smile and the life you want.

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

13 Sep 2021
September 13, 2021 by David CaseBlogPatient Care

Is Your Lipstick Aging You?

Portland dentist, Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health shares how to pick the right lipstick shades for whiter teeth.Family Dental Health believes that natural beauty comes first. Our priority is for you to feel comfortable in your smile, and nothing should hold you back from laughing and grinning each day. Many different dental treatments can bring you this lifelong confidence. 

But we also know that the right makeup can enhance your natural beauty. It’s amazing what different products and colors can do to give you a different look and style. So, what shades of lipstick do we recommend to go with your healthy, beautiful smile? Read more below from Portland dentist, Dr. David Case, to learn what lipstick shades will make your teeth appear whiter, and which shades to avoid.

What Colors & Why
Fashion trends will come and go. But how do you pick a lipstick color that will improve your smile and make your teeth instantly appear whiter? 

The answer is to pick lipstick with blue undertones, instead of orange. Blue is the opposite of yellow-orange on the color wheel. Whereas orange-hued lipstick can bring out the yellow in your teeth, blue will balance it out and make your teeth appear whiter. 

You might be thinking, “blue lipstick?”…”orange lipstick?” Not exactly. Every shade of red and pink can be a warmer or cooler shade. So another way to say it is to pick lipstick with cooler undertones. Here are some examples:

  • When looking for classic red lipstick, look for blue undertones instead of orange undertones. 
  • When looking for pink lipstick, whether light or dark, pick berry colors instead of coral.
  • When looking for dark lipstick, pick a purple instead of a brown. The high-contrast of dark lipstick usually makes teeth appear whiter, but brown will only bring out any yellow and staining.
  • When looking for a nude lipstick, pick one with a little gloss instead of something matte.

Some lipsticks are formulated to make teeth look whiter, such as Apa® Blue Lip Shine.

The Impact of White Teeth

A study commissioned by Crest® found remarkable results that whiter teeth improved a person’s career and dating opportunities. It’s pretty obvious that white teeth just look healthier and happier, which translates to the person as a whole, not just their smile. 

You can get professional teeth whitening treatments at home or at Family Dental Health for real, long-lasting results. And you can maintain whiter teeth with everyday whitening toothpaste. 

If you have additional questions about whitening your teeth, make an appointment to see us soon! We’ll help you look your best for every occasion. 

 

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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