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5 Dental Myths That Can Harm Your Health

5 Dental Myths That Can Harm Your Health

By    |   Monday, 14 October 2019 11:20 AM

Research shows that the health of our teeth can affect our overall health.

“It is more important than ever to take care of your mouth,” Dr. Jonathan B. Levine DDS., founder of GLO Science in New York City tells Newsmax. “There is clear evidence that inflammation in the mouth is a precursor to inflammation in the rest of the body. Inflammation in the mouth can be linked to diabetes, stroke and heart disease, and bone loss associated with periodontitis could be a sign of osteoporosis.”

Here are some myths that may be preventing you from optimal dental health:

  1. Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay. Sugar has been widely labeled the villain of tooth decay, but it’s not the real culprit. Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria, streptococcus mutans, which converts the sugar into lactic acid which in turn causes the enamel to corrode. While sugar itself doesn’t cause the actual decay, it certainly acts as the key ingredient in the process. The more processed sugar you have in your diet, the more opportunity you are giving the “bad bugs” in your mouth to thrive. Satisfy your sweet tooth with naturally sweetened foods like fruit that are alkalinizing and raise the ph of your mouth to create a healthier balance of bacteria.
  2. Teeth whitening will damage your enamel. The process of teeth whitening doesn’t damage or remove enamel but the active ingredient hydrogen peroxide, which is found in most teeth whitening products, may have adverse effects if used improperly. Hydrogen peroxide over time can break down the tooth structure leaving the enamel unsupported. You will then notice a translucent edge on the tooth. To stay on the safe side, use products as directed on the package and always check with your dental team to ensure you are a good candidate for whitening. Over-the-counter products may offer big promises, but be aware that not all teeth—like people—are created equal so it’s best to check with a professional first.
  3. Silver fillings don’t need to be replaced. There’s a lot of controversy around the danger silver fillings or amalgams pose to our overall health. Dr. Gerry Curatola, of Rejuvenation Dentistry in NYC, explains that the fillings contain 52 percent mercury which can leech over time. Mercury is a powerful neurotoxin that at certain levels has been linked to autoimmune diseases. Dr. Levine says that statistical evidence supported by the American Dental Association and the U.S. Public Health Service has classified mercury amalgam fillings as safe. However, composite fillings are gaining in popularity because they are chemically bonded to your teeth and therefore hold better than amalgam. “They are also color matched to your teeth so they are aesthetically more pleasing,” says Levine. If your silver fillings need to be replaced, talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.
  4. Mouthwash with alcohol is good to use. Alcohol is a common ingredient in mouthwash, says Dr. Levine, because without it, the liquid would have a murky look. Unfortunately, alcohol can have a negative effect on the mouth, drying out the soft tissue and causing mucosal irritation. It can also lower the ph causing the bad bacteria to thrive and destroying the ecosystem of the mouth. “My recommendation is to opt for products that are alcohol-free,” says Levine. “Crest and Scope have now added alcohol-free mouthwashes to their line.”
  5. Wisdom teeth serve no purpose. Back in the Stone Age, our ancestor’s diet consisted of rough components such as leaves, meats and roots. Our wisdom teeth aided in the mastication of these foods, says Dr. Levine. Nowadays, as our diets have evolved, your wisdom teeth may be more of a nuisance than a benefit. As we age our jaws shrink causing our teeth to crowd so the wisdom teeth may become problematic. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis can help prevent or detect any dental issues caused by wisdom teeth.

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Research shows that the health of our teeth can affect our overall health.
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Monday, 14 October 2019 11:20 AM
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