Great Holiday Foods for Your Teeth

When you hear the jingles in the stores and see the decorations on your neighbor’s house, you know that the holiday season has arrived. Among other traditions, you can also expect food to play a big part of the holiday, whether it’s snacks for a party or a big family dinner. Unfortunately, a lot of traditional holiday food can be harmful to your teeth, from sticky candy canes to sugary, maybe alcoholic eggnog. Thankfully, there are also lots of seasonal dishes and treats that can keep your smile as healthy as ever.

You probably already have a sizable list of foods you know to be bad for your teeth: soda, coffee, and candy. However, what about the crackers you set out as hors d’oeuvres? Even without extra-sweet ingredients added in, bread and related snacks are full of carbohydrates – that is, sugar – and their crumbly, dissolvable nature means that these bacteria-feeding carbs get stuck to your teeth. Alcohol, not counting the sugar it is often made of or mixed with, will dry out your mouth; dry mouths are the perfect environment for bacteria. Even the cough drops you take for colds and the flu not only have sugar in them, but also expose you to that sugar over a long period of time. Cough syrup, despite having similar amounts of sugar in it, is quickly swallowed and doesn’t expose the teeth to that sugar too long. Simply put, too many holiday edibles encourage the decay of your teeth.

Not to worry! Lots of holiday foods diminish, if not reverse, the damage other foods can do. Two common party snacks, for example, are meat and cheese. The calcium and proteins provided by meat and cheese can actually strengthen your teeth and gums. Nuts, like meat, also provide your mouth with a burst of protein and saliva production that help defend your teeth from bacterial build-up. Instead of sweetened cranberry sauce in your dishes, try using fresh cranberries; they can interrupt the bonding process of the decadent bacteria. Though dried fruit is a bad idea, crunchy fruit and raw vegetables can help scrub plaque off of your teeth.

The holidays and their traditions are fast approaching. If you eat too much of the wrong kinds of traditional foods, or you find yourself chewing on that food for a long period of time, your teeth can suffer. However, holiday tradition have also given us a lot of food to protect and strengthen our teeth as well. So, when planning out the next holiday party or dinner, keep these foods in mind. They may just save your smile.

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Periodontal Disease 101

What it is
Periodontal disease, known as gum disease or periodontitis, is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. In the United States, it is estimated that half of Americans aged 30 or older have advanced gum disease. While highly prevalent, this dental condition is preventable with a good oral health regimen.

Cause
Periodontal disease symptoms become apparent as bacteria and debris accumulate around teeth and below the gum line and hardens into tartar. If not removed by a professional, tartar and bacteria can cause inflammation of the gums and weakening of teeth.
There are variables that can increase your risk of periodontitis that range from genetic predisposition and underlying health conditions, to certain lifestyle habits. Diet, taking certain medications, decreased immunity, and hormonal changes can also increase your chances of developing gum disease.

Stages
Periodontitis begins with the onset of gingivitis. In this early stage, bacteria builds up, irritating the surrounding gums. As bacteria accumulate and plaque builds and hardens into tartar, there is a weakening of bone and connective tissue that keeps teeth in their sockets. As bacteria spreads, pockets that trap further bacteria begin to form around teeth and under soft tissue. In patients with advanced periodontal disease, teeth become loose and fall out.

Symptoms
One of the most difficult aspects of spotting periodontal disease without help from a dentist is that the condition can progress slowly in patients and may not always produce obvious signs. Patients may notice:
– Gum tenderness
– Gum recession
– Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
– Loose teeth or a change in teeth alignment
Diagnosis of gum disease typically involves visiting a dentist for a visual examination of your oral condition, as well as charting pocket depths and using X-Rays to check bone loss in areas with deeper periodontal pockets.

Treatment
Early diagnosis gives patients the greatest chance of reversing damage with nonsurgical treatments. These procedures include root scaling and planing, which removes tartar and bacteria from surfaces of teeth and beneath the gums and smooths root surfaces,. Antibiotics that are either taken orally or topically as a rinse, can also be used to reduce bacteria and inflammation.
For patients with advanced periodontitis, dental surgery may be the most effective option to reduce pocket size and restore the healthy appearance and supportive structure of soft tissue.

Prevention
Periodontal disease is preventable by practicing consistent and good oral hygiene. As a rule of thumb, you should be taking between 3-5 minutes twice day to care for your teeth and gums by flossing first to loosen any food particles and bacteria, and brushing to clean all surfaces of teeth. You should also visit your dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings. Patients displaying early signs of gum disease may require more frequent dental visits throughout the year.
If are exhibiting signs and symptoms of gum disease, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner you can receive treatment, the more likely you will be able to reverse any damage caused by periodontal disease.

How Your Heartburn Could Be Affecting your Teeth

gastric acid

How Your Heatburn Could Be Affecting Your Teeth

Acid reflux or GERD has become a common problem with many people.  With long work days, crazy schedules and constantly being on the go, the problem seems to be affecting more and more people every day. What many people don’t think about, as heartburn seems to be a common phenomena,  is that the cause of heartburn is from acid and that acid can effect their teeth.

What Is Acid Reflux or GERD?

When you ingest food, the food travels down the esophagus into the stomach.  On its way down a valve (lower esophageal sphincter) opens letting food pass and closes once the food is through.  Acid reflux is caused when the valve( at the entrance of your stomach opens after the food has entered your stomach.  This opening allows stomach acid to climb up your esophagus permitting an array of negative symptoms to happen within your body.  Most commonly heartburn.  If symptoms occur more than twice per week, it’s time to see your doctor.  This is a symptom of acid reflux symptoms or GERD

What Causes Acid Reflux of GERD?

There are many things that can attribute to the onset of acid reflux or GERD.  One of the most common causes is a hiatal hernia. Having a hiatal hernia can allow acid to move up into your esophagus inducing symptoms of heartburn.

There are many other risk factors that can contribute to the disease.  For Example:

  • Eating to Quickly
  • Eating a large meal then laying down
  • Overweight or Obese
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or blood pressure medications
  • Caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and carbonated drinks
  • Spicy, fried foods, fatty meets

How Can Acid Reflux or GERD Affect my Teeth?

As you read earlier, acid reflux or GERD symptoms not under control can travel stomach acid up your esophagus and into the back of your mouth. Once stomach has reached your mouth it has the potential to create much damage to your teeth. To put this into perspective, pH level measures the acidity of a substance on a scale of 0-14.  The lower the number the higher the concentration of acid in the substance.  Stomach acid provides a pH level of 2.0.  The pH level needed to erode dental enamel is 5.5.  This makes stomach acid a big concern for the health of your teeth.

If you feel you are suffering from regular heartburn, please talk about it with Dr. J.C. Duncan during your next dental visit.  There are many life style changes or medication available to help control acid reflux or GERD symptoms.  Our goal is to make sure we keep you and your teeth healthy.  Your dentist is part of your medical team to keep you smiling and healthy.

 

What do you mean it’s not a cavity? My Tooth Hurts? …

 tooth PainWhat Causes Tooth Pain?

Many believe that your eyes are the windows to your soul.  But in the dental world, it is believed that your mouth is the window to the health of your body.

The most common reason someone books an appointment at the dentist is due to a tooth ache. Tooth decay is the most prevalent reason for tooth pain.  Cavities are most painful when the decay penetrates through the enamel and affects the inner layer of the tooth. This causes the tooth to become sensitive and if left untreated can become worse.

Tooth decay is not the only culprit that can emanate tooth pain. Advanced gum disease can cause a toothache even when the tooth is healthy.  Advanced gum disease causes a dull pain around the teeth from gums swelling and bone loss.  Gum abscess may also occur with advanced stages of periodontists.

Tooth grinding is a very common reason people feel tooth pain.  From constant grinding of your teeth, you can wear down or chip your teeth.  This action tends to put excess force on the gum tissue which can cause tooth pain and also your jaw to hurt.

What is not as commonly known, a crooked tooth can cause you tooth pain.  When your teeth are not aligned properly, it puts undistributed force on your teeth and nerves.  This misalignment can be the catalyst for a number of other issues including headaches.

And finally, with allergy season coming upon us, another reason a tooth or teeth might hurt is due to a sinus infection.  A sinus infection can cause a dull ache to your upper back teeth.  Because the sinuses are close to the upper jaw, a sinus infection, do to the swelling of the sinus, can make you feel as if pain is coming from your teeth.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:
J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 948-1300
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

 

 

 

 

Stop the Chronic Headaches

trudenta headache relief Are you a regular headache sufferer?  In all actuality, headaches can be debilitating making it difficult for you to function throughout your day. I’m sure you have tried all kinds of remedies looking to alleviate the pain you are feeling.  The constant regiment of pain relievers, just to function through your day, has become a burden.  We understand and are here to help you find pain relief using a system that requires no drugs and no needles.. The office of J. C. Duncan DDS FAGD conveniently located in Huntersville, NC is here to help.  We understand the pain that you are suffering with.  We are here to let you know that many headache sufferers can benefit from the new life changing TruDenta System.

According to the National Headache Foundation, over 45 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches.  The most common type of headache is due to tension. The TruDenta System is designed to tackle a number of the 150 diagnostic headache categories.. By using our TruDenta system, we can provide important, objective, diagnostic information which may help identify the causes of your symptoms.

TruDenta

Finally, the office of J.C. Duncan can help!

The TruDenta systems have been designed to get at the heart of your headaches, migraines, jaw pain or face pain. Through proven, state of the art technologies in the fields of advanced dentistry and medicine, you can finally get headache and migraine relief in a way that will:

  • Reduce your pain levels and the number of days in pain
  • Provide headache relief without dependence on drug related solutions
  • Give you control of your healing process
  • Possibly even give you your life back… you know the one before all this pain took you down the path of “trying to cope”

It’s time to have a talk with your dentist and dental hygienist about how we can help you. A simple painless screening test can determine if TruDenta is right for you.

Click here to complete your TruDenta Head Health History form.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:
J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

www.huntersvillencdental.com

Phone: (704) 948-1300
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 7:30 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

 

Cavities Can Be Contagious!

kissing- cavities The next time you are on a date, you might want to think twice before puckering up for that goodnight smooch.  At least not until you can get a full dental history on your new suitor.  With so many things to worry about to keep yourself healthy, is it even possible we need to think twice about that first passionate kiss in fear of catching a cavity?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Just like colds and flu’s, studies have shown that cavities and gum disease are contagious and can be transmitted through saliva. With that being said; if your partner has gum disease or untreated cavities, a passionate kiss can exchange those damaging bacteria from their mouth to yours.  Those same bacteria will then attack your teeth.

There is a Silver Lining. To reduce the risk, it is recommended that an emphasis on good oral hygiene be practiced.  Frequent flossing and brushing is necessary to rid your mouth of harmful bacteria.  Drinking lots of water and chewing sugar-free gum is also helpful as it promotes saliva and washes away plaque and bacteria.

As for your partner, a trip to the dentist is warranted to get their mouth healthy again.  It is also important to emphasis maintaining good oral hygiene practices. Make sure you convey to them that their neglected dental care can affect their overall health.  Your dental health is directly related to your overall health.  A healthy mouth can work in your favor to an overall healthy you.

 

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

How to Keep Dental Problems out of the E.R.

Emergency Room- J.C. Duncan DDS-dentist You have incredible pain radiating from your mouth.  You begin running a fever and overall feel quite ill.  Looking for immediate relief to the unbearable agony, you decide a prompt trip to the emergency room is necessary.  When arriving, you are told you have an abscessed tooth.

Truth be told, having an abscessed tooth can be dangerous as it can, if left untreated, manifest into a life threatening situation. The hospital, while being able to treat the infection, typically don’t have the appropriate staff or equipment to treat the problem on a permanent basis.  This needs to be done by a dentist in a dental office.

A study published on April 1 in the Journal of the American Dental Association reported that 1 percent of emergency-room visits nationwide from 2008 to 2010 included a diagnosis of dental injury or disease. One hundred one of those patients died while in the ER.

With that being said, most of these dental emergency room visits could be avoided by having a primary dentist in your life.  Seeing your dentist regularly is the key to avoiding dental disease.  Just like your car, your teeth need regular maintenance to avoid any major problems down the road. The bigger the problem, the more expensive it becomes to fix it. With dental accidents, they are just that. Seeing your dentist as soon as possible is the best way to save a tooth or fix a broken tooth.  Your dentist will have all the equipment necessary to fix the problem immediately.  

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

Read more: http://triblive.com/state/pennsylvania/5926497-74/dental-patients-emergency#ixzz2yzRBvv00 Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Your Dentist is an Important part of your Chemo Treatment

cancer

There were 51,860 new cases of cancer diagnosed in North Carolina in 2012.  This does not include squamous or basal cell skin cancers. This number represents only 6% of all cancer diagnosis reported in the entire United States for that year.

Let’s be honest, no one ever wants to hear they have cancer.  The emotional roller coaster that particular diagnosis brings not only affects the person being diagnosed, but their families who love and care for them.  But with any illness, the next step is to plan a treatment plan designed to get yourself or your loved one healthy again.

How Chemotherapy Affects your Mouth

Chemotherapy is a common choice as a cancer treatment.  There are many chemotherapy drugs with a variety of side effects associated with that particular therapy.  Chemotherapy kills cancer cells but can be harmful to healthy cells including cells in your mouth. Not every person has the same side effects but there are some common side effects that do affect a number of people.

Side Effects Include

  • Painful mouth and gums.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Burning, peeling, or swelling tongue.
  • Infection.
  • Change in taste.

Seeing your dentist is VERY important when you’re planning to receive Chemotherapy treatment.  Making an appointment with your dentist prior to your treatments start date can help you avoid potential side effects from chemotherapy in the future.  Your dentist will make sure your mouth is in the best oral health possible prior to treatment. Many side effects happen because a persons mouth wasn’t healthy before treatment began.  Seeing your dentist won’t eliminate all side effects but potentially you will have fewer while your treatment is in process.  The goal is to try to see your dentist 1 month prior to your treatment beginning.  If that’s not possible, getting to the office sooner rather than later is recommended.  Your dentist and hygienist will also provide you with instructions to help you with your oral care while receiving your treatment.

If you have cancer and have any questions, feel free to contact the office of J.C.Duncan DDS FAGD.  We will be happy to make you an appointment and do all we can to minimize your side effects during your treatment.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

 

Do you Need to Brush your Tongue?

brushing tongue

Brushing your tongue might seem like an odd thing to do. Truth be told, it is just as important as brushing and flossing your teeth. The majority of the bacteria found in your mouth is located on your tongue and on your gums.  Brushing your teeth removes bacteria from your teeth. Without the added step of tongue brushing, the bacteria on your tongue transfers onto your teeth in a short period of time.  Incorporating Tongue Brushing into your daily routine is essential to maintaining good oral health.

Your tongue, which most consider flat, is full of rough surfaces. These rough surfaces, which are too small for the naked eye, provides a breading ground for bacteria, food and beverages to remain until removed. Brushing your tongue removes the bacteria and particles from the surface.  This removal prevents additional bacteria from spreading to your teeth and also helps to eliminate bad breath.

tongue brushing

How to Properly Brush Your Teeth

1. Tilt the brush at a 45 Degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline.

2. Gently brush the outside, inside and chewing surface of each tooth using short back and forth strokes.

3. Gently brush your tongue making sure to get the top and bottom.

If you are having issues getting the back of your tongue, tongue scrapers are available at most drug stores.

J.C. Duncan, DDS, FAGD

Address:

J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00

Energy Drinks and your Teeth

Energy Drinks Damage TeethEnergy Drinks have become an intricate part of the American culture.  More than 50 percent of teens and young adults utilize these drinks for the quick “energy fix”  that these drinks promise and provide. People are under the impression that these drinks are the miracle cure to get them through their day but research is showing this is the farthest from the truth.

energy drinks erode tooth enamel

Let’s look at the impact on just your teeth.  “A new study published in the journal General Dentistry found that energy and sports drinks contain so much acid that they start destroying teeth after only five days of consistent use.” It was always the perception that sports drinks and energy drinks were a better alternative than soda but the truth is they are not.  The acid levels in these drinks bathe the tooth in acid attacking the enamel. In addition, the sugar in these drinks turn to acid and continue to attack the enamel.

Maintain Energy Throughout your Day while protecting your teeth

There is no way around it.  Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat”.  Well it’s true. A healthy lifestyle has more benefits than just for your teeth.  To maintain good physical and oral health, follow the four steps below.

  1. Eating a healthy balanced diet is the best way to sustain energy for all human beings.
  2. Drinking plenty of water is the best way to keep your body hydrated
  3. Exercise to keep your body in top working condition
  4. Plenty of sleep to keep your body recharged.

Address:
J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry
103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101
Huntersville, NC 28078

Phone: (704) 266-1486
Fax: (704) 948-1969
Email: Click here to email our office

HOURS:
Monday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Tuesday 7:00 to 2:00
Wednesday 8:00 to 5:00 lunch 1:00 to 2:00
Thursday 7:00 to 2:00