September 12, 2012

Brushing for Two: Oral Health During Pregnancy

So you’ve discovered that your own little bundle of joy is on the way.  Now that you are caring for yourself as well as your unborn child, you have additional responsibilities.  One topic you may not consider in relation to your pregnancy is your oral health. Atlanta dentist Dr. Peter Pate explains why you shouldn’t place your dental hygiene at the bottom of the list during your pregnancy.

Gum Disease and Your Pregnancy

Periodontal (gum) disease has a direct relation to many chronic inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. It also has been linked to preterm and low-birth weight babies. The main culprit suspected in the link is the bacterium P. gingivalis, which induces your body’s inflammatory response. When gum disease causes your gums to swell and bleed, bacteria enters your bloodstream through the soft infected tissue. As P. gingivalis travels throughout your body, it can provoke the same inflammatory response as it did in your gums. When you are pregnant, this can mean abnormal conditions surrounding the birth of your child. (more…)

September 4, 2011

How Summer Impacts Your Smile

It’s official: summer is still here, and it is HOT!

From picnics to barbecues, swimming to sunbathing, summer activities can easily put a smile on anyone’s face.

Unfortunately, many things that make summer fun can also be harmful to your smile. Follow these tips to keep your smile sparkling this season!

Maintain Hydration

Dehydration is one of the biggest problems during our long, hot Atlanta summers. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, which can cause serious tooth decay.   So, protect yourself by drinking plenty of water, enjoying hard candies sweetened with xylitol, or chewing sugar-free gum to promote saliva production and keep your mouth moist.  Watch out for those energy and fitness drinks!

Ocean vs. Pool

Chlorine, which is used in most swimming pools, can erode and weaken teeth over time. The salt found in ocean water, however, decreases bacteria in the mouth, providing a healthy oral environment.

Limited Sun Bathing

Overexposure to the sun can be harmful, but casual and limited time in the sun increases your level of vitamin D, which is essential to maintaining a healthy smile and body.

Refreshing Summer Snacks

Fruit is always a popular summer snack, so it’s important to know that some fruits are better for your teeth than others. The high water content in watermelon helps clean teeth and gums. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, can cause enamel erosion because of their high acidity. If you love citrus fruits, rinse your mouth with water after you eat them (but don’t brush right away) to wash away the acids.

Natural Remedies for Teeth Whitening

Believe it or not, strawberries are considered a natural remedy for brightening your smile. Rub them on your teeth to remove all stains. Rubbing the inside of an orange peel on your teeth can also help whiten them, or try brushing your teeth with a mixture of apple cider and vinegar.

For more information about a healthy smile, call Dr. Peter Pate at Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 226-9424.

June 20, 2011

A Few Facts about Fluoride

Dental fluoride used to be a routine part of most dental cleanings and exams, but for some time now, the use of fluoride has been debatedamong dental and other health professionals.

Here are a few facts about fluoride from the Fluoride Information Network:

1.     Fluoride is a community health measure that benefits people of all ages, income levels, and ethnicities.

2.     Fluoride protects over 300 million people in more than 40 countries worldwide. More than 10,000 communities and 145 million people benefit from fluoride in the U.S. alone.

3.     Fluoride is a natural mineral widely distributed in nature.  When added to water supplies at optimal levels, it is effective in reducing tooth decay.

4.     Multiple studies have shown that fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 60% in baby teeth and up to 35% in adult teeth.

5.     Underprivileged children have more cavities than children from middle or upper income families. Children from families earning less than $20,000 annually have 10 times more unmet dental care needs than children from families earning at least $50,000 annually.

6.      Fluoride serves as the natural protector for tooth enamel and encourages healthy teeth and gums.

7.     Systemic fluoride (in the water supply) is the best fluoride source for developing teeth. Topical application is the next best way to gain the dental benefits of fluoride, and is a great option for enhancing the benefits of fluoridated water.

8.     Water fluoridation is safe! Studies show that adjustment to appropriate levels does not pose a health risk for the public. Fluoride at recommended levels has been used for more than 50 years with no side effects.

9.     Water fluoridation saves money. It costs approximately 50 cents per person per year to receive fluoridated water. A filling for a single cavity can cost upwards of $200!

10.    Oral health is a critical component of overall health and wellbeing. Fluoride helps to keep your enamel healthy, which in turn protects your teeth and promotes quality oral and overall health.

The bottom line: Don’t be afraid of fluoride. It’s safe to assume that you use fluoridated toothpaste. In fact, it’s unlikely that toothpaste will get the ADA seal of approval if it doesn’t contain fluoride.

Dr. Peter Pate gives most of his patients a fluoride treatment at dental exams and cleanings because it is crucial to quality oral health. For more information about the services and treatments offered at Dentistry in Buckhead, call our dental office in Atlanta, Georgia at (404) 266-9424.