Having been a dental hygienist, the day I walked into Dr Tanya Brown's office, I knew I was in good hands. I am so proud of my new smile & I receive compliments all the time.

– Candy

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Dry Mouth – Not Just a Nuisance

Restorative Dentist Chesapeake

Chesapeake Cosmetic DentistNormal flow of saliva provides lubrication for swallowing and begins the process of digestion while you chew. Saliva also protects your teeth by neutralizing and washing away acids, sugars, and other particles left behind after eating. From time to time, we all experience some amount of dry mouth. Hot weather, exercise, and dehydration can all cause a temporary decrease in saliva production. However, if you have chronic dry mouth, or Xerostomia, you could be at risk of serious oral health complications

Some of the oral health issues commonly associated with dry mouth include:

  • Much higher rates of tooth decay
  • Oral yeast infection
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Constant sore throat
  • Soft tissue infections
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Discomfort with your Dentures/Partials

The most common cause of chronic dry mouth is medication. More than 400 over-the-counter and prescription medications include dry mouth as a frequent side effect. Dry mouth is also associated with stress, autoimmune and other systemic diseases, hormonal changes, radiation or chemotherapy treatment for cancers, and salivary gland disease.

You may find relief from dry mouth through a variety of methods. Some easy options to help alleviate your dry mouth include:

  • Increased water intake
  • Sugar-free candies or gum, including Xylitol as an added benefit to prevent the bacterial biofilm from forming
  • Artificial saliva, as recommended by your Physician or Dr. Tanya Brown
  • Alcohol-free mouthwash, like Oxyfresh or Listerine Total Care Zero
  • Limiting alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated soft drinks
  • Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your home
  • Change in medication, only as directed by your physician

Dr. Tanya Brown & her team recommend that you Brush and floss regularly to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other complications. We will customize your at-home Oral Hygiene regimen when you are in the office, and we will give you a printed copy to take home.

If you are experiencing dry mouth, make an appointment and be sure to tell our team. We will review your medications and perform a thorough dental exam to check for any potential underlying oral health issues.

For more information about dry mouth, contact Dr. Tanya Brown at 757-546-5262. You can also get more information on our website at https://tccrd.com/dental-hygiene/

Are Your Drinks Attacking Your Teeth?

Cosmetic Dentist Chesapeake

Chesapeake Restorative DentistIf carbonated soft drinks or energy drinks are part of your normal daily routine, you may be causing serious damage to your teeth. Recent studies have found soft drinks and energy drinks to be among the most potent dietary causes of tooth decay. Soft drinks and energy drinks have also been implicated in increases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Before you shop for beverages this week, consider a few things you should know about soft drinks and other energy drinks.

Most soft drinks and energy drinks contain substantial amounts of sugars, which interact with the bacteria in your mouth. This interaction produces a form of acid that can damage your teeth for about 20 minutes. Each time you take a drink, you reset that time window. If you consume throughout the day, you are essentially bathing your teeth in ACID AND SUGAR for hours.

Most soft drinks and energy drinks contain acids, as well. Even sugar-free varieties contain acids that can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Colas and citrus-flavored soft drinks/energy drinks tend to have the highest levels of acid. Remember back to Chemistry class and pH levels range on a scale of 1-14, with a pH of 7 is neutral. Battery acid has a pH of 1, and stomach acid has a pH of 2. Some common juices, beverages including lime juice, lemon juice, Sunny delight, Gatorade Clear, Cherry Coke, Capri Sun, Powerade, Mellow Yellow have a pH ranging from 2-2.8, which means that all of these drinks are almost as acidic as Stomach acid! Over time, this weakening of tooth enamel has a cumulative effect. This can lead to decay and even tooth loss if not addressed in early stages.

Obviously, the best solution is to stop consuming carbonated soft drinks. However, it can be a difficult habit to break. Dr. Tanya Brown and her team have developed some tips to help reduce your risks of tooth damage from these beverages:

  • Drink in moderation. Too much sugar and acid will eventually cause damage.
  • Try sparkling water. This provides the fizzy sensation without all the sugar and acid.
  • Drink more water. You will crave soft drinks less when you are fully hydrated.
  • Don’t sip on beverages all day long. The longer you spend drinking, the more time sugars and acids are reacting with your teeth.
  • Use a straw. This can help keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth.
  • Rinse with water after drinking to dilute acids and sugars.
  • Don’t brush immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes for acids to be neutralized by saliva before brushing.
  • Practice good dental hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Tanya Brown & her team.

Carbonated soft drinks can be harmful to your oral and overall health. Be mindful of how often you consume them and consider reducing or stopping your use of these dangerous beverages.

For more oral health tips or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Tanya Brown at 757-546-5262. You can go to our website for more tips on oral hygiene at https://tccrd.com/dental-hygiene/

We want to keep you smiling!

Connected Health: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Cosmetic Dentist in Chesapeake

Dentist in ChesapeakeFor decades, scientists have been studying the links between periodontal (gum) disease and heart disease. Over the years, research has continued to find strong correlations between these two inflammatory conditions. While there is work yet to be done, we have already discovered connections that may influence how we approach health care in the future. Consider a few key components of the gum disease – heart disease relationship.

Gum disease and heart disease share many of the same risk factors. Some of these include smoking, obesity, stress, nutrition, and more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70% of Americans aged 65 and older currently have periodontitis – the most advanced form of gum disease. Recent studies have suggested that patients with heart disease may have increased likelihood of developing gum disease as well.

Likewise, gum disease increases your risk of heart disease. This may be due to the higher rates of inflammation in your body that occur with gum disease. If you already have a heart condition, gum disease may worsen your illness. One study published in 2015 noted an increase in the severity of heart attacks in patients with gum disease. Heart disease is currently the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.

Treating gum disease may decrease your odds of contracting or worsening heart disease. A study published in 2014 found that patients who were treated for gum disease had fewer hospitalizations and lower health care costs related to heart disease. While more research is needed to determine the exact nature of this connection, it is clear that avoiding or treating gum disease can be considered an important part of prevention and treatment for heart disease, as well.

You can reduce your risk of serious health complications from heart disease or gum disease. Healthy diet, regular exercise, good dental hygiene, and avoiding tobacco can all help reduce to your risk of developing one or both of these conditions. See your doctor and our dentist regularly for preventive care and treatment.

To schedule your periodontal screening, contact our office today.