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Gum Disease and Arthritis

Written by Dan Abril.

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Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic condition that affects a person’s joints and linings. The disorder develops when a person’s immune system misclassifies a person’s protein and works overtime to defeat it.

Why this happens is still not clear but doctors and experts have attributed it to genetics or environmental factors. Recently however, researchers have discovered that there is a correlation between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis. 

The Link

Comparing and analysing synovial fluid samples from rheumatoid sufferers and from those who don’t suffer the condition, dental researchers from Germany found that those who have rheumatoid arthritis carry the DNA of the bacteria that cause gingivitis infections. This latest research highlights previous studies between gingivitis to arthritis.

Earlier, researchers from the New York Hospital for Joints Diseases discovered that there is a link between gingivitis and rheumatoid arthritis. Comparing samples from sufferers and non-sufferers, the study revealed that those who have arthritis had greater exposure to the gingivitis bacteria and those with worse gum disease exhibit severe arthritis.

How bacteria found in the mouth can lead to arthritis is still not clear but according to other reports and studies, it could be through extra-oral translocation, which simply means that the bacteria are moving from the oral cavity to other areas of the body.

Prevention

Fortunately, gum disease in its early stages can be treated and be reversed but if left unchecked, it can worsen and lead to a developed stage of gum disease that affects more than the gums. The best treatment against gum disease is to keep the gums healthy. Regular dental visits and observing proper oral health care through brushing and flossing lessens the bacteria.

However, if you are already suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, proper brushing and cleaning can be difficult. The American Dental Association (ADA) have suggested the following to make it easier for the patient:

•    Look for toothbrushes that are easier to grip.
•    Use mouthwash to prevent cavities.
•    Explore other types of floss available.
•    Quit smoking.
•    Discuss the problem with your dentist.

Finally, remember that early detection is the best defence. Should you show symptoms of gum disease, visit your dentist. For inquiries, feel free to email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

References:
http://arthritis.about.com/od/rheumatoidarthritis/f/periodontal.htm
http://www.everydayhealth.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/the-link-between-gum-disease-and-rheumatoid-arthritis.aspx
http://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/physician-corner/rheumatology-rounds/round-34-periodontal-disease-and-rheumatoid-arthritis/

Vitamins and Supplements for Oral Health

Written by Dan Abril.

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The quest for healthy teeth and gums does not end with tooth brushing and flossing. Regular dental check-ups plus a nutritious diet are needed to achieve that end goal.  However, given the external pressures of modern living (pollutants around us and food grown on nutrition depleted soil), a balanced diet may not be sufficient enough.

Vitamin C. This vitamin is not only a powerful antioxidant but also promotes the production of collagen – a  vital ingredient in the growth and development of supportive tissues surrounding the teeth. Vitamin C also fights infection and gives teeth the extra protection it needs. 

Calcium.  Healthy teeth and bones need adequate calcium. Utilized by bones in creating and regenerating tissue, calcium give bones supporting teeth the strength it needs.

Vitamin A. Necessary in the development and maintenance of healthy skin, hair, eyes, bones and teeth; Vitamin A prevents inflammation and promotes the recovery of swollen gums. In addition, this vitamin keeps the mouth moist as it aids in keeping mucus membranes healthy. 

Vitamin D. Like Vitamin C, Vitamin D helps fight infection by raising the person’s immune system.  Further, the vitamin fortifies teeth making it less susceptible to decay and cavities. If that isn’t enough, it has been suggested that Vitamin D helps in the healing process of damaged teeth. 

Coconut oil. Gargling with coconut oil helps in reducing bacteria in the mouth. Adding it to food or beverages provides extra nourishment for the body’s self-healing properties.

Before proceeding with these supplements, always remember to consult a physician first. Remember that too much of anything good can be damaging to the system. Professionals will give you proper daily recommendations so as to avoid overdose and possible complications.
For further questions, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

References:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/355655-vitamin-supplements-for-healthy-teeth-gums/
http://www.wholehealthmd.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?nm=Healing+Kitchen&type=AWHN_News&mod=News+Perspectives&tier=3&id=95E9746D626A427D901A641C72E711B6
http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/03/reversing-tooth-decay.html

Fluoride: To Be or Not To Be?

Written by Dan Abril.

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There is much controversy and debate surrounding fluoride these days. On one hand of the spectrum are supporters stating that fluoride reduces tooth decay and adding it to drinking water is beneficial to those who can’t afford dental care. On the other end are those who are expressing alarm that fluoride side effects outweigh the benefits.

But what is it?

Fluoride is a chemical ion of the element fluorine and is one of the most abundant elements on earth. Used mainly in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other chemical products; fluoride is said to help prevent tooth decay through protection against acids and the remineralization of damaged teeth.

While it may be true that fluoride toothpastes offer protection and fluorinated water has saw the decreased of tooth decay among children and adults in the lower social strata, studies are being done on its possible health effects.

Side Effects

Some health groups have stated that long-term exposure and excessive consumption of fluoride can cause low IQ, depression, weight gain, increased cancer risks, and heart problems. This concern has been somewhat validated through a research done by Harvard University.
According to the website of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), the recent research revealed that there is a correlation between children living in high-fluoride areas and low IQ. In contrast, children in low-fluoride areas display much higher IQ.  Although the studies aren’t conclusive enough, the initial findings support the concern of health groups and demand further study.

Alternatives

In the meantime, if you wish to avoid fluoride; there are fluoride-free toothpastes available. They can usually be found in health shops and are slightly more expensive than the regular toothpastes. Alternatively, you can take the DIY route and make your own toothpaste with coconut oil and baking soda.  Coconut oil is known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties while the baking soda acts as a mild abrasive for cleaning teeth.

For more info on fluoride, check out IAOMT’s website at http://www.iaomt.org or send us an email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

References:
http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1068-FLUORIDE.aspx?activeIngredientId=1068&activeIngredientName=FLUORIDE
http://www.naturalnews.com/038217_fluoride_tap_water_side_effects.html
http://www.livestrong.com/article/133760-side-effects-fluoride/
http://iaomt.org/harvard-study-confirms-fluoride-harms-brain-development/
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154164.php

Eating for Good Oral Health

Written by Dan Abril.

There’s no doubt about it. Too much sugar causes tooth decay.

For healthy teeth, the best approach is to avoid or control the consumption of sugar-rich foods. The list does not only include the obvious culprits such as candy, soda, or cakes and pastries but also those with hidden sugar content such as French fries, dried fruits, and bread.

However, knowing which foods to keep away from is only part of the larger battle. Our previous post on maintaining good oral health already mentioned a number of tips on improving your diet but to further expound on the topic, we’ve compiled a list of food and beverages to stock in your pantry.

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•    Crunchy fruits and veggies. This spectacular group includes apples, celery, and carrots. As we stated earlier, crunchy fruits and vegetables are nature’s toothbrushes.  Munching on these goodies encourage the production of saliva which in turn counterbalance bacteria that causes decay. The coarse texture of these fruits and veggies also give gums a soothing massage.

•    Cheese or milk. Rich in calcium, cheese and milk help regulate the pH balance in the mouth by reducing acid that attacks the tooth enamel. 

•    Water. The best drink to keep in handy. Water washes away food residue and is as (perhaps, even more) effective as any commercial mouthwash. The bonus is that adequate water intake flushes out toxins thus maintaining overall health.

•    Food rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is important for the health of gums and tissues. Fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C include strawberries, guava, broccoli, papaya, kiwi, bell pepper, oranges, and green and leafy vegetables.

•    Onions. The scent of onions may be off putting to some but this vegetable is packed with antibacterial compounds that neutralize cavity-causing bacteria. They are best when eaten raw.

•    Sesame seeds. If you’re looking for an alternative to dairy products, sesame seeds are your best bet. Sesame seeds are full of calcium and sufficient consumption help build and preserve strong bones that support teeth.

Loading up on these delicious and nutrient-rich foods are not only beneficial to your teeth and gums but they are also essential in keeping your overall health. Stick to a healthy diet and enjoy the benefits.

Control Bleeding Gums

Written by Dan Abril.

Lining the mouth, gums serve more than as a placeholder for teeth. Structured to adhere closely to teeth, gums also protect the underlying bone by repelling external organisms from seeping into the roots or the jaw bones. Healthy gums are pink and firm while unhealthy gums will appear red, swollen, and pull away from teeth. Through age, bad practices, or disease, gums can weaken and cause teeth to fall out.

Bleeding is a tell-tale sign of damaged/weakened gums. Caused by improper brushing or by gum disease, if not addressed early and properly, injured and bleeding gums will lead to infection and other oral health problems.

There are a number of methods to treating and managing bleeding gums as well. While for children, the main culprit may be hard toothbrush bristles or heavy pressure when brushing. The obvious solution then is to switch to softer toothbrushes and to teach kids to brush correctly.

For adults, particularly for chronic bleeding gums, the reason maybe more complex as it may be related to disease. To get a clearer picture, the best advice is to visit the dentist and get the proper diagnosis and treatment.

However, if you have healthy gums and wish to keep it that way, here’s our advice:

A.    Practice good oral health care. We cannot emphasize that enough. This includes proper brushing and flossing. Also check if the bristles of your toothbrush are not too hard on your teeth and gums.

For more details on maintaining good oral health, check our previous post here.

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B.    Rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. If you wish to avoid manufactured/processed mouthwashes, create your own with a mixture of peppermint oil, clove oil or even salt. The properties of the herbs/spices will help ease the bleeding and the swelling.

C.    Supplement with vitamin C. Of course, vitamin C is known for staving off colds but it also helps repair tissues and slows down the aging process.

D.    Keep a healthy diet. 

E.    Finally, remember to visit the dentist regularly. A check-up every six months will help maintain good oral health and detect potential problems.

If you are currently dealing with chronic bleeding gums, visit our clinic and our staff will be happy to assist you. Call us at +632.7278665 for more details.





Fight Tooth Decay

Written by Dan Abril.

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Caries – or tooth decay – is one of the most prevalent health problems around. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US cites that a large percentage of children – particularly among the lower income families suffer from tooth decay. Dental caries is not only common among children however, as susceptibility to the disease increases with age.

Tooth decay happens when there is a demineralization of the tooth enamel. If overlooked, the problem can worsen and will lead to infection and decay. Demineralization begins with the consumption of sugar and starch. These simple carbohydrates can cling on tooth surfaces and overtime, bacteria in the mouth will feed on these and multiply.

Fortunately, dental caries is preventable and early detection, management, and treatment can do wonders. But sadly, and as alluded to by the CDC, those in the lower strata doesn’t have access to dental care.

Preventing Tooth Decay There are three methods promoted to caries control and prevention. First is through fluoride use, second is through sealants, and third is through behavior modification.

Fluoride. Fluoride is believed to help reduce demineralization and encourages the remineralization of early decay. Experts also suggest that fluoride in toothpaste is the most effective and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste can control the early onset of damage. Adding fluoride to drinking water is also advocated as it can easily be accessed by lower income families. But this may prove to be damaging in the long run as excess fluoride can cause other health problems.

Sealants. The application of plastic coatings to the surfaces of molar and premolar teeth are also advised and has proven to be effective in curtailing dental caries.

Behavior Modification. While fluoride and sealants may be successful in combating caries, behavior modification among high-risk populations should also be considered and may prove to be further valuable.

These are low-cost, and relatively safer than fluoride supplements. Behavior modification includes oral health education and teaching children the proper way of toothbrushing. Children, teens, and the adult population should also learn how to control their appetite for sugar-laden food and sodas. Overconsumption of sugar is related to a host of other health problems thus reducing – or completely taking it off the grocery list has benefits to your complete health.

Tooth decay is a painful disease that can be easily prevented and monitored. Dental checkups are encouraged but if regular visits to the dentist aren’t feasible, then basic knowledge on oral health care coupled with good diet should be enough.

For further info on reducing tooth decay, get in touch with us at +632.7278665 or email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .