Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Another reason you should be drinking more water....

As if you even needed one, right?
     By now we all know that drinking enough water is essential for good health,  but you might not have known how important it is for your teeth.  Here are a few ways that drinking water is helping improve your dental health
Image result for crazy  water drinking
1)  Water neutralizes acids. Acids are the mortal enemy of tooth structure, and the bacteria that cause cavities and periodontal disease LOVE an acidic environment.  Many of the things we like to drink are acidic to some degree, and they acidify the entire mouth even after we have finished them.   Soda, coffee, tea, orange juice, wine and (heaven help us) energy drinks like Red Bull are some of the worst offenders.  Water, on the other hand, has a PH of 7.4, which is neutral and non-acidic. When you finish off your meal with a glass of water, you're diluting and neutralizing a good portion of these acids, before they have a chance to harm your teeth.
2)  Saliva production.  Saliva is more than just the stuff that helps us chew and swallow our food. It actually contains lots of Calcium, and also antibodies from our immune system that help fight off bacteria.  A dry mouth is an invitation to tooth decay and gum disease. Staying properly hydrated is critical to maintaining the proper salivary composition and production.
Image result for glamorous close up smile3)  Fluoride.  When I sit down in a restaurant and the server asks me what kind of water I want, I always say "tap water". They might just think I'm too cheap to spring for the bottled water, But tap water contains trace amounts of Fluoride (in most of the country anyway) which strengthens tooth enamel and increases its resistance to acid attack.  Some folks think fluoride is only helpful when we're children, Not true. At any age, fluoridated drinking water is an important weapon in our anti-cavity utility belt.
4)  Water.....the universal cleaning solution. Whenever you want to clean anything, water is probably involved. Whether you want to clean a blackboard, or a car.....or even your teeth, you're not going to get very far without water. When we drink water, the very act of swishing it around our mouths loosens and washes down residual bits of food, decreasing the rate of plaque and tartar formation.
      Your teeth are incredibly valuable. (just ask anyone who has lost a few of theirs) You can help protect them by making sure you drink enough water.  Wouldn't a tall glass of refreshing ice water hit the spot right now?  Best of all.....water is FREE !

Monday, April 2, 2018

SNORING...... It isn't just annoying. It really is a true health hazard.

      Do you or someone you love snore?  It could be more than just an annoyance. It could be a warning sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a chronic obstructive breathing disorder with long term health consequences.
     We've all heard people snoring loudly (just ask my long suffering wife). It is a loud and penetrating sound. It can be amazing that the snorer himself (or herself) can actually sleep through it. Approximately 45 percent of adults snore and around half that number are habitual snorers. A quarter of those habitual snorers suffer from some degree of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
      Obstructive sleep apnea happens when the tongue falls back and partly or completely blocks the trachea during sleep. This forces your diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway and pull air into the lungs. After a short pause,  breathing often resumes with a loud gasp, snort, or cough. This can happen many times each hour you sleep. You may not sleep well, but you probably won't be aware that this is happening. It can affect your blood pressure or neurological functioning, and can increase your risk for heart attack or stroke.

      If you think you or your partner might be suffering from OSA, please discuss it with your physician or dentist. There are several types of treatment that can be effective depending on the individual.  Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machines (CPAP) are like little oxygen masks that apply just enough pressure to open the blocked airway. They are the most effective treatment, but not everyone can get comfortable sleeping with them. For other people, oral appliances or surgery may solve the problem.
DON'T suffer in silence. Talk to your doctor and get a sleep study done so the condition can be properly diagnosed, and if necessary, treated.