It seems that the health benefits of green tea go on and on. Now another study published in the Journal of Periodontology provides evidence that green tea supports the health of the teeth and gums. The antioxidants in green tea, called catechins, are responsible for these benefits due to their ability to ward off inflammation and protect the mouth from harmful particles. Participants in the study who regularly consumed green tea consistently had better levels of oral health, including less incidences of periodontal disease, than those who didn’t.
Archive for the ‘ Periodontal’ Category
It can be hard to keep kids away from candy and sweets, and even harder to get them to brush their teeth frequently and properly. Even as an adult, you may find that regular dental hygiene isn’t enough to fight off cavities. Children and adults can both benefit from dental sealants as an easy and effective way to aid in cavity prevention.
We know that Vitamin D strengthens teeth and bones, but now a review of multiple studies shows that it protects them from decay as well.
The review included studies from the 1920s to the 1980s involving children between 2 and 16 from various countries. It found that increased intake of Vitamin D was associated with a decrease in tooth decay.
It’s important to note that this review analyzed studies from eras that are very different from today. The studies themselves also had their own weaknesses that could have altered the results.
Vitamin D has other health benefits, so it doesn’t hurt to have extra. It helps with depression, mood swings, and weight gain
Since gum disease is a bacterial infection of the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth, leaving the disease untreated can lead to:
- Bone loss around the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Eventual loss of teeth
Here are some other reasons to treat your gum condition. Periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to the following:
- Heart disease and stroke
- Preterm, low birth weight babies in mothers with gum disease
All these health problems are linked to periodontal disease. By treating gum disease, you may see an improvement in your overall health as well, especially if you have a history of diabetes or heart disease.
I completely understand why many people misunderstand the concept of periodontal maintenance vs. a “cleaning.” I know I have accidentally called the periodontal maintenance appointment a “cleaning” when talking to patients.
FYI: While many of the components are the same, a periodontal maintenance appointment has specific guidelines set by the ADA and is performed on patients who have at some point undergone periodontal therapy and thus have a history of periodontal disease. The ADA further mandates that this be performed for the lifetime of your teeth.
Keep in mind, the ADA has set these standards based on the value to your total health not just your dental health.
FYI: Gum disease can effect anyone at any time.
Bacterial plaque is the main cause of gum disease. There are many other contributing factors that can affect even those with immaculate home care.
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Clenching or grinding your teeth
- Puberty, pregnancy and menopause in women
Take the Gum Disease Risk Assessment Quiz from the American Academy of Periodontology and find out quickly what your risk level is for gum disease. Keep in mind though even if you rate at low risk, only a licensed dentist can tell you for sure if you have gum disease.
A common question that I get is, “My insurance doesn’t pay well for periodontal maintenance can’t you just send it in as a routine cleaning?” The answer to that is a big NO! Stating that a routine cleaning is being performed when it’s not is actually insurance fraud.
Another question then may be, “Since I only get two cleanings a year can’t you just do that.” The answer is, a good dental office will provide you with the services you need and will not allow an insurance company to determine what’s best. After all, insurance companies do not have your best interest in mind! They pay the best for individuals who have a healthy mouth. And let’s face it, that’s not most of us!