Monthly Archives: December 2014

Gluten and Your Teeth: Are they Related?

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac is an autoimmune disease that affects 1 to 4 percent of the U.S. population. Not only does celiac disease shorten the lifespan of those affected, it also increases your risk of developing other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Cancer incidence also increases with celiac disease. (living-gluten-free.com)

Approximately 90 percent of all people with celiac disease have tooth enamel defects.

Gluten and the Autoimmune Body

Those with celiac disease can’t digest and process gluten properly–this is called gluten intolerance. When gluten-intolerant people still continue to eat gluten, they experience bone-related issues such as:

  • osteoporosis and osteopenia (porosity of the bones);

  • bone loss throughout the body and in the mouth particularly lower jaw

  • loss or thinning of tooth enamel.

Celiacs also experience abscesses and other root problems, tooth decay and fractured, broken, loose or missing teeth.

Tooth enamel defects in particular, can be used as an indicator to dentists and physicians that a person has celiac disease meaning gluten intolerance can also be identified in children. It is not uncommon for a person to be told of the possibility of them having celiac disease by a dentist following an oral examination. The dentist is often the one to make the first recommendation that a patient see a gastroenterologist.

How does gluten affect the teeth?

When celiacs eat gluten, the body’s immune system reacts against one of the main proteins responsible for production of enamel. This can happen in-utero as well. This lack of enamel or poor quality of enamel can leave a person with celiac disease more prone to cavities, excessive tooth wear and tear, and the eventual premature destruction or loss of teeth.

Because of the effect on tooth enamel, celiacs experience tooth decay and other tooth-related problems far more than non-celiacs even if they have practiced good oral hygiene habits and see a dentist regularly.  

Regular check-ups involve looking for:

  • tooth discoloration such as white, yellow, or brown spots on the teeth

  • poor enamel formation including pitting or banding of teeth, and mottled or translucent-looking teeth.

These imperfections are symmetrical and most commonly affect the incisors and molars. They are common defects in people with celiac disease, although not all tooth enamel defects are caused by celiac disease.

Other Oral Conditions Linked to Gluten-intolerance

Studies have shown that gluten-intolerance and even gluten sensitivity can lead to other oral diseases. These include:

  • Canker sores

  • Geographic tongue (the surface of the tongue looks like a topographical map)

  • Tonsilar stones or exudates (white lumps of puss embedded in the tonsils)

  • Chronic severe redness in the back of the throat (Pharyngeal Erythema)

  • Excessive mucus production so that a person chronically needs to clear their throat

  • Bad breath

  • A small cyst on the frenum (the flap of skin connecting your top lip to your gums)

  • Metallic taste in your mouth

  • Gum disease (periodontal disease).

While research still needs to be done to find out exactly how gluten-intolerance and these oral conditions are connected, celiacs and those with gluten sensitivities need to discuss any tooth enamel issues with us at Choice Dental. It may just be that you’re not aware of any gluten issues until you visit us.

It’s not uncommon for the dentist to be the first line of defense, examination and diagnosis for many conditions. Many people are unaware of how their lifestyle choices, or physiological conditions affect the conditions in their mouth. Since gluten-intolerance and sensitivity can affect other bodily systems, it is important that the possibility of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity be explored to prevent further damage. Studies have shown that once consumption of gluten has stopped, the body can repair itself. Although enamel cannot grow back once lost, bone density and quality of dentin does improve which means better support, healthier teeth and a healthier mouth.

6 Tips for a Winter Fresh Mouth

It’s safe to say that most of us have grown up hearing, “Brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day.” Or, “Visit your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and checkups.” But so many people don’t realize there’s more to keep your mouth winter fresh than these two things.

These six simple tips can help your mouth feeling winter fresh all year round.

1. Drink lots of fluids – especially water

Never underestimate the power of a simple glass of water. Not only can it help you flush toxins out of your body, helping you feel healthier all over, but water also works with the body’s saliva to fight cavities and to flush food particles and bacteria away.

2. Mixture of baking soda and water

Baking soda has a lot of amazing uses around the house, including unclogging drains and

pipes. But you can also use this bacteria-busting power to fight cavities. Bacteria love food particles and plaque left behind after eating or poor oral hygiene practices. They thrive in acidic environments. Baking soda actually neutralizes the acid in your saliva and is especially helpful in protecting your teeth after eating or drinking sugary food or beverages. It’s bacteria
that causes bad breath. Less bacteria, better breath. You can even try a baking soda based toothpaste!

3. Rinse your mouth for one minute with hydrogen peroxide

Like baking soda in the kitchen, hydrogen peroxide is a staple in most bathroom cabinets. Hydrogen peroxide (1%-3%) is perfectly safe to use as a mouth rinse. Some people might want
to water down the 3% with an equal part of water to bring it closer to 1%. Hydrogen peroxide helps kills bacteria and viruses in your mouth, just like it used to do when your mom put it on your skinned knees. It takes time for the peroxide to work, so rinse for at least a minute or longer to get the full effect. Be prepared for the peroxide to bubble and feel fizzy when it’s working.

4. Brush your tongue!

Food particles, plaque and bacteria don’t just gather and grow on your teeth and gums, but also on your tongue. Brush your tongue from back to front with or without toothpaste or mouthwash. Actually, brushing your tongue before using a mouthwash can make your mouthwash more effective. Make sure you brush the top and underside as well for at least a minute.

5. Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol – use one with chlorine dioxide instead

Mouthwashes that contain alcohol can actually dry out the mouth, meaning less saliva is produced. Alcohol was included in mouthwash formulations because of it’s disinfecting
properties. It was thought that disinfecting would also protect against bad breath. More recent studies have found that not to be the case and that bacteria thrive in dry mouth situations leading to an increased risk of tooth decay.

6. Snack on raw vegetables and fleshy fruit — carrots, celery, red peppers, apples, and strawberries are all great for fighting bacteria and bad breath. Not only do they stimulate production of saliva, but they also gently clean your teeth.

Cosmetic and Dental Implant Center

If you’ve been looking for professional and affordable total mouth care, you need to visit Cosmetic and Dental Implant Center (CDIC). The skilled dental professionals at CDIC can give you a smile for the future. Our team of qualified dentists complete hundreds of hours of continuous education each year to stay abreast of the latest advancements in dental treatment methods and technology. With many years of experience behind them, our dentists are committed to helping you achieve a healthy and beautiful smile through efficient office systems, leading-edge dentistry and friendly personalized care.

A Modern 21st Century Facility

At CDIC, we have high-tech facilities, and our cleanliness and safety levels exceed the American Dental Association’s and Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recommended standards for cleanliness and safety. Our treatment rooms are sanitized between patients, and we have a dedicated sterilization area where every instrument is disinfected in readiness for your visit.

Helping You Make Informed Decisions about your Oral Care

Dentistry is a complex area of health care. Before we offer our services to you, we empower you with the information to make a sound decision. You will not be alone in making the decision. Our experts will guide you to ensure you get the best treatment or alternative.

Multi-disciplinary Care

Whatever dental problem you may have, know that we can fix it. We offer preventive dentistry including cleanings and examinations, protective dental sealants, fluoride treatments, oral cancer screening and many more. We also offer restoration dentistry so we can make your smile look great again. We do tooth-colored fillings and functional crown lengthening, as well as extractions, oral surgery, and wisdom teeth removal.

Our other services include implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry and periodontal treatment.

An implant-supported bridge, denture, or crown can help you enjoy your favorite meals again. Dental implants look and function like natural teeth. They help prevent further bone loss and preserve the shape of your lips, jaw and face. Bone grafting may be necessary for some patients before implants can be placed, while soft tissue grafting may be necessary to provide the best cosmetic results with the new crown, bridge or denture.

Our Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

We know you take the appearance of your smile seriously. That’s why our cosmetic dentistry services can provide healthy-looking smiles for the whole family. Let our experts fix for you those gaps, chips or imperfections so that you will no longer have to cover you mouth when you smile. We offer professional teeth whitening, Invisalign aligner therapy, veneers and lumineers, and cosmetic crown lengthening.

Fear-free and Pain-free Dentistry

We understand how painful and scary it is when you have a problem with your teeth. We offer relaxing sedation options to ease your pain and anxiety. We want to make your visit as pleasant and stress free as possible. If you are nervous about your appointment or you’ve had a bad experience with a dentist in the past, feel free to ask us if sedation dentistry is right for you. Our options include IV sedation, oral conscious sedation and general anesthesia. Our experts will assess your condition, past medical history and decide the one that will give you the best comfort.

Healthy Smiles need Healthy Gums!

If you have a problem with your gums, we offer periodontal health services that will take care of all the structures around your teeth, from the gum line down to your jaw bone. We diagnose and treat various stages of gum disease with local antibiotic treatment, gum surgery, deep cleanings and laser gum surgery.

Three Convenient Locations

We are located in Orange County, Calif., with offices in Brea, Huntington Beach and Placentia. Our hours are convenient and can fit your busy schedule. We offer flexible and accommodating payment options to relieve you from the financial stress so that you can just concentrate on the treatment you need.

What’s more, we are networked with many insurance plans so when you visit please bring your insurance information with you. Even if we are not currently networked with your plan, we will help you maximize your benefits. And, if you are currently uninsured or underinsured, our membership plan will be perfect for you. Our savings plan is an affordable alternative to dental insurance. It gives members access to a discounted fee schedule and a discount off all comprehensive dental services.

Whichever CDIC office you visit, we will take care of you and your smile. Call us today or send us an e-mail to schedule your convenient appointment.