The Keto Diet & Your Oral Health

March is National Nutrition Month and is hosted every year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It strives to bring awareness to the importance of how eating right can help us live longer, healthier lives. When some people consider how nutrition plays a role in their overall health, they may turn to the latest in diet trends. The Keto Diet is no exception. But even though the Keto Diet can help some individuals lose weight, your dentist in Reno knows that there may be some underlying oral health concerns associated with it. 

What is the Keto Diet? 

The basis of the Keto Diet involves decreasing the intake of carbohydrates and increasing more high-fat foods, which would cause the body to enter something ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body burns off fat instead of glucose, including glucose from carbs. While this can help shed the pounds, it also produces three ketones as a result. These three ketones are acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. The latter, acetone, is what may be concerning to your dentist in Reno

Keto Diet & Bad Breath

Acetone is something that can’t be used to store energy, so our bodies release it by either urination or through the lungs. When it’s expelled through the lungs, people may start to experience bad breath or halitosis. This foul odor can be combated through good oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth and tongue and flossing daily. Chewing gum and drinking plenty of water throughout the day may also help alleviate bad breath caused by the Keto Diet. Additionally, those who are committed to the Keto Diet over a long period of time may become “keto-adapted,” which means the bad breath will go away. 

Oral Health Benefits of the Keto Diet

Now, before you bail on the Keto Diet for fear of bad breath, your dentist in Reno wants you to know that there are actually also some potential oral health benefits behind the diet. Carbohydrates contain a lot of sugars, which are one of the worst things for your teeth. When we eat foods that are loaded with carbs, the bacteria in our mouths are essentially given a free meal. As a side effect, these bacteria release acid which can damage tooth enamel and increase the risk of decay. Therefore, reducing the number of carbs you consume, and the sugars found in them, can benefit your oral health. In fact, some research shows that decreasing carbohydrate intake can lower the likelihood of cavities and even gum disease by 50% or more. 

Everyone is Different

The truth is, there are pros and cons to the Keto Diet as it relates to oral health and overall health. It’s important to know that what may work for one person may actually be harmful to another. So before you embark on a new diet, make sure you talk with your doctor to be sure that your dietary plans are appropriate for you and your body. 

When it comes to oral health, make sure to talk with your dentist in Reno and your dental hygienist about any changes to health history and even dietary changes. The truth is, things that affect your overall health can also affect your oral health and vice versa, so don’t be afraid to share any changes with your dental team at every appointment so that you’re sure to get the best care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Bad Breath Remedies

Bad breath is an incredibly common concern for many Americans. In fact, according to Medical News Today, bad breath affects an estimated 25% of the population. Even though there are various things that can cause bad breath, there are a few that concern your dentist in Reno. The truth is, several causes of bad breath are directly related to the overall health of your mouth and some of the problems linked to bad breath can be serious. Because of this, it’s important to first understand what causes bad breath before you can determine how to fix it. 

What Causes Bad Breath?

As we’ve mentioned, bad breath can be caused by any number of things, some concerning and some not. For example, bad breath can be a result of what we eat or drink such as garlic or coffee. Bad breath caused by foods or drinks usually isn’t something to worry about as it’s quickly alleviated by brushing or chewing sugar-free gum. However, when bad breath is chronic and can’t be tied to a fragrant food, it’s typically a sign of oral health problem.

Why is Bad Breath Bad? 

Bad breath that doesn’t go away is most often the result of too much bacteria lingering around the mouth. When bacteria build up in the mouth it increases the likelihood of decay, cavities, and gum disease. Gum disease, in particular, is an infection that can lead to tooth loss as well as other problems throughout the body such as heart disease, increased risk of stroke, and respiratory complications. Any sign of a lingering odor in your mouth is a clue that you should see your dentist in Reno

Bad Breath Remedies

We understand that bad breath can be embarrassing, but there are things you can do to treat it.

  1. Drink Water. Drinking water throughout the day will help keep your mouth moist and saliva flowing, both of which are important to neutralize acid, wash away bacteria, and keep breath fresh. If we don’t drink enough water or suffer from dry mouth, bacteria will flourish. The result is bad breath. 
  1. Have Good Oral Hygiene Habits. You’ve heard us say it a million times – having good oral hygiene can go a long way in keeping your mouth healthy and your breath fresh. Make sure that you’re brushing and flossing every day to remove any food particles and bacteria that have built up throughout the day. Don’t forget to gently scrub your tongue as those tiny bumps make perfect places for bacteria to hide.  
  1. See Your Dentist in Reno. Even though properly brushing and flossing every day can help protect teeth and breath, it’s still important to see your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings that remove plaque and tartar your regular toothbrush just can’t get. These visits are also crucial to catching any oral health problems, such as gum disease, early when treatment is more successful. 

If you suffer from bad breath and you’re ready to get rid of it once and for all, schedule an appointment with your dentist. Your dental team will help diagnose the underlying cause of your bad breath and talk with you about the best way to treat it.

Protect Your Heart, See Your Dentist in Reno

Seeing your dentist in Reno in order to protect your heart may seem like strange advice, but in fact, there is a strong connection between oral health and heart health. To help celebrate Heart Health Month this February, we’d like to educate our patients and neighbors on just how important regular dental care is to protect not only your mouth but also your heart.   

The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

The main connection between oral health and heart health lies in the gums. Years of research support a positive correlation between gum disease and the increased risk for complications with heart health. In fact, the Academy of General Dentistry states that those with gum disease are more likely to suffer a heart attack than those without gum disease. But how does gum health directly affect heart health? It all has to do with the way gum inflammation and infection can affect your heart. 

How Can Gum Infections Give You a Heart Attack?

Even though infection of the gums may seem like no cause for concern, nothing could be farther from the truth. Not only does gum disease put your whole body at risk for problems such as diabetic complications and lung conditions, but it can also directly affect your heart health. When gums become infected, the bacteria that caused the infection in the first place aren’t isolated to just the mouth. They can easily enter the bloodstream and cause your body to over-produce something called C-reactive protein (CRP). Increased levels of CRP is a known precursor to heart attacks. According to The New England Journal of Medicine, elevated CRP levels can be more accurate at predicting a heart attack than high cholesterol. 

Signs of Gum Disease

Knowing the signs of gum disease can go a long way in getting it treated early before your risk of other health concerns increases. Some common symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing 
  • Consistently bad breath 
  • Chronic bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth 
  • Gums that appear to be pulling away from the teeth

What You Do to Protect Yourself 

The best way to protect yourself from the dangers of gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits at home as well as visit your dentist in Reno at least twice a year for regular checkups. Make sure to brush and floss every single day to remove bacteria and plaque buildup, try to eat a well-balanced diet with limited sugary and acidic foods, and of course, avoid tobacco. It’s also important to share any health problems, changes in your health history, and medications with your dentist at each visit. 

This Heart Health Month, and every month, take the steps to protect your oral health. It may just save your life. 

Why Do I Bite My Lips, Cheeks, and Tongue?

Biting your lips, cheeks, or tongue is a common habit for many people. While it may seem relatively harmless, biting the soft tissues in our mouths can lead to serious and painful problems. But like any habit, it can be difficult to stop biting your lips, cheeks, or tongue. Join your Reno dentist as we share a bit about why biting is bad and what you can do to break the habit. 

Why We Bite
There are several possible explanations behind why we bite our lips, cheeks, or tongue. Occasionally, stress or nerves can be to blame. If you’re someone who chronically bites, this is most likely the case. But there are things you can try to help you stop. First, try to become more aware of when you bite. Maybe it’s during times of high stress or perhaps when you’re concentrating really hard. Once you know when you’re more likely to bite, you can start to work on consciously recognizing it and stopping it. 

Other times, biting a lip, cheek, or tongue is purely accidental and can happen while we’re chewing or even during a sneeze. Even though these accidental bites can be painful and may even bleed, they’re usually not something to be concerned about and should heal on their own. However, there are some people who seem to bite their lip, cheek, or tongue accidentally a lot. If this is the case, it could be a sign of something a bit more serious such as a bad bite or TMJ disorder. Both of these dental concerns can mean that your top teeth don’t line up properly with your bottom teeth which makes it really easy for an accidental chomp to your cheek, lip, or tongue to occur. Your dentist in Reno will be able to help you determine if this is the case for you.  

Why is Biting Bad? 
First and foremost, biting the soft tissues of the mouth hurts, and the pain can last for a few days after the initial bite due to the sore that pops up as a result of the trauma. These sores that develop after a bite can become infected if they aren’t cleaned. Additionally, chronic biters can suffer from inflammation, swelling, pain, and redness. But that’s not all. If a bad bite or TMJ disorder is playing a role in your biting, you may also experience the common symptoms that accompany those problems including headaches and jaw pain.  

How Do You Stop Biting? 
Treatment of lip, cheek, or tongue biting depends on what’s causing it in the first place. If biting is a nervous habit, try to work with yourself to consciously stop it. More severe cases can benefit from behavioral therapy. If you suspect that your chronic accidental biting is because of a bad bite, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Reno. Your dental team is trained to help identify a bad bite and can suggest the most appropriate treatment for your specific case so you can stop biting once and for all.

Providing Patients With A Range Of Valuable Dental Services

Your Reno, NV dental practice provides a comprehensive range of oral health treatments, so patients can count on having their needs met. Over the years, the kind of treatments you need can change. Your typical visit may just be focused on preventive dental care. When you practice good oral care at home, and attend these checkups, this may be all you need, but if a problem arises, you can count on your dentist to provide support. Our practice can help you deal with common threats like tooth decay, dental damage caused by physical trauma, and even work that focuses on rebuilding your smile! While you should feel confident in your dentist’s ability to address oral health matters, you should also know that you can look forward to cosmetic dental care if you have smile flaws you wish to address. Continue reading “Providing Patients With A Range Of Valuable Dental Services”

Flossing Offers Vital Support For The Spaces Between Teeth

Your Reno, NV dentist’s office is ready to provide you with great general dental care when you need to come in for routine treatment, or if you have a dental problem. While having access to professional oral health care is important, you always need to be mindful of how your daily efforts to protect your smile might benefit you. For instance, if you take pride in your thorough, consistent brushing habits, but fail to floss, you can leave the spaces between your teeth without quality support. This can leave you at risk for problems like tooth decay and gum disease, despite what you may have considered to be a great effort to prevent dental troubles. Continue reading “Flossing Offers Vital Support For The Spaces Between Teeth”

3 Oral Health Mistakes That Put Your Smile At Risk

There is no shortage of information concerning how to prevent cavities from forming on your teeth. That knowledge is widespread, but so are cavities. Why is this problem so persistent? Many people can be mistaken in their assumption that their oral health habits are up to the task of protecting their smiles. For instance, a person might feel good about their chances against tooth decay because they brush two times a day, only to find that they are having cavity troubles because they never floss. A combination of quality dental care at home, and preventive dental care at your dentist’s office, will help you combat oral health troubles. Good habits do more than just protect you from cavities – you are also protecting yourself against gum disease, which can cause serious issues if it is left untreated. Continue reading “3 Oral Health Mistakes That Put Your Smile At Risk”

Modern Dental Care Makes It Easier To Stay Comfortable

The right dental care experience is one where you can count on comprehensive oral health support. With that said, you should also feel that your comfort is a real priority for your dentist. Advancements in modern dental care have produced techniques that make the fields of preventive and restorative dental care more comfortable for patients, while also making more advanced work possible. Your dentist can see to it that you feel as comfortable as possible, even when you need to undergo something like a root canal procedure. To help you during more involved work, or to help you if you struggle with dental anxiety, dental sedation can be provided. Continue reading “Modern Dental Care Makes It Easier To Stay Comfortable”

Are You Leaving Areas Of Your Smile Unclean When You Brush?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day will help you fight cavities and gum disease, and maintain an attractive appearance. So if you brush consistently, and see your dentist for regular dental checkups, you should have nothing to worry about…right? When it comes to daily oral care, you should be careful to make sure that you are thorough in your efforts. If you fail to fully clean your teeth, you can allow plaque to gather, and tartar to form. Patients can discover they need a cavity treatment despite their apparent efforts because of that inconsistency. If you want to fully clean your teeth, you need to work at it effectively. You also need to do more than just brush – to effectively reach those spaces between teeth, you need to floss. Continue reading “Are You Leaving Areas Of Your Smile Unclean When You Brush?”

Quiz: Paying Attention To Symptoms Of Oral Health Trouble

How much attention should you give a symptom of possible oral health trouble? Should you wait to see if a toothache goes away on its own, or make an appointment for dental care right away? If you notice signs of poor gum health, should you be alarmed? When it comes to your oral health, you should take it seriously. After all, if you ignore a problem that requires care, it can continue to worsen, and it may lead to your needing more involved treatment when you finally bring the matter to your dentist’s attention. It should be noted that if you want to stay truly informed about your smile’s condition, you should set up regular dental exams, so you can receive prompt care for any problem that is detected during a visit. Continue reading “Quiz: Paying Attention To Symptoms Of Oral Health Trouble”