Posts for: July, 2016
One of the most popular subjects in books, magazines and social media is food — the things we should or should not eat (or at least not too much). While losing weight is a popular focus, it's only one part of the whole — a balanced diet that supplies the nutrients we need to be healthy.
What you eat can also make a difference in your oral health. Here are 4 changes you should make to your dietary habits to cut down on the risk of dental disease.
Adopt a nutritionally sound diet plan. When we say diet, we're not talking about the latest weight-loss sensation — we mean a planned way of eating for life. For most people, that's a balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and dairy. Your teeth and gums have the best chance of remaining strong and healthy with a nutrient-rich diet.
Manage your sugar intake. Sugar and similar carbohydrates are a rich food source for bacteria that cause dental disease. It's important then that you keep your sugar consumption within limits: don't eat more than six teaspoons of processed sugar a day (or three for a child); avoid sugary snacks between meals; and try to satisfy your sweet tooth with the natural sugars found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Cut back on acidic beverages. Sodas, juices, sports and energy drinks are all the rage. They're also high in acid, which at chronic levels can soften and erode tooth enamel. So, try to drink them only at meal times and avoid sipping on them over long periods. And, if you're hydrating yourself after moderate work or exercise, try nature's perfect hydrator — water.
Avoid eating before bedtime. A good portion of the acid in our mouths after we eat can be neutralized by saliva. As we sleep, though, our saliva flow slows down and doesn't have the same buffering power as it does during the day. So, try not to eat as least an hour before you turn in for the night, especially foods with added sugar.
If you would like more information on nutrition and oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nutrition & Oral Health.”
Find out if getting dental implants is really worth the expense.
When it comes to weighing the pros and cons of your tooth loss treatment, for many people the financial cost is a big factor. What your insurance will cover, plus the money you have saved away, can determine which treatment is the most wallet-friendly choice. Redlands dentist Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts is happy to tell you why dental implants might cost you more upfront, but maybe provide more happiness in the future.
How much do dental implants cost?
Because no two patients are alike in their treatment plans, it’s difficult to come up with a proper estimate without ever seeing the patient. A lot will depend on how many implants you need and the number of appointments you’ll have before getting your full restoration. After your initial consultation with our Redlands restorative dentist, we will be able to provide you with a detailed treatment plan and a breakdown of the cost.
Will insurance cover my implants?
It’s wonderful to note that more and more insurance companies are noticing the important long-term benefits of dental implants and what they can provide patients with missing teeth. Talk to your insurance company about whether they cover dental implants and how much they will cover. If they don’t cover dental implants, don’t lose hope. Talk to us about our financing or payment plans to help you get the restoration you want.
Are they worth the higher price tag?
While some patients are more than happy to get dental bridges or dentures, because the treatment process is faster and easier, dental implants offer more long-term benefits than any other treatment option. In fact, implants are designed to last many decades while dentures last about five to eight years. Dental bridges last anywhere from five to 15 years. This means you’ll end up spending more money along the way to replace or repair dentures or bridges, which you may never have to with dental implants. In the long run, you could end up paying more for other tooth replacement options.
Whatever treatment option you choose we are here to help make it an easy and painless transition. If you want to find out your treatment options call Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts, DDS, Inc. to schedule your dental implant consultation in Redlands, CA.
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.