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.

 

Swimming Pools and your Teeth

pools

 

Backyard fun with family and friends are what most people look forward too in the good weather.  Cookouts, sitting on your patio sipping ice tea are just a few of the benefits of warm summer days.  And when your hot, and the heat becomes unbearable, there is nothing better than a refreshing dip in the pool to bring your body temperature down to normal.  Now, with all the things that filter through your mind as your floating on your tube, I’m sure thinking about your teeth is probably the furthest thing from your mind.

With so many things to worry about to stay in good health, here is another tidbit to keep in mind the next time you take a dip in the pool.  A New York University College of Dentistry study showed that pool water that is too acidic can erode the enamel on your teeth very rapidly.  What is a too acidic?  A pool containing a pH balance below 7.  A properly regulated pool will have a pH level between 7.2 and 7.8.

Now for those of you who are fortunate enough to have your own pool in the backyard, it is important to test your pools pH level weakly. A pool with a low pH balance can be affecting your teeth and your families teeth without you even knowing it.  Your enamel protects your teeth and with it being eroded, this opens your mouth up to an array of dental problems.  Be proactive, avoid this issue by simply buying pH strips at your local pool supply store and test your pool regularly.

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

 

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

What happens when you don’t treat a cavity?

cavity

What is a Cavity?

Let’s start by discussing what causes a cavity. When you eat food, the bacteria in your mouth increases, creating acid.  That acid attacks the enamel on your teeth.  A cavity (which is a whole in your tooth) forms when the acid attacking your teeth creates more damage than what your tooth can repair.

Untreated Cavity

What happens when you don’t treat a cavity?  Having untreated tooth decay in your mouth is like having an untreated infection.  The decay will continue to grow and eventually damage the enamel of your tooth.  If the decay remains untreated, it will continue to burrow into your tooth possibly creating discomfort and sensitivity to hot and cold foods.  If at this point, the tooth continues to be untreated, the decay can reach the pulp of your tooth causing it to become irritated and infected. This irritation and infection can lead to an abscess which is very painful and can be potentially dangerous if left untreated.

What should you do if you have a cavity?

The best thing you can do if you suspect a cavity is to make an appointment at your dentist  office as soon as possible.  Do not wait!  Waiting to treat a cavity which has bore through the enamel and into the pulp can be a costly treatment for you.  The more damage to the tooth, the more advanced treatment, like a root canal or crown, is needed to correct the decay.

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

 

What does Obamacare, Smoking and your Teeth have in Common?

Why not to smoke-dentist, teeth- J.C. Duncan DDS

Your primary care physician, schools and media promote that smoking is bad for your health yet people continue to smoke regardless of the clear warnings.  Smoking, while highly enjoyable to the person indulging in the habit, has long lasting negative physical affects that continue to accumulate with the time vested in the smoking habit.

Smoking and your Teeth

It is common knowledge in 2013 that smoking is bad for your health but it is not as widely understood how smoking affects your teeth.  In a nut shell, your oral health has a direct impact to your overall physical health. Think of it as a game of “follow the leader”. Smoking has a direct impact to the decline of healthy teeth and gums.  Bad teeth and gums increases your risk for diseases like heart disease, diabetes, oral cancer and even Alzheimer.  As a dentist, the office of J.C. Duncan DDS promotes a smoke free life style. We have provided some reasons that we hope will appeal to our smokers to finally “kick the habit”.

Direct Affects to your Teeth and Gums Related to Smoking

  • Bad Breath
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Inflammation of the salivary gland in your mouth
  • Increased build up of plaque and tartor on the teeth
  • Increased bone loss within your jaw
  • Increased risk of developing gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss
  • Decline in your immune system- making healing from tooth extraction, periodontal treatment, or oral surgery longer as well as increases your chance of infection
  • A lower success rate of a dental implant procedure
  • Increased risk of developing oral cancer and esophogial cancer
  • Decreased effectiveness of your taste buds

How will Obamacare Affect Smokers?

If there isn’t already 100’s of reasons as to why quit smoking, here is another to add to the long list.  “Smoking and tobacco use are the only pre-existing conditions that the Affordable Care Act still allows insurers to discriminate against,” says Erika Sward, assistant vice president of national advocacy at the American Lung Association. What this means is, Obamacare provides insurance companies the option to charge higher premiums or surcharges for smokers, which in turn could make health insurance completely unaffordable or at the very least extremely costly for this group.

So if you were considering quitting, or honestly hadn’t given it a thought, the new Obamacare legislation may force you to address your smoking habit and make a decision on what will or will not work for you.

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://www.bankrate.com/finance/insurance/obamacare-health-insurance-penalizes-smokers.aspx#ixzz2i02dPpAa

Your Dental Care is Linked to Alzheimer’s

AP_ALZHEIMERS

As we live our day to day lives, we don’t typically think of diseases that could possibly affect us in our senior part of life.  However, as advocating for your own personal health becomes more essential with the advancements in medicine,  it has come to light that prevention is more possible than we originally thought!

1 out of 3 Seniors will be affected and die of Alzheimer’s or dementia.  The thought of being affected by this disease is scary as loosing the ability to manage your mind is unimaginable by most people. This non-curable disease currently affects more than 5 million people in the USA and is the 6th leading cause of death.

Common signs of moderate Alzheimer’s disease

  • Increased memory loss and confusion
  • Problems recognizing family and friends
  • Continuously repeats stories, favorite words, or motions
  • Difficulty carrying out tasks that have multiple steps, like getting dressed
  • Lack of concern for hygiene and appearance

Common signs of severe Alzheimer’s disease

  • Inability to recognize oneself or family
  • Inability to communicate
  • Lack of control of bowel and bladder
  • Groaning, moaning, or grunting
  • Needing help with all activities of daily living

Good oral health is necessary for your overall general health.  Researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the UK, discovered the presence of a bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis in the brains of patients who had dementia when they were alive. The bug is usually associated with chronic periodontal (gum) disease.  Researchers believe that this bug, once it enters the bloodstream goes to the brain triggering an immune response that kills neurons causing memory loss.

Good oral maintenance is essential for good oral health  and as studies suggest, the prevention of Alzheimer’s.  Regular check-ups at your dentist is something you should not ignore.  Brushing twice a day, flossing and regular checkups at the office of J.C. Duncan DDS FAGD is essential to maintaining that health.

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

Sugar and Spice but Sugar Might not be so Nice

fruits and veg

As a young adult, we tend to indulge ourselves with burgers, fries, soda, and a montage of other heart stopping, over indulgent foods without thought. We are always told, “You are what you eat”.  But what does that really mean and why?

Maintaining a healthy diet is the key to a long life and active life style.  Our body’s require nutrients from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, fish and dairy products.  Many of our “fast foods”, while satisfying our hunger urge,  lack the nutritional requirements our body’s need while adding unnecessary calories to our diet.  Without the appropriate minerals and vitamins being feed into the body, your body can feel sluggish causing a number of problems short term and long term.

Most people don’t consider their teeth into the healthy eating equation.  Foods high in sugar create an acid that attacks the enamel on your teeth.  Products with fructose or high fructose corn syrup( a sugar)  which is found in a number of processed foods create the same effect as sugar.  Fructose can be found in many breakfast cereals, breads, cookies, soda, crackers, dairy products, and so on.

So what can you do to help your body and your teeth?  Try substituting a bag of chips or that cupcake for a healthier option. Also regular brushing and flossing after every meal is recommended.  Below is a list of 5 Foods to help keep your teeth and body healthy.

  • 1. Cheese–  low in sugar and acid and high in calcium
  • 2. Fresh Raw Vegetables– fresh veggies are good for teeth because their fibrous nature requires chewing
  • 3. Fresh Fruit– , Fresh Fruits are good for teeth because their fibrous nature requires chewing like vegetables
  • 4. Yogurt– Contains calcium and phosphates that re-mineralize the teeth
  • 5. Sesame Oil– Sesame seeds are thought to reduce plaque and help re-mineralize tooth enamel

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

The End for Dentures?

NOT QUITE YET.  However, teeth that grow back again for alligators could, in the view of researchers, eventually reveal a way for humans to grow a third set of teeth after their adult teeth decay.

alligator teeth

The teeth of reptiles and mammals are not that different, except that alligators have teeth that replace themselves. It might one day be possible to stimulate the growth of new teeth in people, according to the research team of Dr. Cheng-Ming Chuong at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

At the moment, he cautions, such a vision remains scarcely more than an idea.

When humans lose their baby teeth to be replaced by permanent ones, they lose their capability for renewing teeth. Reptiles such as snakes, geckos and alligators retain this capability. In fact, alligators regularly lose their teeth, and each year, about one tooth in 10 is replaced by a new one.

In the course of an alligator’s life, each of the 80 individual teeth can be regenerated up to 50 times, the researchers reported in the science journal PNAS.

Dr. Chuong and his colleagues undertook a more precise study of the teeth of alligator embryos and of young alligators.

They say that in reptiles, each tooth is comprised of three components – a functional tooth, a replacement tooth, and a special tissue layer or dental lamina. In humans, too, the baby teeth and permanent teeth emerge from the dental lamina.

When an alligator loses one of its teeth, the replacement unit moves forward: the reserve tooth develops into a fully-grown one, the lamina becomes the next reserve tooth and a tissue layer splits away to form what will become the next dental lamina.

In addition, the researchers discovered a kind of socket area at the end of the dental lamina. They believe that this serves as a collection point for stem cells. They also identified the molecules which play an important role in regulating the tooth regeneration process of reptiles.

In the meantime, we still have Dentures.

Contact J.C. Duncan Family Dentistry with any of your oral health concerns.

103 Commerce Center Drive Suite 101

Huntersville, NC 28078 Phone: (704) 948-1300

http://www.lakenormandental.com/