Contemporary Family Dentistry

4347 W Northwest Hwy

Suite 128,

Dallas, TX 75220

(214) 366-4646 



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A Science Lesson

     The human mouth is in many ways unique in its biological makeup.  The teeth, for example, are one of the few body structures that are not constantly shedding their outer surface.  This gives bacteria a chance to adhere indefinitely, forming plaque.  These colonies of bacteria that make up dental plaque metabolize sugars, creating acid as a byproduct.

      Research has shown that the pH, or the measure of acidity, in the mouth can help determine the health of the oral tissues. A low, or acidic, pH demineralizes, or softens, the outer surfaces of the teeth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. An acidic pH also affects the gum tissues, leading to gingivitis and, ultimately, periodontitis, or gum disease.

     The take-home lesson here is to try to maintain a healthy, or neutral, pH level in your mouth. Limit foods and drinks that are acidic, such as sodas, citrus juices, and sports drinks. Sugary foods are converted to acid and, therefore, cause a drop in salivary pH, as well. Rinsing with water or chewing gum after meals to stimulate saliva will help buffer, or neutralize, oral pH. And, of course, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste as soon as possible after eating will help remove the plaque that  is the source of the problem.

     Something to think about as you reach for that soda or Gatorade to cool you down this summer.


Oral Systemic Link

As a dentist, I can tell you a lot about your overall health by looking in your mouth.  Much has been publicized recently about the link between oral health and systemic health. Various correlations have been demonstrated statistically between diseases of the mouth, such as cavities and periodontal disease, and systemic conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and even Alzheimer's disease. This, to me, raises the question: should oral health and systemic health be considered two different entities? If we look at other examples of medical conditions this distinction isn't made. A physician wouldn't say to a patient with diabetes that his pancreatic health is affecting his systemic health. Neither should we view diseases of the mouth as somehow isolated from the rest of the body.

The point is: if your mouth isn't in good health, you're not in good health. That's why it is so important to do all you can to maintain good oral health. This includes a healthy diet, careful oral hygiene, and regular dental care.  We here at Contemporary Family Dentistry are committed to helping you reach that goal. Feel free to call us for more information about this or any other questions about keeping healthy.

Keep smiling!