Dentist in Baltimore, MD
Exercise is important to good health, but can it have a detrimental effect on our teeth? Studies have shown that exercise and fitness habits can result in an increase in dental decay and tooth erosion. Exercise can impact our oral health in many ways, including:
Decreased Saliva Flow: Breathing heavily through the mouth during exercise can result in a reduction in saliva and cause the mouth to dry out. Saliva is filled with minerals that work to fight bacteria, protect tooth enamel, and prevent decay. To prevent decay caused by a dry mouth, learn to breathe through the nose during exercise and hydrate with water before, during, and after your workout. You can also brush your teeth before you exercise to reduce the presence of bacteria and plaque.
Jaw Clenching: Athletes often clench their jaw when straining to lift weights. This pressure can result in wear and even cracked teeth. To protect teeth from the effects of clenching, consider using a mouth guard. These can be purchase at most drugstores or sporting goods stores or our dentist can make a custom fitted mouth guard for you.
Consuming Sports Drinks: Studies have shown that sugary sports drinks are up to 30 times more erosive to the teeth than water. The citric acid they contain can soften the tooth enamel so much that even brushing can cause tooth damage. Taking frequent, small sips of sugary liquids increases the chance of tooth decay. Avoiding the use of sports drinks and hydrating with water instead can prevent these negative effects. If you feel you must use sports drinks, don’t drink small amounts over an extended period of time, rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and avoid brushing immediately after consuming.
Contact our office to schedule your next preventative dental appointment.
Proper at-home dental care and regular preventive dental visits can help you save money! See below for interesting information comparing the costs of dental care and see how the average person’s at-home care differs from the American Dental Association recommendations.
Did you know that about 75% of the United States population suffers from some stage of periodontal gum disease? Take a look at some interesting dental facts that you can sink your teeth into.
Dentist in Baltimore
Clearing up misconceptions about oral health can help improve personal oral hygiene efforts for a beautiful and healthier smile. If you keep up with your oral hygiene regimen, dental visits are significantly easier and dental care is more manageable. Misconception #1 – My teeth are fine if I have no pain Tooth decay (cavities) usually doesn’t cause pain until they become very severe. Once it gets to this stage, the amount of decay could lead to more invasive and costly treatments. Some of the most dangerous oral disorders, such as oral cancer and gum disease, typically don’t cause pain at all. It is important to keep up with scheduled dental appointments. Our dentist can diagnose problems even at its earliest stages when there is no pain. Misconception #2 – Cavities are only caused by sweets When you eat sweets, the bacteria in your mouth start consuming it and produce acid. This acid dissolves the enamel of the tooth, which results in tooth decay or cavities. However, this process happens when you eat anything that is a starch or carbohydrate. Food and snacks, such as crackers, bread, potato chips, fruit, peanut butter and pasta, have the same effect on your teeth. Misconception #3 – If my gums bleed, I should stop flossing Bleeding gums are often the first sign of gum disease. This happens when bacterial infections inflame your gums due to a lack of efficient cleaning. With regular brushing and flossing, gums will be much healthier and should rarely bleed. However, gum inflammation can occur despite best oral hygiene habits. In such instances, you should see improvement if you rinse with warm salt water and continuing to brush and floss. Misconception #4 – Whiter teeth are healthier teeth Healthy teeth come in a wide range of natural shades. Whiter teeth cannot show if there is an infection or cavity between the teeth. Although pure white teeth do not equate to healthier teeth, they should still be naturally on the whiter side. Misconception #5 – Children are more prone to tooth decay Tooth decay (cavities) can develop at any age. People assume children have poor brushing habits and are more prone to tooth decay. Cavities form when bacteria cause a loss or weakening in tooth enamel and eventually decay forms a hole in the tooth. This is usually seen in people with poor brushing and flossing habits, regardless of age. Excellent oral health promotes overall good health and is definitely not a misconception. It is important to practice good oral hygiene habits. If you have any questions regarding your dental health, please contact our dentist.
Baltimore, MD Dentist
Proper oral health care has been closely linked to your overall wellbeing. These four oral health symptoms can be signals of a stressful lifestyle, improper diet, poor dental hygiene and other health conditions. Flat Ground-Down Teeth: Teeth grinding, or bruxism, results in issues with worn down or flat teeth. This can be caused by a joint dysfunction, but it can also be a stress signal. Specifically, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD) can occur due to poorly functioning jaw muscles and can be a sign of a high stress lifestyle. Besides looking into less stressful activities, contact our office for advice on stopping bruxism. Eroded and Crumbing Teeth: Chipped teeth and tooth surface loss can cause major dental pain and long-term health issues. This is usually relative to an unhealthy diet. One main cause is due to soft drinks, or high acidic intake. Beverages high in sugar and starches can erode teeth. Having the right diet can make all the difference in keeping your teeth healthy. Inflamed Gums: Proper oral hygiene is key to optimal oral and overall health. Inflamed gums can indicate lack of consistent brushing, flossing and fluoride rinsing. Due to periodontitis, or gum disease, gums can be bothersome. It can include problems such as swelling, bleeding and soreness. Symptoms like these can be indicative of other serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. Studies have shown that people with moderate to advanced gum disease are more likely to have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Sensitive Teeth: Sensitive teeth, a common dental problem, can cause pain while eating or brushing. It is a condition that may result from receding gums, intense brushing or grinding. Sensitive teeth may also indicate a diet high in erosive or acidic foods, or even a cracked tooth. If you are experiencing sensitivity, you may need to reevaluate your diet or dental care regimen. Speak to our dentist about switching to a new toothpaste, which could help reduce discomfort by protecting the enamel. Recognizing these issues, along with practicing proper dental hygiene, is a great step toward better oral and overall health. Visit our dentist on a regular basis for proper dental care and recommendations for a healthier you.