Ways Your Oral Health Affects Your Overall Health

best dentist in RaleighYour oral health is more important than you realize. Find out how the health of your mouth impacts the rest of your body! The American Dental Association recommends seeing the best dentist in Raleigh every six months for an oral health check-up and routine cleaning. However, patients who do not follow these recommendations are putting more than just their teeth at risk.

Best Dentist in Raleigh Talks Health and Well Being!

If it has been more than six months since your last dental health check and cleaning, it’s time to call Dr. Katherine Garrett and schedule your cleaning and checkup. Ask about your complimentary whitening treatment when you call!

Like many areas of the body, your mouth is packed with bacteria, most of them harmless. Daily brushing and flossing can usually keep these bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that might lead to oral infections, such as gum disease and tooth decay.

Researchers know there’s a symbiotic relationship between oral health and overall wellness. Gum disease is linked to a host of illnesses including, but not limited to:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, by examining 1,000-plus medical histories, found that people with gum disease were twice as likely as others to die from a heart attack and three times as likely to have a stroke.

Heart Disease:
Several studies have shown that gum inflammation has been to raise your risk of heart disease and stroke. Gum disease increases the inflammation throughout your body, which is known to lead to cardiovascular disease.

Some studies link oral inflammatory disease and elevated heart disease risk. According to the Canadian Academy of Periodontology, “people with periodontal disease are at greater risk of heart disease and have twice the risk of having a fatal heart attack than people without periodontal disease.”

Gum disease from prolonged bacterial exposure can lead to cardiovascular disease as it may elevate the inflammation level within the body. One major risk factor for heart disease is inflammation. Your hygienist or dentist should ask you about your heart health and family history of heart disease. In turn, cardiologists should examine your oral health. A problem in one area may signal trouble in the other.

It is well known that people with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. There are some surprising new studies suggest that severe gum disease may contribute to diabetes as it affects blood glucose control. According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, “Because periodontal disease is an infection, bacteria produce toxins that affect the carbohydrate metabolism in individual cells. It is also thought that the host response to periodontal bacteria can increase insulin resistance and, therefore, blood glucose levels.” These statistics regarding people with diabetes oral health should encourage more diligent care of their teeth, especially those who are experiencing pre-diabetic blood glucose levels.

Respiratory Disease:
People with gum disease have more bacteria breeding in their mouths; they’re more likely to inhale germs that can lead to lung infections like pneumonia. For those who have pre-existing lung problems like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), gum disease may make it worse.

If you have been newly diagnosed with a new health concern, be sure to let the best dentist in Raleigh and her staff know at your next visit. Your overall health and dental health are closely related; our team needs to have your whole health picture to provide you the best dental care. Be sure to update your medication list at your next visit as well!

Call and schedule your cleaning and check up with Dr. Garrett today!

Relieve Sensitive Teeth With These Tips!

best dentist in North Raleigh Do you hesitate to partake in your favorite cold or hot beverage for fear of tooth pain? Well, fear no more and bring on the ice cold lemonade! These seven simple tips will help reduce your tooth sensitivity and help you find relief.

Relieving Sensitive Teeth | Best Dentist in North Raleigh

If you are experiencing tooth pain and it has been more than six months since your last dental check up, then it’s time to schedule your follow up with the best dentist in North Raleigh. Tooth pain can be a sign of tooth sensitivity or a new dental problem. Don’t wait to have your teeth cleaned and checked by Dr. Garrett and her professional staff.

Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: A few brands of toothpaste available are intended to help individuals with delicate teeth. Look for brands that contain a dynamic fixing called potassium nitrate, which obstructs the minor tubules in the dentin. They don’t work for everyone; many dentists concur it’s the best place to begin.

Wear a Dental Guard: You might not even realize the damage you are doing to your teeth while you are sleeping. Waking up with headaches or unexplained jaw pain could be a sign that you are grinding your teeth while you are sleeping. Try wearing a mouthguard at night to combat grinding your teeth. If you find yourself clenching your jaw during the day, try to relax and allow your jaw to become slightly slack. Ask the best dentist in North Raleigh for recommendations on selecting and having a guard fitted to help with nighttime grinding.

Change the Way you Brush: If you are not using a soft toothbrush, you could be doing even more damage to your sensitive teeth. Brushing with the wrong toothbrush can cause the enamel to erode slowly, which allows the nerves to be exposed and further irritated. Your teeth do not need to be brushed vigorously to be cleaned properly. Make sure you brush at least twice a day and use an up and down motion to clean your teeth while removing plaque effectively. Ensure that you are replacing your toothbrush every few months to prevent worn out bristles from irritating sensitive gums.

Avoid Overly Acidic Foods: Certain foods, such as carbonated beverages, citrus fruits, coffee, can bring about sensitivity, cautions the Mayo Clinic. Acidic products can substantially contribute to the wearing away of tooth enamel. Despite what you might think, do not brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acid filled foods. The acid softens your tooth enamel and will make them even more sensitive if brushed right away.

Chew Gum: Chewing sugarless gum after meals and snacks can actually help with treating sensitive teeth. Gum aids in rinsing off and neutralizing the acids released by the bacteria in plaque, which are harmful to tooth enamel. The act of chewing also increases the normal amount of saliva. Not only does the increased saliva flow counterbalance the acids in your mouth, but it also washes away food particles, helping to keep your teeth clean.

Baking Soda: To help your teeth harden back to normalcy and desensitizing them, you can use baking soda. Take a ¼ glass of water and add a ¼ tsp of baking soda. Rinse your mouth with this solution.

Fluoride Rinse: A fluoride rinse can help control sensitive teeth. As mentioned before, it can be harmful to brush your teeth after eating acidic or sugary foods. Using a fluoride rinse an hour after you eat can help reduce sensitivity and is a great alternative to brushing.

Schedule your appointment with the best dentist in North Raleigh now, to help manage your tooth sensitivity today!

Treating a Toothache at Home

best dentist in Raleigh You wake up one Sunday morning with a throbbing ache in your jaw or you are out of town and you may not be able to get into your dentist or maybe you are just trying to avoid going all together – either way, a toothache can be a real pain. Tooth pain can feel sharp, dull, or throbbing. You may also experience a fever, foul taste in your mouth, or even a headache. Toothaches can happen for many reasons; infected teeth, tooth decay, damaged fillings, teeth grinding, gum infections, or many other complications. There are some things you can do to help dull or reduce your toothache pain before getting into see the best dentist in Raleigh.

At Home Toothache Remedies | Best Dentist in Raleigh

Dr. Katherine Garrett would like to remind you that none of these things are a long term fix for a real tooth problem. While they may help temporarily, it is best to see your dentist as soon as possible. Leaving serious tooth problems untreated can not only be bad for your tooth but your overall health as well. Don’t wait, call our Raleigh office today!

Remedies | Best Dentist in Raleigh

  • Saltwater rinse – One of the best things you can do for a tooth ache is a good old-fashioned salt water rinse. A good ratio for creating your saltwater rinse is ½ teaspoon table salt to 8 ounces of warm water. Swish the mixture around your mouth for up to a minute, and be sure to spit it out, do not swallow it. Gently floss around the sore tooth, if you can, to remove any bits of food that may be stuck, therefore increasing the the pain. Repeat every few hours as needed.
  • Cloves – A great natural remedy that numbs pain. If you have clove oil, rub it directly on the sore area or soak a cotton ball in the oil and dab the tooth and gums. If you have whole cloves, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, then take 2 or 3 and hold them in your mouth as close to the sore area as you can. Wait a few minutes until they start to soften and once they are soft, chew them lightly to release more of the oils. Make sure to spit out the chewed cloves.
  • Pain Medicine – Over the counter pain relievers are also an option for helping to relieve tooth pain. It is suggested to use acetaminophen for children. For adults, you may choose any over the counter pain medications. If you choose to use aspirin, be sure to swallow it. Do not put it right on the tooth or gums as the folk remedy suggests because it might harm the inside of your mouth. You can also use over the counter anesthetics, like Ora-Gel. These contain benzocaine, which will numb the area for a little while and provide temporary relief. These anesthetics are only meant for short term remedies as you wait to see a dentist.
  •  Ice Packs – If your face is swelling from your toothache, put an ice pack or other sort of cool compress on your cheek above the pained tooth. It may help ease the pain, especially if the tooth has been knocked loose or  is chipped. Swelling can also be a sign that you have an abscess, meaning a sac of pus or infection deep in the roots of your tooth. This can cause a serious infection in your jaw and other teeth. If you have fever or red gums, it is time to contact your dentist.

If your tooth pain has lasted more than two days, it is especially important to get in to see the best dentist in Raleigh. Untreated dental infections can spread through your skull and enter your bloodstream. This can have devastating consequences. Once you are able to get into your dentist, they will be able to perform a thorough examination, along with x-rays if needed, and determine the underlying cause of your tooth pain.

Prevent tooth aches through a good oral care routine and be sure to see your dentist every six months. If you are over due for your dental cleaning and screening, call Dr. Katherine Garrett today!

Spring Dental Tips

best dentist in North Raleigh Spring is in the air! As you make your spring cleaning to-do list, don’t forget to put a visit to your Dr. Katherine Garrett on your list. Routine cleanings are important for your good overall oral health. Seeing your dentist twice a year can help identify smaller issues and keep them from becoming major dental emergencies. If it’s been more than six months since your last dental cleaning, you are overdue! Give our best dentist in North Raleigh  a call today and schedule your spring cleaning!

Spring is a busy time. Graduations, vacations, weddings and family reunions are all picture worthy events. Make sure your smile is ready. Dr. Garrett offers complimentary whitening service with all routine checkups. Our state of the art screening process helps us identify cavities and potential cavities as well as oral abnormalities and oral cancers. If your teeth are broken, chipped or cracked, Dr. Garrett can help. Don’t skip being in the picture because you don’t like your smile. Board certified and trained in the latest cosmetic dental procedures, we can give you exciting options to help you create the smile you’ve always dreamed of. The consultation is free and the results can be life changing!

Don’t forget to add the kid’s teeth to your to-do list too.The best dentist in North Raleigh will see the whole family. We treat all ages! Our friendly and professional staff are ready to help even the smallest patient develop good oral health care skills.

Spring Tips From the Best Dentist in North Raleigh

  1. Check the expiration dates – Did you know that toothpaste and mouthwash have expiration dates? Many people do not. Making sure that you are using products that are not expired is important to your dental health. If you buy your oral health products in bulk or you travel frequently and don’t use your home supply often it is easy to assume these products are still good and use them after they have gone out of date. Using expired products will limit their effectiveness and can affect their taste. Toss expired products and pick up new ones.
  2. Swap it out – While you are picking up a new tube of toothpaste or bottle of mouthwash, get a new toothbrush. Dentists recommend replacing your old toothbrush every three to four months. See our previous blog post for Dr. Garrett’s tips on choosing the right brush for you. Don’t toss that old brush though – a used toothbrush is a great tool for cleaning small nooks and crannies around your house.
  3. Floss it out – Spring and summer produce will have you firing up the grill and making those delicious fruit salads. Not only is fresh produce great for your health, strawberries contain the natural enamel whitener malic acid. These delicious berries also have tiny seeds that can get stuck in your teeth. Make sure to floss once a day so that left over particles in your teeth – like tiny strawberry seeds are removed before they become hosts for the bacteria that can break down your teeth’s enamel. The American Dental Association recommends using 18 inches of floss each time you floss and make sure you are flossing daily. Want to know more about why flossing is so important and whether dentists prefer traditional floss or water flossers, see our previous post on choosing the right floss here.

Routine cleanings, using fresh dental products, changing your toothbrush often and flossing daily are all great ways to keep your mouth healthy. Make sure to give our office a call and schedule your cleaning and your family’s cleanings with the best dentist in North Raleigh today!

Choosing the Right Toothbrush

best dentist in RaleighVacation season is right around the corner and one of the most important things you pack is your toothbrush. With so many different styles and sizes available, how do you know you are choosing the right toothbrush for you? Dr. Katherine Garrett, best dentist in Raleigh, has compiled a list of helpful hints to help you choose the right toothbrush. Whether you like battery powered or traditional, there are some standard features that you should look for the next time you are choosing a new toothbrush.

Best Dentist in Raleigh Talks Toothbrushes!

Dr. Katherine Garrett would like to remind you that even the fanciest toothbrush is no substitute for routine dental care. Spring is filled with weddings, graduations and other important events. Make sure your smile is photo ready and call to schedule your routine cleaning today. Not happy with the way your smile looks? Broken or missing teeth have you staying out of the picture? Give the best dentist in Raleigh a call and see what the latest advancements in cosmetic dentistry can do for you. In most cases, you can have a new smile in just a few weeks! Don’t wait, call today!

The toothbrush aisle can be a confusing place. Choosing the right toothbrush is important. The very first thing to look for when you choose a new toothbrush is the American Dental Association logo on the packaging. This logo lets you know that the toothbrush you are holding has met the rigorous standards for safety and design set forth by the ADA. Toothbrushes that lack the ADA logo are often manufactured in facilities that use substandard processes to make their toothbrushes. This can lead to issues like bristle fall out or deteriorating bristles that can leave you with unpleasant chemicals in your mouth – right next to your delicate gums!

Here are the other important things to consider when you are selecting your new toothbrush:

  • Get a grip – Choosing a brush that feels comfortable in your hand is important. Another key feature to consider is the handle. Does it have a non-slip grip? Non-slip grips are a great way to help prevent accidental gum gouges when you brush. Hands can get slippery while you brush so a toothbrush without a grip of some sort may not be the best option. Also, choose a brush that feels good in your hand. That may sound silly but being able to grasp the handle comfortably lets you have excellent control as you brush.
  • Traditional or Electric – Electric toothbrushes are a great tool for those who have limited dexterity, wear braces, or those who do not brush more than once a day. These brushes cover more tooth area in a shorter period than traditional brushes do. However, they can cause people to brush harder than they realize. Ensure that you keep the electric toothbrushes whirring bristles off your gums. They can abrade your gums and make them bleed if you use the brush too vigorously along the gum line.
  • Big Softie – The American Dental College conducted a survey of the dentists across America and an incredible 84 percent of them said they would recommend a soft bristled brush to their patients. Why? Because these soft bristles are gentler to your gums. They still get the job done, but without the risk of gum injury.
  • Change it up – Dentists recommend changing your toothbrush every three to four months. Old toothbrushes can harbor bacteria that can cause gingivitis.

Remember to brush twice a day for at least a full two minutes. Floss your teeth once a day and visit Dr. Garrett, the best dentist in Raleigh, twice a year for routine cleaning, oral cancer screening and checks on your existing dental hardware. Call to schedule today!