The Case for Cheese
Simply put, dairy products are one of the best dietary sources of calcium in terms of bioavailability--or the ability of your body to intake nutrients from the food.
Calcium plays a primary role in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, and is important for blood clotting, wound-healing, and maintaining normal blood pressure. Also, pairing calcium-rich foods with sources of vitamin D helps the small intestine to absorb calcium.
Like we said, cheese packs a big nutritional punch. Two ounces of many kinds of cheese can contain 40-50 percent of your daily calcium requirement, and a single serving can provide 20 percent of the average daily requirement of Vitamin D. Cheese contains vitamin A, vitamin B-12, riboflavin, phosphorus, selenium, and sodium. Sheep and goat’s milk cheeses have higher levels of vitamin A, while cow’s milk cheese has more beta-carotene.In fact, a study in the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry reports that consuming cheese and other dairy products may prevent dental cavities. Eating cheese raises the mouth’s pH levels, which lowers the chance of developing cavities. Cheese also sticks to tooth enamel for further protection from acid.
If you’re looking to add more calcium in your diet, the National Dairy Council recommends Swiss, Cheddar, ricotta, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Gouda, queso blanco, Mexican blend, and Colby. Half of a cup of part-skim ricotta cheese provides 337 mg of calcium, which is about one-third of the daily-recommended calcium intake for adults ages 19 to 50!
There are many diseases and conditions that have symptoms that occur in the mouth, and if you know a little about what they are it can help you to make better decisions about your health.
Bad Breath: If you brush your teeth, floss, and use mouth wash regularly but still have stinky breath it could be a symptom of a more serious condition. Indigestion and a few stomach disorders can cause halitosis, a.k.a. bad breath, but the scariest is liver disease. The good news is that bad breath is often an early symptom of liver disease, and if it is properly diagnosed you stand a better chance of getting healthy. If you are suffering from constant bad breath lets discuss this at your next visit.
Dry Mouth: There are many causes of dry mouth. If a person runs a lot, is dehydrated, smokes, or drinks too much alcohol they could experience dry mouth. However, it is also and early indicator of diabetes. In diabetics’ mouths the salivary glands thicken and slow down, and when this happens a host of new symptoms will begin to appear such as an increased risk of gum infections. If you think you are suffering from these symptoms be sure to contact your general practitioner.
Bleeding Gums: If your gums bleed after brushing your teeth or flossing, it could be a sign of gingivitis. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to simply brush and floss regularly. If you do get gingivitis, be sure to seek treatment for it. If left unchecked it can develop into periodontitis, which is a full blown infection of the tissues and bones that support your teeth. Your teeth will eventually become loose and begin to fall out.
Canker Sores: When a person is constantly developing canker sores in their mouth it could mean they have allergies they are unaware of. We also have a laser treatment to help with your canker sores so ask us at your next visit.
Aluminum Taste: If your mouth constantly tastes like you have been licking an aluminum can it is a give-away that you are not getting enough zinc in your diet. Make sure you eat foods high in zinc, such as beef, spinach, nuts, and mushrooms.
We have many patients ask if they have to stop chewing gum. If you can’t quite give up your love for bubble gum here are some things to keep in mind. And, as always, if you suffer from TMJ issues we never recommend gum chewing as it inflames your jaw muscles.
Which gums should I choose?The best place to start is with whether or not the gum you want has sugar. If it does, it will do more harm than good to your teeth. There are not exceptions. If it is sugar free, the next thing you should look for is the American Dental Association seal of approval. Products only get this seal after they undergo a basic level of scientific scrutiny, so as a consumer you can be sure that your gum does not contain anything that will harm your teeth. However, there are several areas, such as remineralization or the neutralization of acids, for which gum can earn the seal for, so if you are worried about on specific area then you should do a little more research into your chosen brand to see exactly why it earned the ADA seal of approval.
The good effects
When you chew you mouth naturally produces saliva, which is one of the most important factors in keeping your teeth healthy. Saliva is the body’s way of naturally controlling bacteria that are growing on your teeth, and the more of it you have the better off you will be.
Gum has also been shown to trap a small, but significant, number of bacteria as it comes in contact with your teeth. This means that when you spit-out your gum, it will be taking several million bacteria along for the rid.
So chewing can replace brushing and flossing?
Unfortunately, chewing gum alone is not nearly enough to protect your teeth, even if you pick sugar free gum. You still need to brush at least two times a day and make sure to floss at least once. However, popping a piece of dental gum after a meal is a great way to help clean up any of those leftover bits of food that like to hang around and cause trouble.
LET’S GO CAPS!! Another playoff season is upon us in the DC area as the Cap’s battle for the Stanley Cup. Alex Ovechkin lost his front tooth to a high stick he took in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers in 2007- hopefully no teeth will be lost in this series with any players. How do these guys protect their teeth, with a sports guard! Now these guards can’t prevent all accidents but it is the best way to try and keep your teeth safe while playing sports. Another type of guard that people don’t give much though to is a night guard. So many of us in the area have stressful jobs, horrible commutes etc and were does this stress come out- night time grinding of your teeth. Most people don’t even know they are grinding at night, some people have symptoms of jaw pain or headaches when they wake up in the morning but don’t really know why. We can see many signs of grinding when you come in for your visits. A guard made specifically for night time grinding is a must if you want to save your teeth from this wear, just like athletes use them to save their teeth from sports accidents. We would be happy to review the benefits of our guard at your next visit! Call us NOW for an appointment- 703-548-8584- you will be glad you did and so will your teeth!
On Thursday, September 10, 2015 businesses across the United States joined Freedom Day USA, a national Thank You Movement for the members of our military along with Veterans. Each business donated services in the form of free services, goods, discounts, and various other offers. Locally, Kathleen Mullaney DDS of Alexandria, partnered with Freedom Day USA to provide free cleanings, x-rays, exams, oral cancer screenings, fillings and extractions to those that serve our country.
Dr. Kathleen Mullaney and her team welcomed many of our nation’s veterans and active duty service members to her practice to provide free dental services. Dr. Kevin Brewer, an oral surgeon from Alexandria Oral Surgery volunteered his services as well. Participants were asked to schedule an appointment in advance and “we were even able to offer walk-in appointments throughout the day into the late afternoon due to our great team support”, says Dr. Mullaney.
Alexandria Mayor William Euille dropped by in the afternoon to meet some of the Veterans and give his thanks to Dr. Mullaney and the team for this event. Breakfast and lunch were generously provided by local businesses in Alexandria. Goody bags donated from dental companies and other businesses were given to each patient before they left. Those that came to the practice were elated and very pleased with the services provided – some even decided to make Dr. Mullaney their new dentist! Of the practice’s success on Freedom Day, owner Dr. Mullaney said, “This has been a dream of mine for a very long time. I’m so happy that we made it come true to give back to our deserving service members.” Dr. Mullaney and team are committed to making Freedom Day USA an annual tradition in her dental office!