May 31, 2011

Kick the Habit

Are you a tobacco user? This is a great time to kick the habit!  The American Cancer Society recently stated that 90 percent of people with oral cancer used at least one form of tobacco.

In addition to cancer, tobacco products increase the risk of gum disease, discolor your teeth, give you bad breath, slow your healing after an oral procedure, and can cause white patches and scar tissue inside the mouth.

The tobacco industry recently introduced a dissolvable tobacco product for smokers to use in establishments that ban smoking. The marketing led consumers to believe that smokeless tobacco and dissolvable tobacco products are less harmful than pipes, cigars, and cigarettes. However, snuff, chewing tobacco, and dissolvable tobacco contain more nicotine than cigarettes, thus making them more addictive.

Nicotine is bad enough, but consider the added chemicals that increase the risk of throat, oral, and esophageal cancers.  These products contain cyanide, arsenic, sand, grit, sugars, and sweeteners that irritate gums, generating a higher risk of gum disease.  Gum disease is the #1 cause of adult tooth loss.

Kicking the habit now will reduce your potential for gum disease. When left untreated, gum disease increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, pre-term births, low birth-weight babies, and oral cancer.

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I encourage you to be aware of oral cancer and give up tobacco products forever.  Improve the quality of your life, and those of your friends and loved ones!  If you need help quitting, or if you need your teeth whitened after you quit, contact my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment. I care for patients in Buckhead and the greater Atlanta area.

May 20, 2011

HPV: Strong Link to Oral Cancer!

We’ve heard a lot lately about the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. Usually this is introduced to us by our physicians as it relates to our reproductive health.  HPV is most easily transmitted through sexual contact, and is strongly linked to cervical cancer.  However, there is new evidence that connects HPV to declining oral health as well.  Would you believe that the HPV positive group is the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population?

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead.  It is important that you understand the dangers of HPV and what it can mean for your oral health. I recommend that you first become familiar with the characteristics of the virus and the way it is transmitted, and then learn how to best prevent you and your loved ones from contracting this destructive bug.

Although over 120 different versions of HPV have been identified, the most common strands are HPV-16, 18, 31, and 45. The virus is most easily spread through unprotected sexual contact. All of these HPV strands wreak havoc on the skin and mucosal linings of body tissues and results in an attack of the cells which can lead to various forms of cancer.

Specifically in the mouth, HPV-16 seems to be the culprit for the increasing rates of oral cancer in young adults. The virus manifests itself primarily in the back regions of the oral cavity like the base of the tongue, the back of the throat, and the tonsils. The double stranded DNA virus comes in contact with these areas in the mouth and infects the epithelial cells of the mucosa. The infected cells in the mouth can degrade and mutate to become squamous cell carcinomas (oral cancer).

So, how do you keep from getting HPV? The easiest and most effective way to safeguard yourself is to abstain from unprotected sexual contact – including oral sex, which is what causes the oral cancer we just discussed. Secondly, most physicians offer the HPV vaccine that can be administered at ages as young as 10 years old. This vaccine is thought to offer protection against the most harmful types of HPV, including HPV-16.

Now that you know what HPV is and how it is spread, I would like to remind you that it is vital that you continue your regular hygiene visits. In addition to the examination and cleaning, we screen for any signs of oral cancer. If you are due to visit us, schedule a thorough checkup and cleaning with me, Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead. Contact my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.

May 17, 2011

Toothpaste: Not Just for Teeth!

Toothpaste cleans, restores, and protects tooth enamel. But did you know that toothpaste serves multiple purposes around the house? Non-gel toothpaste can soothe common ailments, remove strong smells, and act as a household cleaner. Try these toothpaste tips outside of your oral care routine:

  1. Aloe doesn’t have to be the first thing you reach for when you sustain a minor burn. Delicately apply toothpaste to the burn for immediate and temporary relief.
  2. Toothpaste can decrease swelling and stop the itch of bug bites, blisters, sores, and pimples.  When applied to sores, the wound heals more rapidly. For best results, leave toothpaste on the blister overnight.
  3. For stronger and shinier fingernails, scrub them with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  4. Garlic, onions, and fish can leave a pungent odor on your skin, even after washing with soap and water. Next time, scrub your hands with toothpaste to remove the lingering odor.
  5. Toothpaste not only removes food stains from teeth, but can also remove unsightly marks from fabric and carpets. To treat stains on clothing, apply a small amount of toothpaste and rub briskly until the stain has vanished. When tackling carpet stains, scrub with toothpaste and a firm brush, then rinse immediately. (Avoid whitening toothpastes on colored fabrics and carpets due to the bleaching effects.)
  6. Silver jewelry and diamonds sparkle after cleaning with toothpaste. For diamonds, scrub gently with a toothbrush and water. Rinse thoroughly to bring out a stunning shine. For silver jewelry, rub toothpaste on and leave overnight. Wipe dry toothpaste off in the morning with a soft cloth. Warning: do not use toothpaste on pearls and opals.
  7. To keep goggles from fogging underwater, apply a small dab of toothpaste to the lens. Rub gently to avoid scratching the lens. Rinse thoroughly.

Brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste can reduce your chances for developing gum disease and tooth decay. To ensure healthy teeth, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate at (404)266-9424 to schedule a thorough dental cleaning and check up. I am a general family and cosmetic dentist in the Buckhead area of Atlanta, and I provide excellent oral care for families in Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Lenox, and surrounding areas.

May 12, 2011

Catch Your ZZZ’s to Prevent Disease!

 

At times sleep can be elusive, but it is important to overall health and oral health. Sleep impacts your memory, curbs inflammation, spurs your imagination, sharpens your attention, lowers stress levels, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and slows the progression of periodontal disease.

Your mind and body are very active during sleep. While sleeping, cells repair themselves, and hormones and the immune system reset. With an out-of-whack immune system, the body can’t fight illness or disease effectively.

When you feel worn down due to sleep deprivation, your body’s immune system is suppressed. Then the body is slower to produce the antibodies needs to fight infections. The less sleep you get, the weaker the immune system becomes.

A recent study in Japan revealed that people who slept less than seven hours a night stood a greater chance of developing periodontal disease than those who slept seven to eight hours a night. Researchers concluded that the lack of sleep weakened the immune system, causing the gum disease to progress more rapidly.

Several factors may affect your sleep: stress, medications, diet, your mattress, or obstructive sleep apnea. This condition occurs when soft tissues in the throat and mouth collapse and block the airflow during sleep.

If you experience sleepless nights due to sleep apnea or snoring, contact me, Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead. I can determine if you need treatment for sleep apnea or require a snoreguard to keep your airway open as you sleep. Call my Atlanta dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule a consultation. We gladly welcome patients from Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Brookhaven, Lenox, and surrounding areas.

May 11, 2011

Low-Fat Chocolate Cake Recipe

Now that we have introduced some healthy foods to incorporate into your everyday diet, you know that dessert is still an option! As a health-conscious cook, your dessert should be low in fat and sugar.

Try this healthy chocolate cake recipe for your next after dinner treat:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar (or sugar free substitute like xylitol or stevia)
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

Directions

In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. In another bowl, whisk egg whites, water, and corn syrup. Stir into dry ingredients. Pour into a 9-in. square baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals 176 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 186 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, and I encourage my patients to choose a healthy diet and maintain proper oral hygiene habits of brushing twice daily, flossing once a day, rinsing after meals, and keeping your regular dental visits. Call my Atlanta Buckhead dentist office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.  Enjoy your healthy dessert!

May 8, 2011

Healthy Gifts for Mother’s Day

While Mom takes care of everyone in the home, she often forgets to take care of herself. Instead of buying your mother a sweet treat or a precious bauble for Mother’s Day, consider giving her a healthy gift this year.

To ease Mom’s stress, how about something to induce relaxation and tranquility? Increase her feeling of zen with a yoga mat and instructional video. Yoga can decrease back pain, promote quality sleep, and lower stress!

Instead of a bouquet of cut flowers, give your mother a set of windowsill flower containers. You can purchase pots that come with soil and seeds (pansies, marigolds, poppies). She will smile each time she sees the beautiful blooms.

Since Mom is constantly on the go, keep her hydrated with a personalized water bottle or energized with a unique coffee thermos. These containers can easily be customized with family photos and sayings. Your mother will think of you each time she reaches for it.

I can also offer a fun gift for your mother! To put a smile on Mom’s face, call me, Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead, to schedule a Zoom! whitening appointment.  This in-office whitening system can lighten teeth between 8-10 shades in one visit. To schedule an appointment, call our Buckhead dental office at (404)266-9424. Remember to value your mother today, and every day, and thank her for all she has done for you.

May 5, 2011

5 Dental Facts to Fight Rainy Day Blues

 

If you are trapped indoors and need relief from the tedium share some fun facts with your friends and family. Here are five cool dental factoids:

  • Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body
  • Most people have 32 teeth as adults (includes 4 wisdom 8 incisors 4 canines 12 molars and 8 premolars)
  • 1/4 of Americans over age 60 have lost all of their natural teeth
  • The average adult exerts about 20-40 pounds of pressure when biting.  However millions of us can bite with up to 250 pounds of force!
  • Besides colas and citrus overly chlorinated pools can also erode your enamel!

I’m Dr. Peter Pate of Dentistry in Buckhead and I encourage my patients to choose a healthy diet and maintain proper oral hygiene habits of brushing twice daily flossing once a day rinsing after meals and keeping your regular dental visits. Call my Atlanta dental office at (404)266-9424 to schedule an appointment.  Enjoy the beautiful spring weather!