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Stoneham Dental Care

Stoneham Dental Care

112 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180
Phone: (781) 438-1995

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Patient education is an important part of what we do everyday at Stoneham Dental Care. We want our patients to understand common dental health conditions and we hope the following information and videos are an effective resource for our patients. Please call our office if you have any questions related to your oral health. We are here to help!

Your teeth and gums reveal the inside story of your overall health -- from signs of diabetes to heart disease.

What conditions may be linked to oral health?
Your oral health may effect, be affected by or contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:

Diabetes: Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. In addition, people who have inadequate blood sugar control may develop more-frequent and severe infections of the gums and the bone that holds teeth in place, and they may lose more teeth than do people who have good blood sugar control.

Heart disease: Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria, possibly due to chronic inflammation from periodontitis — a severe form of gum disease.
Pregnancy and birth. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.

Oral Cancer: Oral cancer is cancer that occurs on the lips (usually the lower lip), tongue, inside the mouth, on the back of the throat, the tonsils or salivary glands. It occurs more frequently in men than women, and most likely to strike people over 40. Chewing tobacco as well as smoking in combination with heavy alcohol use are key risk factors. If not detected early, oral cancer can require surgery, radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy.

HIV/AIDS: Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.

Snoring: Snorers are often not aware that they snore. Snoring is usually normal and not an indication of an underlying disorder. Rarely, however, snoring can be an indication of a serious sleep disorder (sleep apnea). People who snore and have quiet periods lasting more than 10 seconds have some degree of sleep apnea and are at risk for chronic hypoxia (a condition where there is an insufficient blood oxygen level). In some cases, treatment may include the use of dental appliances to prevent the tongue from falling back into the mouth.

Canker and Cold Sores
In or out? That's the first question to ask when you're trying to figure out whether you have a canker sore or a cold sore. If it's inside your mouth it's most likely a canker sore; outside, probably a cold sore. The two may seem similar, but the similarity ends with the fact that both are connected with the mouth and both cause pain and discomfort. So knowing which one you have is the first step to knowing how it's caused and how to treat it. Canker sores (or mouth ulcers) generally occur inside the mouth and are bacterial in nature. They often are triggered by trauma such as biting your cheek, jabbing your gum with your toothbrush or even overzealous tooth cleaning. Cold sores are tiny clear, fluid filled blisters that form around the mouth and sometimes inside the mouth are caused by the herpes simplex virus living inside your nerve tissue.
Provided by Academy of General Dentistry

Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Halitosis simply means bad breath, a problem that many people experience at one time or another. It is estimated that 40% of the population suffers from chronic halitosis at some time.

Many things can cause bad breath, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene (not brushing and flossing properly)
  • Gum disease
  • Eating certain foods like onions or garlic
  • Tobacco and alcohol products
  • Dry mouth (caused by certain medications, medical disorders and by decreased saliva flow during sleep - hence the term "morning breath"
  • Systemic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, liver and kidney disorders

How Do I Know if I Have Halitosis?
One way to test if you have bad breath is to cover your mouth and nose with your hand, exhale, and smell your breath. Another way is to ask someone you trust whether or not your breath smells bad. Keep in mind that many people experience "morning breath," which is the result of reduced saliva flow during sleep that allows acids and other debris to putrefy in the mouth. Brushing and flossing thoroughly before bed, and brushing your teeth and tongue first thing in the morning, will usually eliminate morning breath.

How Can I Help Prevent Halitosis?
In addition to avoiding foods that cause bad breath, you can reduce the chancesof bad breath by:

  • Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily to remove plaque and food particles. Brushing your tongue will also help reduce bad breath
  • Removing dentures each night and cleaning them well before replacing them each morning
  • Visiting your dentist regularly for dental checkups and cleanings
  • If you have persistent bad breath that is not improved with brushing and flossing, see your dentist for a thorough dental examination as this could indicate a more serious problem. Only a dentist can tell if you have gum disease, dry mouth or excess plaque buildup as a possible cause of bad breath.
    Provided by Colgate

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Be sure to tell your dentist if you're taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you've had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition. Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.

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How can I protect my oral health?

To protect your oral health, resolve to practice good oral hygiene every day. For example:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day followed by vigorous rinsing with a fluoride rinse.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
  • Floss daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups.

Is There a Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes?
New research is suggesting a link between gum disease and diabetes. While it's established that people with diabetes are more prone to developing gum disease, this new research implies that chronic gum disease may be a risk factor for diabetes. How does this happen? Gum disease can cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and activate cells that produce inflammatory biological signals that have a destructive effect throughout the body. In the pancreas, the cells responsible for insulin (blood sugar) can be damaged or destroyed. Once this happens, it may trigger Type 2 diabetes - even in a healthy individual with no other risk factors for diabetes.

Understanding Gum Disease

Provided by Colgate®

Dental Health Resources

American Dental Association

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Dental Education Association


Care to Share Program

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Stoneham Dental Care

112 Main Street
Stoneham, MA 02180
Phone: (781) 438-1995