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Eating for Dental Health – Best Foods to Prevent Cavities

You really are what you eat. Especially when it comes to your dental health. Preventing cavities and promoting good oral health are tied closely to the types of foods you eat. If you’re constantly bathing your teeth and mouth with sugar, your teeth will decay and your gums and overall oral hygiene will be negatively affected.

WebMD cites studies that show increased consumption of sugar is linked to an increase of bacteria in the mouth. This article looks at the best choices you should make in the foods you’re eating and how eating right can positively impact your oral health.

Top Five Foods to Eat for Oral Health

Believe it or not, good oral health starts with one simple practice: Drinking water. Water not only hydrates our bodies nearly insatiable need for liquid, but it also serves to flush away bacteria that sticks to our teeth causing tooth decay and gum disease. Studies show that fully 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that fluoridated water is really the best medicine to maintain oral health. The fluoride in our drinking water helps our teeth stay resistant to the acid and bacteria causing cavities.

The ADA also suggests dairy products to help strengthen your teeth and bones. Dairy products have calcium and are typically low in sugar (read your yogurt label!), which make them good between meal snacks.

Lean meats, which are rich in phosphorus, are good for your oral health. Red meat, chicken, and fish are beneficial to the teeth. But, like all things, moderation is key. A diet high in red meat can cause other issues, so make sure your daily intake of these rich foods is also combined with plenty of vegetables.

Speaking of veggies, the ADA says the more you eat, the better off you’ll be. Vegetables and fruits are high in water and fiber, which not only helps your overall health; it helps in the fight to eliminate the bacteria caused by sugary foods. Chewing your vegetables carefully also helps stimulate saliva production. Saliva is nature’s best defense for keeping your teeth and gums healthier.

Finally, nuts are packed full of protein. Nuts are a great substitute if you are vegetarian, too. They are low in carbs and don’t add sugar to your diet that can lead to cavities. Like vegetables, chewing nuts can stimulate saliva, too.

Top Tips for Oral Health

Your Las Vegas dentist has another important tip; always practice good oral hygiene by flossing at least once per day. Brushing twice a day with ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste and then rinsing with mouthwash will also help prevent decay. Scheduling a routine check-up twice per year is imperative, no matter your age.

A person’s oral health is irrevocably linked to their overall physical health. Even though the temptation can be strong to pick up a candy bar or a sugary drink, resist the urge. It’s simply not worth the pain and suffering that comes from ill health or a dental problem requiring more advanced treatment.

Contact us if you’re experiencing any difficulties, and as always, take better care of you!

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5 Common Signs of TMJ

Did you know your Las Vegas dental team can also help heal the pain associated with a very common ailment called TMJ? TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint and it is the hinge connecting the jawbone to your skull. It frequently causes a whole host of painful symptoms, and the American Dental Association (ADA) says about 15% of all Americans experience extreme discomfort when this complex series of bone and muscles get out of whack.

This article will walk you through TMJ and five of the most common signs of problems that could signal your need to visit your Las Vegas dentist.

Signs of TMJ

The TMJ joint, which is located inside your face and just in front of your ear, is an important ball and socket mechanism that lets you talk and chew food. When that joint becomes inflamed or irritated it can cause facial pain, headaches, and you will hear a distinctive popping noise as you try to move the joint. TMJ causes jaw tenderness and you may not even be able to open your jaws very wide if the joint is highly inflamed.

TMJ can happen to children, but we most frequently see the disorder in adults. Typically there are five common reasons for TMJ, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Jaw dislocation
  • Injury
  • Tooth and jaw misalignment
  • Stress and grinding of the teeth

TMJ can be chronic or can flare up unexpectedly. Your Las Vegas dentist should be called immediately; there are easy ways to mitigate the problem and lessen your pain. There are all kinds of obvious reasons for TMJ, but a few that may surprise you, including:

  • Stress from a heavy academic workload. We see high school and college students frequently in our practice. Many times they’re not even fully aware of their high stress – until TMJ flares up.
  • TMJ can flare up in the casual drug user. Some drugs like amphetamines can cause the user to grind their teeth and tighten the jaw muscles. This can lead to a wearing down of the teeth and ball and socket joint, causing great discomfort.
  • Oddly, poor posture can contribute to TMJ. Slouching or hunching your back can cause misalignment of your jaw. That can lead to a permanent jaw alignment issues that could cause the pain of TMJ.
  • The stress of tax season could cause many of us to grind our teeth more frequently. Anytime there is financial stress, the body can react negatively, and tax season is generally the time many of us are awash in worry. We actually see an increase in TMJ cases just after tax filing deadlines.
  • Don’t laugh – but eating giant sandwiches can cause TMJ. While you may be tempted to “supersize it,” opening your jaw wide enough to accommodate some of the big burritos and sandwiches sold today can actually put stress on the jaw muscles.

If you’re suffering from jaw pain, don’t hesitate to call your Las Vegas dentist. We can easily diagnose the problem and provide you with solutions to eliminate the pain and suffering you feel from TMJ disorder.

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