Monthly Archives: November 2011

Planning on Losing Weight in the New Year?

Ny Dental ThanksgivingDo you feel about as stuffed as that turkey that was on the table this Thanksgiving? In the height of holiday season the last thing we want to think about is our weight. Usually it isn’t until the new year approaches and we start feeling a little extra tightness in the waistband that we consider making a resolution to exercise, diet, and lose weight. However, weight loss is a good thing to keep in mind right through the holidays, especially as NY Dental professionals ponder new information from a recent study revealing an alarming connection between obesity and gum disease.

In the study, 31 overweight individuals who had gum disease were given the same periodontal care. However, a control group underwent gastric bypass surgery to facilitate weight loss. After a period of time, all participants’ gum conditions had improved some due to the periodontal care. However, those who had enjoyed weight loss due to the surgery showed far greater improvement in overall gum health, reduction of inflammation, and a marked decrease in glucose levels.

Gum Disease Ny DentalInflammation of the gums can lead to harmful effects over time, causing bone erosion and tooth loss. It also allows harmful oral bacteria to enter the blood stream. This bacteria has been linked to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and other conditions.

One of the theories scientists propose for the connection between obesity and oral health is that excessive fat cells, called adipocytes, create more cytokines which reduce the ability of insulin to properly deal with sugars in the body. The result is elevated sugar in the blood stream which presents a constant assault on the gums and teeth. Other studies show that the blood vessels in the mouth show thickening in obese individuals, which decreases blood flow to the tissues. Reduced blood flow allows bacteria to stagnate without being removed by the immune cells in the body.

In earlier dental news, previous studies confirm the findings of this latest research, and there are many convincing factors that explain the connection. Not only does obesity promote periodontal disease, but it also increases risk of adult onset diabetes, which in turn has its own gum disease risks.

holiday goodies NY DentalSo, as you enjoy your holiday goodies, keep in mind moderation is always a good habit. Start planning today for a weight loss program that includes healthy eating and regular exercise. A healthy wight not only makes you feel better, but your mouth will thank you as well. Making an appointment with your dental care professional wouldn’t be a bad New Year resolution either!

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Shrinking Jaws: Fact or Fiction?

Cosmetic Dentist NYCWhether we like it or not, every one of us faces the effects of aging on our bodies. Hair thins and whitens, taut muscles sag, wrinkles appear; but did you know that your jaw shrinks as you age? A study released by the Faculty of Dentistry at Malmo University is circling dentistry news and reveals that jaws do reduce in size, causing teeth crowding in seniors. Surely another sign of aging is not what we all wanted to hear!

The study was a fascinating one. Dental students in their twenties had molds taken of their teeth. Researchers repeated the molds in ten years, then again a full forty years after the first sample was taken. Comparison of the three different molds showed that the jaw size had indeed shrunk in that forty year time span. The lower jaw was affected more than the upper, and the shrinkage occurred whether or not the individuals had their wisdom teeth removed. Manhattan cosmetic dentist professionals are taking special note of this study because of the effect jaw shrinkage can have on the bite of their patients.

Dental news, ny dentalSo, how does this bit of dental news affect you? Regardless of your age, the inevitable effects of aging are already at work on your body. When you consider having cosmetic dentistry work done, it is important that you discuss jaw space issues with your dental professional. While continuous shrinking of the jaw is normal, dental reconstruction is not a natural occurrence. However, with proper planning, qualified dental professionals can still perform procedures that will enhance your smile, preserve the longevity of your bite, and give you more confidence.

dental implants nycA key to maintaining jaw size is dental implants. NY dentists have long recognized the value of replacing missing teeth with dental implants. If space from missing teeth is allowed to remain, atrophy of the jaw and gum tissue begins to accelerate the otherwise normal rate of jaw shrinkage. Removable dentures allow the atrophy continue, accelerating the rate of shrinkage. Most of us have probably seen an older person struggling with a denture that has become too large due to shrinkage in the mouth. This is due both to the normally occurring shrinkage of the jaw, but also to the accelerated shrinkage caused by missing teeth. In contrast, titanium posts used for dental implants are actually interpreted by the body as the bone of a natural tooth, reducing the risk of natural bone loss around the implant. Dental implants actually become a great tool to help reduce the effects of aging on your jaw.

When you start to think of the effects of aging, trusting the care of a dental professional can give you a healthy mouth for many more years of enjoying delectable meals with friends and family. Jaw shrinkage is not something to fear, but instead to face with confidence, knowing the options before you. Dental implants are no longer a luxury, but a means of keeping you smiling for your grandchildren and others you care about.


Feeding Your Teeth This Holiday Season

turkey, dentist, teethAre you ready to sink your teeth into Thanksgiving turkey? What about the Christmas ham? The meats you enjoy probably won’t make the dentistry news headlines, but all of those delectable sweets just might! You know the old saying, “You are what you eat?” This is true when it comes to the health of your teeth. Drinking and snacking on sweet or starchy things is not just a treat for yourself, but for the plaque building up on your teeth as well. And while we don’t want to become the Grinch that stole your holiday treats, we would like to offer a few suggestions to combat those goodies and promote a healthy holiday smile.

High Fiber Fruits and Vegetables

Fiber is exceptionally good for your teeth, acting somewhat like a detergent in your mouth, helping to scrub off that unwanted plaque. There are a number of fruits and vegetables that have good fiber content, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to include a few more veggies into your holiday menu. At the top of the list are:

● Artichokesplaque, saliva, teeth

● Peas

● Broccoli

● Kale

● Raw carrots

● Avocados

● Asparagus

● Apples

● Bananas

● Blueberries

● Raspberries

● Pears

Not only do fibrous foods act as scrubbers, they also promote saliva flow, which aids in neutralizing acids and enzymes which attack your tooth enamel.

Dairy Productscalcium, enamel, teeth, dentist

Incorporating dairy products into holiday meals is a cinch. Many recipes call for cheese, milk, yogurt, and other dairy products. What makes them so good for your teeth? The calcium in milk helps to build stronger enamel, providing better protection from those less healthful holiday choices.

Green and Black Tea

Do you have a soft spot for a steaming chai latte? A Chai latte actually has a couple of good things going for your teeth – milk and tea. Both green and black teas contain polyphenols, bacteria, teeth, dentist, plaquepolyphenols that work to counteract plaque causing bacteria. Although tea is acid, the acidity is so weak that it does not affect your teeth. Rather, both black and green teas have been making dental news lately because they contain the properties that break down plaque bacteria, making them a good component of your healthy teeth arsenal. Just cut back on some of the sugar in that latte!

Eating for the health of your teeth need not be a bothersome chore; there are plenty of tooth-healthy foods that are delightful to the palate as well. Incorporating a few of these ideas into your traditional holiday fare is an easy step toward promoting a healthy smile.


Dealing with Acid Reflux (GERD)? Watch Your Teeth!

acid reflux, Gerd, tooth decay, pain, diet

So, you have just come home from a great night of Mexican food – the bean dip was fabulous, chips and salsa were great, and the enchiladas, beyond compare! Now you are dealing with that familiar burning pain in your chest, those feelings of regurgitation: the symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). What you may not realize is that the same acid that is causing you such discomfort may actually be eating away at the enamel of your teeth, making you susceptible to tooth decay.

GERD is a common problem today and occurs when ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach fails to close, allowing the contents of the stomach to flow back up into the esophagus. The high acidity of the stomach contents is what GERD, acidity, esophaguscauses the burning sensation in the chest. Eventually the acid can eat away at the lining of the esophagus, producing even more serious complications.

What effect does all this extra acid have on your mouth? Saliva in your mouth is designed to maintain the proper pH balance (levels of acidity or alkalinity) in your mouth. For example, eating sugar causes the acid level of your mouth to rise, putting your teeth at risk. The saliva in your mouth works to restore the balance after sugar consumption. Imagine the effect of continual acid coming up from your stomach due to GERD and entering your mouth – the acidic assault should make dental news headlines as much as the warnings about highly acidic foods, drinks, and sugar.

Acid eats at the enamel that protects your teeth. When the enamel begins to wear off, the sensitive inner layer of your teeth, called dentin, is exposed. This can produce symptoms of tooth erosion, which include:

● Toothache tooth decay, enamel, dentin
● Bad breath
● Spots on teeth
● Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet

Tooth decay can lead to more serious dental issues which could lead to permanent damage or loss of teeth requiring the care of cosmetic dentistry. Because of the serious effects of excess acid in the mouth NY dental professionals recommend following a strict regimen to deal with GERD quickly. Certain dietary and lifestyle choices contribute to GERD, including eating chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Smoking has also been shown to relax the muscle that contributes to GERD.

If you have been diagnosed with GERD, or you are experiencing the symptoms, you should let your dentist know. If you have already suffered damage to your teeth, you may want to visit a cosmetic dentist. Manhattan area dentists are well equipped both to protect your teeth from damage, and to help you recover your beautiful smile.