Valleydale Dental

Better Communication is Key to Overall Oral Health

Birmingham AL dentistWe all know how hard it is to talk when there’s dental equipment in our mouths. In spite of that, dentists still try to talk to you during procedures. Why is that?

Nobody knows. But according to one recent study: better communication between you and your dentist may be the secret key to good dental health.

University of Florida Health Researchers Trace Dental Problems to Poor Communication

The study comes out of the University of Florida’s Health Department. UF Health researchers identified a number of indicators that make someone at risk for poor oral health. Those risk factors include:

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Beyond Tooth Decay – Why Good Dental Hygiene Is Important

tooth decayWhen you ask people why they brush their teeth, they’ll typically say things like,

“I don’t want bad breath” or “I want healthy teeth.”

We all know that poor dental hygiene leads to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. But tooth decay has been linked to a surprising range of other health conditions.

Alzheimer’s Disease:

In 2010, NYU researchers performed a study examining the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers concluded by stating that there was a strong association between gum disease and poor cognitive functionality.

The study involved 152 subjects enrolled in the Glostrop Aging Study, which collected 20 years of data on the various subjects. The study ended way back in 1984, when the subjects were all over the age of 70.

By comparing cognitive functionality at ages 50 and 70, the NYU team was able to determine that having gum disease at the age of 70 was strongly associated with poor performance cognitive tests.

In fact, subject participants were 9 times more likely to score poorly on the cognitive test when they also reported gum inflammation.

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Tooth Loss in Seniors Could Indicate Mental and Physical Decline

tooth loss in seniorsNew research shows that tooth loss is linked to mental and physical decline in seniors. As a result, doctors are starting to use tooth loss as a potential early marker of decline in older age.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and was led by a team from University College London (UCL) in the UK.

During the study, researchers analyzed data from over 3,100 adults aged 60 and over across England. That data measured things like walking speed, memory, and tooth loss, among many other factors.

After combing through the data, researchers came to the conclusion that subjects who had lost all their natural teeth performed about 10% worse in both memory tests and walking speed tests compared to their counterparts with natural teeth.

This startling discovery has led doctors to believe that tooth loss could be used as an early marker of physical and mental decline. This could be particularly important for people – ages 60 to 74 – who may feel physically and mentally healthy.

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Coconut Oil Shown to Fight Cavity-Causing Bacteria

coconut oil healthCoconut oil has taken the health world by storm over the past few years. But recent research from Ireland has revealed that coconut oil could do more than just moisturize the skin: it could also prevent cavities.

Researchers from Ireland’s Athlone Institute of Technology discovered that enzyme-treated coconut oil prevented the growth of cavity causing bacteria. The coconut oil was treated with enzymes to replicate the effects that occur once the oil enters the stomach.

Here’s how the study worked:

-Researchers conducted their study on untreated coconut oil and enzyme-treated coconut oil

-Both oils were pitted against Streptococcus bacteria, including a unique strain of Streptococcus bacteria which has been linked to tooth decay

-Researchers found that enzyme-treated coconut oil stopped the growth of both strains of Streptococcus bacteria

New Coconut Oil Dental Products Could Be Just Around the Corner

This discovery could lead to a new surge in coconut oil-based dental products. Dental product manufacturers may start to see enzyme-modified coconut oil as an attractive alternative to chemicals and synthetic additives.

One of the major advantages of coconut oil is that it appears to work in relatively low concentrations.

Another advantage is that the human body is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, which has sent researchers scrambling to find new ways to fight microbial infections throughout the body – including the teeth and gums.

More Than Just Dental Health

Coconut oil is prized for more than just its dental benefits. Coconut oil consists of a unique blend of fatty acids that have been linked to powerful medicinal properties. It’s been shown to reduce bacteria throughout the entire body – not just the teeth – for example.

It’s also been shown to reduce hunger cravings, improve blood cholesterol levels, lower your risk of heart disease, and moisturize the hair and skin against damage.

In one study, coconut oil was even shown to boost brain functionality in Alzheimer’s patients.

Clearly, the medical community is only beginning to scratch the surface when it comes to the medical benefits of coconut oil.

Looking for a family dentist in Birmingham? Valleydale Dental is currently offering a $75 new patient special. Call 205-991-7797 to book an appointment with Dr. Gentry Gonzalez and his friendly staff today!

Innovations in Dentistry to Help Children Grow Up Healthy

dentistry for kidsModern technology has given us so much. And now, thanks to modern technology, kids can grow up with healthy teeth.

At least, that’s the idea behind Virtual Dental Home (VDH). VDH is a California-based program which works like a mobile dental office: a specially-trained hygienist packages a chair and dental equipment into a car and travels to underprivileged schools and neighborhoods.

Thanks to VDH, kids are able to quickly, easily, and affordably access high-quality dental care. It’s like having a dental clinic come to you.

Many people are unaware that the number one chronic disease among children is tooth decay. If you’ve ever had a serious toothache or suffered from tooth decay, then you know how painful it can be.

Kids often struggle silently with tooth decay. They may be embarrassed that their teeth hurt or unwilling to tell their parents. Of course, this just makes the problem worse.

In other cases, parents may simply be unable to afford dental care or lack dental insurance.

But here’s the good news: dental disease is almost always preventable. When children get routine dental care, they significantly reduce their risk of developing any type of dental disease or dental problems.

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Learn Why Brushing Teeth Before Bed Is So Important

toothbrushMost people brush their teeth twice a day. We don’t necessarily know why it’s so important to do it – but we do it anyways.

Nobody likes going to bed with stuff on their teeth. Today, I’m going to explain why brushing your teeth before bed is so important:

Run your tongue across your teeth right now

If you’re reading this, you’re probably passing some time at work or school. So let’s say it’s the middle of the day. Run your tongue across the front of your teeth. Do you feel a little fuzziness or stickiness on your teeth? How about when you move your tongue up close to the gum line? There it is.

This is called “plaque” and you’ve probably already heard of it. Plaque buildup leads to cavities, gum disease, and the growth of bacteria buildup.

The longer that plaque sits in your teeth undisturbed, the longer it has to build up and become “tartar”. Tartar is the hard, yellow, rough material that’s often found between your teeth.

Tartar is more dangerous than plaque. It leads to a higher risk of gum disease and can cause inflammation and bleeding in the gums. If you let tartar sit in your mouth too long, you could even lose teeth.

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Dental Anxiety Fuels Demand for Sedation – How to Handle the Anxiety

dentist officeDental anxiety may be the most common form of anxiety in the world today. Most people don’t like going to the dentist.

That’s why sedation dentistry is more popular today than it’s ever been before. Sedation dentistry suppresses the brain’s responses to pain and stress while still allowing patients to remain conscious. When used in conjunction with local anesthesia, many patients never feel a thing.

Today, I’m going to share the results of a recent study into sedation dentistry – along with tips and tricks you can use to avoid anxiety during your next trip to see Birmingham dentist, Gentry Gonzalez.

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Non-Profit Dental Clinic Opens for Operation in Colorado

Birmingham AL dentistDental clinics aren’t known for being cheap.

But one dental clinic in Longmont, Colorado is trying to change that perception: Longmont’s Dental Aid clinic is currently offering dental services for free.

Dental Aid partnered with an American Dental Association program called Give Kids a Smile, which aims to provide dental care to underprivileged children across America.

A recent Denver Post article followed the story of local eight-year old Jessica, who started third grade this past September. Jessica’s mother began searching for affordably-priced dental care in her local area when she read about the Give Kids a Smile program. Jessica’s mother was pleased to learn the nearest affiliated clinic was just a five minute drive away.

The first visit to Dental Aid revealed “quite a few cavities” according to clinic dentist Wayne Franz.

Cavities are a problem at any age, but they’re especially problematic for young children. Early childhood cavities are known as caries, and they can lead to severe dental problems as the child ages:

“One-third of all 3-year-olds, from all socioeconomic levels, have cavities, but the patients we see at Dental Aid don’t have the access to dental care that privately insured patients have,” says Darby Barfield, a pediatric dentist who works at a Dental Aid clinic in Louisville.

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Saliva Test Could Tell Us Important Information About Disease

mouthCould your saliva contain early warning signs for diseases like cancer and diabetes?

A new study from UCLA suggests that a simple saliva test is capable of diagnosing diabetes, cancer, and other diseases at an early stage.

The study showed that saliva contains many of the same disease-revealing molecules that are contained in our blood. So instead of undergoing costly, time-consuming blood tests to get tested for disease, patients could simply take a simple saliva test.

In addition to cancer, your saliva could show early warning signs for autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders.

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Dentists Buy Back Halloween Candy, Give Proceeds to Troops Overseas

Halloween candyA Wisconsin dentist recently came up with an innovative plan to combat child obesity and dental issues: bribe them with cash.

That’s right: Dr. Chris Kammer is paying children $1 per pound to buy back candy they collected during Halloween night.

The cash for candy program, known officially as the Halloween Candy Buy Back (HCBB), was first launched in 2005 but received a huge influx of media attention this past year.

Part of the reason for the media attention is that HCBB has now partnered with Operation Gratitude, which delivers gifts to troops overseas. After collecting candy from kids, the candy is shipped to Operation Gratitude, which then separates the candy before shipping it to military posts all around the world.

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