Your Heart is in Your Mouth: Good Oral Hygiene Could Mean Healthier Hearts

For years, you may have overlooked a handy tool in the fight against cardiovascular disease: your toothbrush.

Studies link tooth and gum health to heart health. A 2005 review from Finland’s Helsinki University Central Hospital, which was published in the “Journal of Periodontology,” found that chronic inflammation, such as that found in gum disease, increases the risk that a patient will develop heart disease. A 2010 survey of 12,000 people in Scotland found that, over an average of eight years, those who rarely or never brushed their teeth were 70 percent more likely to develop heart disease than those with twice-daily brushing habits.

When It Comes to Your Health, Your Heart Is in Your Mouth

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Tired of Doggy Breath? Prevention Is Key to Protect Pets From Oral Disease

Your pet is a beloved family member. You buy him comfy pillows and squeaky toys, premium kibble and trips to the groomer. But if you’re like most pet owners, you’re neglecting a major part of your cat or dog’s medical care – his mouth.

Oral disease, including periodontal or gum disease, is the most common disorder in cats and dogs. The internal research team of Banfield, The Pet Hospital, supports findings that 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of three display signs of oral disease, including bad breath, pain while chewing, weight loss, yellow teeth, red or swollen gums, missing teeth, nasal discharge or tearing or swelling below one eye. In advanced cases, gum disease can lead to bone infections.

Can’t Stop Smoking? Protect Your Smile

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When people discuss the health effects of tobacco, they rarely mention tooth loss. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41.3 percent of daily smokers over age 65 are toothless, compared to 20 percent of the nonsmoking population.

How does smoking put gaps in your smile? All forms of tobacco, including cigarettes, cigars and smokeless “chew,” can cause gum tissue to recede, leaving a greater percentage of each tooth exposed to the bacteria that cause gum disease. Smoking also interferes with healing by reducing blood flow, making it easier for infection to set in and harder to eradicate it.

Quitting tobacco is the best thing smokers can do to improve their health, but going cold-turkey is easier said than done. However, even smokers struggling to quit can take steps to promote healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, DMD, Ph.D., believes that taking oral probiotics, such as EvoraPlus probiotic mints (www.myevoraplus.com), can help smokers maintain their oral health.

“Oral probiotics attach themselves to the teeth and gum tissue, establishing colonies of live, active beneficial bacteria both on the surface of the teeth and deep beneath the gum line,” says Dr. Hillman. “These colonies compete for both nutrients and space with the harmful oral bacteria that challenge gum and tooth health, as well as cause bad breath.”

In addition to crowding out bad bacteria, the oral probiotics in EvoraPlus naturally release low levels of hydrogen peroxide, so EvoraPlus gently whitens teeth. This is more good news for smokers, as tobacco products create stains on teeth that cannot be removed through regular brushing. Taking oral probiotics won’t reduce tobacco users’ risk of oral cancer or lung disease. As advanced gum disease has been linked to systematic health problems, such as heart disease, which

is also exacerbated by smoking, smokers should take every step to keep their mouths healthy as they work to quit smoking.

Kids Take Gum Disease to Heart

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Teaching your kids to care for their teeth will do more than ensure a healthy smile — it may also help them avoid health problems later in life.

Many parents consider cavities a normal part of childhood — after all, children eat more sweet foods than adults and often neglect brushing and flossing. But research links cavities and gum disease with serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease.

Research suggests that there is a relationship between gum disease and heart health. The American Academy of Periodontology reports that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have heart disease. Likewise, in a study of 657 heart-disease patients published in “Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association,” lead researcher Moise Desvarieux, M.D., Ph.D. of Columbia University discovered that patients with harmful bacteria in their mouths were more likely to have a clogged artery in their neck, a precursor to stroke.

Researchers believe that, when the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease invade the gum line, they also access the bloodstream. Once they enter the circulatory system, these harmful bacteria can cause disease in other parts of the body.

But kids will be kids, and some may stop brushing their teeth before they finish singing “The Star Spangled Banner” or forget to floss after eating that ice cream cone. Even if kids are excellent brushers and flossers, they can’t get rid of the harmful bacteria living in every part of their mouths.

Parents can skip the risk by giving their kids probiotics for oral care, like EvoraKids (www.myevorakids.com), a chewable that contains beneficial bacteria that are normally found in healthy mouths. When these good bacteria adhere to the teeth, they leave less room for harmful bacteria to grow, helping to support tooth health.

“Daily use of a product such as EvoraKids is an easy way to naturally maintain oral health,” says Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, D.M.D., Ph.D. and chief medical officer for Oragenics. “The good bacteria inhibit the growth of the damaging bad bacteria, leading to better health and breath.”

For more information, visit www.myevorakids.com.

Is Your Pet’s Bad Breath Dogging You?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Your pet is a beloved family member. You buy him comfy pillows and squeaky toys, premium kibble and trips to the groomer. But if you’re like most pet owners, you’re neglecting a major part of pet medical care — their mouth.

Oral disease, which includes periodontal disease or gum disease, is the most common disorder in cats and dogs. The internal research team of Banfield, The Pet Hospital (www.banfield.net), supports findings that 68 percent of cats and 78 percent of dogs over the age of 3 display signs of oral disease, including bad breath, pain while chewing, weight loss, yellow teeth, red or swollen gums, missing teeth, nasal discharge or tearing or swelling below one eye. There are four stages of periodontal disease, starting with mild plaque and gingivitis and progressing to major gum recession and tooth loss.

Dogs and cats use their mouths like we use our hands, so dental disease can seriously affect their ability to eat and play. Worse, evidence suggests a link between gum disease and other serious health problems.

“Periodontal disease has also been associated with changes in a pets’ kidneys, liver and cardiac functions,” said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield. “In short, unhealthy teeth can lead to an unhealthy pet in ways pet owners can’t imagine.”

Experts emphasize that prevention is the best medicine. For example, Banfield hospitals, most of which are located in PetSmart stores nationwide, include comprehensive dental care in two of their Optimum Wellness Plan options, which are packages of preventive care services. In addition to regular exams, Banfield recommends that pet owners brush their pets’ teeth every day, or at least two or three times a week. Feeding pets firm kibble can help slow down plaque formation, as can dental chew toys and dental-specific water additives.

“In addition to professional cleanings, our veterinarians are trained to provide a manageable at-home dental plan that pet owners can easily follow,” said Karen Johnson, DVM, vice president and client advocate for Banfield. “At Banfield, preventive care is the cornerstone of our practice — to us, proper dental care is just as important to the long-term health of a pet as routine vaccinations.”

For more information or to find a local Banfield hospital, visit www.banfield.net.

Tips to Keep Your Smile Dazzling

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When it comes to making a great first impression, nothing’s more important than a friendly smile. But not everyone feels confident enough to truly dazzle — after all, few smiles appear Hollywood-bright.

Coffee, tea, nicotine, soda, some fruit juices, silver-colored fillings and age can all give teeth a yellowish cast. No wonder drug store shelves are lined with whitening products that promise lighter teeth.

But whitening products aren’t perfect. Many users experience tooth and gum sensitivity and gum irritation, and prolonged use can damage tooth enamel.

At-home remedies don’t provide a better alternative. Brushing with baking soda can scratch resins and porcelain veneers, making stains more likely to adhere to those surfaces. Stain-removing toothpastes, which should not be confused with “whitening” products, are abrasive, and should only be used under a dentist’s supervision.

So what can you do to preserve a younger-looking, whiter smile? Here are some tips to keep you smiling pretty:

* Watch what you drink. If a beverage can stain cups, clothing and carpets, chances are that it can also stain your teeth. Even if you cannot give up coffee or cola indefinitely, you can take steps to lessen their toll on your teeth. For example, drink coffee or soda in one or two sittings instead of sipping on them slowly throughout the day. Follow sugary or acidic beverages with water, which will wash away their residue.

* Snack healthy. Foods like celery, carrots, pears and apples trigger saliva-production. The more saliva in your mouth, the less likely you are to develop stains or tooth decay.

* Use probiotics. Oral care probiotics, such as those found in Oragenic’s EvoraPlus probiotic mints (www.MyEvoraPlus.com), can help whiten teeth without causing sensitivity or irritation. The mints contain Probiora3, a patented blend of beneficial bacteria that, when allowed to colonize the mouth, prevent bad bacteria from establishing in the mouth and threatening tooth and gum health. The mints will whiten your teeth even if you continue to drink staining beverages — the bacteria constantly release low levels of hydrogen peroxide, a natural whitener, so your teeth are constantly being lightened throughout the day.

* Avoid using tobacco products. Nicotine stains teeth and leads to bad breath and gum disease, not to mention several types of oral cancer. Do yourself a favor and quit.

Don’t Let Diabetes Wipe That Smile From Your Face

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Diabetics know that they need routine health care, like check-ups and eye exams, but many might not know that diabetes can also put a bad taste in their mouth.

High glucose levels encourage destructive bacteria to overcrowd the mouth. The bacteria cause plaque build-up and gum disease, or gingivitis. Anyone can develop gum disease, but diabetics often struggle to fight off infections. Without a strong immune response, infections advance quickly. And gum disease, which starts off with red, sore and bleeding gums, leads to periodontitis, a serious infection of the gums and the bones of the mouth. Those who develop periodontitis often lose their teeth.

The relationship between gum disease and diabetes proves a two-way street -; studies suggest that advanced gum disease raises blood sugar, making diabetes harder to control. As gum disease worsens diabetes, and diabetes worsens gum disease, patients should strive to avoid the whole cycle altogether.

Some products can help. For example, EvoraPlus Probiotic Mints (www.MyEvoraPlus.com) can help keep bad bacteria at bay. The mints contain a mix of healthy bacteria, called ProBiora3, that adheres to the teeth and gums, leaving less room for bad bacteria to grow. In crowding out bad bacteria, the probiotic mints naturally support tooth and gum health. The mints also gently whiten teeth through the natural release of low-level hydrogen peroxide.

Diabetics can also avoid gum disease by controlling their blood sugar. The higher the patients’ blood glucose level, the more likely they are to develop periodontitis and other oral infections.

Everyone should schedule dentist appointments every six months, but diabetics must work closely with their dentists to develop oral health care plans. Dentists can offer diabetes-specific tooth care advice.

If patients smoke, they should talk to their dentists or doctors about quitting -; smoking drastically increases the risk of tooth and gum disease.

Diabetics should be especially careful not to neglect routine brushing and flossing. Patients should floss at least once a day and brush their teeth with a soft-bristled brush after every meal and snack. Those wearing dentures should keep them clean.

Is Your Sweet Tooth Ruining Your Smile?

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – It’s not exactly a secret that too many lollipops cause cavities, but did you know that pasta and bread may also lead to tooth decay and gum disease?

Plaque, caused by bacteria, coats your teeth. Every time you eat something with sugar, these bacteria create an acid that erodes teeth enamel. While refined sugars, like those found in candy, soda and cookies, frequently contribute to poor oral health, the bad bacteria in your mouth aren’t particularly picky. They also react to natural sugars, like those found in fruit, and starchy foods like bread and potatoes. Even foods like milk contain at least a small amount of sugar.

Food choices can contribute to gum disease as well as tooth decay. For example, someone eating an unhealthy diet will decrease their immunity, making their body less able to fight off infection in their gums.

With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s easy to unknowingly compromise your oral health. Here are some tips to prevent tooth decay and gum disease:

– Take an oral probiotic. Your mouth naturally contains “good” bacteria that keep teeth and gums healthy. The more good bacteria in your mouth, the less bad bacteria can grow. Taking an oral probiotic, like EvoraPlus probiotic breath mints, will give bad bacteria fewer opportunities to invade your mouth. Better yet, probiotics freshen breath and — due to the natural release of low-level hydrogen peroxide — help whiten teeth. Even if you don’t eat the healthiest diet, you can benefit from probiotics.

– Don’t drink throughout the day. If you’re slowly sipping a sugary or acidic beverage, you might as well be giving your teeth an acid bath. Choose water instead — it will also help flush bad bacteria and sugar from your mouth.

– Eat a well-balanced diet, and stick to meal times. If you’re getting the nutrients you need, you are less likely to develop gum disease. Eating frequently throughout the day allows sugar to stay in your mouth for longer periods of time, so try to resist the temptation to graze. Limit any sort of sticky food that can get stuck in your teeth.

– Rinse your mouth and brush your teeth after eating. If you can’t brush your teeth, chew a piece of sugarless gum or eat an apple — both stimulate saliva, which decreases acid and helps remove food particles.

To find more information about EvoraPlus, visit myevoraplus.com.

Take a Bite Out of Gum Disease: What You Should Know

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<p>(<a   href=NewsUSA) – Almost every American enjoys showing a big, bright smile, or feeling their fresh, smooth teeth with their tongue following a good brushing. But even if your teeth are pearly white, you could still be at risk for periodontal disease.

In the U.S., approximately 80 percent of adults will experience gum disease in their lifetime, which can cause symptoms ranging from inflammation to bone damage. In gum disease, bacteria infect the tissues that support your teeth. The bacteria attack below the gumline, creating pockets of infection. The disease has two main stages — gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis only involves inflammation of the gums, and is reversible, while periodontitis is destructive to the tissues that surround and support the teeth, and is harder to treat.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

– Gums that bleed easily

– Red, swollen or tender gums

– Receding gums

– Permanent teeth becoming loose or separated

– Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away.

“Researchers and medical experts can give us long lists of lifestyle modifications we can make — including eating better, reducing our stress, avoiding stimulants and tobacco, and increasing our physical activity level — to combat gum disease,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hillman, DMD, Ph.D. “What seems to be missing is a way to improve our oral health within our busy lifestyle.”

Hillman, who has spent more than 30 years researching oral health, has identified three unique probiotic strains that are natural residents in healthy mouths. This special blend of probiotics, patented as ProBiora3, forms colonies of beneficial bacteria on the teeth and gums, where they crowd out harmful bacteria, helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

These beneficial bacteria naturally support optimal gum and tooth health, freshen breath and, by releasing a continuous, low dose of hydrogen peroxide, gently whiten teeth. Because bacteria are microscopic, probiotic health care products can penetrate areas of the mouth otherwise untouchable by other oral health care products, including in the pits of the chewing surfaces of teeth, under orthodontic braces and retainers and below the gumline.

The ProBiora3 probiotic technology has been integrated into an easy delivery system as a probiotic mint called EvoraPlus. For more information, visit myevoraplus.com.