Link Between Heart Disease and Oral Care

Posted by Laurelhurst Dentistry

Yes your mouth is small but it plays a giant role in your overall health. In fact did you know that your oral health is an indicator of your overall well-being? Your mouth is full of bacteria, which in most cases is usually harmless, however people who suffer from periodontics disease will recognize that their oral health is an indicator of other body issues. It is important to practice routine oral health care.

People who do not take care of their teeth may not realize they might have other health issues as well. Poor oral health can show in other ways. Poor oral health care which is often linked to many more serious health problems and illnesses is a factor for other diseases.

Cardiovascular issues

Recent research shows that there is a link between heart disease and oral care this is because bacteria is found in the mouth of patients who do have gum disease. Your gums can have swollen gums that will bleed and this releases bacteria into the bloodstream that will hurt and hinder your heart.


Patients who have diabetes also have lower immune system functions, this can put gums that are inflamed or infected at risk because the infection will develop and lead to weakening of the bones around your mouth, which will lead to infections and even tooth loss.

There are certain aspects of taking care of your teeth that have been linked to many other illnesses, but it’s possible to take care of your teeth and avoid other problems.

Taking care of your teeth is a priority and when you do it, it shows. People who have a healthy smile often smile more, and have more confidence. They also generally take better care of the rest of their health. Make sure you’re brushing and flossing daily and visit the dentist regularly.

Stress and Your Oral Health

Posted by Laurelhurst Dentistry

The doctors here at Laurelhurst Dentistry understand the types of stress many of their patients find themselves under on a daily basis. That’s why we offer a wide range of anxiety-free dental services in our relaxing and inviting Portland office. Considering how much stress you deal with at work and home, the last thing you need is to feel apprehensive about a trip to the dentist.

Too much stress can cause you to experience a variety of symptoms, including stomachache, headache, and a general feeling of always being on edge; plus such serious long-term health issues as high blood pressure and trouble sleeping. Excessive stress can also cause a number of oral health problems.

The types of problems you can experience due to stress include:

  • Mouth sores, including both canker and cold sores
  • Grinding your teeth
  • Unhealthy eating habits and poor oral hygiene
  • Gum disease

So how can you prevent these oral health problems?

Mouth Sores

A small grayish ulcer with a red border, canker sores form in the mouth, either individually or in groups. While health experts aren’t entirely sure what causes canker sores to appear (theories range from bacteria, viruses, or problems with the immune system), they do suspect that stress, fatigue, and allergies can increase your risk of developing them. In case you’re wondering if you caught them from somewhere don’t worry, canker sores are not contagious.

The majority of canker sores generally heal within a week to 10 days. If you experience severe discomfort from canker sores, try using an over-the-counter topical anesthetic. To keep from irritating your canker sores, try not to eat any spicy or hot food, or foods that are highly acidic, such as pineapples, tomatoes, or bananas.

Teeth Grinding

Stress can also make you clench and grind your teeth, often subconsciously during either the day or night. If you already suffer from teeth grinding, stress could make your unfortunate habit even worse. Excessive teeth grinding can lead to a number of problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is located where the skull and lower jaw meet in front of the ear.

If you experience frequently bouts of teeth grinding, ask any of the doctors at our office about treatment options that might be right for you. You may need to use a night guard while you sleep, or some other device used to help you stop grinding your teeth.

Poor Oral Health

Experiencing high levels of stress can also affect your mood and cause you to skip brushing and flossing daily. Your overall oral health suffers when you fail to take care of your mouth. If you already experience problems with gum disease, neglecting to brush and floss can make your problems worse than what they already are. If you enjoy relatively good oral health, failing to practice good oral hygiene can lead to gum disease and an increased risk of developing cavities.

Feeling the pressures of stress can also cause you to start practicing unhealthy eating habits, such as eating a lot of sugary foods or drinks. These types of habits increase your risk of developing tooth decay and a variety of other long-term health problems.

To avoid falling into these unhealthy eating habits, just remind yourself of the importance of practicing good dental hygiene. Starting or boosting an exercise program can also help you relieve stress and feel more energized.

Gum Disease

Stress can cause an increase of dental plaque to develop in your mouth, even if the periods of high stress are relatively brief, according to a recent study. Stress can also lead to depression, which could cause you to ignore your oral health. When plaque builds up in the mouth, you have an increased risk of developing gum disease, which leads to tooth loss. Making sure you don’t neglect the health of your teeth during stressful times is imperative to maintaining your oral health.

Trick or Treat – Avoid Sugar for a Healthy Smile

Posted by Laurelhurst Dentistry

It is October, which means it is almost trick or treat time, but it is also breast cancer awareness month, and here at Laurelhurst Dentistry we care about your overall health. One of the easiest ways to stay healthy is to cut out sugar in your diet. Start by reducing or eliminating sugary drinks, such as soda and carbonated drinks. Many studies prove that the link between sugar can increase your risk of cancer. And we often tell patients to cut back on sugar to improve their oral health.

Sugar is a sweet treat but it can ruin your figure, mood, and teeth. It creeps into many things and adds more than just weight to our bodies. People who eat too much sugar are usually more depressed, often weigh more than those who watch what they eat. Sugar is in most processed foods, and sugary drinks, such as soda and juices.

Our doctors suggest taking steps to remove sugar from your entire families diet as well. To maintain the health of your family replace all sugar drinks, remove soda from their diet, and add more water. We love water because is a natural ingredient that can help boost your energy, cleanse your system and improve your overall health. Plus water is great for your teeth health. When you drink a lot of water, especially after a meal it can wash away stubborn food particles.

Here are reasons you should kick sugar to the curb.

Increase Obesity

Sugary drinks such as soda and processed snack are the largest source of calories in our diet. Did you know that an extra sugar drink each day can increase a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Make sure your children are not drinking soda pop, which can lead to weight gain and other mental health problems such as low self-esteem and insecurities.

Increase Risk for Diabetes

One or two sugary drinks a day can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 25% according to Diabetes Care, 2010. The more sugar you consume the higher risk of diabetes. Limit your family’s risk and protect your health.

Increases Tooth Decay

According to the surgeon Generals Report on Oral Health 2000, sugar and acids in soda promote tooth decay. People who eat a lot of candy and drink sugary drinks in general have more tooth decay and cavities than those who do not. This is because of the sugar that causes stains and bacteria build up on the teeth. Our doctor recommends avoiding sugar filled beverages and foods for a healthy smile and happy mouth.

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