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…)

August 31, 2011

Immunization Awareness

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently issued its annual update of vaccination guidelines. The new recommendations emphasize the importance of vaccinating children and teens to protect against serious illnesses, such as influenza, pneumonia, and meningitis, as well as other deadly diseases.

The recommendations for 2011 are very similar to those from 2010, but the release of the revised schedule reminds parents to ensure that their children’s immunizations are up to date. Dr. Michael Brady, the chairman of the AAP infectious disease committee, points out that “immunizations have been the most effective medical preventive measure ever developed, but some people who live in the United States right now don’t appreciate how tremendously protected they’ve been because of vaccines. There are still children around the world dying of measles and polio. The vaccination schedules are designed to get vaccines to the child before they are at the greatest risk.”

The updated schedule recommends that all children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years get an annual flu shot. Additionally, children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years who are being vaccinated for the first time, as well as those who have had only one dose of a previous flu vaccine, need two doses of the seasonal flu vaccine.

The AAP recommends the following:

  • Children and teens should receive the recommended whooping cough vaccines.
  • Children ages 7 to 10 years who have not been previously vaccinated against the disease need a single does of the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and Tdap vaccines.
  • Teens from 13 to 18 years who never received the Tdap should get the vaccine as well as a Td booster every 10 years.
  • All girls should receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, which can be given between the ages of 9 and 18 years in a three-dose series.
  • Children under the age of 5 should get the haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) vaccine to prevent the bacterial disease.
  • Routine childhood vaccines, including those for the rotavirus, polio virus, MMR, and varicella, should be received at the suggested ages.

Dr. Peter Pate, a family dentist in Atlanta, Georgia, strives to help his patients lead healthy lives. For information about how to keep your child’s teeth and gums healthy to prevent the onset of serious oral and overall health conditions, call Dentistry in Buckhead at (404) 266-9424.

August 7, 2011

Smile Tips from a Star

Photo Credit: Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

You’ve seen the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” right? If not, you’re seriously missing out. Nia Vardalos, the star and brains behind the movie, is hilarious. What you might not know, however, is that she is a probiotics enthusiast, which impacts how she takes care of herself and her daughter.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria that help keep your health in check. You probably know that probiotics are found naturally in yogurt.  Now there’s another easy source.  GUM® just released PerioBalance, a mint-flavored daily lozenge containing a blend of probiotics to help neutralize harmful bacteria surrounding your teeth and gums.

As a family dentist in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Peter Pate agrees with many of Nia’s tips for a healthier smile. Check them out:

  • Load up on calcium. Drinking milk builds strong bones (yes, your teeth are bones). A lack of calcium increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
  • Boost your Vitamin C intake. Citrus fruits and other foods that are high in Vitamin C help ward off infection. Eat more, and lessen your chances of developing gingivitis and gum disease.
  • Get your fill of fruits and veggies. The crispier your food, the better. Fruits and vegetables help to wipe bacteria off of your teeth, and chewing increases the production of bacteria-neutralizing saliva.
  • Stick with tea and water. Studies show that black tea can rid your mouth of the bacteria found in dental plaque. Water rinses away bacteria and food particles that can eventually stick to your teeth and become plaque at the gum line.
  • Avoid candy and soda. Sugar and acid are the enemies of your teeth. You don’t have to avoid these treats completely, but limit your intake as much as possible, and make sure to brush and floss thoroughly after you consume sugar-loaded foods and drinks.

Above all, Nia made a point of teaching her daughter how to brush and floss. “It’s all about prevention. Invest now, avoid health issues in the future,” Nia says.

Well said, Nia! Dr. Pate and his team at Dentistry in Buckhead provide dental care to patients of all ages in the greater Atlanta area. To schedule an appointment, call (404) 266-9424.

Content for this blog post found on EverydayHealth.com.