San Ramon Cosmetic Dentistry Blog | Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S.

San Ramon, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek and Dublin, CA

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Poor dental hygiene and tooth decay can lead to heart disease

If you're worried about heart disease, you can easily spend thousands of dollars each year trying to prevent it, paying hand over fist for prescription medicines, shelves of healthy cookbooks, fitness machines for your home, and a gym membership.
Or you can just maintain a good oral hygiene and have regular dental visits. 
Poor dental hygiene and tooth decay can lead to certain heart problems. There are two specific heart conditions that have been associated with heart disease. 
These are coronary artery disease and endocarditis.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when one or more arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle itself gets blocked to varying degrees by things such as cholesterol build-up. There is evidence that CAD is an inflammatory process.
It is thought that poor dental hygiene allows a pro-inflammatory state that is associated with CAD.  This is not a proven cause but studies have shown an association with tooth decay and CAD.
Endocarditis is an uncommon but serious infection of one of the four valves in the heart.
Patients at most risk for this type of infection are those who have had past endocarditis, those born with complex heart defects, have had valve replacements, and in some cases, heart transplant patients.
The link between poor dental hygiene and endocarditis is that tooth brushing, dental procedures, and mouth infections can allow bacteria that live in all of our mouths to get in the bloodstream. These bacteria can then infect the heart valves.
Typically, a person needs to be (a) high risk for endocarditis and (b) have bacteria enter the blood for there to be a possibility for heart valve infection. The vast majority of us are not high risk for endocarditis and any bacteria entering the bloodstream are cleared by our own healthy immune system.
Those with poor dental hygiene can allow oral bacteria more access to blood. This sets up a situation where bacteria can remain in the bloodstream, increasing risk of heart valve infection in high risk patients.
These are two good reasons to maintain good oral hygiene and have regular dental visits from a heart point of view. In addition, your dentist will be happy and you will have good breath and a nicer smile!
If you haven't had your dental cleaning this year, give us a call . 925.837.4486
©2014 WebMD, LLC. 

posted by Francine at 9:06 AM

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Choosing a Toothbrush: Manual vs. Electric

How do electric toothbrushes stand up against good old-fashioned manual brushing? We went to the experts to find out.

The Experts Say

•The American Dental Association does not endorse either a manual or electric toothbrush. In fact, electric and manual toothbrushes can have the same effectiveness if used properly. Electric toothbrushes do have a better maneuvering power; they can get around the gums and sides of teeth better. Electric toothbrushes are also an agent in the removal of plague. However, the decision-making factors for electric or manual would be in cost and features that appeal to you.

The Manual Toothbrush

•The manual toothbrush is the teeth-brushing method most are accustomed to. The manual toothbrush has a plastic handle with nylon bristles on the head of the toothbrush. The manual toothbrush comes in many bristle styles and could have some special features.

The manual toothbrush can come in the following formats: crisscrossed, extra-long, multi-level bristles; polished, rounded bristle tips; textured bristles; cupped-bristle to enhance whitening; ergonomic handles with special grips; tapered or angled brush head; gum stimulators; and tongue cleaner pads.

Electric Toothbrush

•The electric or power toothbrush is part of the new wave of technology. The toothbrush has a rechargeable battery case that can be plugged into any outlet. Many of the electric toothbrush features are hi-tech and could promote better brushing habits.

Some of the hi-tech features of the electric toothbrush include: various brushing modes, some for sensitive teeth or whitening and gum massaging features; pressure signals to indicate when brushing too hard; timers to time the length of brushing each quadrant of the mouth; digital reminders to alert when it is time to change toothbrush head; oscillating-rotating or sonic technology; and compatible brushing heads to choose the best bristle type for each person.

Weigh the Cost

•Cost always comes into play when thinking about keeping that old trusty manual toothbrush or taking a brush on the hi-tech side of electric toothbrushes. A manual toothbrush ranges from $2 to $4. Electric toothbrushes run anywhere from $25 to $100. However, electric toothbrushes do last longer than manual toothbrushes. It is recommended to change a manual toothbrush every three months.

The Dentist's Opinion

•The dentist might recommend a switch to an electric toothbrush because of all the features mentioned above. Whatever the recommendation may be, it is important to choose a toothbrush, either manual or electric, that is approved by the American Dental Association. Also regardless of electric or manual, it is important to brush twice a day for two minutes each time and to floss each day.

posted by Francine at 1:27 PM


Sean Michael Anderson, D.D.S
Neuromuscular & Aesthetic Cosmetic Dentistry

1501 Bollinger Canyon Road Suite G
San Ramon, CA 94583

Disclaimer: San Ramon, CA cosmetic dentist Dr. Sean Anderson's website only provides information on cosmetic dentistry, neuromuscular dentistry, and family dentistry in Alamo, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton , Walnut Creek
and the San Ramon area south of San Francisco. This information is not to be taken as medical advice.
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