Tag Archives: oral health

The Link Between Oral Health and Overall Health

Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about having a white smile, fresh breath and no cavities. Good dental habits are critical to the overall health of your body. Brushing, flossing and keeping up with regular dental appointments not only keep your mouth in good shape but help prevent various diseases and conditions that affect your entire body.

Cardiovascular Disease 
Periodontal disease—or gum disease—is associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Poor brushing and flossing habits allow bacterial infections to form in the gums. The infection then passes into the bloodstream. From there, it affects the heart’s arteries, leading to stroke, hypertension and other heart-related conditions. 

Respiratory Illnesses
Unwanted bacteria in the mouth can contribute to multiple respiratory problems, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. These are caused when bacteria from the mouth are inhaled into the lungs, allowing infection to spread throughout the respiratory system. This is of particular concern for those with lungs already damaged by disease, worsening their conditions.

Diabetes
Gum disease and diabetes have an intertwined relationship. For people with gum disease, germs leak from infected gums into the bloodstream during chewing and tooth brushing. This activates the body’s defense system causing blood sugar levels to rise and increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. For those who have diabetes, gum disease is very common. If left untreated, their symptoms will worsen. Either way, proactive treatment of gum disease is critical for those with and without diabetes for the prevention of future problems. 

Pregnancy Complications
During pregnancy, hormone levels increase, making women more likely to develop oral infections. Left untreated, these infections lead to complications during pregnancy. What’s more, expectant mothers who have gum disease are also at an increased risk of premature birth and low birth weight for their child.


At Vacendak Dentistry we believe in a holistic approach to oral care. We look at more than just your teeth and gums; we look at your overall health. Be proactive in taking care of your health and call us today at (757) 609-3510 to schedule an appointment.

Choosing Mouth-Friendly Candy for Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching many of us are already thinking about candy! If you’ve been brushing twice a day and flossing once a day – you shouldn’t have to worry about the occasional splurge. Nevertheless, minimize possible harm from any sweets, by following a few tips on how to eat candy:

Chocolate
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate is probably your best option. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, thereby offering fewer carbohydrates to the bacteria that turn sugar into harmful cavity producing acids. Chocolate also washes off your teeth easier than stickier types of candy.

Sticky and Gummy Candies
These are the worst types of candy to eat. They’re hard to remove and stay on your teeth longer. That gives harmful bacteria more time to stick around and produce acids that breakdown your enamel.

Hard Candies
Hard candies are also problematic. Not only do they stay in your mouth for a long period of time as you suck it down, but they also cause physical damage. Even though it’s just candy, they can fracture teeth if bitten into too early. 

Sour Candies
Sour and sweet is a double whammy. The presence of sugar combined with the acids of a sour treat creates an extra harmful oral environment, accelerating the tooth decay process. 

Popcorn Balls
Popcorn Balls are sticky, sugary and can be hard. They get stuck between your teeth as well. A better version of this snack is just popcorn by itself!

Minimize exposure to sweets, play it smart and have a great Halloween! If you want to learn more about healthy snacks to hand out for Halloween, visit this article on 7 Tooth-Friendly Halloween Treats. 

Make sure to brush your teeth after snacking on any leftover candy, too! Brushing, swishing with water and flossing are the best ways to remove the sugar as quickly as possible. If you want an extra cleaning after the eventful Halloween night, call Vacendak Dentistry and schedule an appointment!

Water and Your Oral Health

bigstock-Winking-Sly-Child-77358794We are all aware of the health benefits of drinking plenty of water—better digestion, clearer skin and weight management number among them. But did you know that drinking lots of water also improves oral health? Here’s how.

Bacteria and Plaque Management

By lubricating the mouth and supporting the flow of saliva, proper hydration helps control the balance of bacteria in the mouth. It also loosens layers of plaque between brushing and flossing.

 Dry Mouth Treatment

It may seem obvious, but the first course of treatment dry mouth is to make sure that you are drinking enough water. If that doesn’t fix the problem over time, these other oral health issues may be underlying causes.

Tooth Decay and Cavity Prevention

All water is not created equal. This is especially true when it comes to the health of teeth and gums. Bottled and certain types of filtered water don’t contain the fluoride necessary to fortify tooth enamel against harmful bacteria and plaque buildup. Drinking enough fluoridated water is particularly essential for young children.

According to the CDC, “Fluoride works by stopping or even reversing the tooth decay process—it keeps tooth enamel strong and solid. Tooth decay is caused by certain bacteria in the mouth. When a person eats sugar and other refined carbohydrates, these bacteria produce acid that removes minerals from the surface of the tooth. Fluoride helps to remineralize tooth surfaces and prevents cavities from forming.” The CDC website states that addition of fluoride to community water sources (tap water), also known as community fluoridation, has correlated with a dramatic decline in tooth decay over the past 70 years. While the reduction in overall tooth decay is also associated with better understanding of good oral hygiene habits, there is evidence that people who drink too much unfluoridated water are more susceptible to decay and cavities.

How can you make sure that the water your family consumes contains the dentist-recommended level of fluoride (at least 0.7 mmL)? The easiest way is to drink tap water instead of bottled or filtered water, as the EPA requires water to be fortified with fluoride. Concerned about other chemicals in the tap water? Check your city’s water quality report online. Chesapeake’s 2014 water quality report is available here.

While water isn’t the only source of fluoride (mouthwashes, rinses and toothpaste also contain it), it is the most effective and healthful way to make sure your teeth are protected.

How Much Water Should I Drink for Healthy Teeth and a Healthy Body?

Eight glasses of water day is the commonly accepted hydration standard, but it may not be the answer for everyone. Talk to your primary care physician for a personalized answer.

At Vacendak Dentistry, we’re firm believers that the health of the mouth contributes to the health of the whole body.  Call us today at (757) 609-3510 to request a dental appointment. We accept nearly all insurance plans.

How Your Oral Health Affects Your Whole Body

brush your teethJust as the amount of confidence you have in your smile affects the way you live your life, the health of your smile affects the health of your whole body. If you’re still having trouble remembering to brush and floss twice a day, perhaps this list of  poor oral hygiene side effects will help you remember.

The Huffington Post’s article “6 Ways Oral Hygiene Affects The Rest Of Your Body” explores some of these side effects, some of which may surprise you.

Increased risk of premature birth: A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found an association between the use of mouth rinse in pregnant women and a decreased rate of delivering babies prematurely.

•Increased time required for a woman to become pregnant: Research presented by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology showed that women with gum disease took an average of seven months to conceive, compared to five months among their peers without gum disease

(Both of the above side effects of poor oral hygiene are believed to be linked to inflammation of the gums. Of course, the best way to prevent gum disease in the first place is through brushing and flossing.)

• Increased risk of heart attack: According to the American Academy of Periodontology, “Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease.” If you have gum disease, oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream and cause infection in your heart or lungs. If you already have risk factors for certain diseases, poor oral health can increase your chances of getting them.

• Increased risk of dementia:  A study published in October 2007’s Journal of the American Dental Association found a relationship between people who lost more teeth before the age of 35 and an increased risk of dementia.

• Link to diabetes: In a preliminary 2007 study among rats, researchers found a possible link between periodontal disease and a progression toward diabetes among rats who were already pre-diabetic.

• Link to unhealthy lungs: A study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered a suspected link between periodontal disease and pulmonary disease, such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis.

What do you think? Did any of these catch you off guard?

This list further proves that dental hygiene is a foundation for good health practices. At Vacendak Dentistry, we look at more than just your teeth and gums; we look at your overall health.

Call now for your appointment with Vacendak Dentistry. It’s good for your health.

Image Source: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Early Detection of Oral Cancer is the Best Defense

Dedicated to Your Overall Health
Just as the amount of confidence you have in your smile affects the way you live your life, the health of your smile affects the health of your whole body.  At Vacendak Dentistry, we look at more than just your teeth and gums; we look at your overall health.

Detecting Oral Cancer Early
Every hour of every day in North America someone dies of oral cancer. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the high death rate associated with oral cancer (52% mortality within five years) is due to late detection, when the cancer has already metastasized to other parts of the body.

When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate.

VELscope®
The doctors at Vacendak Dentistry use the VELscope® to detect oral cancer as soon as possible. We specialize in preventative dentistry and believe bi-annual examinations are the best defense against periodontal disease and other oral health problems.

The VELscope® is a handheld scope that applies a special fluorescent light to the inside tissue of your mouth to identify oral abnormalities early — often months or even years before they can be identified with the unassisted eye.

The VELscope®  is the world’s most widely used adjunctive device for the discovery of:

  • Viral, fungal and bacterial infections
  • Inflammation from a variety of causes
  • Squamous papillomas
  • Salivary gland tumors
  • Cancer and pre-cancer
  • Other oral mucosal conditions

Experience the Vacendak Difference.
Experience the Vacendak difference today. Vacendak Dentistry’s convenient Chesapeake, Virginia location is just a short way from both the Kempsville and Greenbrier areas.

Contact us online or call the office at 757-609-3510 to set up an initial dental consultation.

 

Source: LED Dental Ltd.