Valleydale Dental

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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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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Keep the Acidity Away from Your Family

soda drinksWhen buying drinks for your family, it’s not just the sugar content you have to worry about: it’s the acidity.

Dental researchers in Adelaide, Australia, recently published a report linking the high acidity in drinks to dental erosion.

The researchers demonstrated that lifelong damage could occur to teeth within just 30 seconds of drinking an acidic beverage.

Soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, and other beverages were all classified as acidic drinks.

The tooth erosion problem is particularly prevalent in young people, who often grind their teeth at night. This grinding, combined with reflux, can cause irreversible damage to young people’s teeth.

The research team was able to demonstrate that permanent damage to the tooth enamel will occur within the first 30 seconds of high acidity coming into contact with the teeth. In other words, even one drink of an acidic beverage can cause serious lifelong dental problems.

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Rethinking Free Sugars Intake

White and brown sugar on wooden spoons on rustic wooden surfaceFree sugars make up a large part of our diet. For years, doctors and dentists have warned us about the devastating effects of sugar on the diet. Today, some of those effects are starting to emerge:

A new report from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine indicates that sugars in the diet should make up “no more than 3% of total energy intake.”

Those whose diet involves more than 3% sugar intake are at a substantially higher risk for all sorts of dental and health problems.

Here are some of the significant findings from the report:

60% to 90% of school-age children and the “vast majority” of adults are affected by tooth decay

92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have experienced tooth decay in at least one of their permanent teeth

-Industrialized countries spend 5% to 10% of their total health expenditure on treating dental diseases

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Coffee May Actually Be Beneficial for Your Teeth

Young woman drinking coffee in urban cafeFor years, we’ve all known that coffee is bad for our teeth.

But according to a recent report from Boston University, that may not be entirely true. That report shows that coffee may actually be good for your teeth because it prevents gum disease.

The study was led by Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman at the School of Dental Medicine. Goldman and his team of researchers showed that drinking coffee on a regular basis “did not have a negative impact on periodontal health.”

Furthermore, drinking coffee on a regular basis had a “minimal impact” on the number of teeth affected by bone loss.

The study tracked 1,100 adult males between the ages 26 and 84. Additionally, 98% of the subjects were white and factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, body mass index, overall health and overall oral health were all considered. It was the first study to examine the link between drinking coffee and periodontal health.

Goldman’s report was published in the August issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

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New Technology Allows Scientists to Grow Teeth from Stem Cells

microscopeStem cells have led to some amazing medical benefits.

Now, stem cells have allowed scientists to grow new teeth. At this year’s Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition, researchers announced a new technology that allows stem cells to grow into new teeth.

The technology is expected to be an effective way to replace missing teeth without the high costs of implants and other surgeries.

Today, dentists struggle with implants for a number of different reasons. First, the cost of implants is prohibitively expensive for some patients, and second, the implants must be designed to last for long periods of time.

Unfortunately for those who need new teeth today, the technology isn’t particularly close to being completed. The researchers claim that they should be able to implement stem cells in mice within five years. If those tests are successful, then human tests could be a few years further down the road.

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Freshen Your Breath with These 4 Remedies

Do you struggle with halitosis? What is halitosis? It’s the scientific term for bad breath. So, are you always nervously checking your breath?

It plagues millions of Americans and people all around the world. There are even records of ancient civilizations whipping up remedies for bad breath as well. Seems as if it’s been a human problem for centuries.

Take just a minute to read through our home remedies that give you the power to conquer bad breath.

Yelling woman mouth closeup


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4 Healthy Foods for Your Teeth

We all want to grab for that candy bar or ice cream cone from time to time. The sugary delight is addictive, but while it’s not bad to consume every once in a while, it can become a problem for not only your stomach and weight—it can cause some serious problems for your teeth.

When we select food at the supermarket or at a restaurant we typically concerned with calorie count along with other nutritional information. The last thing we think about is how this food might affect our teeth. Strange thought, I know, but it’s one more we ought to consider.


So, have you considered which foods might be healthy for your teeth and your weight? If not, time to consider.

1. Milk and Dairy

Perfect, ice cream is dairy, so it’s good for your teeth right? Wrong. When we make mention of dairy, we’re considering milk, yogurt, cheese and other products with low sugar contents. Milk is a great enforcer and protector of tooth enamel. Milk provides much needed calcium and phosphorus that teeth need to remineralize. That means minerals are added back to your teeth after they’ve been removed by acid-heavy foods and drinks, which is a plus for your tooth health!

2. Firm/Crunchy Fruits

The term “firm/crunchy” is interesting, but what we’re referring to here are fruits like apples and pears. These foods are high in water content, which dilutes the amount of natural sugar they have in them. They also cause saliva production, which protects against tooth decay, acidic buildup and food particles getting stuck within your teeth. Some term an apple as “nature’s toothbrush.”

Be careful with acidic fruits, such as lemons, pineapples and other citrus, as these contain greater amounts of acid. If you prefer citrus fruit, eat them with other foods so acid is not left on your teeth.

3. Fish

Yes, fish is actually good for your oral health. Particularly, salmon and Atlantic mackerel contain healthy amounts of vitamin D, which is great for oral health because it assists the body in absorbing and using calcium. So, if you consume fish and dairy together, you’re giving your teeth a serious boost of health.

4. Water

Wait, water isn’t a food! True, it’s liquid, but it’s one we can’t help but emphasize whenever we can. Water does so much good for the body. It boosts saliva production, which keeps teeth healthy and from decay. Water washes away food debris in your teeth. And water keeps you away from all those sugary-drink alternatives. A healthy mouth is one filled with life’s best fluid—water.

Now you know what foods to focus on in your diet. It’s up to you to take control of what you eat to benefit the health of your teeth. We’re here to assist in your oral health as well.

If you have any other questions about food or drink regarding your oral health, please don’t hesitate to contact our Birmingham dental office. We enjoy teaching and educating all of our patients about great dental practices.

Not one of our patients? Not a problem. You can get started today at Valleydale Dental in Birmingham. Call our office at 205.991.7797 or fill out the contact form on the right, and we’ll be in touch!