Exquisite Smile Times

Healthy news and information from Exquisite Smiles / 2019 January Issue

Whole Body Effects of Inflammation

The public and scientific communities have been flooded with articles about the relationship between oral health and our whole body health. These often cite the process of inflammation.

Inflammation is the body’s response to cellular injury. It’s a protective response. It helps us recover from trauma and deal with infection from bacteria and viruses. That means the state of our oral health can be a window into our overall health.

In fact, a recent study revealed that postmenopausal women with gum disease were 14% percent more likely to develop cancer than those with healthy teeth and gums.

Gum disease is caused by sticky, bacteria-laden plaque that forms on teeth. Swollen gums that bleed easily indicate inflammation is present. If plaque is not regularly removed, it can progress to periodontal disease. With time, the body’s immune reaction can compromise the supporting bone structures. This can lead to tooth loss.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28765338

Chomping, Chewing and Munching

Our teeth are actually part of the digestion process.

Chewing our food is known as “mastication.” How you chew and for how long, can affect our digestion and overall health. Here are some key benefits of slowing down and fully chewing our food:

1. Better nutrient absorption – Chewing breaks down the foods we eat into smaller particles. That permits our intestines to better access the nutrients in our food.
2. Better weight control – Chewing long enough to fully liquefy every mouthful takes time. This allows our body to signal the brain that we’re full, reducing overeating.
3. Better digestion – Proper chewing means the digestive enzymes in our saliva can better do their job. If larger particles of food reach the intestines, bacteria is unable to break it down, leading to gas and bloating or diarrhea and constipation.

Take the time to fully chew your food. Enjoying it is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Crowning Touch

A crown, also known as a “cap,” may be recommended to save a weakened, cracked or damaged tooth. Other times it is used as an anchor for a bridge.

After the tooth is shaped to receive the crown, dental cement is used to hold the crown in place. There are four basic types of crown material.

Porcelain-fused Metal – A metal base serves as a platform for the biting surface of porcelain. Newer materials have superseded this approach.

• Gold – A mix of gold, copper and other metals mean that less of the actual tooth needs to be removed.
• Silver – This is usually made of nickel, which has been known to cause an allergic reaction for some.
• White – Made of a ceramic material called lithium disilicate an all-white material known as Zirconium.

Each material has its pros and cons. If you should need a crown we’ll discuss your options and make recommendations.

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