• Posted on June 10, 2019 8:53 am
    By Tacoma
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    Diet & Your Dental Health

    No one likes to be unhealthy. Most of us try to keep our bodies in optimal health and good shape. We often follow diet tips for a healthy body and a variety of diet plans and food charts online which can help you drop those extra pounds. Likewise, our oral health, (the health of your teeth, gums and jaw bones) are also an important part of our overall health. If only there was a diet plan for preserving your teeth and oral health! Can your diet affect your oral health? Yes — our food intake affects our oral health. Obviously, the foods that we eat are chewed and are in close proximity to our teeth. The bacteria present in our mouth degrade food particles and create acid. This acid causes the tooth substance to lose its minerals and the chance of cavity formation is greatly increased. However, the bacteria in the mouth produce more acid with certain foods than others. Therefore it is useful to know the foods that are most harmful to our teeth and to keep them to a bare minimum. Here is a list of diet tips to keep your teeth healthy.            Sugary foods Sugary candies and sweets tend to stay in your mouth. If you eat sweets, go for those that clear out of your mouth quickly. Sticky candies like lollipops, caramels, jelly beans, and hard candies make it difficult for saliva to wash the sugar away. Snacks like cookies, cakes or other desserts contain a high amount of sugar, which can cause tooth decay. If you eat these foods,  try to eat them all at once and brush your teeth afterwards, instead of snacking on them throughout the day.            Starchy, refined carbs Foods such as chips, bread, pasta or crackers can be as harmful to the teeth as candy. Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can linger in your mouth and then break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay. Avoid eating them throughout the day and brush afterward.           Beverages with added sugar Be aware of the amount of sugar in your drinks by checking the nutrition label. Consider alternatives such as water, tea, coffee, and coconut water.            Fruits & Juice Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. Whole fruits have fiber and are a less concentrated source of sugar (and sometimes acids) than juice. When you drink fruit juice, use a straw to keep it from having too much contact with your teeth or rinse with water afterward.           Lemons, citrus fruits and other acidic foods Citrus foods are acidic, so avoid keeping citrus foods in your mouth for long periods of time. Healthy foods for your teeth:            Green tea Polyphenols have been known to reduce bacteria and toxic products of bacteria in the mouth. Tea also tends to be rich in fluoride, the most well-known tooth strengthener. Thus green tea may help prevent tooth decay.            Chew xylitol gum after meals            Xylitol increases saliva production and prevents the bacteria in your mouth from producing the acids that cause cavities. However, be aware that overuse of gums should be avoided as it can cause gastric problems.            Probiotics Probiotics may help to decrease gum infections and plaque (deposits on teeth); bacteria in fermented foods may also suppress the growth of pathogens in the oral cavity. One study showed that consuming fermented dairy was associated with reduced gum diseases. In turn, this makes your teeth and gums stronger.            Fibrous (Fiber-rich) foods Foods rich in fiber like carrots, cucumbers, celery or multigrain breads are a better choice than starchy foods. High fiber foods have a better rate of clearance from the tooth surface. As the food particles are in contact with the tooth surface for lesser time, tooth decay is reduced.            Cranberries Cranberries and other plant foods like blueberries, red cabbage, eggplant peel, black rice, and raspberries are rich in anthocyanins and may prevent the attachment and colonization of pathogens on host tissues (including teeth). Numerous studies have even shown that cranberry extract-infused mouthwash improves dental health!            Increase the amount of arginine in your diet Eat more spinach, lentils, nuts, eggs, whole grains, meat, seafood, and soy! Beverage choices: The best beverage choices include water (especially fluoridated water), milk, and unsweetened tea. Limit your consumption of sugar-containing drinks, including soft drinks, lemonade, and coffee or tea with added sugar. Also, avoid day-long sipping of sugar-containing drinks as they expose your teeth to constant sugar and, in turn, constant decay-causing acids. ———————————— At Tacoma Dental Group we treat a person using a holistic approach. Patients come with different concerns and requirements, so we treat each patient as an individual. We provide preventive, as well as therapeutic treatment options. If you are concerned about cavities or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up, or cosmetic dentistry, contact Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience and treatment plan, specific to your dental needs. Preserve or recover your natural smile and optimum oral health by availing the best dental solutions. For more information consult Dr. Ron Lo at (253)-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com Or you can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

  • Posted on November 23, 2017 7:51 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Research has shown that periodontal (gum) disease affects other parts of the body and is associated with other diseases. For a long time, it was thought that bacteria in the mouth were responsible for other diseases. However, increasingly, recent medical research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth and the plaque is so sticky that it keeps the acids in contact with your teeth, breaking down the tooth enamel and leading to tooth decay. Plaque buildup can also lead to gum disease. First, gingivitis occurs, which is a condition wherein the gums are tender and swollen and sometimes bleed. If gingivitis progresses, it may lead to severe periodontal (gum) disease. In this condition, gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, allowing the bacteria to destroy the underlying bone supporting the teeth. So, what is behind the link between gum disease and systemic disease? Scientists say that it could be that oral bacteria enter the bloodstream and can damage major organs. Or, as mentioned above, inflammation of the gums may increase inflammation throughout the body. Below are some systemic diseases that could be caused or negatively affected by gum disease. Gum Disease and Heart Disease: Over the years, it has been found that people with poor gum health have been known to have poor heart health, including greater risk of heart attacks. Scientists have encouraged cardiologists to ask patients about the presence of gum disease, and have also encouraged periodontists to ask their patients about the presence of heart disease, as instances of the two, seems to be linked or at least appear together with a higher incidence than chance. Gum Disease and Diabetes: If you have diabetes, you are more likely to have gum disease. Inflammation may be partly to blame and also, those with diabetes are more likely to contract infections, including gum disease. If your diabetes is not under control, you are even more likely to suffer from gum disease. Gum Disease and Dementia: Gum disease also raises the risk of dementia later in life. Researchers have also found that gum disease may be associated with mild cognitive impairment, such as memory problems, making daily activities more difficult. In a recent study, participants who had the worst gum disease scored the worst on memory tests and calculations. Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): RA is an autoimmune disease, marked by inflammation and painful joints. People with RA are more likely to have periodontal disease, as chronic inflammation is common to both conditions. Although scientists have not found evidence that one causes the other, a 2009 study found that patients with a severe form of RA had less pain, swelling, and morning stiffness after their periodontal disease was treated. Gum Disease and Premature Birth: Studies that have attempted to link gum disease and premature birth have had conflicting results. Some show that women with gum disease are more likely to deliver a preterm baby, whereas other studies do not show a definite link. Research is still ongoing. However, other research has also shown that treating gum disease in pregnant women helps them carry their infants to term. Also, one recent study showed that pregnant women who completed periodontal treatment before the 35 th week, were more likely to carry their babies to term. Gum Disease and Respiratory Problems: Bacteria that are present in the oral cavity may be aspirated into the lungs, causing pneumonia. Also, patients with poor oral health were more likely to suffer from other respiratory problems than those with optimum oral health. Gum Disease and Stroke: There is also a possible link between gum disease and stroke. Patients diagnosed with a stroke were more likely to have an oral infection than those that weren’t. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we pride ourselves on caring for your oral health. If you suspect that you have gum disease, you should visit us for a detailed consult. If needed, we can treat gum disease, as well as educate you regarding potential treatment options and risks. For more information on gum disease, and its prevention and treatment, consult Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383- 1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com or go to our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com for more information.

    Dental care
  • Posted on August 10, 2017 2:04 pm
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Healthy Cooking for the Sweet Tooth.

    Contrary to popular belief, ignoring your sugar cravings may make it worse. So, on those days that you need and want to satisfy your sweet tooth, indulge in alternatives that will not only satisfy those sugar cravings, but are also a healthier alternative to sugar-laden foods. What’s more, these healthier alternatives aren’t bad for your teeth either. Many of my patients ask me about alternatives to sugary foods. There are several and they won’t add extra fat to your body, nor will they result in cavities in your teeth. In this article, we’ll talk about some foods that are good for both your teeth and your waistline. Greek Yogurt Parfait: If you’re craving for a creamy, yogurt-type treat, try combining non-fat Greek yogurt with a high-fiber fruit like raspberries or blueberries. Top it off with a sprinkle of ground nuts or flaxseeds for a crunchy texture. This parfait is lower in calories and sugar than other desserts and the nuts and flaxseeds are a good plant source of omega-3 fats. Fiber Bars: These are available in flavors such as strawberry, apricot, raspberry, and boysenberry. Each has about 8 grams of sugar and only 60 calories. It also has 6 grams of fiber that helps slow the secretion of sugars, which can prevent your body from storing fat. Natural Energy Bars: Try to avoid candy bars. Try Natural Energy Bars instead. They are sweetened with small amounts of real sugar plus sugar alcohols. They give you a feeling of indulging your sweet tooth without blowing your diet. Frozen Grapes with 8 to 12 Almonds: Fruit is full of fructose, a high-potency sugar, which makes it good for your body. Grapes are higher in sugar and lower in fiber than other fruits, and so they are to be recommended if you want to wean off candy. You can accompany frozen grapes with a sprinkling of almonds to prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Low-sugar Cereal: Instead of a high-sugar cereal, try a low-sugar cereal like Kashi Go Lean Original Cereal. The latter packs 13 grams of protein, 10 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of sugar per serving. This will indulge your sweet tooth without giving you that sugar rush. Dark Chocolate: You can indulge in a piece of dark chocolate if that sweet craving won’t go away. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, making it a better choice than milk chocolate. Natural, Unprocessed Nut Butters: You can use these natural, unprocessed nut butters, like natural peanut butter on a celery stick the next time you are craving a salty-sweet combo. If celery isn’t something you want to eat, try a few apple slices. Popsicle: A popsicle takes a relatively long time to eat and an individually wrapped popsicle is good portion control. Eating a popsicle made out of all-natural fruit juice is better than one made of high-fructose corn syrup. So, try out these alternatives for a healthy feeling and to avoid that inevitable sugar rush. You can experiment with different recipes and try out different healthy ingredients to indulge your sweet tooth. None of these suggested options have the sticky consistency that causes the longer deleterious effects to your teeth. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we treat patients holistically, and practice preventive dental care. If you want to discuss your diet and how it affects your teeth, we can help work with you to ensure greater oral health. Don’t wait any longer. Try out these food ideas to not only indulge your sweet tooth, but also ensure an overall healthy diet for optimal body functioning and healthy teeth and gums. Here’s to healthy eating! For more information on how you can schedule an appointment for a thorough dental check-up and consultation, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care, Dental Implants, Healthy Foods
  • Posted on July 3, 2017 11:09 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Earlier, dentures and bridges were the only option for missing teeth. Today, however, dental implants are the most common treatment for one or more missing teeth. If you are one of those Americans who have missing teeth, claim your independence this Fourth of July by opting for dental implants from your trusted dentist. Dental implants, as we know them today, were invented in 1952 by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon, Per-Ingvar Branemark. So, what is a dental implant? A dental implant is simply a surgical fixture that is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone over a span of several months. The dental implant acts as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. This “artificial tooth root” helps to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Having a dental implant fused to the jawbone is the closest you can get to a natural tooth, because it stands on its own without affecting the nearby teeth and has a great deal of stability. The process of fusion between the dental implant and the jawbone is called “osseointegration.” Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or then, all of the teeth and typically have three parts: The implant: This is a titanium screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. The bone fuses to the titanium and it can last indefinetely. The abutment: This is a connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth. It is permanent, but can be removed by your dentist. The crown: This is the prosthetic tooth and is a part of the tooth that you can see. It is usually made of either zirconium or porcelain, so that it is durable and looks like a natural tooth. You are an ideal candidate for a dental implant, if you have good oral and bone health. You should have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant and healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for the failure of implants. Dental implants are made to last and are the best long-term and cost-effective solution to missing teeth. Traditional tooth-supported dental bridges, typically last from five to seven years, whereas dental implants can last a lifetime if properly placed and taken care of. They also let you speak easily, without being embarrassed. Dental implant surgery is usually performed under a local anesthetic, and therefore no pain is felt during the procedure. After the anesthetic has worn off, post-surgery discomfort can be treated with Over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Most of my patients return and tell me “it was easier than I expected.” You should consult your local dentist to find out if you are a likely candidate for dental implants. The dentist or surgeon will first visually examine the site in the mouth where a dental implant is being considered, as well as look at dental imaging studies, such as X-rays, CT scans, and panoramic films. Your dentist will also evaluate the quality and quantity of your jawbone, to determine if more bone is needed at the site. Once it has been established that a dental implant can be placed at the site, you will be scheduled for the implant procedure. At the Tacoma Dental Group, we specialize in dental implants and carefully evaluate each patient to determine whether and what kind of dental implant will work for them. So, this Fourth of July, treat yourself to a dental implant and restore your million-dollar smile…forever! For more information on how you can schedule an appointment for a thorough dental check-up and a possible dental implant, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental Implants
  • Posted on April 18, 2017 11:15 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    best and worst crunchy foods

    You may have heard the saying: You are what you eat! This is particularly true when it comes to your teeth. There are certain crunchy foods that are good for your teeth and then, there are others that are not. If you eat the wrong crunchy foods, you stand a good chance of permanently damaging your teeth. While this may sound ominous, it’s true. The best crunchy foods, however, typically contain a lot of water and require a lot of chewing. This helps neutralize the sugar content and the chewing helps release saliva so that the food does not get stuck in the crannies and crevices of your teeth. Good crunchy foods also help wipe away plaque-causing bacteria. Bad crunchy foods, on the other hand, cause obvious as well as covert damage to your teeth. You should keep in mind that fat does not cause cavities, but starches and sugars do. In this article, we’ll talk about the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth. So, here goes… The Best Crunchy Foods Raw vegetables: Most raw vegetables are fiber-rich. One of these is celery, which has a rough, fibrous texture, due to which it scrubs away food particles and acts as nature’s floss. Other vegetables that are good for your teeth include raw carrots, broccoli, and peppers. These stimulate saliva and are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Raw fruits: Again, these are a great source of fiber. An apple not only keeps the doctor away but also the dentist! It scrubs your tooth surfaces and helps stimulate saliva. Raw pears also help to neutralize acids. Nuts: Many nuts provide vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and Vitamin D, which helps promote healthy teeth. Nuts also require a lot of chewing, which stimulates the production of saliva. Sugarless chewing gum: Chewing sugar-free gum actually helps to clean your teeth. Its sticky texture is great at getting in between teeth and clearing away plaque. The chewing action also promotes the production of saliva and helps clear out acids in the mouth. Cheese, milk, plain yogurt, and other dairy products: Cheese and yogurt are other saliva makers. Cheese contains calcium, and other dairy products contain calcium and phosphates, which help put minerals back in your teeth. Dark Chocolate: Your teeth would be a lot better if you had 70 percent dark chocolate, rather than pretzels and crackers. It may sound unbelievable, but it’s true! This is because dark chocolate has a higher fat content and a lower carbohydrate content as compared to crackers. Cavity-causing bacteria will need to process both the fat and the sugar in dark chocolate, and so, will process the sugar a little more slowly. Dark chocolate also contains some chemicals that may strengthen your enamel. However, the same cannot be said for milk chocolate. The latter does not have as high a fat content as dark chocolate, but it is still better than most other candies. What’s more, manufacturers now make dark chocolate with xylitol instead of sugar. Xylitol may actually prevent cavities on its own. The Worst Crunchy Foods Sticky candies and sweets: Do not eat lollipops, caramels, and cough drops that contain refined sugar. Some studies have shown that chocolate is not as bad for the teeth as other crunchy candies and sweets that stick to your teeth. Starchy foods that can get stuck in your mouth: Soft breads can get stuck in between your teeth. These contribute to the building up of plaque, if not cleared immediately by brushing or flossing. Popcorn: Popcorn can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel. Also, the kernels can get stuck under the gum, causing a painful irritation, which can sometimes result in infection. This is called “Popcorn Gingivitis.” If you have suffered from this, a dental cleaning or periodontal maintenance exam can help. Our dental hygienists at Tacoma Dental Group see this often and will help remove those pesky kernels. Crackers: These are highly processed starch, which in our mouths, turn into sticky goo that gets caught in between our teeth. Bacteria then feed on them and they get converted to plaque. If you absolutely must eat crackers, try whole-grain ones, because they take longer to get converted into sugar. Potato chips and pretzels: Similar to crackers and soft bread, potato chips and pretzels contain starch that gets converted into sugar in your mouth. They tend to linger in the grooves of your teeth, where they are then converted into bacteria. Ice: Many people chew ice and this is very harmful to your teeth. This may damage your enamel in the long run, as ice is frozen water that can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel, causing larger problems over time. We often need to place a Dental Crown over the fractured tooth and I have seen some teeth fracture so badly they ultimately require and extraction. Be wary of chewing ice! Peanut brittle: This puts as much stress on your teeth as chewing ice! With peanut brittle you are chewing hardened sugar, which is not good for your teeth. In fact, if you regularly chew peanut brittle, you may be like many patients at Tacoma Dental Group and end up calling me on a weekend for an Emergency Exam! So, these are some of the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth. Be careful what you eat, to protect your teeth. All foods are not equal, particularly when it comes to your teeth. If you are not sure which crunchy foods are good for you, visit us at the Tacoma Dental Group for a consultation and get all of your doubts cleared away. Here’s to perfect oral health! For more information on the best and worst crunchy foods for your teeth, as well as other dental issues, contact Dr. Ron Lo at 253-383-1551 or at tacomadentalgroup@gmail.com.

    Dental care, Healthy Foods