Are you hoping to catch someone under the mistletoe this season? Kissing under the branches and berries of a mistletoe sprig has been a worldwide tradition for generations, perhaps longer (the origins of the ritual are vague). Many people still find the tradition fresh and exciting every year, and you may be among those surprised with a kiss. If so, you’ll want to ensure that the person kissing you remembers the moment for the right reason. Atlanta dentist Dr. Peter Pate gives you these tips to ensure that your mouth remains kissable and ready for those mistletoe surprises.
Tips to a Kissable Mouth
- To keep your breath consistently fresh, your toothbrush and floss are your best friends. Oral bacteria, the culprits that bring tooth decay and gum disease, can also bring bad breath. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day will help control the bacterial population, inhibiting the number of germs available to pass gas in your mouth. (more…)
The next time you schedule your annual physical, make sure you have your regular dental visit on the calendar as well. To get an overall view of your health, it can be beneficial to start with the mouth. Current research shows that many systemic deficiencies or maladies are illustrated in the tissues of the oral cavity. Atlanta dentist Dr. Peter Pate explains how he can ascertain details about your overall wellbeing by inspecting the health of your mouth.
The Connection Between Your Mouth and Your Body
The oral-systemic connection refers to the relationship between the health of your mouth and the overall health of your body. Over the last several decades, numerous studies have shown that the two are distinctly connected. For instance, the earliest signs of some potentially fatal systemic diseases appear as lesions in the mouth or other oral problems. This discovery has increased the importance of attending your regular dental checkup. Early detection vastly improves the chances of successful treatment.
Further Implications of the Oral-Systemic Connection
The oral-systemic connection has other important implications as well. Incidences of tooth decay and gum disease have been linked to specific malicious bacteria within the oral cavity (S. mutans and P. gingivalis, respectively). When you consume food and beverages that contain refined sugars and other fermentable carbohydrates, bacterial plaque (which is constantly present in your mouth) digests these substances. The by-product of this digestion is lactic acid, which plaque secretes over the surfaces of the teeth. When lactic acid attacks enamel, it also saps teeth of essential enamel-strengthening minerals (calcium and phosphate). Without these ingredients, the enamel is not able to remineralize and strengthen itself. Weakened enamel leaves teeth vulnerable to bacterial attack, which leads to tooth decay. The plaque under your gum line secretes acid, and attacks the connective tissue between the gums and teeth. This irritation causes the gums to recede from the teeth, increasing the chance of gum disease. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through diseased soft gum tissue and travel throughout the body, irritating body tissue cells along its journey. (more…)
At Dentistry in Buckhead, we pride ourselves on exceeding our patients’ expectations. Dr. Pate and our trained, compassionate team will make you feel like part of the family by providing personalized attention and exceptional dental care, backed by advanced technology. Here, Dr. Pate lists just a few of the technological advances that we offer to give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
Cavities are the most common dental issue that Dr. Pate treats. DIAGNOdent uses a low-intensity laser to detect signs of decay more precisely and at an earlier stage than previous methods. When cavities are found early, there is less decay to remove, so Dr. Pate can preserve more of your natural tooth structure. DIAGNOdent’s laser detection also allows Dr. Pate to monitor areas of concern without the repeated use of X-rays.
The greatest advantage of digital radiography is safety. Digital X-rays require up to 90% less radiation and provide a much clearer picture of your teeth than a traditional X-ray machine. You can view the detailed images on a monitor as Dr. Pate explains his finding and treatment recommendations. Also, digital X-rays are much easier to store, study and transfer than traditional film records, and they require no hazardous chemicals for development.
Ever wonder what the inside of your mouth looks like up close? Our intraoral camera lets us take you on a virtual tour of your mouth. We prefer to keep our patients at the center of their treatment plans. The camera captures images that give us visual aids to guide you through your diagnosis and treatment options, so you’ll be informed every step of the way. (more…)
Chances are, you have experienced the discomfort of sensitive teeth. Sensitivity in the mouth can be a sign of other underlying issues. Teeth feature three primary layers: the protective outer enamel, the sensitive dentin, and at the core, a canal that houses nerves and connective tissue. Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and the second hardest naturally occurring substance on our planet. Dentin is a softer tissue that features tiny tubules, or channels, that allow sensations of pressure and temperature to be conducted to the tooth’s nerve. The nerves that lie within the inner canal then send signals to the brain.
Acid erosion and tooth wear can thin the protective enamel on the outside of teeth. Thin enamel provides less insulation, making teeth more sensitive to temperature fluctuations and pressure. Erosion is most often caused by acid in foods or from stomach acid. Enamel wear most often results from grinding and clenching teeth, a condition called bruxism.
The crowns of teeth are covered with enamel, but the roots are not. If the gums recede, roots become exposed. The slightest pressure, such as that from wind, can cause intense pain to exposed teeth roots. Temperature fluctuations will also cause discomfort. Gums can recede for a number of reasons, including gum disease, grinding, or aging. (more…)
Research shows that people who receive professional dental cleanings on a regular basis are 24% less likely to have a heart attack, and 13% less likely to have a stroke. Dr. Pate would like to explain how keeping your teeth clean can also help keep your heart healthy.
Oral Bacteria in the Bloodstream
Gum disease weakens your gum tissue and creates an opening for bacteria to enter your bloodstream. As these bacteria travel through your body, they can inflame other cells and tissues. In fact, patients who have heart attacks or strokes often have the same bacteria that cause gum disease accumulated in their arteries. Here are some ways that oral bacteria can contribute to a stroke as it travels through your bloodstream:
You probably know that daily dental hygiene is important to keep your mouth healthy. However, brushing and flossing are only effective if you do it properly. Dr. Pate wants to test your knowledge to see how much you know about preventive dental care.
1. How long should you brush your teeth?
A. One minute
B. Three minutes
C. Ten minutes
2. How often should you floss?
A. Every day
B. Once a week
C. Only before my dental appointment
On average, a person could not survive more than five days without water. As the weather outside gets warmer, your need for water increases. Water keeps you energized, healthy, and strong. In honor of Drinking Water Week (May 6-12), Dr. Pate wants to make sure you’re drinking enough water to keep your body and mouth hydrated this summer.
The human body is made up of 55-75% water. Your body loses water through sweating, urination, and exhaling. When you don’t replace the water your body is losing, you may become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause muscle weakness, cramping, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and other body weaknesses. However, dehydration affects your mouth, too. A lack of moisture in your mouth can lead to dry mouth and dry lips.