For many people, the first thought that October brings to mind is Halloween and the hordes of candy that will inevitably assault their oral health. However, there is another reason to celebrate October as the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) marks National Dental Hygiene Month. Since most of us have been instructed to care for our teeth since childhood, oral hygiene may not seem like a problem. Yet, gum disease still affects over 75% of adults in America, and over 90% of adults under the age of 60 have had at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. To help lower these statistics, at least among our patients and readers, Atlanta dentist Peter A. Pate, outlines the basics of proper oral health care.
Good Dental Hygiene Practices
While most of us can say that we brush our teeth every day (we hope!), not everyone knows that there is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. One of the most common tooth brushing mistakes is brushing too quickly, or not thoroughly enough. (more…)
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…)
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:
Eating table scraps, licking people, and digging through trash cans and outdoor surroundings can make your pet’s mouth very dirty. Dental disease affects 78% of dogs and 68% of cats, and poor dental health can lead to bacterial infection and tooth loss in any species. Since your canine or feline doesn’t have access to professional dental care by Dr. Pate like you do, it’s important that you understand how to keep your pet’s mouth clean.
Pet Dental Problems
This month is National Pet Dental Health month. P. gulae is the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease in animals. Dental problems in pets can cause pain, discomfort, shyness, and irritability. Contact your vet if you notice any of these oral symptoms in your pet:
- Tartar buildup
- Bad breath
- Difficulty eating or chewing
- Wincing when touched near mouth
- Red gums