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Diet plays a big role in the maintenance of our teeth and gums. Many people are unaware of what foods are bad for our dental health. Did you know that carbohydrates are really just sugars in disguise? Luckily, our oral bacteria is unable to properly break down complex carbohydrates. However, simple sugars (monosaccharides) and links of simple sugars (disaccharides) can be broken down. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria break down these sugars producing acid as a byproduct. The acid sits on and between our teeth dissolving our teeth causing tooth decay.

Sugars That Cause Tooth Decay

Sucrose. Also known as common table sugar (also sometimes called saccharose). Sucrose is found in most candy, is the sweetest of all the sugars, and is broken down by Streptococcus Mutans.  S.Mutans is able to uniquely break down sucrose into dextran. Dextran acts as the glue for the bacteria to stick to teeth as well as act as a reserve food source for the bacteria. This glue makes dental plaque stickier and harder to remove. Sucrose is found in sugar cane, maple trees, and sugar beets.

Fructose. This sugar is found in nature in many fruits (berries, melons) and root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes). Fructose is not as sweet as Sucrose. Where Fructose becomes a problem for our teeth is when it is concentrated as high fructose corn syrup. At that point it becomes far sweeter than sucrose, sticky, and easily broken down by bacteria to cause decay. High fructose syrup is widely used due to its cheapness and its liquid form. Low cost makes it far easier to use in many commercial products.

Glucose. This is the main energy source of our body. All of the other sugars ingested are broken down into glucose by the body. Glucose is broken down by bacteria as well and will cause  our teeth to decay.

Lactose. Also known as milk sugar. It is found in many dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheeses). This is one of the rare sugars that is not sweet to the taste but it can still be broken down by our oral bacteria to produce acid in our mouths and lead to decay. In infants, milk left pooled in the mouth by sleeping with a bottle, can cause decay and thrush.

Maltose. Commonly found in bread, rice, cereals, and beer. Beer is especially dangerous as it contains sugar and is acidic. A detrimental combination for our teeth. Maltose, like lactose, does not taste very sweet.

Avoid Sugars?

Avoiding sugar in today’s modern world is quite impossible for many. As you can see above, sugars come in many forms and in a variety of foods. The key as always should be to take in sugars in moderation, and use thorough oral hygiene techniques. It is important to note that sucrose, has little nutritional benefit. Sucrose (white table sugar) should be ingested in moderation. Lactose, natural fructose, and maltose are found in products important to a good healthy diet so they obviously will not be avoided if we wish to be healthy.

Tips to Minimize Dangers From Sugar

Moderation. Ingest sugars in moderation.

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene. If you are eating lots of sugar be sure to brush if you can immediately following to remove and dissolve the majority of the byproduct acids. If you cannot brush, rinse thoroughly with water following eating sugars, and chew sugar free gum.

Drink Water. This will lessen effects of acidic attack on our teeth.

Conclusion

Let’s face it, most of us are not going to hold to a strict sugar free diet so it is important to maintain good oral hygiene. This is doubly important for children who tend to eat more candies than  adults. As always remember to visit your dentist regularly for dental examinations and professional cleanings.




Oil Pulling Therapy – is an ancient medicinal technique that involves swishing special oils in the mouth. It is mentioned in ancient literature describing oil pulling therapy as capable of both improving oral health and treating systemic diseases such as diabetes, sinus infection, or asthma. There is little to no scientific evidence backing these claims but there have been a few oil pulling therapy studies that have shown a reduction in dental plaque, bad breath, and even gingivitis.

Oil Pulling Therapy Procedure

Oil pulling therapy involves rinsing the mouth with one tablespoon of oil.  Sesame oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil  are the most recommended. The oils have antibacterial properties.When you rinse with oil, you should move the oil slowly through the mouth so as to cover all surfaces. This swishing and rinsing should be done for about 5-20 minutes. The theory behind this is that as the oil is travelling around it is ‘pulling’ toxins, bacteria and waste from inside the mouth and body and collecting it in the oil so that it can be removed from the body. As you continue to rinse and swish the oil becomes thinner and thinner. If the oil is still yellowish in color, it has not been pulled for a long enough period of time. When completed, you should rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

The oil pulling /swishing is done best before breakfast for healing, before bed for dry mouth issues. To accelerate the healing process, it can be repeated three times a day,  before meals. The oil will help prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth when you do eat your meal, and will help moisten and protect oral tissues when suffering from dry mouth. It has also been known to help keep teeth whiter. If you are using oil at night to help with dryness, brush and floss first, then try swishing for a short period of time and swallowing to hydrate the throat.

Dental Uses For Oil Pulling Therapy

Oil pulling therapy has been used for many years as a natural remedy to prevent the following:

Tooth Decay.

Gingivitis (bleeding gums).

-Halitosis (Bad breath).

-Stained Teeth.

-Dry Mouth.

-Dry Throat.

-Chapped Lips.

-Sinus Infections.

Oil Pulling Therapy Side Effects

The act of Oil Pulling is completely harmless and doesn’t have any adverse side effects that are known. There have been reports of gagging when first beginning oil pulling therapy but many seem to get over that after the first couple of uses. You should always thoroughly wash your mouth out and brush your teeth after oil pulling therapy to reduce toxins, but not at night as it will help keep the mouth hydrated. It is also a good idea to spit the oil in the trash  rather than your sink as oil residue can build up in the sink and drain.

Conclusion

To date there has been little to no scientific studies regarding oil pulling therapy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. The therapy has been around for centuries, and used by many. Once you get past the initial odd feeling of swishing oil, it becomes easier to do. It is a good option to try when other more traditional therapies are not working, or you prefer natural therapies.



We have all experienced the dreaded foul taste associated with orange juice after brushing. Most adults are aware of this phenomenon but many kids have yet to experience the displeasure firsthand. The question arises, why does tooth brushing change our tastes so dramatically to be able to turn sweet orange juice into a bitter tasting drink?

Main ToothPaste Ingredients

Toothpaste is generally in the form of a paste or a gel that serves the main purpose, of cleaning and maintaining our teeth and gums. Toothpaste has the ability to be abrasive, in order to remove light staining as well as dental plaque from around our teeth. Today, there are also many toothpastes to serve other roles, including teeth whitening, to relieve tooth sensitivity, and to relieve bad breath. These toothpastes use many different ingredients to specifically fit your dental needs and preferences. So what are the main ingredients of toothpaste?

-Abrasives – These ingredients make up the majority of most toothpastes (usually very close to 50%). These abrasives work to physically remove plaque and light stain. Some tooth pastes used white mica as their abrasive. White mica is a very mild abrasive and also gives tooth paste its trademark shimmer in the light. Many other brands use baking soda as an abrasive.

Fluoride – The addition of fluoride to toothpaste gives the added benefit in replacing weaker ions with stronger fluoride ions in enamel. There are different types of fluoride used and these include Sodium Fluoride (most common), stannous fluoride, olaflur, and sodium monophosphate. In studies, it has been shown that stannous fluoride is  effective  in decreasing tooth decay and also controlling gingivitis and sensitivity.

-Surfactants (detergents) – Most toothpastes contain an ingredient known to cause the very familiar  foaming action. This ingredient is called sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and is also found in other personal hygiene products like shampoo. The foaming action increases a toothpastes effective cleaning power. Surfactants also help to remove plaque and stains and form a slippery barrier so that it is more difficult for plaque to adhere.

Other Ingredients – These can include antibacterial agents (like triclosan or zinc chloride), tooth enamel remineralizers (like calcium phosphate), and flavorants (like peppermint or spearmint).

Which Ingredient Is The Culprit?

It is believed that we perceive flavors based on interactions between taste molecules and the receptors on our tongues. Different molecules will interact with different receptors ( bitter, salty, sweet, etc.). The culprit in tooth paste is believed to be Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). SLS has been known to suppress the receptors in your mouth responsible for the taste of sweets. It has also been found to destroy phosholipids. Phospholipids act as inhibitors to your bitter receptors. So, the theory is that by inhibiting sweet receptors and destroying phospholipids, SLS is able to dull the sweetness and promotes the bitter taste in orange juice.

SLS is found in about 99% of all toothpastes sold in the world today. It is believed that this foaming detergent is also responsible for giving people canker sores. Patients who have found that switching to an SLS free toothpaste helps reduce the number of canker sores they get over time.

Mint oil is also a culprit. Mint is a very strong flavor, it can easily overpower the subtleties of orange juice flavor.

Conclusion

Now you finally have an answer to that question that has been in the back of your mind all of these years! Now that you know why orange juice and toothpaste taste so bad together, try to remind yourself that it is better to brush after breakfast than before. Remember to practice good oral hygiene daily as well as visiting your dentist regularly to maintain a healthy and bright smile.

Recent research has uncovered that humans from the stone age had healthier teeth than modern man. Even though dentistry was limited back then, it is believed thatCosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS dietary factors helped stone age humans maintain their oral health. As man has evolved and industrialized our world it has changed many things including the way we eat.

As we went from a hunter society and began industrialized farming some 150 years ago, the makeup of our oral bacteria has changed slowly. With the introduction of processed sugars and flours to our diet, researchers have seen a dramatic decrease in the diversity of our oral bacteria. This has allowed cavity causing strains to dominate the oral cavity.

Research Study Findings

The research team examined 34 prehistoric skeletons from northern European human skeletons. They gathered the DNA for testing from calcified dental plaque that was found on the subjects teeth. They used these samples to enable them to analyze how the oral bacteria has changed from stone age times all the way up to modern human times. As human society has evolved, they were able to show a negative impact on our dental health.

Further research is now being undertaken to include other time periods to see what changes happened in those times as well.

How To Stop Periodontal Disease and Tooth Decay?

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is not very difficult but it needs to become a habit and performed on a daily basis. Below are some tips to maintain good oral health:

Brush Twice a Day – We should all strive to brush our teeth for a minimum of 2 times per day for 2-3 minutes each time. Preferably, following every meal but that is not always possible.

Dental Hygiene Marielaina Perrone DDSFlossing – This is very important to reach those areas that brushing along cannot reach. Flossing regularly will lead to healthier checkups over your entire life.

Use An Antibacterial Rinse – Another tool that can help reach areas that brushing and flossing cannot. Using a good rinse will also lower the numbers of harmful bacteria in the mouth thus decreasing chances of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Maintain regular dental visits – for a thorough dental examination and professional cleanings.

Conclusion

The important note to remember is to maintain good oral hygiene regimen along with regular visits to the dentist to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. We live in a modern age with modern tools to combat anything that comes our way.