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At Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for…great family and friends to share the holiday with, good health, and good food. Our Thanksgiving traditions center around a bountiful, hearty meal. This Thanksgiving we will all sit down to a bountiful feast but did you know not only can it be delicious but also healthy for your teeth and gums? A delicious Thanksgiving feast can include various vitamins and nutrients that are important to our oral health. These include Vitamins A, C, D, phosphorous, and calcium. Eating a nutritious meal will benefit not only your oral health but your entire health as a whole.

Best Thanksgiving Foods to Eat for Good Oral Health

-Turkey is high in phosphorous. The phosphorous is not only healthy for developing teeth but can actually help rebuild and re mineralize teeth and bones of the jaw.

-Sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients including vitamins A, C, and B6. Sweet potatoes are thought to be much healthier and nutritious than regular white potatoes as they are digested faster by the body.

-Green and winter vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C. These vitamins are important for gum health and repair of periodontal diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis).

-Cranberries contain flavonoids. These can prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming plaque. Bacteria (and their acid byproducts) are responsible tooth decay and periodontal disease. Most cranberry side dishes contain high amounts of sugar. Try sweetening with agave, stevia, or splenda.

-Pumpkin pies are loaded with vitamin C and Calcium. Vitamins that are important for gum health and developing teeth and maintenance of bones. Remember, pies have high sugar, so make sure to brush after!

Health for your entire body including your smile starts with good nutrition and prevention. We all have so much to be thankful for, so let’s hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!!

Maintaining strong bones and teeth is something we all need to do over the course of our lives. Most people think that all that requires is consuming more milk. That is

Nutrition Marielaina Perrone DDS

Eat Right For A Healthy Body and Teeth!

simply not the case as many different nutrients and vitamins are needed to maintain bones and teeth. Luckily, most of those nutrients can be found in common everyday foods.

Vitamins Needed For Healthy Teeth

-Calcium – This is the one we all know we need. But did you know that calcium also aids in blood clotting, transmission of nerve impulses, as well as the regulation of your heart’s rhythm. Calcium is an essential nutrient your body needs and if it does not get enough of it, your body will pull it from your bones. Calcium comes from many sources. These include dairy products (milk and cheese), dark leafy greens and even dried beans. Adults up to age 50 should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium and adults over 50 should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium

-Vitamin D – Vitamin D and calcium are partners in building strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D is needed to help your body absorb calcium. Unfortunately, vitamin D is not easily found in everyday foods. You can get your daily intake of vitamin D from fortified foods, spending a few minutes in the sun each day, or from supplements.

-Vitamin C - Your bones, teeth and the connective tissues surrounding each tooth all contain large amounts of collagen, a type of protein. Getting enough vitamin C helps your body produce collagen and helps to ensure that you can maintain the health of collagen-rich tissues. Vitamin C deficiencies weaken your bones and teeth, and people with severe vitamin C deficiency often experience tooth loss. Most fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, so include fresh or frozen produce in every meal to fight vitamin C deficiency.

-Vitamin A - Vitamin A is important for bone growth, cell reproduction and repair. The most common sources for vitamin A are animal products, dairy, and colorful fruits and vegetables.

-Vitamin E - Recent studies have found that individuals with periodontal disease have low levels of vitamin E in their gum tissue. The link between vitamin E and periodontal disease is still not completely understood, but eating foods rich in vitamin E helps increase your overall levels of this vitamin and might help maintain healthy Nutrition Marielaina Perrone DDSbones and teeth. Eat almonds, avocado and olive and canola oils as sources of vitamin E.

Excellent Sources of Food For Bone Health

-Yogurt - Most people get their vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, but certain foods, like yogurt, are fortified with vitamin D. One cup of yogurt can be a creamy way to get your daily calcium. Stonyfield Farms makes a fat-free plain yogurt that contains 30% of your calcium and 20% of your vitamin D for the day. And though we love the protein-packed Greek yogurts, these varieties tend to contain less calcium and little, if any, vitamin D.

-Milk - There’s a reason milk is the poster child for calcium. Eight ounces of fat-free milk will cost you 90 calories, but provide you with 30% of your daily dose of calcium. Choose a brand fortified with vitamin D to get double the benefits.

-Cheese – Just because cheese is full of calcium doesn’t mean you need to eat it in excess (packing on the pounds won’t help your joints!). Just 1.5 ounces (think a set of dice) of cheddar cheese contains more than 30% of your daily value of calcium, so enjoy in moderation. Most cheeses contain a small amount of vitamin D, but not enough to put a large dent in your daily needs.

-Sardines – These tiny fish, often found in cans, have surprisingly high levels of both vitamin D and calcium. Though they may look a bit odd, they have a savory taste that can be delicious in pastas, salads, and even as topping on pizza.

-Eggs - Though eggs only contain 6% of your daily vitamin D, they’re a quick and easy way to get it. Just don’t opt for egg whites—they may cut calories, but the vitamin D is in the yolk.

-Salmon - Salmon is known for having plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but a 3-ounce piece of sockeye salmon contains more than 100% of your vitamin D. So eat up for your heart and your bones.

-Spinach - One cup of cooked spinach contains almost 25% of your daily calcium, plus fiber, iron, and vitamin A.

-Fortified Cereal - Certain cereals—like Kashi U Black Currants and Walnuts, Total Whole Grain, and Wheaties—contain up to 25% of your daily vitamin D. When you do notNutrition Marielaina Perrone DDS have time to cook salmon or get out in the sun, cereals can be a tasty way to get your vitamin D.

-Tuna - Tuna, another fatty fish, is a good source of vitamin D. Three ounces of canned tuna contains 154 IU, or about 39% of your daily dose of the sunshine vitamin.

-Collared Greens - Like spinach, this leafy green often enjoyed south of the Mason-Dixon line is full of calcium. One cup of cooked collards contains more than 25% of your daily calcium.

-Orange Juice - A glass of orange juice does not have calcium or vitamin D, but it is often fortified to contain these nutrients. Try Tropicana’s Calcium + Vitamin D to get a boost of these essentials.  Also, studies have shown that the ascorbic acid in OJ may help with calcium absorption, so you may be more likely to get the benefits of this fortified drink.

Conclusion

Maintaining healthy bones and teeth requires attention to what we eat. It is never too early to start as studies have shown that women who maintain proper nutrition levels at earlier ages have less bone density issues as they age. As always see your dentist regularly for dental examinations, oral cancer screenings, and professional cleanings to keep your teeth their healthiest.

What many people don’t realize, is that a tooth has nerves and blood vessels just like the rest of our body. A tooth is “vital” or alive. There are reasons why a tooth can become non vital, or dead. ItCosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDS is not always easy to tell, and sometimes can be quite painful.

A dead tooth is simply a tooth that no longer has access to nutrients and blood flow. Our teeth are composed of three layers: the enamel, the dentin and the nerve or “pulp”. A healthy tooth has living cells and tissue inside.This living tissue plays a role in the development of the teeth. The nerve is the part of the tooth that can sense temperature, when you drink or eat something really cold or hot. It can also sense how hard you are biting into something, and feel pain.

All the blood vessels and nerve fibers are located in the pulp and this means that when the pulp is dead, then the tooth is dies as well. What can happen if a tooth becomes non vital, and why does it die?

What Causes a Tooth To Die?

The two main causes are:

-Tooth Decay - Tooth decay or a bacterial infection, when left untreated, will begin to invade deeper into the tooth eventually penetrating through enamel and into the second layer, the dentin. When the decay or infection reaches deep inside the tooth, the cells of the pulp try to fight it off by triggering the inflammatory process. This includes action by the white blood cells. Pus develops when some of the white blood cells die during the battle against the infection. If the infection is not treated at this stage, all the white blood cells will die and the blood flow will stop completely.When this occurs, tooth sensitivity is usually the first sign of trouble and this sensitivity will eventually reach the pulp and results in a severe toothache.

-Dental Trauma – This can occur from traumatic injuries, falls, severe grinding and clenching, biting into very hard objects, and sometimes idiopathic internal resorption (a tooth self destructs from the inside out for no apparent reason) . When dental trauma occurs, the blood supply can be severed immediately, resulting in the pulp dying off. Sometimes it is a slow progressive breakdown as teeth wear and crack from bad oral habits. Prevention is the key whenever possible. This is why sports mouth guards are recommended for all contact sports activities. Nightguards are recommended for clenchers and grinders. Extremely hard foods should be avoided such as popcorn kernels, corn nuts, and the mouth should not be used in place of tools such as scissors or a bottle opener.

Signs and Symptoms

It can be very difficult to identify a dead tooth just by looking at it and that is another reason why it’s important to visit a dentist regularly. It is possible to have no symptoms when a tooth becomes non vital. However, a non-vital tooth may exhibit some a tell tale symptom like turning darker. This discoloration is usually the dead pulp becoming visible. Another sign of a non-vital tooth is an unexplained swelling, or a raised white pimple like area. These signs are normally a result of a periodontal abscess, caused by periodontal disease or injury, which can rupture and produce an infection in the gums and mouth. A dead tooth will eventually become loose due to the destruction of surrounding bone by the infection process. It can also produce a foul odor and even more severe pain.

Cosmetic Dentist Marielaina Perrone DDSTreatment Of A Dead Tooth

Many patients will ask, “If the tooth is dead why not just leave it alone?”.Simply put, the dead tissue in the pulp chamber will become a breeding ground for bacteria. If left untreated, an abscess can occur along with pain and discomfort. There are usually two options for treatment of a non vital tooth:

-Extraction – A tooth extraction can be performed if the tooth is not savable, or it can be chosen due to finances becoming an issue. A tooth extraction is usually the least expensive option but it can also can leave other issues on the long term horizon (such as tooth shifting, cosmetic and functional issues). Once extracted, tooth replacement can be done using a dental implant, a fixed bridge, or a removable denture.

-Root Canal Therapy -  This procedure is performed when a patient chooses to save the tooth. Root canal therapy allows the dentist to clean out the dead tissue and infection, ridding of the decayed part of the pulp. This will allow the dentist to rebuild on the sterile tooth to return full form and function. With today’s modern technology, root canal therapy can be a painless and comfortable experience and, if done early, can save a tooth by preventing further infection and subsequent tooth loss. The procedure usually begins with anesthesia to prevent any pain, then a dentist will make an opening for the cleaning instrument to penetrate the affected inner parts of the tooth. The infection is cleaned out and the opening is then closed with a filling. The tooth can then be bleached to turn it whiter or a veneer or a crown can be placed over the tooth to make it look natural.

How To Prevent A Tooth Becoming Non-Vital

Maintaining a proper dental hygiene regimen including brushing and flossing regularly can prevent the buildup of food and bacteria that gets trapped between teeth and gums, which can cause infection and tooth decay leading to dead teeth. Regular visits to the dentist are also very important, since your dentist will be able to identify and diagnose early signs of tooth issues. There are other early signs that you can recognize on your own that include sensitivity to heat or cold, pain when chewing or biting down, slight discolorations, bad breath, gum swelling and facial swelling. Saving a dead tooth depends on early detection and early treatment. Do not ignore the signs and symptoms – get it checked out to decrease your chances of infection and tooth loss.