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September 12, 2012

Brushing for Two: Oral Health During Pregnancy

So you’ve discovered that your own little bundle of joy is on the way.  Now that you are caring for yourself as well as your unborn child, you have additional responsibilities.  One topic you may not consider in relation to your pregnancy is your oral health. Atlanta dentist Dr. Peter Pate explains why you shouldn’t place your dental hygiene at the bottom of the list during your pregnancy.

Gum Disease and Your Pregnancy

Periodontal (gum) disease has a direct relation to many chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It also has been linked to preterm and low-birth weight babies. The main culprit suspected in the link is the bacterium P. gingivalis, which induces your body’s inflammatory response. When gum disease causes your gums to swell and bleed, bacteria enters your bloodstream through the soft infected tissue. As P. gingivalis travels throughout your body, it can provoke the same inflammatory response as it did in your gums. When you are pregnant, this can mean abnormal conditions surrounding the birth of your child. (more…)

September 22, 2011

A Whole Grains Quiz

Happy Whole Grains Month! How much do you know about whole grains? It may seem trivial, whole grain versus processed grain, but whole grains have a wide range of benefits over their processed cousins. Test your knowledge with this Whole Grains Quiz:

Q: Which of these is not part of a whole grain:

  • Bran
  • Shell
  • Germ
  • Endosperm
  • None of the above

A:  Shell – A whole grain consists of bran, germ, and endosperm.

Q: Which of these is a whole grain?

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Wild Rice
  • All of the above

A:  All of the above – For a list of whole grains, click here.

Q: Whole grains help reduce the risk for:

  • Heart Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Gum Disease
  • All of the above

A:  All of the above – Whole grains reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. They may also reduce risk for gum disease, asthma, colorectal cancer, high blood pressure, and tooth loss.

Q: How many servings of whole grains do you need each day?

  • 1
  • 1-2
  • 2-4
  • 3-5
  • None

A:  3-5 servings per day

Q: How can you tell if a food is made with whole grains instead of processed grains?

  • Look for the Whole Grains Council stamp
  • Ask the butcher
  • Ask the cashier
  • Ask the stocker
  • Ask your spouse

A: Look for the Whole Grains Council stamp. Every product bearing the whole grains stamp contains at least half a serving of whole grains.

Q: How much money could you win in the Whole Grains Council September Sweepstakes?

  • $1,000
  • $2,000
  • $3,000
  • $4,000
  • $5,000

A: $5,000 – Click here in the month of September to enter the sweepstakes.

Q: Is “whole white wheat” a whole grain?

  • Yes
  • No

A: Yes: “White wheat” is bleached wheat, which is processed. “Whole white wheat” is actually a white variety of wheat that is used whole.

Be sure to incorporate whole grains into your daily diet to reap some of the bountiful rewards these types of grains offer. Here at Dentistry in Buckhead, Dr. Pate cares about your whole health, and not just your dental health. Call the office today at 404-266-9424 and reserve your appointment with Dr. Pate and his team.

August 31, 2011

Immunization Awareness

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued its annual update of vaccination guidelines. The new recommendations emphasize the importance of vaccinating children and teens to protect against serious illnesses, such as influenza, pneumonia, and meningitis, as well as other deadly diseases.

The recommendations for 2011 are very similar to those from 2010, but the release of the revised schedule reminds parents to ensure that their children’s immunizations are up to date. Dr. Michael Brady, the chairman of the AAP infectious disease committee, points out that “immunizations have been the most effective medical preventive measure ever developed, but some people who live in the United States right now don’t appreciate how tremendously protected they’ve been because of vaccines. There are still children around the world dying of measles and polio. The vaccination schedules are designed to get vaccines to the child before they are at the greatest risk.”

The updated schedule recommends that all children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years get an annual flu shot. Additionally, children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who are being vaccinated for the first time, as well as those who have had only one dose of a previous flu vaccine, need two doses of the seasonal flu vaccine.

The AAP recommends the following:

  • Children and teens should receive the recommended whooping cough vaccines.
  • Children ages 7 to 10 years who have not been previously vaccinated against the disease need a single does of the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and Tdap vaccines.
  • Teens from 13 to 18 years who never received the Tdap should get the vaccine as well as a Td booster every 10 years.
  • All girls should receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which can be given between the ages of 9 and 18 years in a three-dose series.
  • Children under the age of 5 should get the haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccine to prevent the bacterial disease.
  • Routine childhood vaccines, including those for the rotavirus, polio virus, MMR, and varicella, should be received at the suggested ages.

Dr. Peter Pate, a family dentist in Atlanta, Georgia, strives to help his patients lead healthy lives. For information about how to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy to prevent the onset of serious oral and overall health conditions, call Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 266-9424.

July 12, 2011

The Importance of Mouthwash

For healthy teeth, you have to eat right and practice daily oral healthcare at home. Teeth should be brushed two times a day, flossed once a day, rinsed after meals, and cleaned professionally at least every six months. Additionally, your entire mouth can benefit from mouthwash. Antiseptic oral rinses and fluoride rinses are two types of beneficial mouthwashes that can promote healthy teeth and gums (and help refresh your breath too!).

Antiseptic mouthwashes, such as Scope and Listerine, decrease plaque and oral bacteria. In conjunction with brushing and flossing, these rinses help remove oral debris, temporarily suppress bad breath, and refresh the mouth with a pleasant taste (flavored versions only). To avoid drying out the tissues of the mouth, rinsing with a non-alcoholic mouthwash is recommended so be sure to check the labels!

Fluoride mouthwashes can also decrease oral bacteria. In addition to acting as an antiseptic, fluoride effectively prevents the growth of cavity-causing dental bacteria and strengthens tooth enamel. ACT, a common over-the-counter fluoride rinse, slows down or even stops the progression of cavities when combined with proper brushing and flossing. For high-risk patients, dentists can provide stronger concentration fluoride supplements or rinses to protect against cavities.

Rinsing with any mouthwash for 30 seconds loosens remaining debris and contributes to good oral health. If you live in the Atlanta area and want healthy teeth for a lifetime, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate at (404)266-9424. I provide preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to families in Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Lenox, Atlanta, and surrounding areas.