What if we told you dental health was inseparable from heart health? Really? - YES! Really!
Healthy Heart and National Dental Month: The Dentist’s Recommendations
By Beth Snyder, DMD
Beth Snyder, DMD is a forward thinking mouth physician integrating dentistry with the entire body in mind. Dr. Snyder offers general dentistry and treats TMJ dysfunction, snoring and sleep apnea with specialized oral appliances rather than CPAP. She is board certified in sleep dental medicine and provides exceptional cosmetic and quality restorative dental care.
Part 1. Xylitol Products:
- It sounds too good to be true. A sweetener that is lower in calories than sugar and helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. But.... it IS true! This is exactly what Xylitol can do!
- Tooth decay and gum disease begin with sugar. The bacteria that live in your mouth consume the sugar, multiply and make acids. The acids eat away the enamel of your teeth. These bacteria also colonize your gums and cause gum disease (periodontal disease). Enter Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that the oral bacteria cannot digest! Without sugar to feed on, the number of bacteria are reduced - in some studies by as much as 90%! Further, it helps maintain a neutral pH level in the mouth. Acid levels fall.
- Using Xylitol products over time actually changes the quality of your oral bacteria -- with fewer of the bad bacteria that cause disease and more of the good bacteria that help maintain good oral health. Xylitol also improves your saliva! Saliva is important in oral health because it helps wash away debris. Further, components in saliva help to harden tooth enamel that has been weakened by acids.
- Simply using Xylitol 5 times per day can help you avoid periodontal disease, cut your dental bills and maintain a beautiful smile. Xylitol toothpaste and mouth rinses are perfect for morning and nighttime brushing. Add sugarless gum or mints sweetened with Xylitol after each meal and you can reap the benefits of Xylitol. Xylitol sweetener can also be used to sweeten your coffee or tea.
Part 2: A Silent Pre-curser to Heart Attacks and Strokes and How to Prevent
- Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Studies have shown that it can also lead to an increased risk for heart disease; stroke; certain cancers, including pancreatic cancer; rheumatoid arthritis; complications in controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes; premature birth and low birth-weight babies! Wow! This sounds like a disease we should make every effort to prevent!
- Unfortunately, you can have periodontal disease and not know it. Symptoms include swollen gums, gums that bleed when you brush or floss, loose teeth, a receding gum line and halitosis. Many of us accept a little bleeding of our gums as normal. It is never normal to bleed! If you bleed from brushing or flossing imagine what happens every time you eat! The bacteria are forced into your blood stream.
- The disease is prevalent; more than 85 percent of people in the United States have some level of periodontal disease.
- The good news is, periodontal disease is treatable, and in many cases, when caught early, it’s reversible. With modern technology and advanced periodontal therapy, including dental lasers, ultrasonic scalers and antibiotics, treatment is more gentle, comfortable and effective than ever before.
***Save your health, your smile and your healthcare dollars by flossing and incorporating Xylitol into your daily routine. Xylitol mints and gum are sold at the Co-op as well as floss, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.
Dr. Beth Snyder is a co-op member and eco-system partner offering 20% off new patient exams and/or 10% off cosmetic whitening services. Her office is located in Doylestown, check out her website here!