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We often go on and off diets throughout the year but did you know dieting can have harmful effects on our dental health? Research is mounting about a direct connection between our general health and our dental health. Below you will find useful tips to follow when dieting to maintain your beautiful smile.

Direct Connection Between Dental Health And General Health

Do Not Graze. Depending on the diet and your cravings you may tend to eat smaller meals throughout the day. Every time we eat a meal or a snack, we are bombarding our mouths with acids, sugars, and possible staining foods and drink. If grazing is part of your diet it is important to brush, rinse, and floss more often. This will help neutralize your oral cavity to prevent development of tooth decay and periodontal disease. A good tip is to have what are called scrubber foods like celery as part of your meal. This will naturally clean your teeth while eating.

Watch Your Drink. Many diets include using juice mixtures or even smoothies. These are easy ways to get fruits and vegetables into our systems. It is important to note these same healthy drinks can be high in sugars and acids. This can be a double whammy on our oral health. A third thing to look out for is staining of our teeth as many of these ingredients have strong pigments which can darken our teeth over time. An excellent tip when juicing or drinking smoothies is to use a straw to allow the sugars and acids to pass your teeth. It is also important to routinely rinse with water.

Choose Food And Drink Wisely. Many choose diet soda to kill the cravings of dieting. However, diet soda may be low in sugar content but high in acidic content. The acids can be very difficult on our teeth. Once again, drink through a straw to help avoid exposure. Another tip is to be aware of the dangers of many diet friendly snacks like dried fruit which can stick to our teeth leading to increased tooth decay.

Keep Hydrated With Water. Drinking water throughout the day will make you feel fuller and help your diet but it will also maintain a neutral balance in your oral environment.

Ensure You Are Getting Proper Vitamins And Minerals. We often overlook the balance in our diet when dieting. This can create a deficit in our vitamin and mineral intake. To remain healthy it is important to get the right balance of vitamins and minerals into our bodies.

Dieting And Oral Health Conclusion

It is important to remember there is a definite connection between general health and our dental health. If we are able to maintain the proper balance we will live happier, fuller lives full of smiles.



Regular exercise has been long proven to improve quality of life. Bet you did not know regular exercise is good for your dental health too! Recent research suggests that regular workouts can help prevent periodontal disease.

Exercise And Dental Linked?

Numerous studies have been completed over the last 10 years confirming a definite link between regular exercise and increased dental health. These studies have been published in well respected publications like the Journal of Periodontology and the Journal of Dentistry. Let’s see what each study had to say…

Journal Of Periodontology

One study followed three health enhancing behaviors maintaining normal weight, regular exercise, and a well balanced diet) to see the effect on periodontal disease. The researchers found that patients who followed these three behaviors were 40% less likely to have progressive periodontal disease.

Another Journal of Periodontolgy study showed lower risk of periodontal disease amongst the least obese and the most physically fit subjects. The study concluded that obesity and physical fitness may have some interactive effect on periodontal health. One factor they share: inflammation, which physical activity reduces. It is important to note that inflammation is a key factor in other systemic diseases as well. These include diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Journal Of Dentistry

This study followed the effects of exercise and smoking on periodontal health. The study found that patients who never smoked and exercised regularly were about 54% less likely to have progressive periodontal disease than those who did not exercise. It also found that former smokers had a 74% lower risk of having periodontal disease.

Exercise And Dental Health Conclusion

Working out helps improve digestion and can help your body use vitamins and minerals that are essential to dental health more effectively. If you exercise and eat a well balanced diet, your body is better able to use the nutrients in food to strengthen and protect your smile.

Physical fitness can greatly contribute to dental health as well as your overall health. It can also improve your mood, help you manage stress and increase brainpower. If you’re not already, we encourage you to make regular exercise a habit.



Many believe that periodontal disease is a disease that is solely based on genetics. My grandparents had dentures, my parents had dentures, so will I. The truth is, that genetics plays a role, but is not a sentence for dentures. There are risks and limitations in the progression of periodontal disease… Can each patient limit the risks of developing full blown progressive periodontal disease?….The answer is a resounding…YES! It takes a good oral hygiene regimen, knowledge of the current state of your condition, and frequent professional cleaning to keep our mouths in a healthy, disease-free state.

Risk Factors Of Periodontal Disease

Patient Caused Risk Factors

Poor Oral Hygiene – This is an obvious one that each individual can control. Brushing, flossing, rinsing, and seeking regular dental care are essential steps to remain periodontal disease free and avoid progression beyond gingivitis.

Age – Research has shown that older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease. The research shows that over 70% of Americans 65 and older have periodontitis.

Smoking Or Tobacco Use – Tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems. Tobacco users also are at increased risk for periodontal disease. Studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.

Poor nutrition– Eating an unhealthy diet will not supply you with the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for tissue healing and repair.

Anatomy – The local anatomic risk factors for periodontal disease include:,

1. Furcation anatomy. These are the spaces between roots of molars.  In many instances, the entrance of  such furcations are restricted enough to limit access for proper hygiene maintenance. Risk factors for periodontal disease are classified according to their involvement in tooth furcations. A Grade I CEP presents with minimal projection of enamel toward the entrance of the furaction. A Grade II CEP approximates the entrance of the furcation, and the tip of a Grade Ill CEP is well within the furcation.

2. Common anatomic deformities. These interfere with a patient’s ability to effectively remove plaque biofilm which are one of the risk factors for periodontal disease. An example are Cervical enamel projections (CEP). CEPs are tooth developmental deformities of the CEJ found on molars.

4. Palato-gingival grooves (PGG). POGs are tooth developmental deformities of maxillary central and lateral incisors. They begin in lingual pits and extend vertically onto root surfaces. PGGs could, on rare occasions, extend to the root apex. PGGs are commonly associated risk factors for periodontal disease with increased gingival inflammation, plaque accumulation, and probing depth.

5. Open contacts, loss of interdental papilla, and food impaction. Open contacts between teeth may allow for easy food impaction. Food impaction is defined as the forceful wedging of food between teeth. Loss of the pointed papilla between teeth leaves another area for food impaction.

Medications – Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can have an affect on your oral health, causing dry mouth, inflammation and gum tissue overgrowth. It is important to tell your dentist the medications you might be on so they can tailor a treatment schedule for your needs.

Other Disease – These include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.  These diseases can interfere with the inflammatory process, causing healing problems, and may worsen the condition of the gums.

Poor Nutrition – A diet without all the essential nutrients for our bodies to function can compromise our immune systems, decrease healing ability, and make tissue weaker and easier to breakdown. This will make it harder to fight off infection. Since, periodontal disease essentially begins as an infection, this lack of nutrition can make the periodontal disease develop and progress faster than it normally would. Studies have also linked obesity with an increased risk of periodontal disease.

Dentist Caused Risk Factors

Overhanging dental restorations – A poorly completed dental restoration typically has dental material overhanging the tooth. This creates an issue keeping the area clean and also creates an area for food and bacteria to build up. These overhangs can be irritating to the tissues and retain plaque and food more easily.

Violation of the “biologic width” –  is the height between the deepest point of the gum pocket and the bone. This distance is important to consider when fabricating any dental restorations, because they must respect the natural architecture of the gingival attachment if harmful consequences are to be avoided. These consequences include bone and tissue recession.

Open contacts and food impaction – If a dentist places a new dental restoration and does not create the proper tight contact between adjacent teeth, that area becomes a food and plaque trap. It will necessitate improved dental hygiene in that area to keep it clean. More often than not, food and debris will accumulate creating a localized area of periodontal disease.

Occlusal trauma – If a new restoration is not properly set in alignment with the other teeth, a patient can create damage to the tooth as well as the surrounding tissue just from the act of chewing. The bite should always be checked and adjusted after dental work to prevent trauma to an individual tooth.

Periodontal Disease Conclusion

Luckily, with the exception of the anatomy we are born with, all of these periodontal disease risk factors can be overcome. The first step is to practice good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouthrinse. The second step is to choose a well qualified dentist and keep a regular schedule to help give you the best fighting chance at preventing,  treating and stabilizing periodontal disease.