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Archive for November, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 @ 06:11 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Despite advances in dental technology and improvements in oral hygiene, tooth loss remains a problem for many adults in America. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 3.75% of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have no remaining teeth. In addition, American adults between the age of 20 and 64 have an average of 24.92 out of 28 remaining teeth. This means that many adults in American will lose at least one of their permanent teeth by the time they reach the age of 64. This may lead you to wonder what is causing tooth loss among American adults.

The most common cause of tooth loss in American adults is periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the tissue and bone surrounding the teeth and can range from mild inflammation (Gingivitis) to a more serious form called Periodontitis. If it is allowed to progress to Periodontitis, it can cause irreversible damage to the bone and tissues that support the teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good daily oral hygiene including flossing and brushing daily, to visit your dentist regularly for scheduled dental cleanings and checkups and to avoid smoking or using other tobacco products.

Dental caries or tooth decay is another common cause of tooth loss in American adults. Tooth decay can range from mild decay that can be fixed with a simple dental filling to advanced decay that damages the structure of the tooth. Once a tooth becomes decayed to a certain extent, a filling will no longer fix the problem. In this case, a crown may be placed over the tooth to provide strength and to save the remaining healthy tooth structure. In cases where the decay is so severe that the tooth cannot be saved with a dental crown, an extraction may be necessary.

Tooth loss can also be caused by trauma to the mouth. This can result from motor vehicle accidents, participating in contact sports or other types of trauma. The best way to prevent trauma related tooth loss is to wear your seatbelt while riding in a car and to wear a properly fitting mouth guard while participating in contact sports. Athletic mouth guards can be purchased at most sporting good stores. You can also get a custom fitted mouth guard from your dentist or oral surgeon.

With Americans living longer and longer, it is even more important to take good care of your teeth to increase their chances of lasting for a lifetime. If you would like additional information on how to care for your dental health and prevent tooth loss, talk to your dentist or oral surgeon today.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013 @ 07:11 PM
posted by Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums, bone and tissues surrounding your teeth. This serious condition is very common among adults and is currently the leading cause of tooth loss. While it is well known that poor dental hygiene and smoking are large contributors to this disease, there is a large body of research supporting the fact that diet and nutrition may also play an important role in either contributing to or helping to prevent periodontal disease.

So what role does diet and nutrition play in either contributing to or preventing periodontal disease? First of all, periodontal disease is caused by bacteria, and the bacteria that causes periodontal disease thrive in an acidic environment. Therefore, eating sugars and other foods that increase acidity in the mouth increases bacterial counts and can contribute to periodontal disease. However, you do not have to cut these foods out of your diet altogether. Rather, it is important for you to eat a balanced diet that covers a variety of different food groups including an adequate intake of fruits, vegetables and fiber. If you do eat sugary foods, it is important to rinse your mouth afterwards, or, even better, floss and brush your teeth.

There is also some research that shows that getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals, specifically, vitamin C and Calcium, can help to prevent periodontal disease. It is not fully understood exactly what role vitamins and minerals play in preventing periodontal disease, however, there are a few logical theories. One theory is that getting an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C helps to boost the body’s immune system. It is thought that this may help individuals fight off the infection.

Clearly, a lot more research is needed regarding the important topic of the role of diet and nutrition in periodontal disease. However, it has been firmly established that eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping up with your nutritional health can help to prevent a number of serious health problems including heart disease, Diabetes, certain types of cancer and more.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Mac Worley, Mountain View Oral Surgery and Dental Implants

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