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The Oral-Systemic Link: Risk Factors for Tooth Decay

December 13, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 12:44 pm

Did you know the same plaque that decays your teeth can cause major heart problems? What if you could fight plaque and heart failure both by improving your oral health? Portales dentist Dr. Peter Thompson is here to tell you more!

Someone dies from a heart attack every minute, according to the American Heart Association, and most heart attacks (and 85% of strokes) are caused by cholesterol build-up – aka plaque.

But there is good news. You can work with Peter L. Thompson, DDS, and your doctor to understand and minimize your risk factors for developing plaque and tooth decay.

Risk Factors for Tooth Decay

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Stop Brushing After You Eat – Do This Instead

November 13, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 12:29 pm

For a long time, we’ve been told to brush our teeth right after we eat, but conventional wisdom might be changing on that. Thanks to your mouth’s powerful and natural ability to clean itself, rinsing with water might actually be the best way to freshen your breath and prevent cavities after you eat.

In addition to your everyday hygiene routine, rinsing with water is a free, easy way to maintain oral health throughout the day. To understand this, read below about what happens in your mouth after you eat and why water is so great for your teeth.

Digestion Begins in Your Mouth

You might think that digestion starts in your stomach, but it actually starts in your mouth! The combination of chewing your food and the special bacteria in your mouth are essential to swallowing and digesting your food. Probiotics are specific bacteria that live in your mouth every day and begin the whole process of digestion by breaking down your food on a microscopic level.

In our world today, we’re trained to think of bacteria as all bad and dangerous, but that’s simply not the case. Oral bacteria are natural and important for your health. Of course, bad bacteria do exist (pathogens), but you’d be lost without the help of probiotics that break down food and help keep your mouth clean. After you eat, these bacteria get their own meal from the tiny leftovers of food on your teeth and gums. The byproduct of this bacterial feast is acid, which can damage your enamel and cause tooth decay. (more…)

Bacteria: The Good, the Bad & the Neutral

October 27, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:12 pm

Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health.

Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene. Portales dentist Peter L. Thompson, DDS, would like to help you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness.

What are Bacteria?

Bacteria are very small organisms made of just one single cell. That’s compared to over 37 trillion cells in the human body! Bacteria have their own DNA and they need sources of energy (food) just like you do. Nearly 700 different kinds of bacteria can live in your mouth, but most people only have 34-72 types present at any given time.

What Do Bacteria Do?

Of all the bacteria in your mouth, some are good, some are bad, and some simply neutral. The good bacteria – called probiotics – assist with digestion, which begins in the mouth.  The bad bacteria, however, can cause tooth decay and severe gum disease[LINK]. The following three kinds of bacteria are on the Most Wanted list for being known to harm your oral health:

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Top 5 Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

August 27, 2019

Filed under: Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:37 pm

If you’re one of the 40 million Americans with sensitive teeth, you must be familiar with the painful zing that follows a hot drink, a bite of ice cream, or just a deep breath of cold air. These and other elements can cause a sudden discomfort if you have sensitive teeth, also called dentin hypersensitivity.

Each of your teeth has an important protected layer called enamel. If your enamel gets worn down, your teeth can become more sensitive over time. Your enamel is the visible, white part of the tooth and it protects the softer, inner layers of each tooth. Receding gums can also reveal sensitive parts of the tooth that aren’t protected by enamel.

If you’re living with sensitive teeth, it’s good to know what causes the pain and how to avoid it. You should also talk with your Portales dentist about how to treat sensitive teeth and prevent further damage to your enamel or gums.

Causes of Sensitivity

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A Real Nail Biter

August 13, 2019

Filed under: Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:11 pm

We all have those nervous habits we turn to when we feel awkward, stressed, or just plain bored. If your choice vice is biting your nails, you need to know that it can cause a lot of distress on your oral health and overall health. Portales dentist Peter L. Thompson, DDS shares why nail biting is so bad for you and how you can break the habit.

Downsides of Biting your Nails

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Gingivitis: Are Your Gums Trying to Tell You Something?

July 27, 2019

Filed under: Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:10 pm

Gingivitis, very simply, is an inflammation of your gums. (Any time a medical term ends with “itis” it means inflammation.) Gingivitis varies in severity and can look a few different ways. Very bad gingivitis leads to periodontal (gum) disease.

Gingivitis is common and affects many, rather, most adults. But with good oral hygiene and the care of Dr. Thompson, you should be able to avoid any major problems and even prevent gingivitis before it begins! Your Portales dentist shares some information below about what causes gingivitis, how to prevent it, and how to treat it if it happens to you!

Causes of Gingivitis

Plaque forms on your teeth and near your gums after you eat and drink. Regular brushing and flossing cleans your teeth and removes this plaque. But if you go too long without brushing and flossing, or you don’t do it well enough, the plaque can build up and harden in your mouth. At this point, the plaque becomes tartar that can only be removed by a dental professional.

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Senior Dentistry: Embrace Healthy Aging

July 13, 2019

Filed under: Dental Health — Tags: — Dr Peter Thompson @ 1:56 pm

Someone once said, “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” How true!  While it can be frustrating to watch your health change as you age, you don’t have to accept poor oral health and tooth loss as just an inevitable part of the aging process. Your oral health is just as important now as it has ever been, and it has a great deal to do with your overall health and wellness. When it comes to senior dentistry and oral health, Dr. Thompson shares the top concerns you may have, and how to address them.

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Sugar: Teeth’s Worst Nightmare

November 13, 2018

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Dr Peter Thompson @ 12:00 pm

People in the United States eat more sugar than any other country in the world. (Fortunately, we also have some of the best dentists in the world.) You hear it all the time: “sugar rots your teeth.” But is it true? What exactly does sugar do to your teeth and why is it so bad? You might want to learn more about this substance that is added to nearly every edible item in the grocery store. Portales dentists, Dr. Thompson tell us more below. (more…)

I’d Rather Have a Root Canal

October 27, 2018

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health,Dental Services — Dr Peter Thompson @ 12:00 pm

Have you ever heard someone say, “I would rather have a root canal”? Most of us in Portales are used to hearing root canals compared to some genuinely unpleasant circumstances, but Dr. Thompson would like to set the record straight and talk about how root canals can do some serious dental good.

Root Canals Save Teeth

Here it comes, the question on everyone’s mind: “Why on Earth would you want a root canal?!” There is one thing all dentists in Portales and beyond will agree on—saving your natural teeth is always the best option. There are many ways that Dr. Thompson can replace missing or damaged teeth, but nothing is as good as the real thing. (more…)

Can Bleeding Gums Cause a Heart Attack?

October 13, 2018

Filed under: Blog,Dental Health — Dr Peter Thompson @ 12:00 pm

What is the Oral-Systemic Link?

You’ve always heard that it’s important to take care of your teeth. Brush and floss every day, and see the dentist for good oral health. But did you know that your oral health could directly affect your overall health? And the road goes both ways—problems with your overall health show signs in your mouth, too.

Did you know that gum disease increases your risk of heart attack by 50%? Did you know that plaque buildup in your mouth can be an indicator of and contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries? These mouth-body connections are called the “oral-systemic link.” Dr. Thompson, your Portales dentists, explain the important ways your body systems work together for better or worse. (more…)

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