How Stress Affects Your Oral Health

Feeling stressed? In this recent video, Dr. James McCall explains how stress affects your entire body, including your mouth. When you are stressed and not handling the stress well, your entire body suffers.

Stress Increases Chances of Mouth Sores and Gum Disease

Both gum disease and mouth sores, such as canker and cold sores, can be triggered by stress. In the case of mouth sores, it appears the body’s response to stress can cause these painful sores to develop. While there’s little you can do to stop them, in the case of cold sores, which are contagious, getting antiviral treatment early can help lessen the length of the sores.

Gum disease often occurs because of the distraction you face when under stress. This can cause you to ignore proper brushing and flossing, which increases your chances of developing gum disease.

Stress Hurts Your Diet

When you are stressed, you are more prone to eating sugary snack foods. These foods increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. A healthy, well-balanced diet will not only keep you healthy enough to deal with stress more effectively, but it will also protect your teeth from the dangers of too much sugar.

Better Strategies for Dealing with Stress

Stress happens, no matter what you do. To protect your oral health, you must learn how to deal with that stress.

Instead of turning to junk food, plan for regular exercise. Exercise helps you manage stress more effectively and releases endorphins you need to stay stress-free. Remind yourself of the importance of your daily oral hygiene routine and the need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. By doing these things, your stress will not have as much of an impact on your oral health.

If you want more ideas about protecting your oral health during times of stress, contact Dr. McCall to learn more.

Considerations When Choosing a New Dentist

As you start the search for a new dentist, you need to remember that not all dentists are the same. Dentists today perform a wide range of services, from making the teeth look more cosmetically appealing to helping them be stronger and straighter. As Dr. McCall explains in this video, you need to ask some questions before you make that first appointment.

First, look for a dentist who gives details. Your dentist should tell you what your problem is and what caused it, how much and how long it will take to treat and what further actions you should take to care for your teeth in the future. Ask your dentist if you can have those recommendations and cost estimates in writing, which will help you make wise decisions.

When visiting a dentist for the first time, inquire about whether the office has a low-cost or free consultation option for new patients. A dentist who is confident in his or her work will offer this to give you the chance to get to know the office before scheduling an expensive appointment.

Before scheduling an appointment, learn about the financing options the dentist offers. Many procedures can be more costly than you might think, and you need to know that you have an option to pay for them, even if you don’t have the cash upfront.

Finally, ask some questions before you make an appointment. Find out what the dentist’s specialty is, and make sure it fits your needs. Then, ask whether or not the dentist will take x-rays, and opt for one with digital x-rays when possible. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references. A quality dentist will be happy to provide them.

Your dentist is not a decision to take lightly. As this video shows, you have many considerations to make before choosing one. Make them carefully, and enjoy the benefit of a dentist who will provide the quality of care you and your family need for optimum oral health.

Tips for Fresh Breath

Bad breath is an embarrassing but common condition that most of us face at one time or another. Sugarless candy or sugarless gum can help freshen your breath at the last minute, but taking care of the problem where it starts will help you to avoid the problem altogether. Here are tips from Jacksonville dental care experts for keeping your breath fresh and clean.
Brush Twice a Day

Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice every day will remove food debris, plaque buildup, and bacteria. Your teeth should be brushed thoroughly using a toothbrush that fits easily in the back of your mouth so the teeth and gums in the back get cleaned properly. Also, Jacksonville dental care experts recommend that you replace your toothbrush every three months as the bristles will wear out and lose effectiveness over time.

Floss Every Day

Food that gets stuck between teeth can be difficult to remove by brushing alone. If it stays there long enough, it can encourage bacteria to grow and that’s not fresh! Flossing daily can eliminate many dental problems, including with bad breath. Be sure to floss before brushing so that any food that is loosened can be brushed away. If you find flossing difficult or awkward, try using picks or flossers that make reaching the back of the mouth easier.

Brush Your Tongue

Your tongue can harbor most of the bacteria in your mouth and be a major source of bad breath. Brushing your tongue every time your brush your teeth will remove these bacteria preventing them from being transferred right back to your teeth and helping to keep your breath fresh. Be sure to brush your entire tongue, both the top and underneath, and get as far back as you can. Some people find this uncomfortable and prefer to use a tongue scraper instead.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

Regular Jacksonville dental care can help you avoid many common dental problems, including bad breath. Your dentist can also let you know if your bad breath is caused by a more serious problem like periodontal disease, cavities, poorly fitting dentures or retainers, yeast infections, or chronic dry mouth. Your dentist can also let you know if you’re brushing and flossing properly and help you identify areas that need to be cleaned better. You may be nervous about getting regular Jacksonville dental care, but rest assured that your dentist is the best tool you have for maintaining fresh breath and a healthy mouth.

Avoid Cigarettes and Tobacco Products

Tobacco products can cause dryness in your mouth and leave behind a noticeable odor – even after brushing. Smoking can interfere with how your gum tissue cells work and reduce the ability of gums to heal. Cigarettes and other tobacco products can also stain your teeth, increase your risk of gum disease, and increase your risk of oral cancer.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Crunchy snacks like celery sticks, carrots, and fresh fruits are more than just good nutrition, they are also great for your teeth and breath. Munching on fresh foods like these will help increase the flow of saliva to wash away bacteria from your gums and around your teeth. Also, empty stomachs can build up acids that cause bad breath. Snacking on healthy foods between meals can help alleviate this cause of bad breath.

Drink Green Tea

Green tea is not only a healthy and refreshing drink, it has been shown to be great for your mouth and your breath. Green tea can help fight gum disease which can lead to tooth loss and contribute to bad breath. Green tea also contains a naturally high amount of polyphenols that help fight off bacterial buildup in your mouth. The antioxidants in green tea also help slow tooth decay, another contributor to bad breath. The more pure the tea is, the better it will be for your mouth so choose organic and unprocessed products over bottled teas.

For any further dental hygiene questions or to schedule a free consultation appointment, contact our office here.