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Raleigh NC Periodontist | The Truth About How We Hydrate

Prior to the 1960s, professional athletes, marathon runners, high school jocks, and little league ballplayers all reached for the same thing when they grew thirsty: water. But in 1965, sports drinks took the hydration game by storm.

Raleigh NC Periodontist

Nowadays, people have all but replaced water with these sugary drinks. While popular among star athletes and weekend warriors alike, are these drinks any more effective in keeping us hydrated than water? What kinds of effects do they have on our teeth? Here we take a look at the most important factors to consider when deciding whether to reach for water or your favorite sports drink.

Sports Drinks Have Significantly More Electrolytes and Carbohydrates

Electrolytes. Almost all of us have heard the word, but what exactly are they? Electrolytes are minerals that create an electrical charge when absorbed by the body. These elements help aid the brain in sending nerve signals to the rest of the body, ensure proper muscle contraction, and regulate acidity in the blood (also known as pH levels). The electrolytes and extra carbohydrates contained in drinks like Gatorade and Powerade can be beneficial for individuals participating in intense, continuous exercise for several hours at a time.

However, the truth is, most of us don’t need either.

Some studies have found that because of the carbohydrates and electrolytes they contain, sports drinks can improve the performance of endurance athletes like runners, cyclists, and soccer players. But for regular individuals who aren’t planning on running a marathon or cycling for several hours in sweltering heat, water performs just as well. Several scientific studies have shown no difference in the hydrating power of the two drinks with mild to moderate activity. .

Sweeter Isn’t Always Better

While the sugars found in many sports drinks may help them taste great, they also produce acids that dissolve and damage your teeth. By contrast, water can actually help wash away the bacteria responsible for tooth decay, keeping your teeth and gums healthier.

As with every sweet treat, sports drinks can be enjoyed in moderation in order to protect your oral and overall health. For now though, good old fashioned water is still king of the beverages for us and our oral health.

If you haven’t done so already, book your next appointment with Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today to keep your teeth and gums in optimal health. We look forward to seeing you.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Raleigh NC Periodontist | How Optimal Oral Health Can Protect You from Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a complex autoimmune condition that affects sufferers in a variety of challenging ways. While many of us are relatively familiar with how rheumatoid arthritis impacts our joints and energy levels, fewer are aware of the condition’s relationship to our oral health. RA is correlated with gum disease, gum inflammation, and tooth loss. This connection between rheumatoid arthritis and oral health has been firmly established by scientific research. While scientists have not definitively sussed out all the particulars of this relationship, what’s clear is that the fewer teeth we have and the worse our oral health is, the more susceptible we are to RA.

Raleigh NC Periodontist

Teeth, Gums, and Joints

A growing body of evidence over the past several decades has shown that there is a strong relationship between the health of our teeth and gums and whether or not we develop rheumatoid arthritis over the course of our lifetimes. A study conducted between 1987 and 1998 illustrates this connection. Researchers looked at over 6,000 men and women and found that individuals with serious gum disease were twice as likely to meet criteria for RA compared with people who had healthy gums and teeth.

A paper presented at the European Congress of Rheumatology in 2012 further solidified the connection. It showed that the fewer teeth a person has, the more likely they are to develop RA. Researchers also found that those with the fewest teeth had the most severe—and least treatable—rheumatoid arthritis.

Treating Our Mouths Can Alleviate RA Symptoms

This connection has a positive flip side, though. Individuals with RA or experiencing the early stages of RA symptoms may actually be able to protect themselves from the condition by treating their teeth. A 2009 study determined that by engaging in good periodontal care, rheumatoid arthritis patients were able to reduce the severity of their symptoms. The highly encouraging study suggests that by seeking out a dentist and rigorously treating periodontitis and gum disease, individuals can actually ease the joint pain and fatigue that can become a daily struggle for RA sufferers.

Recent research indicates that we can take even greater initiative, though. We don’t have to wait until rheumatoid arthritis symptoms are severe for us to seek periodontal care. It’s clear that the healthier our gums and teeth are, the more protected we are from RA. Keep on top of your oral health—fighting gum disease, gum recession, and tooth decay—and you’ll give yourself a much better chance of leading a completely RA-free life. Do so by scheduling your next appointment with Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Raleigh NC Periodontist | Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Get Gum Recession Treatment

Gum recession is a relatively common condition in which a person’s gum lines recede upward toward the roof of their mouth. Gum recession can be caused by a number of different things, including gum disease, teeth-grinding, brushing too hard, and inheriting genes that produce weaker gum tissue. But while the condition isn’t unusual, it is something that should be taken seriously. People who address their gum recession early build a foundation for strong oral health through the rest of their lives. Here are some of the most important reasons to seek out treatment at the first signs of gum recession.

Raleigh NC Periodontist

Root Exposure 

The visible parts of healthy teeth are called the crowns. Crowns are fortified with a layer of enamel that keep them protected from all the wear-and-tear that comes with 24/7 exposure. Underneath the crown is the root. The root is arguably the most important part of a tooth. It keeps teeth anchored in the mouth and connects them to the rest of the body.

When gums recede enough, they eventually leave your teeth’s roots exposed. This is not a position you want your teeth to be in. Exposed roots can be extremely sensitive and vulnerable to rot, decay, and, ultimately, tooth loss.

Gum Disease

Gum recession leaves mouths more exposed to bacteria that can cause more serious conditions, including gingivitis and periodontitis. These gum diseases can create a host of undesirable symptoms and complications, including swollen and tender gums, bad breath, and bleeding.

“Toothier” Smile

The underlying health of our teeth and gums is vitally important. But we also can’t deny the aesthetic weight our teeth carry, either. A person’s teeth and smile play a substantial role in their overall appearance. Individuals with significant gum recession have smiles that suffer for it. Without normal gum levels, people tend to have toothier smiles that show off exposed roots and less-than-ideal gum lines.

While some people think that gum recession is a normal phenomenon that doesn’t require dental intervention, those who really care about their teeth know better. Getting a deep cleaning or even opting for more intensive procedures can have a major impact on your teeth both in the present and future. Contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry to schedule an appointment today. We’ll discuss whether gum recession treatment is necessary for you, as well as the next steps. We look forward to seeing you.

 

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Raleigh NC Periodontist | Top Five Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Our gums are a critically important part of our overall oral health. They keep our teeth in place while also protecting the bone and root underneath the crown. Unhealthy, receding, or diseased gums can create a host of serious complications for the rest of our mouths and even our bodies. Because of this, keeping your gums healthy and disease-free is one of the chief tasks of responsible oral health care. Here are the best ways to do that.

Raleigh NC Periodontist

Brush Your Teeth

This is about as obvious as it gets. Brushing is how you clean your teeth, get rid of food particles, and minimize bacterial growth. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day also reduces the stress on your gums and eliminates potential causes of infection. 

Floss

While brushing your teeth gets much more attention, dentists will tell you that flossing is equally important. Believe them. Floss gets to the foodstuffs that eventually turn into plaque, one of your gum’s worst enemies. By flossing daily, you’re loosening and removing the most important ingredient for plaque—which ultimately leads to tartar and gingivitis.

Mouthwash

The best kinds of mouthwash can supplement the work that brushing and flossing do. Look for therapeutic mouthwashes, which are embossed with the ADA seal. They do more than just rid you of bad breath. They help remove plaque and food particles, slow tartar buildup, and can aid in the prevention of gum disease.

Gum-Friendly Foods

While some foods—like sugary drinks and snacks—are highly detrimental to your oral health, others can actually improve the conditions in your mouth. Some of the most gum-friendly foods include carrots, apples, and celery. The chewing motion required to eat these snacks provides an excellent workout for your mouth, massaging your gums and stimulating saliva production. Carrots and apples also contain vitamins that help fight bacteria and fortify tooth enamel.

Dental Check-Ups

No matter how diligently you follow the previous four steps for promoting healthy gums, nothing will serve as a complete substitute for visiting the Raleigh Periodontist. Dentists and dental hygienists have the education, experience, and professional equipment to clean your gums in a way that just isn’t possible at home. Schedule your next appointment with Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today to protect your gums and keep them healthy.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

North Carolina Periodontist | Could Your Children Be Suffering from Gum Disease?

While most parents may be focused on making sure their children’s teeth grow straight, and the upper and lower sets are in alignment with each other, they shouldn’t overlook the importance of their kids’ gums. Gums protect the roots of our teeth. In addition, they act as a critical barrier between them and bacteria that could otherwise lead to decay.

North Carolina Periodontist

If your child’s gums are not healthy, then their oral health care is in jeopardy. It’s that simple. Here are some of the major telltale signs that he or she may be suffering from gum disease.

 

Regular Bleeding

It’s one thing for a child’s gums to bleed if he or she is flossing for the first time, or undergoing an intensive cleaning at the dentist’s office. But if your kid’s gums are bleed regularly—either from brushing, flossing, or even just eating certain foods—it’s a sign of gingivitis.

 

Receding Gums

If your child’s gums appear to be receding away from the teeth, toward the top or bottom of the mouth, he or she could be suffering from gum recession. Whatever the cause, receding gums can expose the roots of teeth and leave mouths more vulnerable to harmful bacteria.

 

Bad Breath

Bad breath isn’t just a crippling social inconvenience. It’s also a sign that something serious is going on in your child’s mouth that requires attention. Also known as halitosis, bad breath often signals bacterial buildup in the mouth, an infection, or a potentially more serious periodontal disease.

 

Swollen Gums

If a child’s gums are unusually sensitive and swell up easily, it’s a major indication of gingivitis. Gingivitis typically means that too much plaque has been allowed to build up at the bottom of the teeth’s crowns, near the root. The plaque buildup starts irritating the gums, which respond by turning red, puffy, and swollen.

 

Signs of gum disease in children should not be overlooked or ignored. While manifestations like puffy and bleeding gums do not necessarily point to an urgent condition, they do mean that your child is likely suffering from gingivitis.

 

Fortunately, gingivitis is a highly treatable condition. The best way to beat back symptoms of gingivitis and restore your child’s oral health care is by visiting Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry. Our North Carolina Periodontist has the equipment and expertise to remove all the bacteria, plaque and tartar and restore your child’s health.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

North Carolina Periodontist | Gum Disease Risk Factors

Everyone can fall victim to gum disease. In fact, a recent CDC study found that nearly half of all American adults suffer from some form of it. A plethora of factors can increase our chances of developing gum disease. For those that already have the condition, these factors can lead to more serious periodontitis that jeopardizes overall oral health and may require dental intervention. Here are some of those factors.

North Carolina Periodontist

Genetics

It’s now well established that genetics play a role in whether or not people develop gum disease during their lifetimes. This could be because their genetic makeup causes them to have weaker gum tissue, making it more vulnerable to plaque, tartar, and recession.

 

Teeth-Grinding

Bruxism is a condition in which people clench or grind their teeth either during the daytime hours or when they’re asleep at night. The condition puts a significant amount of stress on the tissue surrounding the teeth, and can trigger gum recession.

 

Old Age

Research shows that individuals age 65 and older are at a much higher risk for gum disease. The CDC has indicated that as many as 70 percent of Americans in that age range suffer from periodontitis.

 

Nutritional Deficiencies

The right kinds of vitamins and nutrients can positively influence the health of your gums. Foods like carrots, apples, and celery trigger the kind of chewing motion that massages the gums and produces healthy saliva.

 

Dry Mouth

People get dry mouth for a variety of reasons, including prescription medications, nicotine use, and certain health issues. Whatever the source of dry mouth, the condition is dangerous to gums. Saliva helps wash away much of the destructive bacteria that lives inside our mouths. If we’re not regularly washing our mouths with saliva, that bacteria rapidly accumulates.

 

While this list is far from complete, it can be used as a great starting guide for you to use. Whether or not you have any of these risk factors, you should always consult with your North Caroline Periodontist  about your oral health and how to best protect yourself. Be sure to keep up with your regularly scheduled appointments with our Raleigh Periodontist and contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

Raleigh NC Periodontist | Three Brushing Habits Causing More Harm Than Good

We’ve been hearing it for probably just about as long as we’ve had teeth. Brushing twice a day, every day is the best thing you can do for your oral health. But there’s far more to it than that. Brushing your teeth may have become a habit, but don’t let it be a bad one. You could be performing bad habits regularly- some of which you consider beneficial. But don’t fear, you can fix these bad habits easily if you know what they are.

Raleigh NC Periodontist

You brush too hard

We didn’t think it was possible either. But too much pressure can actually damage your teeth and irritate your gums. If you regularly bully your mouth it may even lead to scratches and infections.

 

It’s easier to remove plaque than you may think. Surprisingly loose, its only when it hardens to tartar that it becomes difficult to remove. Instead of trying to powerwash your teeth, gently massage, think soft strokes and a gentle massage. Be nice to your mouth and it will be nice to you.

 

You share your toothbrush

SURELY, this goes without saying, but just in case: Do NOT share a toothbrush. Even if you sometimes share food and drinks with your partner. Even if you regularly kiss each other. It’s gross and you should feel bad.

When you share a toothbrush you open your body up to all kinds of germs that it isn’t prepared to handle. Toothbrushes can harbor the flu, pneumonia, HPV, and not to mention that bacteria that causes tooth decay – streptococcus mutans- a scary name for a scary thing. Maybe you can’t bear to be separated from your partner, but trust us, this is the one exception you should make.

 

You’re brushing too quickly

The average American brushes spends 45 seconds brushing their teeth. That’s less than half the recommended time. If you’re one of the jokesters that’s rushin’ the brushin’, you should know that when you do so you’re leaving behind countless germs and bacteria that are damaging to your oral health. Additionally, some of the ingredients in your toothpaste, like fluoride, need time to do their job. Fluoride isn’t going to help protect your enamel in only 45 seconds.

 

To continue learning about the brushing habits that could be causing damage to your oral health, make sure that you check back in with our blog regularly. In the meantime, if you want to keep your best oral health schedule your next appointment with Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today.

 

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

North Carolina Periodontist | A Glass of Red Wine Keeps the Dentist Away

If you read the title of this article and began to immediately pour yourself a glass of cabernet, there’s good news and bad news.

North Carolina Periodontist

The good news is that red wine offers a host of potential health benefits, including keeping the brain young, promoting hormonal health and preventing heart disease. Recently, scientists from the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid found that exposure to compounds found in red wine can also help prevent bacteria from sticking to your gums. This bacteria, if left in your mouth, is directly responsible for plaque and tooth decay.

 

The compounds the researchers studied are called polyphenols and they can also be found in things like coffee, cranberry juice and other kinds of berries.

 

Despite the promising findings, you shouldn’t start looking for wine flavored toothpaste just yet. The chemicals used in the study were much more concentrated than they would be in wine and the exposure times lasted up to 47 hours. You may have more pressing concerns if you are able to drink for that amount of time.

 

Instead, the research done is a preliminary look into how these compounds might be used in the future as preventative medicines that would fight against oral diseases. For now, make sure you stick to regularly scheduled appointments with our North Carolina Periodontist to keep your oral health in great shape. Contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today to schedule your next appointment.

 

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

North Carolina Periodontist | Reap the Total Health Benefits of Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are not only good for a fresh breath and a beautiful smile. As it turns out, there are advantages for your entire body as well. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the ways brushing your teeth can help you keep you healthy from teeth to toes.

Brushing and flossing can help with your overall body weight in some pretty unique ways. For example, good oral health decreases your risk of diabetes and also increases your chances of maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet. It’s hard to eat well when your mouth is in constant pain from poor health. Also, brushing acts as a natural signal for your brain that you are finished eating. Brushing can also burn up to 3,500 calories per year. Every little bit counts.

 

For mothers, oral health is important not only for yourself, but also for that of your baby. Women with chronic gum disease can have an increased chance of premature births and low birth weights for their children. When pregnant, not only are you eating for two, but remember that you’re also brushing and flossing for two.

 

Brushing and flossing are also great ways to keep your gums healthy. Recent studies have linked gum disease to cognitive dysfunction and even Alzheimer’s disease. Gingivitis was found to be connected to poor cognitive function and health throughout a patient’s lifetime.

 

While it certainly won’t replace regular exercise and a healthy diet any time soon, brushing your teeth can have a real impact on your wellness. To see the best results, be diligent in your brushing regimen and remember to contact Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry and schedule your next appointment today.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry
Phone: (919) 844-7140
cash, credit card
10931 Strickland Rd.
Raleigh, NC 27615

North Carolina Periodontist | Flossing or Waterpik? Which is Better for Your Oral Health

In 1962 the waterpik was first invented. Since then, people have been curious to know which is better for your oral health, regular flossing or water picking? Which one do dentists recommend? Before we skip directly to the answer, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each of the techniques.

Flossing

It may just seem like a boring piece of string, but it’s so much more. Flossing is a great way of removing food that is in between the teeth or below the gum line. It’s a very efficient method of doing so and it’s probably one of the cheapest things you’ll ever buy. Flossing is quick, easy, and you can get it done just about anywhere.

 

Unfortunately, in unpracticed hands, normal flossing can make it hard to reach some areas of the mouth. It can also cause minor bleeding, worsening or causing gum sensitivity.

 

Water Picking

Today, we’re more dependent upon our technology than ever before. The waterpik is a special machine that shoots a stream of water into the mouth, using pressure to massage the gums and push food away from your teeth. It’s incredibly easy to use, making it a great choice for people with braces or other types of dental work. The massaging effect can be a great benefit to gum health. Water picking is also easier to maneuver, getting to those hard to reach places that regular floss just can’t seem to reach.

 

However, Waterpiks can be expensive and clunky to store in your bathroom. It also requires access to electricity and clean water too, meaning that you can’t travel with it as well as you can with a handy pocket sized floss container.

 

The truth is, there really is no right answer as to which is the better flossing option. Depending on your needs and your circumstances, both are great options to get your flossing done. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry found that water picking reduced plaque by 74.4 percent while flossing only reached 57.7 percent. Water picking can also reduce your chances of gingivitis or bleeding gums when compared to traditional floss. However, many dentists still recommend string flossing as the best way to clean the gaps between your teeth.

 

Whatever you decide, our experienced dental team is here to help you maintain your oral health for life. Call Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry today to schedule your next appointment.

 

Tar Heel Periodontics and Implant Dentistry

Phone: (919) 844-7140

Url: https://www.tarheelperio.com/

10931 Strickland Rd.

Raleigh, NC 27615