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June 15, 2011

Exercise Can Lower the Risk of Periodontal Disease

There are frequent news reports and television shows encouraging Americans to get fit and healthy through proper diet and exercise.  One study revealed that increasing your level of exercise can lead to healthier teeth and gums.

Researchers from the University of Florida measured the body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, and maximal oxygen consumption in a group of volunteers.  The team of researchers then used the measurements to calculate each participant’s exercise capabilities and weight control. The participants’ oral health and oral care habits were also examined.

When all the information was gathered, researchers determined that the people who maintained healthy weight and exercised regularly were less likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease.

“Weight management and physical fitness both contribute to overall health, and now we believe staying in shape may help lower your risk of developing gum disease,” stated Samuel Low, Associate Dean at the school’s College of Dentistry. “Since gum disease is related to other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, there is even more reason to take care of yourself through diet and exercise.”

Dr. Low also suggests that we should follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines of brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, rinsing after meals, and visiting your dentist on a regular schedule for a thorough cleaning and checkup.

Remember, oral health is crucial to overall health, and your first step to continued good health is to schedule a thorough checkup and cleaning with me, Dr. Peter Pate, Dentistry of Buckhead. Contact my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.

May 31, 2011

Kick the Habit

Are you a tobacco user? This is a great time to kick the habit!  The American Cancer Society recently stated that 90 percent of people with oral cancer used at least one form of tobacco.

In addition to cancer, tobacco products increase the risk of gum disease, discolor your teeth, give you bad breath, slow your healing after an oral procedure, and can cause white patches and scar tissue inside the mouth.

The tobacco industry recently introduced a dissolvable tobacco product for smokers to use in establishments that ban smoking. The marketing led consumers to believe that smokeless tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products are less harmful than pipes, cigars, and cigarettes. However, snuff, chewing tobacco, and dissolvable tobacco contain more nicotine than cigarettes, thus making them more addictive.

Nicotine is bad enough, but consider the added chemicals that increase the risk of throat, oral, and esophageal cancers.  These products contain cyanide, arsenic, sand, grit, sugars, and sweeteners that irritate gums, generating a higher risk of gum disease.  Gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss.

Kicking the habit now will reduce your potential for gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, pre-term births, low birth-weight babies, and oral cancer.

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I encourage you to be aware of oral cancer and give up tobacco products forever.  Improve the quality of your life, and those of your friends and loved ones!  If you need help quitting, or if you need your teeth whitened after you quit, contact my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. I care for patients in Buckhead and the greater Atlanta area.

May 20, 2011

HPV: Strong Link to Oral Cancer!

We’ve heard a lot lately about the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. Usually this is introduced to us by our physicians as it relates to our reproductive health.  HPV is most easily transmitted through sexual contact, and is strongly linked to cervical cancer.  However, there is new evidence that connects HPV to declining oral health as well.  Would you believe that the HPV positive group is the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population?

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead.  It is important that you understand the dangers of HPV and what it can mean for your oral health. I recommend that you first become familiar with the characteristics of the virus and the way it is transmitted, and then learn how to best prevent you and your loved ones from contracting this destructive bug.

Although over 120 different versions of HPV have been identified, the most common strands are HPV-16, 18, 31, and 45. The virus is most easily spread through unprotected sexual contact. All of these HPV strands wreak havoc on the skin and mucosal linings of body tissues and results in an attack of the cells which can lead to various forms of cancer.

Specifically in the mouth, HPV-16 seems to be the culprit for the increasing rates of oral cancer in young adults. The virus manifests itself primarily in the back regions of the oral cavity like the base of the tongue, the back of the throat, and the tonsils. The double stranded DNA virus comes in contact with these areas in the mouth and infects the epithelial cells of the mucosa. The infected cells in the mouth can degrade and mutate to become squamous cell carcinomas (oral cancer).

So, how do you keep from getting HPV? The easiest and most effective way to safeguard yourself is to abstain from unprotected sexual contact – including oral sex, which is what causes the oral cancer we just discussed. Secondly, most physicians offer the HPV vaccine that can be administered at ages as young as 10 years old. This vaccine is thought to offer protection against the most harmful types of HPV, including HPV-16.

Now that you know what HPV is and how it is spread, I would like to remind you that it is vital that you continue your regular hygiene visits. In addition to the examination and cleaning, we screen for any signs of oral cancer. If you are due to visit us, schedule a thorough checkup and cleaning with me, Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead. Contact my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.

May 12, 2011

Catch Your ZZZ’s to Prevent Disease!


At times sleep can be elusive, but it is important to overall health and oral health. Sleep impacts your memory, curbs inflammation, spurs your imagination, sharpens your attention, lowers stress levels, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and slows the progression of periodontal disease.

Your mind and body are very active during sleep. While sleeping, cells repair themselves, and hormones and the immune system reset. With an out-of-whack immune system, the body can’t fight illness or disease effectively.

When you feel worn down due to sleep deprivation, your body’s immune system is suppressed. Then the body is slower to produce the antibodies needs to fight infections. The less sleep you get, the weaker the immune system becomes.

A recent study in Japan revealed that people who slept less than seven hours a night stood a greater chance of developing periodontal disease than those who slept seven to eight hours a night. Researchers concluded that the lack of sleep weakened the immune system, causing the gum disease to progress more rapidly.

Several factors may affect your sleep: stress, medications, diet, your mattress, or obstructive sleep apnea. This condition occurs when soft tissues in the throat and mouth collapse and block the airflow during sleep.

If you experience sleepless nights due to sleep apnea or snoring, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead. I can determine if you need treatment for sleep apnea or require a snoreguard to keep your airway open as you sleep. Call my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule a consultation. We gladly welcome patients from Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Lenox, and surrounding areas.

April 16, 2011

Healthy Sweet Substitutes

As people become more health conscious, desserts continue to present a problem. Your sweet tooth will not let you rid your life of sugary treats, but with some smart substitutions, you can find balance.   Try these simple culinary tricks and you will find that you can have your cake and eat it too!

  • Use apple sauce in place of cooking oil
  • Try whole wheat flour instead of white bleached flour
  • Use 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa for every ounce of sweetened chocolate
  • Substitute evaporated skim milk for cream – or better yet, experiment with non-dairy alternatives like almond or coconut milk
  • Bake with xylitol instead of sugar
  • Add vanilla extract or lemon zest to compensate for reduced sugar
  • Use egg whites or egg substitutes instead as opposed to whole eggs
  • Skip the top crust and use fresh or frozen berries in pies
  • Sprinkle cookies, cakes, or brownies with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or powdered sugar instead of frosting

These healthy tips will help control your sweet tooth, while setting you on the road to a healthier diet. Be sure to maintain healthy teeth and gums, as well! Remember to brush two times a day, floss once a day, rinse after meals, and keep your semi-annual dental visits.

If you have concerns about the health of your teeth and gums, or need a thorough cleaning, call me, Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead, at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. We care for families from Buckhead and throughout Atlanta. Don’t let your sweet tooth cause you pain!

April 6, 2011

Your Mouth, the Tattle Tale

“You are what you eat!” Did you know that during a dental checkup, I am usually able to determine how you have been eating? I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I can often spot potential nutritional imbalances by examining your teeth and gums.

Your gums reveal nutritional deficiencies such as low zinc, iron, and folic acid.  These deficiencies can promote gum disease.  Indications of other conditions, such as infection and diabetes, may also be identified during your dental visit.

Your teeth will tell me if your diet consists of too many sugary or acidic foods. Foods high in acids or sugar will cause tooth enamel to soften, and may eventually lead to tooth decay. Untreated decay can lead to infection and tooth loss.

Since your dentist is often the first member of your healthcare team to discover potential nutritional problems, you should not skip your regular dental cleanings! During your exam, I will look for signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Studies have shown that poor periodontal health can increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and preterm births.

I hope this post inspires you to establish good eating habits to promote the health of your teeth and gums!  Stay tuned for an upcoming post listing specific foods that are great for your oral health.

If you experience tooth pain, or are in need of your regular exam and cleaning, contact my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. Remember – your mouth is your first line of defense in fighting disease.

July 29, 2010

Buckhead’s Family Dentist

With appointments as early as 7am, Dentistry in Buckhead makes dental visits convenient for the whole family. I’m Dr. Peter Pate, a restorative and cosmetic family dentist in the Buckhead  area of Atlanta. I designed my office to make patients of all ages—that’s you and your family–feel comfortable and welcome. As a husband and father, I’m sensitive to the importance of having reliable, trustworthy, and knowledgeable medical professionals to care for my family.

Each of my fabulous team members has a sincere dedication to excellence in patient care, customer service, and professional growth. You’ll also appreciate our state-of-the-art technology, which includes digital X-rays for significantly reduced radiation exposure—80% less than traditional radiographs. Patient safety and comfort are top priorities to us. If you’re nervous about dental visits, ask me about sedation dentistry. I offers a few options that have helped many people change the way they feel about going to the dentist. In fact, we need to talk about your goals, concerns, and anything that I can do to make your experience in my office more rewarding.

In addition to being a dentist, I’m a small business owner. To me, this means that I have to continually earn your business. At Dentistry in Buckhead, my team and I invest in people, not just teeth. We’re interested in your family’s total health. (more…)