Friday, January 27, 2017

Evaluating Your Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Periodontal disease or “gum disease” is typically caused by a build-up of plaque beneath the gum line. The bacteria in the plaque ignite the body’s inflammatory response, and the gums become red, swollen, and even bloody. While the main cause of periodontal disease is inflammation as a result of bacteria, other habits or environmental conditions, referred to as risk factors, can increase the likelihood that an individual will develop gum disease.

Common risk factors of periodontal disease include:

Age: Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that almost half of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent.

Smoking/tobacco use: Studies have shown tobacco use to be one of the most significant
risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.

Genetics: Research has found that a family history of periodontal disease may increase a
person’s susceptibility to gum disease. Genetic testing can be conducted to identify if you are
predisposed to periodontal disease.

Stress: Stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including
periodontal disease.

Medication: Some drugs like oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines can affect your periodontal health.

Poor nutrition and obesity: A diet low in nutrients can make it harder for the body to
fight off infection. Research has also found obesity may increase the risk of periodontal

Poor oral hygiene: Ignoring teeth and gums allows plaque to build up along the gum line. Not routinely brushing and flossing can easily lead to gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease.

Other systemic diseases: Recent studies have linked diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and erectile dysfunction to periodontal disease. These and other systemic diseases could interfere with the body’s inflammatory system and may worsen the condition of the gums.

It is recommended that you see a periodontist or dentist once a year for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation to assess gum health. If you are experiencing any of the risk factors mentioned, inform
your periodontist, dentist, or hygienist so he or she can look for early signs of periodontal

Considering risk factors as part of the treatment planning process allows for proactive management of an individual’s periodontal health and can potentially reduce the need for more complex
periodontal procedures in the future.

How do dental professionals assess risk for periodontal disease?

Your periodontist, dentist, or dental hygienist will assess your risk factors for periodontal disease as part of the comprehensive periodontal evaluation. This will help better predict the likelihood that you will develop periodontal disease or that your condition will worsen. It will assist your periodontist or dentist in determining the best personalized course of treatment for you.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Read about the wonderful world of cruciferous vegetables!

Are Cruciferous Vegetables Healthier Than Other Ones?Are 

Since we know that periodontal disease is associated with many inflammatory systemic diseases and the evidence is incontrovertible that nutrition is a factor in prevention of disease; good nutrition is a benefit to your overall well-being. We thought we'd share this article about health and vegetables. Every day there are more articles published about nutrition and how it affects our health. So, let us introduce you to the world of cruciferous vegetables!

Are Cruciferous Vegetables Healthier Than Other Ones?

Discover the truth about arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, and yes, kale
By Rachel Meltzer Warren                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                January 16, 2017
Trying to name the healthiest vegetable is like trying to choose a favorite child. They're all wonderful.                                                                                                                       But cruciferous vegetables do have some healthful compounds not plentiful in other produce.
Thanks to the ubiquitous kale salad, this leafy green may be the cruciferous vegetable you're most familiar with.                                                                                                       But you have many other options, including arugula, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and watercress.                                                                               And these rival kale in their healthfulness.
“Cruciferous vegetables are among the most nutritious because they are rich in several vitamins and minerals, plus they                                                                                             contain unique disease-fighting compounds,” says Maxine Siegel, R.D., who heads Consumer Reports’ food-testing department.

What's Special About Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are the most common dietary sources of glucosinolates. These are natural chemicals that give the                                                                                         veggies their pungent flavor and break down into cancer-protecting compounds.
A study in the Annals of Oncology found that having just one serving of cruciferous vegetables per week over a two-year                                                                                         period lowered the risk of breast, colon, and oral cancer by 17 percent; esophageal cancer by 28 percent; and kidney cancer                                                                                     by 32 percent. Each type of vegetable has different anticancer compounds, so it’s best to eat a variety.
This vegetable family also stands out for its rich bounty of vision-protecting carotenoids as well as fiber, folate, potassium,                                                                                        and vitamins C, E, and K.
Some of these nutrients may contribute to that cancer-fighting ability, but they may also be part of the reason crucifers help                                                                                       control inflammation and protect against heart disease. In an analysis of 134,796 people, researchers in China found that those                                                                                   who ate about 6 ounces per day reduced their risk of heart disease by about 20 percent compared with those who ate an ounce or less.

Cooking and Serving Tips

Steam or stir-fry. These methods preserve the most glucosinolates. Aim for an al dente texture. Overcooking not only turns                                                                                     these vegetables an unappetizing color but also makes them mushy, gives them a stronger flavor than you might like, and                                                                                         diminishes the nutrient content.
Try brussel sprout chips. Remove the leaves from the base. Toss with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees F for about                                                                                               20 minutes or until crispy, turning every 5 minutes.
Make a slaw. Season thinly sliced raw cabbage with rice-wine vinegar and olive oil. Use as a topping for fish tacos.                                                                                                 Test-tube studies suggest that cabbage’s sulfur compounds make the selenium in fish a more potent cancer fighter.
Hang on to broccoli leaves and stems. Peel stalks and slice into coins to use in pasta dishes or as a dipper for hummus.                                                                                           Sauté greens with garlic in olive oil. They taste great, and you'll be helping to minimize food waste.
"Rice" some cauliflower. Grate cauliflower florets or pulse them in a food processor to make rice-sized granules.                                                                                                       Or you can buy already riced cauliflower fresh or frozen in many supermarkets. It makes for a lower-carb,                                                                                                                   lower-calorie replacement for couscous, rice, and potatoes.
Use watercress for more than a garnish. Mix it with milder greens like baby spinach and pair with sweet and                                                                                                         creamy flavors like lemon juice, avocado, and apple slices to balance out the strong flavor.
Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the February 2017 issue of Consumer Reports on Health.
Rachel Meltzer Warren, M.S., R.D., is a New York-area based nutrition writer, educator, and counselor

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tongue or lip piercings could prove a dental disaster for teens

Youngsters should think twice before getting their tongue or lips pierced

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have found that oral tissue piercings fracture teeth and increase dental  complications in early adulthood.

Dr. Liran Levin, a dentist from the Department of Oral Rehabilitation, School of Dental Medicine at Tel Aviv University said that about 15 to 20 percent of teens with oral piercings are at high risk for both tooth fractures and gum disease. This may result in tooth fractures as well as periodontal problems, which in turn may lead to anterior 
(front) tooth loss later in life.

Tooth fracture from piercing
Levin also stated that high rates of fractures due to piercings are not found in other age groups, and cases of severe periodontal damage in teens  without oral piercings are similarly rare.

Their earlier research was carried out on 400 young adults aged 18-19, but in their new study captures a larger area detailing the risks and complications of oral piercings, drawing on research from multiple centers in America and across the world.

Levin said that 10 percent of all New York teenagers have some kind of oral piercings, compared to about 20 percent in Israel and 3.4 percent in Finland. He also warned the kids to think twice before getting an oral piercing, as it can lead to easily preventable health complications and, in some (rare) cases, even death.

“There are short-term complications to piercings in low percentages of teens, and in rare cases a piercing to the oral cavity can cause death. Swelling and inflammation of the area can cause edema, which disturbs the respiratory tract,” he said.
In fact, he also cautioned that the most common concerns like tooth  fracture and periodontal complications are long-term
Gum recession caused by lip piercing
“There is a repeated trauma to the area of the gum. You can see these young men and women playing with the piercing on their tongue or lip. This act prolongs the trauma to the mouth and in many cases is a precursor to anterior tooth loss,” said Levin.
In their Israel-based study, the researchers examined teens both with piercings and without, asking them a number of questions about their oral health, their knowledge of the risk factors associated with piercings, and about their piercing history, before conducting the clinical oral exams.

However, he noted that those youngsters who opted for oral piercing were very concerned about body image, but seemed to be unaware of the future risks such piercings can cause.
Bottom line, the best advice for teens is to “try and avoid getting your mouth pierced,” said co-investigator Dr. Yehuda Zadik.

The study was published in the American Dental Journal. (ANI)