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Did you know the state of your mouth, gums, and teeth is a major indicator of potential health issues and your dentist can identify these concerns in a routine checkup?

You may dread visiting your dentist, but they are an important resource in identifying the state of your overall wellness. While good dental hygiene can help prevent tooth decay and bad breath, there may be some underlying health conditions or habits that are getting in the way of an effective oral hygiene routine.

But help is on the way!

Heroes Dental has expanded. We now have more offices than ever not across the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas. Plus, we even offer more services now. With locations in Laredo, Mission, San Juan, Pharr, and Edinburg and services ranging from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, we are prepared to help you and your family achieve those perfect smiles.

Consider the following as you prepare for your next checkup with Heroes Dental.   

Staining, Plaque Build Up, and an Unfavorable Diet

Your dietary intake can directly affect the state of your dental health.

High or frequent consumption of drinks like coffee, tea, dark soda and wine can stain the enamel of your teeth over time. Reducing your intake of some of these drinks – like coffee – may not be realistic for you, but there are still ways to decrease staining.

For one, you can reduce the number of times that these liquids are exposed to your teeth by drinking through a straw. Rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth after eating or consuming one of these beverages will also help minimize staining.

It’s also important to remember that certain foods when consumed in excess in combination with poor dental hygiene habits may cause serious damage to your teeth. Particularly sugary or sour candies and starchy processed foods.

The sugars released from the foods you eat cause the bacteria in your teeth to release acids that harm the enamel of your teeth. When the enamel is damaged significantly, cavities develop.

Maintaining a good dental hygiene routine is paramount in reducing the probability of staining, plaque buildup, and cavity formation.

Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to avoid tooth decay and more serious oral conditions. Schedule your dental visits every six months to one year for prevention and management.

Bruxism, Stress, and Anxiety

 

It may seem like an odd notion, but your teeth may reveal if you’re significantly stressed. One of the causes of bruxism, which is a medical term for teeth grinding or jaw clenching, may be stress or anxiety. Bruxism is also an indicator for sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea.

In individuals who grind their teeth, over time the surface of their teeth get worn down and become flat. The continued stress on the enamel of the teeth, which occurs most often during sleep hours, can cause serious pain and damage.

If you find you are grinding your teeth because of some significant stressors in your life, the best thing you can do is talk to your dentist about using a night guard. A night guard will prevent you from grinding your teeth and clenching your jaw while you sleep. You may also want to consider starting an exercise routine or seek counseling to decrease or manage your stress and anxiety.

Gum Disease and Diabetes or Pre-diabetes

While the relationship is not fully understood, poor gum status and diabetes have been shown to be associated. A web article published by Colgate in conjunction with the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that dentists have the opportunity to identify diabetes and pre-diabetes in patients during dental visits.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is considered an early complication of diabetes. In fact, according to a journal article published in Diabetologia, susceptibility to periodontitis in people with diabetes is increased threefold. But the relationship between these two conditions seems to be double-sided. While diabetes may increase the risk of gum disease, having some sort of chronic gum inflammation may negatively impact the body’s ability to control blood glucose levels.

The signs and symptoms of the early stages of periodontal disease can be identified by a dentist. You know your body best. If you feel something unusual is happening with your teeth and gums, don’t hesitate in visiting your dentist.

Unusual signs and symptoms that may be indicators of gum disease include pain, bleeding gums, swelling, enamel erosion, and broken or loose teeth.

Poor Dental Hygiene and Excessive Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol intake can be easily detected by a dentist when a patient’s breath is laden with the scent of alcohol. But, alcohol abuse may also result in poor oral hygiene habits which can be identified by a dentist.

A study released in the Journal of Periodontology revealed various insights relating alcohol abuse to oral health. In persons who excessively drink and do not have gum disease, there was a higher incidence of plaque compared to non-drinkers.

This may be attributed to a decreased production of saliva as well as dryness of the mouth that is a result of excessive alcohol intake. The risk of gum disease increased with drinking frequency, too.  

Enamel Erosion and Eating Disorders

 

While teeth erosion may result from genetic or congenital conditions as well as acid reflux, a behavioral condition may be the culprit in some cases.

Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, may be diagnosed or detected by a dentist before a medical doctor or mental health provider has been seen.

Purging behavior, which is a notable sign of these eating disorders, causes gastric acid to come into contact with the teeth quite frequently. This means the enamel of the teeth and the dentine can suffer severe erosion. This erosion is generally found on the backside of the teeth.

At Heroes Dental we care about your teeth and your overall health.


We know it may not be easy to cut some of your favorite foods and drinks from your life but making the right decision can mean better overall dental and physical health.

Another essential part of good dental hygiene is to never miss your routine dental checkups. Heroes Dental offers a full range of services, including general dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and even pediatric services for little heroes across the Rio Grande Valley.

Make sure to visit us this summer to keep your pearly whites in mint condition.

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