Did you know that your oral health offers clues about your overall health? The problems that start in your mouth can affect the rest of your body making your oral health more important than many of us realize.
Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. In most cases, the bacteria in your mouth will be kept under control with good oral habits, like regular brushing and flossing.
In rare cases, and without proper oral hygiene, the bacteria in your mouth will reach high levels, causing oral infection, tooth decay, and gum disease.
As your mouth is also an entry point for your digestive and respiratory tracts, the overflow of bacteria can easily enter your body and cause illness and disease.
If your gums are inflamed due to periodontal disease the bacteria that cause it can get into the bloodstream. This will result in the buildup of plaque in the arteries causing blood flow problems, heart blockages, and increasing your chance of a heart attack.
Because gum disease can lead to higher than normal blood sugar levels, a person with poor oral health is at an increased risk of developing diabetes. People who already have diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can also make diabetes more difficult to control.
Bacteria in the mouth from infected teeth and gums can be breathed into the lungs or easily travel there through the bloodstream. Once in the lungs, the bacteria can lead to respiratory infections, acute bronchitis and even pneumonia.
We all know that smoking or using tobacco products can lead to oral and throat cancers, but kidney cancer and blood cancers have also been linked to gum disease and poor oral health.
Infections such as periodontal disease can lead to kidney disease. People with gum disease have weaker immune systems and are more likely to develop infections. Many people who suffer from poor oral health also suffer from kidney disease.
People with gum disease are four times more likely to also have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both gum disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis are inflammatory diseases. Additionally, oral bacteria from gingivitis can increase inflammation in the body, making you more susceptible to developing rheumatoid arthritis.
Scheduling regular dental exams in our office can help keep your teeth and gums clean, preventing any serious health issues.
Tips for Good Oral Hygiene
When you take care of your oral health, you also take care of your body and your overall health. Good oral hygiene will prevent problems such as gingivitis or periodontal disease, which in turn will help prevent more serious health issues in your body.
Remember… your mouth is the pathway to everything in your body.
The holidays are nearly here, and so are the holiday parties, sweets and delicacies we have been waiting on all year. And when our taste buds are delighted to enjoy each bite of pie or candy, and each sip of holiday punch, our teeth and gums are often cowering in dread from this yearly onslaught.
So why worry about our oral health if it’s only a few months out of the year?
This is where we can get ourselves into a bit of trouble. Our oral health affects our entire body, and most importantly, our mouth is a part of our immune system.
So, while we want to wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season, we also want to share with you some simple tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and your smile beautiful and bright not only for the next month but for the many years to come.
We all know that a little indulgence in holiday sweets is fine, but too much sugar can wreak havoc not only on your teeth and gums but also on your overall health. Remember to balance your intake of sweets with healthier choices of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Sticky, hard, chewy, gummy, or sugary foods may be what the holiday season is all about for many of us, but they are the worst offenders to our teeth and gums. This included candy canes, dried fruit, and soft mint chews. Limit those for some of the healthier options.
Remember to carry a refillable water bottle with you to holiday parties. Water has many benefits and is important especially during the holidays when you are out and about more than ever. Water can clean away freshly formed bacteria in your mouth, it can also freshen your breath and aid in digestion. As an added bonus, water will fill you up so you won’t overindulge in all the sweets.
The holidays can make your schedule crazy, but brushing and flossing your teeth at least two times a day is an absolute must. This is even more crucial if you plan on consuming a lot of holiday treats. Brushing removes sugar from your teeth, and flossing will take care of any plaque & bacteria. With just a little bit of effort and planning now, you can look forward to a clean bill of dental health in the New Year.
Avoid using your teeth to open gifts, or crack nuts or hard candy. Although our teeth are one of the toughest parts of our body, they are susceptible to cracks and breaks. Trust us, we see this every year!
For many of us, holidays can be a busy time and despite all your best intentions, there will be times you’ll forget some of these tips. Make sure you schedule your post-holiday dental cleaning and checkup now, so the moment the holidays are over, you can make sure your teeth and gums get back on track for the start of the new year.
Once you reach your late teen years, you may think that the discomfort associated with losing your baby teeth and growing your adult teeth is finally behind you.
Your wisdom teeth can still break through, even in early adulthood, and despite their name, they won’t make you any wiser.
For many of us, having our wisdom teeth removed is almost a right of passage. But should you still have them removed, even if they don’t present any problems?
Your wisdom teeth typically develop anywhere between the teenage years to young adulthood. By that time you have lost all of your baby teeth, and most of your adult teeth are fully developed.
What this means for most people is that there isn’t a lot of space left for your wisdom teeth to fully grow.
Still, there are some instances when wisdom teeth don’t pose problems:
If you are one of those lucky individuals, your dentist might suggest that you keep your wisdom teeth.
Just because your wisdom teeth aren’t a source of pain, it still doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. A dental exam and x-ray are the only way to know if your wisdom teeth will present a problem in the future.
Your dentists may advise you to take out healthy molars to prevent problems later on. As you age, the bones in your mouth get harder, which will make removing them a lot more challenging, and costly.
Here are some of the common problems caused by wisdom teeth:
While some people can live with their wisdom teeth their entire life, many will need to have their wisdom teeth removed to preserve the health of their other teeth, gums, and jaw.
Only your dentist can advise you on when is the best time to remove your wisdom teeth.
Ultimately, there is little control you have over your wisdom teeth as they erupt and grow. Partner with your dentist to discuss your options, and to understand if you are a candidate for wisdom teeth removal.
If you have any questions, our office is always happy to speak with you and help you make the best decision.
The act of smiling is one of our first facial expressions. Babies can be seen smiling while still in the womb! Research shows that smiling has a direct positive effect on the people around us. It’s also a universal form of communication, transcending language barriers and helping us create personal connections.
When someone isn’t happy with their smile, it can impact their self-confidence and quality of life. Fortunately, a smile makeover will not only restore a beautiful smile but can also boost your self-confidence!
While general dentistry focuses on preventative care and the treatment of oral diseases, cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the look and function of your smile.
A smile makeover is a way to invest in yourself by investing in your smile and falls under the category of cosmetic dentistry. It can be something as simple as whitening your existing teeth to a complete cosmetic makeover and everything in between like straightening your teeth.
There are varying degrees of dental work necessary for a complete Smile Makeover. As every set of teeth is unique to the individual, so are the needs and requirements of that person. The following is a list of possible treatments your dentist may recommend for your Smile Makeover.
Porcelain Veneers are often utilized in smile makeovers. Porcelain veneers are thin restorations that are placed over your front teeth. They look like natural teeth and erase years of damage and wear.
Dental Crowns repair broken teeth and rebuild worn-down teeth.
Dental Implants can be utilized if you have missing or broken teeth that can no longer be restored with a dental crown.
Composite Bonding is used to repair decayed, discolored, or damaged teeth. During this procedure, the dentist will remove any tooth decay and apply composite material to the surface. A curing light is then used to cure and harden the composite material.
Teeth Whitening can help to reveal the natural brilliance of your teeth and remove stains from food and drink, as well as, stains caused by the aging process.
Your smile is as unique as you. The best way to find out if you are a candidate for a Smile Makeover begins with a consultation with your dentist.
Whether you want to improve your smile or achieve a whole new look with a complete Smile Makeover, Dr. Fred Blum & Associates is here to help you create a smile that makes you feel great about yourself and the way you look and feel!
It is common knowledge that sugar causes tooth decay. Sugar on its own is not the enemy, but it is what happens in our mouth after we consume too much sugar?
Your mouth alone is a home to 700 different species of bacteria. Some are beneficial to your oral health, while others are harmful.
The harmful bacteria produces acid when they encounter and digest sugar. This acid will strip minerals from your tooth enamel.
Weakened tooth enamel will cause tooth sensitivity, discoloration, cavities, and will make your teeth more prone to chips and breaks.
Sugar also lowers your mouth’s pH, making it more acidic. When the pH in your mouth drops below 5.5 the acidity begins to dissolve the beneficial minerals and destroy the tooth’s enamel.
This causes small holes or erosions in your teeth, which over time will lead to cavities.
Your saliva plays a crucial role in the natural remineralization process which helps to restore and strengthen your teeth. It contains essential minerals like phosphates and calcium, which continuously help to protect your teeth.
Fluoride also helps to repair damaged and weak tooth enamel.
The bad news is that if you’re eating a lot of starches and sweets every day, there’s only so much the remineralization process can do to prevent the effect sugar has on your teeth.
It’s crucial that you do your part by limiting how much sugar you consume, so your mouth can do its natural job of repairing the damage and maintaining healthy teeth.
Sugar is sugar no matter what name the food manufacturers use on the label.
Limit the consumption of natural sugars such as:
While also avoiding the hidden offenders:
No matter what form sugar comes in, too much of it will cause cavities. The best thing you can do for your health is to learn why too much sugar is bad for your teeth, and make healthy choices that prioritize both your oral health, and your overall health.
Tooth enamel is the thin, outer layer of your tooth. Its main purpose is to protect your teeth against tooth decay. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body (even stronger than bone)
Despite its strength, foods and drink as well as plaque and bacteria in your mouth can discolor, weaken and destroy tooth enamel. And once your enamel is gone, it is gone for good.
The main causes of tooth enamel damage are acids found in the acidic foods and liquids you consume:
Aside from acidic foods and drinks, there are also other contributing factors to tooth enamel damage:
Tooth enamel damage often shows up as hollows in the teeth and a general wearing away of the tooth surface resulting in the exposure of the dentine underneath. If your teeth start losing enamel, you might notice:
Once your tooth enamel is damaged, it can’t be replaced. Good dental care is the best way to keep your mouth healthy. Follow these steps to prevent your tooth enamel:
One of the best ways to ensure that you protect your teeth’s enamel is to partner with your dentist. Your dentist can detect any enamel erosion and offer advice on how to prevent it.
Additionally to using a fluoride toothpaste, your dentist may suggest you use a fluoride mouthwash.
If an affected tooth does need treatment, your dentist might suggest bonding a filling onto the tooth. In more severe cases you might need a crown.
If you haven’t seen your dentist for a while, book an appointment today.
Finding the right dentist for you and your family can be challenging. With so many options available, how do you choose a dentist that is right for you? It’s important to find a dentist that is experienced and knowledgeable. It is equally important to find a dentist that is caring and compassionate.
If you are looking for a dentist in the Rochester, NY area, we hope that you will consider Dr. Fred Blum & Associates. Our entire dental team is experienced, compassionate, and dedicated to our patients.
Whether you are new to the area or unhappy with your current dentist, there are better methods for picking a new dentist than closing your eyes and choosing the first provider in your insurance’s company’s directory. Read on to learn what to look for in a dentist.
Dental providers who create partnerships with their patients are invested in their patient’s long-term health goals. Some of the questions you can ask: On average, how long does the dentist spend with each patient? Is he/she available to answer your questions and address your concerns?
It is important to find a dentist who shows an interest in getting to know you. Someone who will listen to you and will respect your concerns when it comes to your treatment preferences.
It is important to find a dentist who is not only experienced, but one who continues to learn. Education is so important in a field that is constantly changing and improving. The field of dentistry has grown exponentially and new dental materials and techniques continue to be developed and implemented.
You want your dentist to be knowledgeable and well versed in all the latest technologies. When you’re visiting the dentist’s office for the first time, don’t be afraid to ask about the dentist’s education and qualifications. You want to make sure they’ve made continuing education a priority.
When making your first appointment, ask questions pertaining to the office’s payment policies. Call your insurance representative to help you understand your specific plan and what benefits are offered. Choosing the right dentist is not about in-network coverage or out-of-network. It’s about your comfort level and what you require.
Some patients are looking for a dentist that is more warm and fuzzy, while others are more comfortable with someone that is all business. Regardless of what motivates you, the skill and experience of the provider is paramount.
Reading what other patients say about a dentist you are considering can give you a lot of insight. Is the dentist compassionate? Gentle? Does he take the time to answer questions and address concerns? Is he experienced?
Patient reviews will also give you a lot of insight into the practice itself. Is it easy to schedule appointments? Is the staff friendly?
Remember that unhappy patients are more likely to leave a review, so take things with a grain of salt. As you read through reviews, look for recurring themes.
Once you have a list of several potential providers, schedule a phone or in-person consultation. Choosing the right dentist for you and your family is a big decision. You want to make sure that the dentist you select is someone you can trust and who is willing to develop a partnership with you.
When it comes to the health of you and your family, don’t settle. If the dentist that you initially selected doesn’t meet your expectations, don’t be afraid to look elsewhere. Remember, your mouth is the main pathway to everything that enters your body. Your dental care should be comprehensive and health-centered. Your oral health is about more than just an attractive smile.
One in Eight Adults Have Sensitive Teeth
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, that’s 40 million adults in the United States suffering from sensitive teeth. Tooth sensitivity is painful, like a stabbing sensation from the tooth into the gums and jaw, and is usually associated with cold foods or drinks, but some also feel pain from hot, acidic, or sweet foods and drinks.
What is Causing Your Teeth Sensitivity?
If you are experiencing teeth sensitivity, it could come from one or a mix of many factors. These include:
Anatomy of a Tooth
Tooth sensitivity is caused mainly by the deterioration of tooth enamel. Let’s take a look at the different parts of a tooth to understand why.
Home Remedies for Sensitive Teeth
If you suffer from sensitive teeth, the first thing you need to do is let your dentist know. Tell us about your habits and come in so that we can look at your mouth. While you’re at home, there are some things you can use to decrease sensitivity on the daily.
Preventing Teeth Sensitivity
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure holds true when it comes to sensitive teeth. Our recommendations:
We can identify problems before they become disasters, and problems that cause tooth sensitivity need to be addressed before they get worse. Protecting the structural integrity of your teeth and gums is essential for good oral health, which influences your overall physical health and quality of life.
If you are experiencing food sensitivity, schedule an appointment with Dr. Blum so we can properly diagnose the root cause, and discuss treatment. There are many different treatment options available to ease your discomfort, and help you feel your best.
At Dr. Blum’s & Associates, we are here for you and your family! If you are staying closer to home and not venturing out quite yet, there are some simple things you can do to maintain your dental health until you’re ready to make your next appointment.
With so many of us working from home today our normal routine ends up on the back burner. We put appointments off that we know we should schedule. One thing gets piled on top of another and it all just seems like too much!
Here’s the good news…There are simple things you can do to ensure that you are taking care of your teeth until you can get to your dentist.
Here’s something to think about…in the world, we’re living in today, where we feel like we don’t have control over much of anything, isn’t it nice to know that YOU CAN control your oral health?
As this coronavirus situation has unfolded, all of us at Dr. Blum & Associates as well as all of our patients have been faced with questions about how to lead our daily lives while being told we must stay at home.
We’re getting numerous questions every day from our dental patients about handling their dental appointments and needs since the stay-at-home measures went into place. It is our hope that by sharing the answers to the most common questions you’ll feel more confident in managing your dental health during this time.
Our dental office is open only for dental emergencies only. On March 16, the American
Dental Association issued guidelines advising dentists nationwide to postpone elective procedures for three weeks until April 6. This was further extended and we currently do not have an open date. At Dr. Blum & Associates, we have chosen to follow New York State opening guidelines. This will help limit exposure to and transmission of the virus for patients and staff.
Dental offices are allowed to see patients who are having an emergency. So, don’t worry if you should run into a problem – we are here for you and can and will provide emergency care.
Dental emergencies, according to the American Dental Association, “are potentially life-threatening and require immediate treatment to stop ongoing tissue bleeding [or to] alleviate severe pain or infection.”
What constitutes an emergency is actually pretty simple – it’s about pain or trauma.
Some common dental emergencies include:
This will be one of the few times that you’ll hear a dentist advise that you avoid your six-month checkup since routine hygiene and cleaning appointments are considered elective procedures.
Make no mistake — six-month exams are still very important. As soon as we get the green light to see patients, we will get you scheduled for your routine checkup.
As health-care providers, our entire team is trained on the CDC guidelines for infection control and using the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves.
In our office we are requiring every patient to use hand sanitizer upon entering. We’re disinfecting every doorknob and countertop. From the front desk to the treatment rooms everything is wiped down between patient visits and at the end of
We are taking every measure to prioritize the safety of our patients, and our staff.
Make sure you are brushing and flossing. Do everything as you would normally. It’s never been more important to do the best job possible to maintain your oral health.
Since many of us will have extra time on our hands, make sure you brush at least twice a day for two minutes.
Stay home, stay safe, and know that we’re here for you!
During this time that we’re all asked to stay home unless there is a dental emergency, If
you’re still unsure as to whether you need to be seen in the office, email us or call us.
During this time there will be a lot of things that may seem different in the dental office, but as soon as the virus is under control and it is safe to return for normal dental treatment, we’ll be happy to welcome you back!
Stay safe and healthy!