Threats to Good Oral Health | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Dental checkups and cleanings are designed to help patients keep as many natural teeth as possible. Proper brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings are three key components to maintaining natural tooth health. However, there are many threats to good oral health, and knowing the threats can help patients minimize risk.

Here are some common threats to consider when you think about your overall oral health:

  • Smoking damages oral tissue causing gum recession, increases risk of oral cancer, stains teeth, and causes other long term health risks.

  • Periodontal disease – infections below the gum line – can spread to teeth, gums, and supporting bone, and can cause one or more teeth to be lost

  • Obesity has been linked to an increase in oral bacteria, which contributes to increased rates of periodontal disease among obese patients

  • Patients who regularly bite their nails are more likely to chip, crack, or cause atypical wear on their front teeth, and are statistically more likely to suffer from bruxism (tooth grinding or clenching), which can cause issues with tooth sensitivity, recessed gums, and tooth loss

  • Research shows that patients who get less than six hours of sleep per night are shown to be more likely to have periodontal disease, which is generally attributed to a lowered immune response due to fatigue, as the body becomes unable to fight off oral infections

  • Patients with a diet high in sugar, especially sugary drinks, are significantly more likely to suffer from tooth decay and periodontal disease, as the presence of sugar fuels bacteria which contributes to both negative factors

  • Patients that are anemic – having insufficient red blood cells – often have pale gums and painful or swollen tongue. Extended periods of anemia (often due to poor diet) can contribute to periodontal disease and the body becomes unable to push sufficient nutrients to the gums to combat infection.

While there are certainly a lot of risks to dental health for patients, proper brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning helps protect teeth. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle in addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene routines will help fight off bacterial colonies that contribute to periodontal disease as well as keep gum tissue healthy to prevent gum recession. If you have questions about any individual threat, contact your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain oral health risks to you on your next scheduled visit.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.

Choosing a Toothbrush | Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentist

Toothbrushes come in a number of different varieties – not only manual and electric, but also different bristle firmness ranging from soft to hard. Given that brushing is vital to tooth health, choosing the right toothbrush is important not only to tooth health, but also gum health. While there is some personal preference in choosing a toothbrush, there are some guidelines to help you make the right decision.

Deciding between manual and electric toothbrushes is almost entirely a personal preference, however, there are some factors that may help some people choose one side or the other. Some studies have shown that electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective at removing plaque. Electric toothbrushes vibrate much faster than manual brushes, which may allow them to be more effective with less physical pressure against the tooth. For that reason, for patients who tend to push too hard on the brush, using an electric toothbrush may help them avoid damaging their gums by brushing too hard. However, electric toothbrushes cost more money, and require regular cleaning to stay safe and effective – manual toothbrushes are cheap and disposable, and can simply be replaced regularly.

Regardless of whether you choose electric or manual, you’ll have a choice of bristle firmness. Studies have shown that all three options – soft, medium, and firm/hard – are likely to clean your teeth equally well, but softer brushes are less likely to damage gum tissue. For that reason, most dentists tend to recommend soft bristle brushes unless you have a reason to use a medium or firm brush. You should choose a brush that is comfortable to hold, and comfortable to use – ensure that you can reach the sides of each tooth, and reach to the back of your molars.

No matter which style or firmness you choose, be sure to choose a brush that carries the ADA symbol, to ensure it’s been tested for both safety and effectiveness. Also, be sure to replace manual brushes every 3-4 months, and clean electric toothbrushes according to manufacturer recommendations. Minimizing bacteria on the toothbrush will help avoid tooth decay and periodontal disease. Finally, be sure never to share your toothbrush – tooth decay is bacterial in nature, so you can transfer tooth decay causing bacteria between people who share a toothbrush.

For more information on your oral health, contact Dr. James Yankowskas and make an appointmentat (978) 649-7773 or visit our website.

Dr. James Yankowskas also proudly serves Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable, and surrounding areas.