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SMOKING AND YOUR ORAL HEALTH – THE 411 (affordable dentist beavercreek)

by Lee Anne Austria on May 9, 2016 , Comments Off on SMOKING AND YOUR ORAL HEALTH – THE 411 (affordable dentist beavercreek)

Quit-Smoking

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Most of us know smoking is bad…bad for overall health, bad for those who hang out with smokers (second-hand smoke), bad during pregnancy, bad for your lungs, bad since nicotine is highly addictive, this list goes on and on.  In this blog we are focusing on smoking and oral health.  Read on to learn some things of which you may not be aware.

Smoking can negatively impact your oral health in a number of ways, some obvious, some not so obvious:

  • Reduced blood flow and the supply of vital nutrients to gums, including Vitamin C.  Without proper nutrients, gum disease and bone loss can develop and even tooth loss.
  • Decreased amount of saliva.  Saliva is important for cleaning the mouth and preventing tooth decay.
  • Smoking affects the appearance of teeth, making them discolored with the yellow and brown stains that nicotine and tar leave behind.
  • Inflammation of the roof of the mouth.
  • Bad Breath
  • Lost sense of taste.

Most importantly, smoking causes oral cancer.  More than 43,000 Americans and 4,000 Canadians were expected to be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer in 2015, resulting in more than 8,000 deaths, or about one per hour.  If oropharyngeal (throat) cancer is included, the number of expected deaths increases to more than 15,000 per year.

Cigar smoking is NOT safe because cigars contain the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds that cigarettes do.  Cigar smoking increases your risk for oral cancer, lung cancer, and larynx and esophageal cancers.  Smokeless tobacco use increases the risk for developing gum disease as well as gum recession (the pulling away of gum from the teeth.)  Smokeless tobacco users are 4 to 6 more times likely to develop oral cancer from chewing tobacco.  In fact, the area of your mouth where smokeless tobacco is placed is 50 times more likely to be a site of oral cancer.

WHAT ABOUT E-CIGARETTES?

The use of battery-operated electronic nicotine-delivery systems, such as electronic cigarettes, is not recommended.  E-cigarettes have grown in popularity over the past decade and there is currently not a lot of research available about how they may affect your health.  However, experts say the nicotine inhalation that occurs while using an e-cigarette can cause susceptibility to bacteria buildup in the mouth, as well as tooth decay and dry mouth.

After all of that, CAN I QUIT?

The nicotine found in tobacco products is highly addictive, so quitting can be difficult.  But there are ways to successfully stop using tobacco.  These include nicotine replacement therapies, such as nasal spray and inhalers, patches, and gum and lozenges, all of which are available over the counter.  A variety of prescription medications are available as well.  For some, smoking-cessation support groups also are a very helpful resource in the quitting process and they are available in both in-person and online community formats.

If you’re a smoker, it’s never too late to quit.  Research has shown that quitting at any age will improve health and increase longevity.  Talk with your dentist or other health care provider for more information on how to quit.

reprinted in part from AGD Impact/January 2016/Fact Sheet/Smoking

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CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE dentist beavercreek

by Lee Anne Austria on April 28, 2016 , Comments Off on CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE dentist beavercreek

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It seems strange to place middle-aged adults in the same category as BLT’s and PB&J’s.  But instead of 2 slices of bread, adults are finding themselves financially “sandwiched” between 2 generations:  Their children and aging parents.  This dual responsibility isn’t new but it’s now more costly than ever.  On one end, parents are supporting their children past the age of 18.  On the other, seniors are living longer but may not have the savings to match their longevity.  And this means the middle generation is footing both bills – including dental costs.  Here are some tips to help reduce dental costs:

INVEST IN YOUR CHILDREN.

Keep ahead of any future costs by focusing on preventive care.  Instill good oral health habits at a young age, schedule regular dental exams anduse your benefits to help avoid any future restorative costs.

ENCOURAGE ADULT CHILDREN TO BE INDEPENDENT.

As your children get older, it’s important to set expectations.  This includes their dental care and determining who will be responsible for co-pays, dental bills and overall benefit costs.  Although adult children are eligible to stay on your benefits until they turn 26, it may make financial sense if they sought out their own plan sooner.  Talk to them about their options and financial capabilities.

CONSIDER ALL OPTIONS FOR YOUR PARENTS

Aging seniors often have a hard time accessing dental care.  Some possibilities to get them covered:

  • Look at a long-term health plan.  If your parents are not yet dependent on your financial assistance, have them consider a long-term plan as a safety net.
  • Supplement their Medicare plan.  Medicare does not cover routine dental care, but certain supplement plans and resources can help lower costs.  Learn what these resources are and if they financially make sense for your family.
  • Seek out an affordable individual plan.  Many providers have affordable coverage for seniors over 65.  Learn about some options here.
  • Claim them as a dependent.  The IRS will allow you to claim an elderly parent if the meet certain criteria.  But this option is not always guaranteed for insurance purposes.  Check with your provider to see if this is an option.
  • Don’t forget about yourself.  By being both a caregiver to your children and your parents, it’s easy to neglect your needs.  Be sure to take care of yourself by maintaining your health, using your insurance plan, and keeping up-to-date with your dental appointments.  If possible avoid dipping into your retirement savings to pay for your family’s health costs.  Your financial future could depend on these costs and spending this money could mean passing on financial loss to your children.

Remember:  BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.  Love, honor, and value yourself.  And seek support from others in the same position.  There is great strength in knowing you are not alone.

(reprinted in part from www.deltadentalnjblog.com/2016/4/caught-middle-insurance-tips-sandwich-generation/

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BAD BREATH? BANISH IT! Dentist Beavercreek

by Lee Anne Austria on March 29, 2016 , Comments Off on BAD BREATH? BANISH IT! Dentist Beavercreek
orapup-es

The “Orapup”

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You’ve tried mints, gum, and mouthwash but nothing works.  Bad breath is affecting your social life, causing you to shy away from your loved ones and preventing you from speaking up at work.  You’ve already spent a fortune to cover it up, but it never stays away for very long.  What really causes bad breath and how do you get rid of it?

Is it Temporary or Chronic?

Temporary bad breath can occur after eating certain foods, such as onions and cabbage, which contain high levels of sulfur compounds.  When these foods are digested, the sulfur compounds are absorbed by the bloodstream, carried to the lungs and released in the form of bad breath when you exhale or speak.  Changing your diet to avoid foods like these can help prevent this type of bad breath.

Chronic halitosis, or long-term bad breath, is another story.

Bacteria flourish on your tongue, especially towards the back third.  These bacteria break down the leftover food in your mouth, resulting in substances called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).  These VCSs re the most common cause of bad breath.  To treat this kind of bad breath you need to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

The bacteria responsible for bad breath thrive when your mouth is dry.  Conventional mouthwash, which contains alcohol, dries out your mouth and may actually contribute to bad breath.  Instead of an alcohol-based mouthwash, look for alcohol-free varieties or products that contain “chlorine dioxide,” which attack bad breath at the molecular level instead of just covering it up.

tongue

Typical Tongue Scraper

Obviously, maintaining good oral hygiene habits can help in the fight against bad breath.  This includes regular flossing (daily) and brushing of the teeth and tongue.  The tongue is a hotbed of bacterial growth, harboring millions of organisms in a bunch of tiny nooks and crannies.  The most efficient way of cleaning the tongue is with a tongue scraper, a special tool made of plastic or metal that is scraped along the surface to remove the film of bacteria.  The scraper should be placed as far back on the tongue as you can to remove the most bacteria possible.

Out with the Bad, In with the Good

Help the world smell a lot sweeter by applying these tips to prevent and treat bad breath:

  • Drink plenty of water.  A moist mouth is inhospitable to the bacteria responsible for bad breath.  Water also dilutes the concentration of VSCs, making them weaker and less pungent.
  • Brush and floss regularly.  Brush and floss as soon as possible after meals to minimize the amount of bacteria in your mouth.  Buy a tongue scraper (about $3) to reduce the amount of bacteria even more.
  • Treat any existing oral diseases.  See your dentist regularly, especially if you suspect any type of oral disease, periodontal problem, or infection.
  • Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables.  Chewing apples, celery, and cucumber helps keep your mouth naturally clean by removing food particles and plaque while you eat.
  • Cut out coffee.  Coffee leaves a film on your tongue that blocks oxygen, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth.  Switch to tea if you need a caffeine fix.
  • Chew sugarless gum.  Chewing gum will help keep your mouth moist and increase saliva flow.  Because the bacteria in your mouth easily break down most sugars into VCS.s choose sugarless gum and say no to mints that contain sugar.
  • Eat yogurt.  Some research shows that eating one serving of yogurt daily can reduce the amount of odor-causing particles, including bacteria, in the mouth.
  • Avoid tobacco products.  This is a no-brainer.  Any kind of tobacco (smoked or chewed) can cause bad breath and a host of oral health problems and diseases.
  • Avoid trigger foods.  Onions and garlic are two well-known causes of bad breath.
  • Check your medicine cabinet.  Bad breath is often a side effect of both prescription and over-the-counter medications.  Take them as directed, and unless otherwise instructed, drink plenty of water along with your medication.

Other reasons for yucky breath:  Certain oral conditions such as mouth cancer, candidiasis (thrush or fungal overgrowth), and dry mouth.  Postnasal drip, sinus infections and gastrointestinal diseases can also cause bad breath.  If you cannot treat bad breath on your own, visit your health care provider to find out if you are suffering from and underlying health condition.

Although bad breath happens to the best of us, it’s an embarrassing topic for many.  No one enjoys being told their breath is less than stellar, and it’s equally (if not more) difficult to tell someone else that they need a mint.  Once the awkwardness wears off, you can feel happy that someone you know cared enough to tell you honestly so that you can prevent and treat it.

We can help with breath issues and many other dental-related conditions!  Click here to learn more!

Article Source:  http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=300

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