How Medical Health Impacts Dental Health | Quality Dentist Riverside, Ca

459953231For many people, dental problems start and end in the mouth – insufficient or improper brushing and flossing allows bacteria to build up in the mouth, causing tooth decay, gum disease, and eventual tooth loss. However, for other people, dental problems result from other major health issues.

For example, patients with poorly controlled diabetes can have very severe dental problems. The lack of blood supply can contribute to infections in the gums and bones beneath teeth, and high blood sugar can cause dry mouth, where the resulting lack of saliva contributes to an increase in bacterial buildup and tooth decay.

Sleep apnea, a medical condition where the body tissue often blocks the airway, causing significant sleep problems, can cause dry mouth (again leading to bacterial buildup and tooth decay), jaw fatigue leading to TMJ disorders, and in some cases bruxism (tooth grinding), which wears down tooth enamel, and can cause tooth loss as teeth are damaged during sleep.

Like medical problems can contribute to dental problems, a healthy diet can contribute to a healthy mouth. Avoiding foods high in sugar and acid can help minimize your risk of tooth decay, and maintaining sufficient calcium is necessary for bone – and tooth – health.

While dentists will recommend brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning, it’s important to realize that overall medical health contributes to healthy teeth and gums. If you’re having medical issues, be sure to have open and frank discussions with your dentist – it may help your dentist in diagnosing and treating problems they see within your mouth.

For more information on oral health call Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton at 951-688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com

Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario,  Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.

Xylitol Benefits | Riverside, Ca Dentist

489195623Have you ever seen advertisements for sugar free gum that claim to help your teeth and wondered whether or not it actually works? It turns out, many of those products actually do work, and one of the reasons why is a common sugar replacement called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol, a natural, sweet substance often used to sweeten foods without the caloric impact of sugar. While Xylitol is sweet, it doesn’t have the same impact on your body as sugar.

First, Xylitol starves the bacteria in your mouth of food. Where the normal bacteria on your mouth responsible for cavities (streptococcus mutans) feeds on sugar, it can not feed on Xylitol – chewing sugar free gum containing Xylitol not only doesn’t feed this damaging bacteria, but it allows your body to wash away the sugar. Over time, fewer and fewer bacteria will live in the mouth, and less plaque will form.

The most common sources of Xylitol in sufficient quantities for dental impact is in gum and mint products. While replacing sugar with any Xylitol will help avoid feeding the streptococcus mutans bacteria, if Xylitol is listed as the first ingredient, it likely has enough to actually decrease decay-causing bacteria over time if chewed regularly, perhaps 3-5 times per day for 5 minutes at a time.

Xylitol has been approved as safe by the US FDA and World Health Organization, but like most things in life, should be taken in moderation. While common in foods such as gum and mints, it’s also available over the internet directly – care should be taken, as too much Xylitol can be difficult for your body to digest, and can have fiber-like laxative properties. While chewing gum a few times per day may take effort, it’s a great, cheap, simple way to keep your teeth clean, and help fight off cavities.

 

For more information on Xylitol call Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton at 951-688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com

Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario,  Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.