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Alexandria VA Periodontist | How Probiotics Improve Oral Health

Probiotics are typically advertised as being helpful for digestion. However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.

However, studies have shown that they can also improve oral health. Probiotics are beneficial for fighting infections that lead to oral disease.
Reducing Gingivitis

A study published in Contemporary Clinical Dentistry has found that probiotics can reduce gum bleeding in patients with moderate to severe gingivitis. In the trial, children were given either a placebo or two different combinations of probiotics. At the three-week mark, it was discovered that children who took probiotics had significant improvements in their gingival status.

Combating Periodontitis

Periodontitis is another oral disease that probiotics have been shown to fight. Periodontitis is caused by harmful bacteria that separate teeth from the gums creating pockets that can become infected. Probiotics can fight harmful bacteria and lessen the inflammation to help heal the mouth.

Fighting Cavities

Another finding from the trial of the Contemporary Clinical Dentistry showed that children who took probiotics also saw a significant decrease in plaque. The reduction of plaque leads to less decay. Probiotics fight the plaque and occupy the spaces on the teeth where bad bacteria thrive.

Minimizing Bad Breath

Another benefit of probiotics is the effect they have on bad breath. Bad breath is usually caused by volatile sulfur compound bacteria releasing odor-causing gases. Because probiotics are healthy bacteria, it is believed that they can eliminate the bad bacteria and maintain a healthy bacteria balance in your mouth.

The benefits of probiotics are not just limited to the digestive health. Researchers continue to conduct studies to discover new ways probiotics contribute to a healthy mouth and body.

Contact our team for more information on oral health or to schedule a visit today.

General Dentist in Alexandria | Plaque: Your Teeth’s Number One Enemy 

General Dentist in Alexandria When buying a toothbrush, toothpaste, or coming in to our office, you often hear the word “plaque” associated with the health of your teeth. Plaque is one of the main reasons why it is so important to keep up with a daily oral hygiene routine that includes brushing two times each day for at least two minutes, and flossing regularly as well. Here’s what you need to know about plaque and what it can do to your smile. 

 

What is Plaque? 

If you haven’t brushed your teeth in a while, you might feel a film-like, sticky buildup on your teeth. This is plaque, a bacteria layer that grips onto your teeth. There isn’t anything you can do to stop plaque from forming, but brushing and flossing as well as keeping up with regular dental visits are your best defenses for cleaning plaque off your teeth. 

 

What Plaque Does to Your Teeth & Mouth 

Without regular brushing and cleaning, plaque builds up and multiplies. As plaque is left untreated, it hardens to form tartar (also known as calculus). Plaque also leads to decay, as it produces an acid that damages your teeth. When you come into our office for a dental examination, we thoroughly clean your teeth to ensure that any buildup is taken care of. Tartar can cause staining on your teeth if left untreated. Plaque is the leading cause of gingivitis, causing your gums to swell and become red or bloody. 

 

What You Can Do 

The most important steps of keeping plaque in check is to stick to a daily brushing routine. This means brushing twice each day, for two minutes each time, and flossing at least once daily. Plaque occurs naturally, and when you come into our office for a complete examination, we work with you to clean off any buildup. Maintaining regular visits to our office is one way to ensure tartar buildup is minimized and managed. It is particularly important that you are brushing your teeth all the way to the gum, because the gum line is an area that is prone to plaque buildup. Brush gently, as vigorous brushing will only do more damage than good, especially to your gums. 

 

Sticking to your daily brushing and flossing routine will help keep your teeth free of plaque buildup. Make sure you are brushing in the morning and before bed. If you don’t brush before bed, bacteria and plaque will build up throughout the night. Schedule a visit to our office so our experienced, professional dental team can clean your teeth, giving you a smile you can be proud of. 

 

For more tips on keeping your teeth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office. 

Oral Surgeon 22302 | Tooth Decay – Something You Need to Know About 

Oral Surgeon 22302Painful, infected teeth are not a pleasant experience, but they are common symptoms of tooth decay. The good news however is that tooth decay is preventable. Your best defense against decay is a daily oral hygiene routine, as well as regular visits to our office. It can be helpful to know more about tooth decay and what causes it so that you are better equipped with the knowledge to prevent it. 

 

More Than Just Sugar 

Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay. Sugar build-up and deposits on your teeth lead to the erosion of the tooth. While it is important to be mindful of the sugary products you are consuming, sugar is not the only culprit in causing tooth decay. Acids can also damage your teeth. Foods that are high in acidic content can speed up the process of decay. Our dentist suggests you avoid drinks and candies with high sugar or acid content. If you find yourself consuming such things, make sure to keep up with your daily oral hygiene routine. 

 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends avoiding snacks between meals, limiting sugary drinks and fruit juices, and not eating or drinking before bedtime after brushing.  

 

You Can’t Always Tell 

Decay doesn’t always have noticeable signsWhen discomfort is felt, it could be a sign the decay has spread beyond one tooth. In other words, by the time you do feel it decay is far along. This can be prevented by regular visits to our office. Our doctor can help identify potential issues early and you will receive the best possible treatments for your teeth. 

 

Teeth with Fillings Still Need to Be Cared for Properly 

Previous fillings do not mean that your teeth are free of decay forever. It is essential you maintain proper daily care of your teeth. It is possible to develop decay around existing fillings, so be sure you are taking extra care especially around fillings. If you feel your existing fillings are giving you trouble, schedule an appointment to see us. 

 

Tooth Decay Not Just a Kids Thing 

All age groups are equally at risk of developing tooth decay.  Parents should keep an eye on their children’s sugary snacks and treats, but this advice holds true for everyone. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable because of certain medications can damage their teeth. It is essential that all age groups are receiving twice-yearly dental examinations. 

 

Tooth decay is a common dental issue. However, with the right knowledge you can prevent damage to your teeth. Watch your diet and make sure you limit sugary candies and snacks. Remember, you won’t always be able to see or feel decay, so contact our office to schedule a regular visit. 

 

For more helpful tips on preventing decay, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office. 

 

 

Periodontist 22302 | Are Your Drinks Attacking Your Teeth? 

Periodontist 22302If carbonated soft drinks are part of your normal daily routine, you may be causing serious damage to your teeth. Recent studies have found soft drinks to be among the most potent dietary causes of tooth decay. Soft drinks have also been implicated in increases of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Before you shop for beverages this week, consider a few things you should know about soft drinks. 

 Most soft drinks contain substantial amounts of sugars, which interact with the bacteria in your mouth. This interaction produces a form of acid that can damage your teeth for about 20 minutes. Each time you take a drink, you reset that time window. If you consume throughout the day, you are essentially bathing your teeth in that beverage for hours. 

 Most soft drinks contain acids, as well. Even sugar-free varieties contain acids that can weaken the enamel on your teeth. Colas and citrus-flavored soft drinks tend to have the highest levels of acid. Over time, this weakening of tooth enamel has a cumulative effect. This can lead to decay and even tooth loss if not addressed in early stages. 

 Obviously, the best solution is to stop consuming carbonated soft drinks. However, it can be a difficult habit to break. Here are some tips to help reduce your risks of tooth damage from these beverages: 

 

  • Drink in moderation. Too much sugar and acid will eventually cause damage. 
  • Try sparkling water. This provides the fizzy sensation without all the sugar and acid. 
  • Drink more water. You will crave soft drinks less when you are fully hydrated. 
  • Don’t sip. The longer you spend drinking, the more time sugars and acids are reacting with your teeth. 
  • Use a straw. This can help keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth. 
  • Rinse with water after drinking to dilute acids and sugars. 
  • Don’t brush immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes for acids to be neutralized by saliva before brushing. 
  • Practice good dental hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and regular professional cleanings and exams. 

 Carbonated soft drinks can be harmful to your oral and overall health. Be mindful of how often you consume them and consider reducing or stopping your use of these dangerous beverages. 

 

For more oral health tips or to schedule an appointment, contact our office. 

 

Implants near Alexandria | 6 Tips for Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

Implants near Alexandria Oral health is important at every stage in life. Just because your children are going to lose their primary (baby) teeth eventually doesn’t mean that we can ignore the importance of dental care. Tooth decay can be painful and uncomfortable to treat. To protect your child’s smile, it is vital to understand optimal preventive care.   

 

  1. Explain the important of routine dental care to your children and turn brushing and flossing into something fun that they look forward to each day. 
  2. Schedule routine appointments to our office for cleanings and dental exams. Your child should start seeing a dentist as soon as their first tooth emerges. Make sure to continue visiting us twice a year for optimal oral health. 
  3. Include crisp and fibrous foods into your child’s diet. Fruits and vegetables high in water content help keep your child’s mouth hydrated. Foods such as apples increase saliva which inhibit bacteria from sticking to their teeth.
  4. Avoid food and drinks that are high in sugar. Soda, juice and candy are all treats that most children love to eat. However, these can be detrimental to your child’s teeth and overall health. 
  5. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent tooth decay. Water flushes bacteria and acid away from teeth. Encourage your children to drink water especially after eating. 
  6. Ask us about dental sealants for your children. Sealants can add a layer of protection to your child’s teeth where bacteria build up to prevent damage 

 Tooth decay starts out as a small problem, but left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues. By adding a few minor habits into your daily routine, your child’s oral health can change for the better. Simple changes in diet and routine can keep cavities at bay.  

 Call us today to schedule an appointment for your child. 

 

Periodontist 22302 | Understanding Periodontal Disease 

Periodontist 22302Maintaining your gum health is vital to your overall health. When you visit our office for an examination, our trained hygienists perform a periodontal exam. In fact, during your examination, our team is quietly assessing your oral health by performing a number of checks. Here’s what you need to know about periodontal disease. 

 Many Names, One Illness 

You may have heard periodontal disease referred to as gum disease or gingivitis. Periodontal disease is the inflammation and infection of your gums. These names are frequently used interchangeably. 

 Signs & Symptoms 

Periodontal disease may be marked by swollen and red gums. Bleeding, especially while brushing and flossing, may also occur. Another symptom of periodontal disease is persistent bad breath. If you experience any of these symptoms regularly, please contact our office. 

 Periodontal Disease Can Impact Your Overall Health 

Your gum health is linked to your overall health. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bleeding gums, gum recession, and tooth loss. The effects of periodontal disease extend well beyond your mouth. In fact, according to the American Academy of Periodontology, the disease can increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

 While you may think of your teeth as the primary reason to visit our office for a regular examination, understand that our team is looking beyond your teeth to assess your oral health and potential impacts on your overall health. Talk to our experienced team if you experience any signs or symptoms of periodontal disease. Our team is trained to identify signs of periodontal disease. When detected early and managed properly, periodontal disease is treatable.  

 For more information regarding your gum health, please contact our office, or schedule a visit to see us. 

 

Dentist in Alexandria | One Tool for Better Gum Health 

Periodontist in Alexandria Loose teeth, bad breath, and painful, bloody gums – these are among the signs and symptoms of periodontal, or gum, disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease can also begin without any obvious symptoms. If left undiagnosed or untreated, you could be at risk for irreparable damage to your teeth and gums. The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable. In fact, one of the most effective tools for preventing the disease only takes a minute of your time each day. 

 

Floss to the Rescue 

Dental floss is an effective and easy to use tool that can be among your best defenses for preventing periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and bacteria. Even if your daily oral hygiene routine already includes a thorough brushing that lasts for two minutes, at least twice each day, you should be flossing daily as well. Dental floss is highly effective at cleaning areas where your toothbrush cannot reach. Small gaps and tight spaces between teeth catch food debris and sugars and acids from drinks all day long. Flossing helps to clean out these tough to reach spaces. 

 

Facts Behind Flossing 

According to a survey referenced by the American Dental Association, only 40% of Americans floss each day. The same study showed a clear link between regular intra-oral care and better oral health. Unfortunately, many people also lie about how frequently they clean between their teeth. A study from the American Academy of Periodontology found that 27% of adults lie to their dentist about their flossing habits. 

 

Tips for Flossing Correctly 

It can be confusing to figure out the best way to use dental floss. Try cutting off about 18 inches of floss and wrapping most of it carefully around your middle finger. Use roughly one inch to clean between each pair of teeth. Using your thumb and index finger, carefully slide the floss between your teeth. Floss to your gumline, but be gentle. Avoid cutting your gums. Work your way through your 18 inches of floss by using a new, clean section between each pair of adjacent teeth. 

 

It only takes about a minute to floss your teeth each day, but these minutes contribute to a lifetime of optimal oral health. Floss is among the most effective tools at your disposal to keep your gums clean and healthy. Get into the habit of flossing your teeth regularly – your gums will thank you. 

 

For more information about gum health, or to schedule a visit to our office, please contact our team. 

 

Periodontist Near Me | Gum Health and Alzheimer’s Disease 

Periodontist 22302

Your gum health may have an impact on your cognitive function. One recent study found a correlation between gum disease and increased cognitive decline for people living with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While more studies are needed to make a definitive connection, this study illustrates the importance of continuing the conversation about oral health and its impact on your entire body.  

 

Details of the Study 

The study was administered by King’s College London and the University of Southampton. It observed 59 patients with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Blood tests were utilized to examine inflammatory markers present in the bloodstream, while patients’ dental health was examined by dental hygienists.  

 

What it Found 

The study found that patients with gum disease experienced cognitive decline at a rate 6 times faster than those without gum disease. The study suggested that the body’s reaction to inflammation may be responsible for causing the rapid decrease in brain function. 

 

Importance of Healthy Gums 

Previous studies have determined that gum disease can increase your risk of developing complications such as heart disease and stroke. Maintaining healthy gums is essential to staying healthy overall. You can keep your gums healthy by following good daily oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing twice each day for two minutes, as well as flossing regularly. 

 For those living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is imperative to maintain good oral health. If you are a caregiver of someone with the disease, make sure they are following an effective daily oral hygiene routine, as well as visiting our office for regular examinations. Keeping your gums healthy may be one key to keeping your body and brain healthy throughout your lifetime. 

 For more information about gum health, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us. 

Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St. Suite 128
Alexandria , VA 22302

Periodontist 22302 | 12 Reasons to See Your Dentist 

Periodontist in 22302Don’t wait until you’re in pain to see your dentist! Most people make time to clean out the house, car, garage, or closets at least twice a year. Why not include your oral health on your “to do” list? 

 

Schedule an Appointment Now!  

 Regular professional cleaninand examinations are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. These routine visits are your first line of defense against tooth decay, periodontal disease, oral cancers, and more. Early identification and treatment of any oral illness improves outcomes and allows for less-invasive treatment options. Don’t wait until it hurts! 

 

Why Do We Avoid Going? 

The HDI institute, in a study done with the American Dental Association, lists some of the main reasons we sometimes delay going to the dentist. Cost, low perceived need, time, and anxiety are the most common causesHowever, if we allow these concerns to interfere with oral care, we may allow more serious issues to develop. 

 

When Should We See the Dentist? 

 The ADA or American Dental Society recommends maintaining twice yearly visits for cleaning and examinations. In addition, they advise making an appointment for any of the following concerns:  

  1. Pain in your mouth, teeth, or face 
  2. Injury to your mouth, teeth, or face 
  3. Conditions that can affect oral health, such as diabetes 
  4. Pregnancy 
  5. Jaw pain or stiffness 
  6. Bleeding, swelling, or redness in your gums  
  7. Recent dental treatment, such as fillings, crowns, implants, or root canal 
  8. Pain or difficulty eating or drinking  
  9. Chronic dry mouth 
  10. Smoking or tobacco use 
  11. Sores in your mouth that are not healing 
  12. You have questions or concerns about your oral health or hygiene 

 Our team is here to help you achieve and maintain your best oral health. To schedule your next appointment, please contact our office.  

 

Karl A. Smith, DDS, LLC
Phone: (703) 894-4867
2500 N. Van Dorn St. Suite 128
Alexandria , VA 22302

Alexandria VA Periodontist | Dentistry is the Answer 

It has long been understood that patients with periodontal disease have a much higher risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, premature delivery or miscarriage, and respiratory issues. While it was recognized that proper oral healthcare helped minimize the risk of these health problems, little research had been conducted that showed a direct correlation between periodontal care and improved health for patients already suffering from these issues. However, a recent study presented to the American Heart Association (AHA) has, for the first time, shown that intensive periodontal care alone is enough to lower blood pressure levels. 

Presented at the 2017 annual AHA meeting in Anaheim, CA, a new study has shown that periodontal care can be an effective way to reduce blood pressure, inhibit inflammation, and lower the risk of cardiovascular events. The study was conducted by a team of researchers led by Jun Tao, MD, PhD from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, ChinaA sample of 107 Chinese men with mild to severe periodontitis were given two levels of periodontal care over a six-month period. The researchers found that those who received more intensive care saw a noticeable reduction in blood pressure levels compared to those who received more basic care. 

 

While many understand the importance of professional oral care for maintaining optimal oral health, few recognize the risks that poor oral health can pose to your overall well-being. There are a number of serious and potential life-threatening conditions that have been tied to untreated periodontal disease.  We now have conclusive evidence that periodontal care can not only reduce the risk of heart issues, but can lower blood pressure and promote a healthier heart as well. 

 

Whether you currently have periodontal disease or heart issues or are concerned about developing them in the future, it’s never too soon to seek periodontal diagnosis and care. The CDC estimates that nearly half of US adults have mild to severe gum disease, and therefore are putting themselves at risk of developing serious health problems. Don’t become a statistic, contact our dental team today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the life-saving benefits of periodontal care. 

Dr. Karl Smith

2500 N. Van Dorn St., Suite 128,
Alexandria VA 22302
Phone: (703) 894-4867

61 Post Office Rd. Suite 1-B,
Waldorf, MD 20602
Phone: (301) 638-4867