Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Stress and Your Oral Health
It’s holiday time and that means stress. Excess stress may give you more than a headache, a stomachache, or just a feeling of being "on edge." Too much stress could also harm your mouth, teeth, gums, and overall health.
Stress and anxiety affect your oral health with:
· Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores
· Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism)
· Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines
· Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease
So how can you prevent these oral health problems?
Canker sores -- small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red -- appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Although experts aren't sure what causes them -- it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses -- they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.
Most canker sores disappear in a week to 10 days. For relief from the irritation, try over-the-counter topical anesthetics. To reduce irritation, don't eat spicy, hot foods or foods with a high acid content, such as tomatoes or citrus fruits.
Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. Cold sores are fluid-filled blisters that often appear on or around the lips, but can also crop up under the nose or around the chin area.
Emotional upset can trigger an outbreak. So can a fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.
Like canker sores, fever blisters often heal on their own in a week or so. Treatment is available, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Ask your doctor or dentist if you could benefit from either. It's important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore forming.
Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth -- during the day or at night, and often subconsciously. Teeth grinding is also known as bruxism.
If you already clench and grind your teeth, stress could make the habit worse. And, grinding your teeth can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. Grinding your teeth will make them more sensitive, it will cause enamel defects at the gum line that lead to decay, and tooth fracture.
See your doctor and ask what can be done for the clenching and grinding. Your dentist may recommend a night guard, worn as you sleep, or another appliance to help you stop or minimize the actions.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Being under extreme stress may affect your mood and cause you to skip oral hygiene habits such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
If you don't take care of your mouth, your teeth and overall oral health can suffer. If you already have gum disease, skipping daily hygiene may worsen the problem. If your mouth is in relatively good health, falling short on these healthy mouth habits can lead to gum disease or increase your risk of cavities.
When under stress, you may also develop unhealthy eating habits, such as snacking on large amounts of sugary foods or drinks. These habits increase the risk for tooth decay and other problems.
Just reminding yourself of the importance of hygiene and healthy eating may help. Boosting or resuming your exercise routine can help you relieve stress and feel energized enough to tend to your oral hygiene and cook healthier meals. Exercise will also boost your immune system -- and that, too, is good for your oral health.
Stress can cause an increase in dental plaque, even when the high stress levels are short-term. That's according to a study that evaluated people who cared for loved ones with dementia and who experienced stress.
Long-term, the stress these caregivers felt boosted their risk of bleeding gums, or gingivitis, which can progress to serious gum disease.
Stress can lead to depression. You can't make depression or the stress disappear, of course. But experts say that learning healthy coping strategies can help reduce the risk of gum problems getting worse. Healthy coping is "problem-focused" with active and practical strategies to deal with the stress and depression, experts say.
Remember, eating a balanced diet, seeing your dentist regularly, and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Antibacterial mouth rinses also help reduce plaque-causing bacteria.
Information source: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/healthy-teeth-2/stress-teeth
Monday, November 12, 2012
Diabetes and dental care: Guide to a healthy mouth
What do brushing and flossing have to do with diabetes? Plenty. If you have diabetes, here's why dental care matters — and how to take care of your teeth and gums.
When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands. Learn what you're up against, and then take charge of your dental health.
Cavities and gum disease
CLICK TO ENLARGE
Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is key. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of:
· Tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food and beverages interact with these bacteria, a sticky film known as plaque forms on your teeth. The acids in plaque attack the hard, outer surface of your teeth (enamel). This can lead to cavities. The higher your blood sugar level, the greater the supply of sugars and starches — and the more acid wearing away at your teeth.
· Early gum disease (gingivitis). Diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria. If you don't remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it'll harden under your gumline into a substance called tartar (calculus). The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva — the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. This is gingivitis.
· Advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually, periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control. Preventing and treating periodontitis can help improve blood sugar control.
For More information contact Dr Carl Estler on 281-579-7222
9910 South Fry Road Katy. Texas 77450
Thursday, November 8, 2012
Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects your body’s ability to process sugar. The resulting high blood sugar can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body. Diabetes can lower your resistance to infection and can slow the healing process.
If you have diabetes, you are at greater risk of developing oral health problems. The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are:
· Gum disease. Recent research suggests that the connection between gum disease and diabetes goes both ways. On the one hand, because of lowered resistance and a longer healing process, gum disease appears to be more frequent and more severe among those with diabetes. Conversely, it appears that treating gum disease in people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar control.
· Fungal infections. Since diabetes compromises your immune system, you may be prone to developing fungal infections. Symptoms include painful sores and difficulty swallowing. If you develop a fungal infection, see your dentist.
· Infection and delayed healing. If you are having extensive oral surgery, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to minimize the risk of infection. To help the healing process, keep your blood glucose levels under control before, during and after surgery.
Good oral hygiene habits, including professional cleanings at the dental office, are important if you are to control the progression of gum disease and other oral health problems. Regular dental checkups and periodontal screenings are important for evaluating overall dental health and for treating dental problems in their initial stages. Your dentist may recommend more frequent evaluations and preventive procedures, such as teeth cleaning, to maintain good oral health.
Source: American Dental Association
If you would like more information contact Dr Carl Estler
|281-579-7222 910 South Fry Road Katy. Texas 77450|
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Brushing for two minutes now can save your child from severe tooth pain later. Two minutes, twice a day.
How about two minutes to brush their teeth?
Contact Dr Carl Estler
|910 South Fry Road Katy. Texas 77450||281-579-7222|
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
How can I take care of my toothbrush?
To keep your toothbrush and yourself healthy, make sure you let it dry out between uses. Toothbrushes can be breeding grounds for germs, fungus and bacteria, which after a while can build up to significant levels. After using your toothbrush, shake it vigorously under tap water and store it in an upright position so that it can air out.
To prevent cold and flu viruses from being passed between brushes, try to keep your toothbrush from touching others when it is stored. A standard toothbrush holder with slots for several brushes to hang upright is a worthwhile investment in your family's health.
How often should I change my toothbrush?
Most dentists agree you should change your toothbrush every three months. Studies show that after three months of normal wear and tear, toothbrushes are much less effective at removing plaque from teeth and gums compared to new ones. The bristles break down and loose their effectiveness in getting to all those tricky corners around your teeth.
It is also important to change toothbrushes after you've had a cold, the flu, a mouth infection or a sore throat. That's because germs can hide in toothbrush bristles and lead to reinfection. Even if you haven't been sick, fungus and bacteria can develop in the bristles of your toothbrush —another reason to change your toothbrush regularly.
How can I protect my toothbrush when traveling?
A plastic toothbrush case will protect toothbrush bristles from becoming squashed or flattened in your traveling kit. After brushing, however, you should let your toothbrush dry in the open air, to help reduce the spread of germs.
For More Information Contact Dr. Carl Estler at Smile Like The Stars
|910 South Fry Road Katy. Texas 77450|