Monday, January 28, 2013
Soda Drinkers More Prone to Cavities
Dentists can usually spot a soda drinker, especially the dentists here at James A. Burden, D.D.S. & Associates! These patients are often prone to dental cavities and white spots on their teeth known as decalcifications, which are actually the start of new cavities.
A cavity is an infection caused by a combination of carbohydrate-containing foods or beverages and bacteria that live in our mouths. Sweetened soda contains a high amount of sugar, a carbohydrate that can promote cavities. Soda may be even more damaging to the teeth than other sugar containing beverages because it is acidic as well.
Before we drink a sugar-sweetened soda, the pH in our mouth is about 7.0, which is slightly more acidic than water. When the bacteria in our mouths are exposed to sugar, they metabolize it and produce acid. The acid causes the pH on the tooth surface to drop. At a pH of 5.2 or below, the acid begins to dissolve the hard enamel that forms the outer coating of our teeth. Over time this leads to erosion that causes cavities and painful toothaches!
A study examined the effect of several types of sweetened soda and mineral water on the teeth. Teeth exposed to cola, orange and lime soda had significantly more decalcification than those exposed to mineral water. Of all of the sodas tested, cola caused the most decalcification. Sweetened soda seems to damage teeth in two ways. The soda has a low PH and makes the mouth acidic, and the sugar content promotes tooth decay when it comes into contact with bacteria in the mouth.
The easiest way to prevent cavities is by brushing your teeth at least three times a day, especially after eating or drinking and before bed and visitng your dentist at least every six months for a dental cleaning. Reducing the amount and frequency of eating sugary foods and beverages can decrease the risk of forming cavities.
If you have to have sweetened soda, it is better to drink it at one sitting than sip it throughout the day. Better yet, drink it through a straw in one sitting, to bypass the teeth altogether.
To determine whether your sweet tooth has caused any decay or decalcification, call our office today at 757-941-7079 and see why our community recently voted James A. Burden, D.D.S.,
Best Dental Office in Williamsburg, VA!
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
How Medications Affect Your Dental Health
If you're taking medications for certain health conditions, it may not have crossed your mind that they can also impact your oral health.
After all, medications are supposed to bring equilibrium back to your system, not stir things up, right? The truth is a variety of prescribed medications can affect your teeth.
Voted Best Dental Office and Best Customer Service this year, Dr. Burden & his dental team are very knowledgeable about the effects of these medications on your oral health!
Antihistamines may cause dry mouth syndrome, which can lead to sore gums, making the mouth more prone to infection. Contraceptives and blood pressure medications may cause mouth sores, gum inflammation and discoloration. Blood thinners can interfere with your ability to form blood clots or cause heavy bleeding after a tooth extraction. Anti-seizure medications can cause an overgrowth of gum tissue (gingival hyperplasia) and make it difficult to practice good oral hygiene.
When you're taking medications and start taking other medications — whether prescribed, over-the-counter or illegal - it can change the effects of both the original and the new medications. Simply put, when certain drugs interact, they may increase or decrease the effects or produce another, unintended effect. This is why it's so important to keep your dentist informed about all the medications you take; any teeth medications you are prescribed will take this into consideration.
If you are concerned about the medications you are currently taking and how they may be affecting your teeth, call our office for a free consultation with one of our doctors or dental hygienists, today, or visit our website at www.smilesofwilliamsburg.com, for more information!
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