Archive for April 2017

How Fast Food
Impacts Your Dental Health


 

Fast food has become a staple of modern life. Busy schedules, long commutes and convenience make it easier to pick up something on the run versus preparing a meal at home. Unfortunately, fast food is not necessarily the healthiest option.
 
Fast food can not only lead to health problems, such as obesity and diabetes, it can also increase your risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
 
If you or family members eat fast food regularly, knowing how it affects your dental health may influence you to find healthier alternatives.

 
Salt and sugar are bad for oral health

The primary reason why fast food is so bad for oral health is the added salt and sugar.  When you eat these additives, debris is more likely to stick to your teeth.  This food debris then allows acids to build up along the surface of your teeth. Over time, this leads to tooth decay.
 

Soda pop can wear down the tooth enamel
When you grab a burger, it is often accompanied by a sugar-filled drink. The sugar in carbonated beverages break down the enamel on one’s teeth.  As a result, teeth are more prone to developing cavities.
 

Diabetes can impact gum health
Eating fast food regularly can increase the likelihood of diabetes. Diabetes, in turn, can lead to dental problems. Studies have shown that diabetics are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. To limit the negative impact diabetes has on their oral health it's important that diabetics maintain good blood glucose control.
 

Find alternatives to fast food
If you do not have the time to prepare fresh, healthy meals at home, there are other ways to get nutrition without damaging one’s teeth. When dining out, choose items on the menu that are less likely to stick to your teeth such as salads and fresh food. In addition, it’s better to drink water than sugar-laden carbonated drinks.
 

Use proper oral hygiene habits
When eating out, schedule time to brush your teeth after eating. If time does not allow, chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum will remove some of the build-up of debris as a result of eating fast food.
 

The Bottom Line
Eating fast food regularly can be bad for one’s teeth. Poor oral hygiene has a negative impact on overall health. As with anything else, moderation is the key.
 
 
Cheers,

Dr. John

P.S. Your dental health plays a big role in your overall well-being. If it’s been a year or more since you last came in for a dental appointment, it would be in your best interest to come in for a cleaning and dental checkup. Dental problems don’t necessarily cause pain or discomfort, until significant damage to the tooth or gums has taken place. Call 514-484-0521 to schedule an appointment or book online.

It's Invisible and
Can Rob You of Your Smile

One of the most common dental problems we see in our patients is gum disease. In most cases, gum disease develops slowly and without pain. Without regular dental checkups, it is possible to not really know how serious the disease is until your teeth and gums are severely damaged, resulting in teeth having to be extracted.
 
Gum disease affects people of all ages, not just the middle-aged or elderly.
 
The first stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. The cause: poor oral hygiene that fails in removing the germs and bacteria that build up on teeth every day. That’s why daily brushing and flossing are so important, as it helps remove this buildup. 
 
Gums afflicted by gingivitis are often swollen, red and bleed easily. Remarkably there is often little pain or discomfort at this stage of the disease.
 
In addition to poor oral hygiene, factors that contribute to gingivitis include; smoking, stress, diabetes, aging, pregnancy, poor nutrition, hormonal fluctuations and certain medications.
 
If you’re told by your dentist that you have gingivitis, the good news is that it can be reversed with professional dental treatment and careful brushing and flossing by you at home.
 
The bad news, if untreated, gingivitis evolves into periodontitis, a much more serious form of gum disease.
 
Periodontitis is caused by a significant buildup of germs and bacteria which over time are not removed with daily brushing and flossing. Eventually, this plaque buildup turns into tartar. Plaque is hard and cannot be removed by brushing. Over time, the plaque and tartar spread below the gum line. There, sight unseen, bacteria produce toxins that irritate the gums. The toxins also cause inflammation and trigger the body’s immune system to turn on itself. The result, tissue and bone that hold teeth firmly in place are broken down and destroyed. Small pockets form as gums separate from teeth. These pockets in turn become infected resulting in more tissue and bone loss. As with gingivitis, there may be little or no pain or discomfort. Left untreated, teeth can become loose and may need to be removed. Serious gum disease results in losing teeth.
 
A 2010 study found that 47% of adults in the US suffer from mild to severe periodontitis. The numbers are similar in Canada.
 
There’s a good chance that if you haven’t been brushing and flossing regularly, you may have gingivitis or even periodontitis.
 
The Canadian Dental Association recommends that you Check Your Gums on a regular basis for gum disease.
 

Check for:

  • a change in the colour of your gums
  • gums that are red around your teeth
  • gums that bleed every time you brush or floss
  • bad breath that will not go away
  • a taste of metal in your mouth
  • shiny, puffy or sore gums
  • teeth that are sensitive for no reason

If you experience any of these symptoms, call to schedule a dental appointment. The good news is that proper dental treatment can help reverse the early stages of gum disease.

Every day, germs and bacteria build up on your teeth. We encourage you to brush and floss daily to remove the build-up of this invisible film that left untreated, over time will have a very negative impact on your dental health.

Dr. John