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Tobacco And Oral Health

April 14th, 2017

Tobacco is bad for our bodies, and we know this. But sometimes, even though we know that something is bad for us, it can be difficult to quit the habit. Unfortunately, a nicotine addiction is very difficult to overcome. Mark Twain once said, “Giving up smoking is easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it a thousand times.” Health issues involving tobacco are numerous, and there is the obviously prevalent link with certain cancers, but it’s also responsible for the hardening of blood vessels that lead to stroke and heart attack, and certain lung disorders and diseases. Oral health impacts are oral cancer, stained and yellowed teeth, a dull sense of taste and smell, and even gum disease (tobacco use can create pockets near teeth where bacteria can seep down below the gum line, possibly causing gingivitis).

If you are trying to quit using tobacco, here are a few tips. First, substitute your tobacco use with something different, give yourself something new to focus on. Oftentimes tobacco is used frequently as a way of coping with stress, which feels like a double-edged sword in trying to quit it, when quitting tobacco is so very stressful on the body and the mind. Try activities like exercise to take your mind from the withdrawal symptoms of nicotine. Exercise is obviously a broad term, and very commonly used, but it’s commonly used for a reason: exercise is good for the body, and it’s a well-known stress reliever.

Also, make sure that you tell your friends or family about your plans to quit. Quitting can make you irritable, especially the first week when the nicotine withdrawal symptoms are working on your body. Also, having a support group of people who care about you and your health can be a huge advantage. If you don’t have a support group, or would just like some extra assistance, the Montana Tobacco Quit line offers free support, and can be found at the following web address: https://montana.quitlogix.org .

If you are concerned about the impact of tobacco on your dental health, schedule an appointment at Brewer Dental for a checkup or an oral cancer screening.

Dental Care and Sleep Apnea

February 8th, 2017

Did you know that your dentist can help you with sleep apnea? It’s true, if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from the, what can be, debilitating condition, it may be time to pay a visit to your dentist.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a chronic sleeping disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive sleep apnea and Central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (which is the most common type) is when air is blocked somehow while a person sleeps. Soft tissues in the back of the throat can collapse while you are breathing and obstruct the airway. Central sleep apnea involves the brain and its ability to send signals to the body to breath. Oftentimes central sleep apnea will coincide with other conditions such as heart failure or stroke, or even systemic disease and cancer.

Sleep apnea can be caused by numerous factors—the two most prevalent being weight and age (people who are obese oftentimes suffer from the condition). But also, people who have not yet had their tonsils removed, or people who have a deviated septum. Sleep apnea can also be a temporary condition for people with allergies or other sinus problems.

What can your dentist do about sleep apnea?

You and your dentist may first want to discuss your lifestyle habits: sleep apnea may also be a byproduct of smoking, diet, etc. Also, people with sleep apnea are encouraged not to sleep on their backs. In most cases, your dentist can develop a mouth appliance that positions itself in the mouth in such a way that it keeps the airway open. There are more severe cases of sleep apnea, and these more severe cases of the condition may only be resolved by surgery.

Remember, sleep apnea is not something you have to suffer through. Sleep apnea could develop other conditions, such as high blood pressure and other ailments with the heart and cardiovascular systems. Also, getting a good night’s rest is important to your overall well-being.

If you have any questions about sleep apnea or if you think you would benefit from a dental visit or teeth cleaning, contact Brewer Dental Center today.

Dental Hygiene For The Holidays

December 12th, 2016

It’s the Holidays! That means time for family and friends and time for great food! But so many of these foods are hard on the teeth, loaded with sugars that feed those enamel-eating bacteria within your mouth. What then do you do? You don’t want to stay away from all of it, and you want to continue to practice your great oral health, although everywhere you go there are delicious, sugary foods that prohibit it? You’ve been good for eleven months, surely one entire month of letting go won’t hurt right? You’ve got New Years to make new resolutions right? Wrong. This is a time of year for fun and food, but there are a few ways you can continue to make choices responsibly.

It’s best to brush your teeth after eating foods abundant with sugar. Plan ahead of time. Also present this time of year can be a constant supply of left overs in the fridge, or goodie baskets left out at work, cookie trays, etc. But its best on your teeth, and for your overall health, to not snack all day every day. Snacking promotes bacterial growth, because it keeps them constantly fed and constantly producing acids which eat away at our tooth enamel. This applies to all types of foods, not just the sugary types. Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day, because water will not only clean the teeth, but also help to produce saliva which cleans the teeth.

There are alternative foods that you can bring with you when you’re out, foods that will help you to curb the craving for sweet foods. Nuts are a good choice, because not only do they taste good, are a good supply of vitamins and fatty acids. Dried fruit is another tasty option. Dried fruit is loaded with nutrients and vitamins, and, because most dried fruits is sweet, this could help you to curb the craving for sweets. If you work in a place where there’s a constant supply of sweets left out this time of year, consider bringing some to work with you. Both dried fruit and nuts can be easily taken to work in a sandwich baggie for easy portable storage.

If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth during the holiday season or if you think you would benefit from a dental visit or teeth cleaning, contact Brewer Dental Center today.

Holiday Snacking and Your Teeth

November 6th, 2016

It’s that time of year again when we gather with family and friends to share in fun times and food, and to remind you to practice good oral health habits, which, unlike your waistline, which can always be slimmed down for a New Year’s resolution, because teeth and gums wont endure as easily the sweet treats of the holiday season.

Like all times of year remember to limit your intake of sugars, cookies, sugary drinks, etc., but, also, remember that frequent snacking, regardless of sugary content, is just as hard on your teeth. And it’s easy this time of year to forget to limit the snacking, with all of those delicious left overs in the fridge. Also, remember to drink water, even with big celebratory meals, because water washes the sugars from the teeth, the sugars left behind by the food we eat, or other drinks (juice, wine, champagne). Also, water will help you better digest the meal, keeping you hydrated, and staying hydrated is important because it keeps a constant supply of saliva in the mouth, which also rinses and cleans the teeth.

The Holidays are also a time in which many of us travel to go and see family, and, often, when we travel, we leave our habits, our routines, back at home. So when you travel, bring with you everything you use at home to clean your teeth, and find time to use it. Remember to keep brushing at least twice daily, and to floss at least once. If you eat a big meal during the day, consider cleaning your teeth afterwards.

Also, for those of you who have big gathering where children are playing games (maybe even the family is playing a big game of Thanksgiving Football) make sure to take precautions to, hopefully, prevent any dental emergencies. A game of touch football can turn accidently rough very suddenly, so make sure that the children are being supervised, and there are rules in place for the games to make sure everyone stays safe and injury free.

If you have any questions about taking care of your teeth during the holiday season or if you think you would benefit from a dental visit or teeth cleaning, contact Brewer Dental Center today.

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