Vegans and Gum Disease: Is the Risk Higher?

vegans and gum diseaseVegetarian diets are very much a part of our culture. Of course, there are different types of vegetarian diets – but all do the same thing: Limit fat intake and cholesterol.

Vegetarian diets have great overall health benefits, but some lack the key nutrients that are essential for healthy teeth and gums.

Vegans and Gum Disease: The Correlation

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), a person who consumes a strict vegetarian diet for an extended period of time is at risk for gum disease from a lack of vitamin D and calcium.

A lack of vitamin D and calcium – which are found in dairy products – can cause teeth to soften over time, making them more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Doctors say the potential for nutritional deficiencies is greatest among children and teens who decide to become vegetarians without knowing enough about their nutritional needs. Also, some vegetarians – especially vegans, who do not consume any food of animal origin – are at risk for nutritional deficiencies in vitamin B2 and vitamin B12 as well as calcium and vitamin D, according to the AGD.

It is essential for oral health and overall health that vegetarians and vegans eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes as well as dairy or soy products to limit the risk of vitamin deficiencies. A daily multivitamin is also a good way to supplement a vegetarian diet.

Since diet is an important part of an individual’s medical history, I ask all patients to tell me if they follow vegetarian or other special diets. A healthy diet and good oral health care habits are the best defense against problems with gums and teeth.

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Is it time for an appointment? Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today – (626) 795-0221

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Cool Candy Alternatives for Halloween

 Candy Alternatives

No one wants to be THAT house that gives out tooth brushes and dental floss at Halloween. But you can still be “cool” AND give out loot that’s not damaging to kids’ teeth.

To help keep cavities away and maintain your child’s good dental health – along with everyone else’s in the neighborhood – I recommend handing out these cool candy alternatives on Halloween night.

  • Sugar free gum
  • Vampire teeth
  • Halloween stickers
  • Small cans of playdoh
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Small bottles of bubbles

Most of these items are cheaper than candy, and can be purchased in bulk at a local $1 store or drug store.

Kids love this stuff and they won’t cause decay!

If you do decide to indulge your sweet tooth this Halloween, always remember to brush and floss afterwards – and encourage your kids to do the same as well.

Book your fall dental cleaning today! Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today – (626) 795-0221

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Your Tongue Speaks Volumes About Your Health

We use it for eating and speaking, but our tongues can be a key indicator about our overall health. In fact, some doctors say the tongue is one part of your body you should look at every morning.

A Diagnostic Tool

Our tongues can tell us if we’ve properly digested food from the night before, if our colon is clear, if our organs are healthy, if you’re holding onto too much anxiety, and if a disease has settled into our bodies.

Take a Peek Each Morning

First thing in the morning, stick out your tongue in front of a mirror. Do this before brushing your teeth or eating. Take note of the color, shape, and coating of your tongue.

A body with healthy organs and a clear digestive tract will show up pretty pink. A body with clogged organs or undigested food from the night before will show up with a layer of fuzz, film, the quivers, indentations from teeth, and/ or bumps (other than your taste buds).  

Below is a mirror image chart of what organs correspond to what part of the tongue. According to Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine, these locations give us insight into the health and state of our organs.

tongue

Other healthy indicators from your tongue include:

  1. COLOR - A pale-red or pretty pink color is considered healthy. It’s not too pale or too dark. This shows a healthy flow of blood reaching the tongue.
  2.  SHAPE - The tongue is supple, neither too flabby or too stiff. It has no cracks, does not tremble and is neither swollen nor thin.
  3. COATING - If there is a coating it’s thin and white. The coating will be a little bit thicker towards the root of the tongue.
  4. MOISTURE - The tongue is slightly moist, neither too dry nor too wet.
  5. SUBLINGUAL VEINS - The veins underneath the tongue are not distended, they are either barely visible or not at all. Their color is light and not a dark-blue or purple.

If you have a coating or layer of fuzz on your tongue know that it’s actually waste products and bacteria. You want to clear these toxins off your tongue so you don’t re-ingest them into your system. That’s where the tongue scraper comes in! 

What is a tongue scraper and how does it work? Ask us about it at your next dental appointment. We also do a tongue check at each dental cleaning… and will alert you if we see any trouble spots.

Is it time for an appointment? Contact THE SCIENCE OF SMILES today – (626) 795-0221

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