mental-health-awareness

When thinking about our bodies and our mental health – we may think about what most often effects our mental health. We know when we eat good food, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly that we feel good and are contributing positive things to our mental health.

When we don’t do those things, they can have a negative effect on our mental health. But did you know that our oral health and our mental health are also directly linked? In fact, according to the US Library of Medicine…

“People with severe mental illness have 2.7 times the likelihood of losing all their teeth, compared with the general population.”

While we need to take care of our bodies by eating well, etc., we also need to care for our teeth and gums to contribute to our mental health and keep our bodies healthy, that’s why we want to focus this blog on mental health awareness.

What to know about Oral Health and Mental Health, according to WebMD.

Bacteria Breeding Ground

Our mouths are full of bacteria. Not all of it is bad bacteria, but when the bad bacteria get out of hand, it can wreak havoc on more than just our mouths. Excess bacteria can go into our gut and into our bloodstreams, making us feel bad and effecting our mental health. Bacteria can also lead to gum disease, which is a form of inflammation.

Basically, when our immune system is fighting all that excess bacteria and inflammation in our bodies, it becomes weaker, which can lead to depression and other mental illnesses. Certain studies have also concluded that some oral infections have led to a decrease in cognitive function.

Related Articles:

Stress and Oral Health

Stress can also be a factor in your oral health. When we have anxiety or stress, we may forget to take care of our teeth or we may not see our dentist regularly. Anxiety can also increase your teeth grinding, and people with anxiety are more prone to canker sores and dry mouth, which often lead to excess bacteria in the mouth.

Related Article: Stress Affects Oral Health: Are You Clenching or Grinding While You Sleep

Learn more about how Your Oral Health and Mental Health are Connected.

The simplest step to maintaining your oral health is to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Seeing your dentist on a regular basis is also one of the best things you can do for your health. Your dentist is your first line of defense and they often can catch the first signs of disease and help you stay on top of your oral health.

Reason to Prioritize Oral Health

Knowing that our oral health is linked to our overall health, the importance of brushing and flossing just went up! Simply put, a healthy mouth can help keep your body healthy and ward off certain diseases. Who knew our mouth could do so much good for us?

The mouth is a great window to the rest of your body, so when you visit us at Adams Dental, we can take a peek into your overall health during your regular dental cleanings and exams. This could save you money, time, and health down the road. When your dentist can catch a problem early, there’s a much better chance of figuring out what’s going on and treating it early, with a higher success rate. Oftentimes, dentists can detect warning signs before we experience any symptoms. Actually, oral health is an easy way to boost your immune system, learn more HERE.

Brushing, flossing, and regular trips to the dentist can protect you from more than just cavities. Learn more about the mouth body connection from WebMD, Overall Health and Oral Health.

Diseases Highly Linked to Oral Health

Gum disease has been linked with multiple health complications, including stroke and heart disease, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Similar research shows that 90 percent of all systematic diseases have oral manifestations. This means that diseases that involve most of our body often show symptoms and signs in our mouth. These often take the form of:

  • Swollen gums
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Dry mouth
  • Gum problems
  • Broken teeth

At the University of North Carolina, studies found that people with gum disease were three times as likely to have a stroke and twice as likely to die from a heart attack. Those are some scary statistics. But the good news is, your dentist is here to help and knows exactly what to look for to keep you healthy and safe! Let us do the legwork and check your overall health – make an appointment today!

Related Article: Why Do I Need to have a Dental Exam Every 6 Months?

Learn more from Delta Dental about the mouth body connection: Healthy Smile, Healthy You.

Schedule Your Dental Exam at Adams Dental Group

Now that you know more about the connection between mental health awareness and oral health, you realize why Dental Health is Important to Your Overall Health. So many times Dentists are the ones that are able to diagnose disease before you notice any symptoms. The Team at Adams Dental Group wants YOU and your family to get the best oral care possible, so you and your family can be healthy and happy!

Local dentist, Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 to schedule an appointment.

May 25th, 2021

Posted In: Dental Health Tips

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vaping-vs-smoking

We’ve all seen the commercials about how bad smoking is for you. But did you know that vaping has the same negative effects on your teeth and gums as smoking does? Since e-cigarettes and vaping often doesn’t include tobacco, it’s often seen as the healthier alternative, but your oral health suffers just the same. Let’s discuss vaping vs smoking.

About one in 5 adults smoke, and it’s one of the main factors of gum disease. Let’s take a look at some of the harmful effects of vaping and smoking.

  • Excess bacteria in the mouth
  • Dry mouth
  • Irritation/inflamed gums
  • Cell death

Vaping and smoking have also directly been linked to:

  • Tooth decay
  • Bad breath
  • Periodontal disease
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth loss

Related Articles:

Vaping vs Smoking: Weakened Immune System

Basically, smoking affects your immune system and weakens its defenses against bacteria and other outside sources. If you’re smoking, it’s much harder to keep your mouth clean and free of bacteria. When your mouth isn’t getting rid of that surplus of bacteria, it can develop issues like gum disease. If you smoke/vape:

  • You’re twice as likely to deal with gum disease
  • The more you smoke, the greater your risk
  • Gum disease treatments may not be as effective

The main thing you can do to greatly reduce that risk of gum disease is to stop smoking/vaping and keep up with a good oral health routine. When gum disease isn’t treated, it can cause tooth loss, painful chewing, swollen gums, gums that pull away, etc. According to the American Cancer Society, “Smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. It takes more than 480,000 lives each year. That’s one of every five deaths.” No smoking is safe. Learn ore about Gum Disease: How can I prevent it? How does it affect my body?

“We feel that the following article from America’s Tooth Fairy is so important, we wanted to cite it here.” – Dr. Roberts

4 Ways Vaping Can Ruin Your Teen’s Smile

VAPING IS LESS OF A HEALTH THREAT THAN SMOKING, EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO ORAL HEALTH.

The dangers of smoking cigarettes have been known for a long time so it’s understandable that smokers looking for a “healthier” way to get their nicotine fix have switched to vaping. This nicotine delivery system uses electronic cigarettes to turn e-liquid or “vape juice” into an aerosol vapor that is inhaled. The modern e-cigarette device was created by Hon Lik, a Chinese inventor who lost his father to lung cancer, as a way to help smokers quit smoking. However, due to the perception that vaping is a harmless alternative to traditional tobacco products and the enticing flavors that can be added to the juice, non-smokers–including an alarming number of teens–have also begun vaping.

‍‍A recent survey shows that as many as 37% of high school seniors and more than 17% of eighth-graders vaped in the previous year.

Some parents may not be concerned by this statistic‒after all, at least they’re not smoking, right? The problem is, not only are kids who vape at a higher risk of smoking traditional cigarettes in the future, they’re also causing permanent damage to their gums and risking tooth loss. Listed below are four ways vaping is detrimental to oral health:

1. Nicotine can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

While vape juice contains a much lower amount of nicotine than traditional tobacco products (and can contain none at all depending on the user,) the negative effect of nicotine on gums is well known. Not only does nicotine restrict blood flow to the gums, it also affects our mouth’s natural ability to fight infection and replenish connective tissue, leading to a higher risk of gum disease and tooth loss.

If the thought of tooth loss doesn’t deter the desire to smoke or vape, consider that gum disease can contribute to other more serious diseases. Even without nicotine, other ingredients in vape juice can deteriorate oral health.

2. Propylene glycol is toxic to enamel and soft tissue.

One of the main ingredients in vape juice is propylene glycol (PG), which is safe to eat and inhale but when used orally breaks down into acids that damage enamel, and propionaldehyde, which irritates soft tissue. PG also causes dry mouth, taking away essential saliva, leading to cavities and gum disease.

While drinking water can help rehydrate the mouth, it’s not a replacement for saliva, which contains compounds that help protect teeth from the damage of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Even worse, teens are likely to drink soda or energy drinks to get rid of dry mouth. This magnifies the damage caused by PG because these drinks contain sugar that feeds the bacteria and acids that further erode tooth enamel. Since traditional tobacco products don’t contain PG, this is one way vaping is worse for oral health.

3. Vegetable glycerin and flavorings help bacteria stick to (already soft) teeth.

Vegetable glycerin (VG) is a slightly sticky liquid sweetener that helps Streptococcus mutans to stick to grooves on the biting surfaces of teeth. In addition, when mixed with the flavorings that draw teens to enjoy vaping, the combination causes four times as many microbes to stick to teeth and double the growth of biofilm. Flavorings also decrease the hardness of tooth enamel by 27%.

When combined with the damage caused by nicotine and PG, VG and flavorings create the perfect conditions for rampant decay, infections in the gums and tooth loss. That’s not cool.

4. Lithium batteries pose a risk of overheating and explosions.

While we can feel the collective eye-roll from adults who vape, the fact remains that the lithium batteries contained in a specific type of e-cig called a “mechanical mod” have been known to explode and cause extensive damage to the mouth and face.

Although not very common, they are generally caused by the misuse or improper care of the device. Considering that teens are likely not as responsible in the care of their e-cig device, it’s reasonable to assume they are at higher risk than most adult vapers to be injured.

It can be difficult to convince a teen who is desperate to fit in with his peers that the negative oral health effects of vaping and smoking cigarettes are worth quitting. But considering the impact a healthy smile has on the self-esteem and future career success of your teen, the argument is worth it.

Diseases Highly Linked to Oral Health

Gum disease is serious and has been linked with multiple health complications, including stroke and heart disease, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Similar research shows that 90 percent of all systematic diseases have oral manifestations. This means that diseases that involve most of our body often show symptoms and signs in our mouth. These often take the form of:

  • Swollen gums
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Dry mouth
  • Gum problems
  • Broken teeth

At the University of North Carolina, studies found that people with gum disease were three times as likely to have a stroke and twice as likely to die from a heart attack. Those are some scary statistics. But the good news is, your dentist is here to help and knows exactly what to look for to keep you healthy and safe! Let us do the legwork and check your overall health – make an appointment today! Learn More about Why Do I Need to have a Dental Exam Every 6 Months?

When to See a Dentist

There could be underlying oral health conditions and certain symptoms may be a sign. Make an appointment with your dentist, if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • receding gums
  • swollen or bleeding gums
  • frequent dry mouth
  • loose teeth
  • sores or mouth ulcers that don’t seem to heal
  • mouth pain or toothache
  • changes in sensitivity to temperature

If you experience any of the above symptoms in addition to having a fever or swelling in your neck or face, seek emergency medical treatment.

Related Article: Oral Cancer Screening: When Was Your Last Dental Appointment?

Local dentist, Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 or our East location (913) 621-3113 to schedule an appointment.

May 11th, 2021

Posted In: Dental Health Tips

Tags: , , ,

stress-affects-oral-health

Did you know that stress affects oral health? Bruxism is a condition where you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. Not only does this mean you may clench your teeth while you’re awake, but it also means you grind your teeth at night. When you grind at night, it’s also known as sleep bruxism. According to The Mayo Clinic, if you do this, you’re also prone to other sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or snoring. Although mild cases of bruxism may not require treatment, more severe cases of bruxism can cause headaches, jaw problems, damaged teeth, and more.

More on this subject from The Mayo Clinic.

Bruxism Causes – What We Know 

Now that we know what bruxism is, it’s important to look at some of the probable causes. Stress is a major factor in teeth grinding/clenching and stress affects oral health. When our levels of stress have peaked, we may not even know we’re clenching or grinding until we see our dentist or notice that we’re doing it. According to Mayo Clinic, stress isn’t the only factor for Bruxism.

Additional factors include:

  • Anger, frustration, and stress
  • Age – Sometimes Bruxism is prevalent in children, but can be outgrown into adulthood
  • Personality type – some aggressive personality types can increase the risk
  • Family members who also experience bruxism
  • Medications – Alcohol, tobacco use, and certain medications can increase the risk
  • Other disorders – Bruxism has been associated with other disorders, such as sleep apnea, mental health disorders, dementia, etc.

Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

Short answer, yes; teeth grinding is harmful to your mouth. When the teeth are grinding, it can lead to:

  • Tooth fracturing
  • Tooth loosening
  • Loss of teeth
  • Changes in the appearance of the face
  • Jaw pain
  • And more

Check out this article from Healthline: 7 Causes of Tight Jaw

What to Do to Stop Bruxism

At Adams Dental Group, we can set you up with a mouth guard, or night guard, to protect your teeth and jaw from any grinding at night. This mouth guard will be made specifically for your mouth, so the fit is perfect. If your Bruxism is linked to stress, and we know that stress affects oral health, then there are some stress-reduction techniques you can try.

  1. Meditation
  2. Yoga
  3. Talk therapy
  4. Exercise

Related Article: Night Guard: Do You Clench or Grind Your Teeth in Your Sleep?

You can also try tongue and jaw muscle exercises! This exercise is from Healthline.com and can help relax your facial muscles to reduce clenching.

  • “Open your mouth wide while touching your tongue to your front teeth. This helps relax the jaw.”
  • “Say the letter “N” out loud. This will keep your top and bottom teeth from touching and help you avoid clenching.”

More about Bruxism from Healthline: How to Stop Grinding Teeth at Night and During the Day?

Related Article: Oral Health: Did You Know there’s a Mouth Body Connection? 

How to Stop Teeth Grinding: Get a Custom Night Guard 

By knowing that stress affects oral health and contributes to causing you to grind your teeth, a patient can take many steps to help their mouth. Talk with your dentist if you think your stress may be causing you to grind your teeth.

Along with taking steps to reduce your stress, a custom night guard is a great solution to help stop teeth grinding. A night guard will stop your teeth from grinding while you sleep and protect your teeth from any wear or trauma. When a night guard is placed in the mouth, it provides cushion to the jaw and loosens any tension.

When stressed during the day, try to be conscious of clenching your jaw. When you know it is happening, you can be aware of it and stop clenching throughout the day. This will lessen the pressure in your jaws and on your teeth. Remember, stress counseling, exercise programs, and physical therapy might be good options for lowering your stress and stopping your teeth from grinding. If you’re concerned about Bruxism or notice any signs, please contact us today!

Related Articles:

Local dentist, Travis A. Roberts and his experienced, friendly team at Adams Dental Group offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the Kansas City, KS area. We have two locations that are conveniently located and offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Adams Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including dental implants, dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at our West location (913) 296-8030 to schedule an appointment.

April 27th, 2021

Posted In: Dental Health Tips

Tags: , ,

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