A Sticky Situation?

Is gum chewing a healthy or dangerous habit? This is a question we are asked quite often. And the answer is… BOTH! Here are some facts about gum chewing and we’ll let you decide the answer!
 
 
RISK:
 
Many gums contain sugar, which may taste great, but cause tooth decay (cavities) and other health-related problems. Why would anyone choose to smash sugar directly against their teeth?
 
BENEFIT:
 
Sugar-Free gums don’t contain any ingredients which rot your teeth, and the chewing stimulates the flow of saliva, which may actually help prevent cavities.
 
RISK:
 
Gum chewing can cause inflammation and discomfort in the temperomandibular joint (TMJ) – the joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. This can trigger a syndrome which includes pain, headaches,
 
BENEFIT:
 
Gum can help freshen the breath after eating stinky foods such as onions and garlic, and relieve dry mouth, which also can promote gross mouth odors.
(Bad breath that is present on a constant basis is usually a sign of a more serious dental problem.)
 
RISK:
 
Gum chewing can cause some unwanted and embarrassing problems at the end! “Chewing gum can contribute to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as excess air can be swallowed, which contributes to abdominal pain and bloating,” says Dr. Patrick Takahashi, chief of gastroenterology at St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. In addition to swallowing air, artificial sweeteners such as Sorbitol and Monnitol can cause diarrhea in otherwise healthy people.
 
BENEFIT:
 
According to studies performed by the British Psychological Society, gum chewing increases blood flow to the brain and actually helps with alertness and memory.
 
RISK:
 
While many think that gun chewing curbs the appetite, a recent study in the Journal of Eating Behavior reports that chewing minty gum makes one reduce the intake of healthy foods such as fruit, and increases consumption of potato chips and other junk food. (We wonder what a Doritos flavored gum would do!!)
 
BENEFIT:
 
Chewing sugar-free gum can actually reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and neutralize harmful mouth acids, causing a reduction in cavities.
 
So what do you think? At the office of Dr. Edward W. Donle we feel that chewing sugar-free gum in moderation can be a healthy habit as long as it doesn’t cause TMJ discomfort or other side effects. Whether you should chew gum during your next job interview – well that’s your call!!!
 
If you have any questions about this of any other dental issues, or would like to make an appointment for a dental exam, cleaning, or consultation, please give us a call at 617-923-8159. We are here for you!
 
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A Good Time To Be A “Senior!”

May is a great month for seniors! Many high school students are getting ready for graduations, excited about prom, and looking forward to their upcoming freedom.

College Seniors are reminiscing about their years of hard work and getting ready to graduate and possibly join the “real world.”

And of course there is that fast-rising and all-important group of people know as “senior citizens!” No matter what your definition of a senior citizen is (many people define it as “someone older than me!”) there is no question that today’s seniors are healthier and more active than ever before, and can expect to live many years past retirement.

One thing you may not know is that seniors have their own set of dental health issues that need to be addressed. Here are some common topics we discuss with our senior patients at Dentist At Watertown.

  • Getting to the “root” of the problem.

When gums recede, the root surface of the tooth is frequently exposed. This area is much more porous that tooth enamel and thus more prone to cavities. Fluoride applications and frequent dental visits can help control this difficult to treat problem.

  • Are you sensitive?

The same areas that are exposed when gums recede can be very sensitive to hot, cols, sweets and more. A specialized toothpaste suck as Sensodyne may help. Be sure to consult us if problem persists.

  • It fells like the Sahara Desert in here!

As a person ages, salivary flow can decrease, and many medications also can cause dry mouth. Make sure you stay properly hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids (sorry – not alcoholic beverages which can lead to even more drying!). We can recommend specific products and rinses to help alleviate the discomfort.

  • What does that have to do with it?

Believe it or not, may health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer can affect your oral health. Please be sure to review your current medical conditions with us so that we can make any proper recommendations.

  • Be true to your teeth of they’ll be false to you!

In the old days it was assumed that aging meant the loss of teeth. Fortunately these days, especially with the help of regular dental visits, that simply isn’t true! But if you have lost some or all of your teeth, the options these days are better than ever! People of any age should be able to eat comfortably, speak normally, and smile attractively!!

Whether you are a high school senior, college senior, senior citizen, or anything else – At Dentist at Watertown we are here for you!

Please give us a call today at 617-923-8159 to answer any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment. You may also visit our website at WWW.DentistAtWatertown.com