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All Posts in Category: Diet & Oral Health

8 things you need to know about bleeding gums

8 Things Many People Don’t Know About Bleeding Gums

It doesn’t matter whether you are disciplined with your teeth cleaning regime or not. Almost everyone will have bleeding gums once in a while. But, if that happens on a regular basis, it’s likely you may be suffering from gum disease.

Believe it or not, some people aren’t aware of gum disease, how it occurs, and what it can do. The good news is that it’s possible to do something about the problem. If you’re not sure why you’ve got bleeding gums, these eight reasons might be the cause:

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

It might sound like we are stating the obvious here. But, if your oral health is poor, you’re more likely to suffer from bleeding gums. There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of that happening. For instance, use an electric toothbrush for brushing. And use a water pick for flossing.

2. Unhealthy Food and Drinks

It’s both easy and convenient to eat and drink processed foods. Plus, there is an abundance of drinks with high sugar content in them. Apart from making you fat, they can also cause you to have bleeding gums. Why? Because you aren’t boosting your immune system with the right nutrients.

3. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause all kinds of health problems, one of which is lung cancer. Smoking can also do bad things to your teeth too. It can cause fibrous and enlarged gums. And that allows bacteria to thrive and cause bleeding gums. What’s more, that bacteria can attack your body’s vital organs through the bloodstream.

4. Stress

We all know that stress can make us feel unproductive, depressed and exhausted. What you may not know about stress is that it can impact the health of your teeth too. Stress can prevent your immune system from being strong enough to fight gum disease.

5. Genetics

One fact that surprises many people is that genetics can play a part in people having bleeding gums. More than a third of us have a genetic “marker” that makes us predisposed to bleeding gums and gum disease. It’s possible to get DNA testing to check for that marker. And the good news is there are many treatments to lower the risk of bleeding gums.

6. Misaligned Teeth

It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a strict teeth cleaning regime. Some things beyond your control can cause you to have bleeding gums. One of those is misaligned teeth. They can affect supporting gum tissue and bones, causing your gums to bleed.

7. Side Effects from Medicine

Have you ever looked at the notes that come with your medication? They will list a whole host of side effects that you could have. Some drugs can affect blood flow to tissue. As a result, it means your gums could have less protection against bacteria.

8. Gum Disease can get Transmitted through Saliva

Last, but not least, kissing someone with gum disease could cause you to have it too. That’s because the bacteria can get transmitted through saliva! Another way you could get infected saliva is if you share a toothbrush with someone.

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3 Dietary Vices That Can Benefit Oral Health in Moderation

When you want to keep your smile healthy and bright, you may avoid certain foods that can lead to cavities or staining. However, three common dietary “vices” may possess properties that fight cavities and are good for your teeth and oral health. It’s important to remember though that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing and that practicing moderation with these three foods is the best course of action.

Dark Chocolate

The health benefits of dark chocolate have been common knowledge for a while, but you might not know that they can help your teeth. Cocoa beans contain antioxidants that can be beneficial to your teeth including:

  • Tannins – These give dark chocolate that slightly bitter but delightful taste and they aid in preventing bacteria from sticking to teeth.
  • Polyphenols – The antimicrobial properties of these antioxidants aid in reducing the amount of bacteria in the mouth.
  • Flavonoids – These plant-based antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help slow tooth decay.

By reducing bacteria, preventing it from sticking to teeth and slowing tooth decay, you can reduce your chances of having gum disease and bad breath. When choosing dark chocolate for these desirable properties, opt for something with 70% cacao or higher and consume in sensible moderation.

Red Wine

Similar to dark chocolate, red wine also contains helpful antioxidants including tannins. Whether or not it contains alcohol, red wine can inhibit the production of oral biofilms and bacteria that develop into plaque. If you don’t like wine, a study by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that grape seed extract has similar antimicrobial characteristics.


Black coffee, not coffee filled with sweeteners and cream can help inhibit bacteria growth. An extract known as Coffea Canephora exists in approximately 30% of the coffee in the world and it can contribute to destroying the biofilms that lead to plaque. There are also tannins in coffee like there are in chocolate and red wine. A darker, stronger roast coffee may be the most beneficial and you need to drink it free of sugar and cream that can coat your teeth and expose them to damaging acid.

Stain Warning

Chocolate, red wine, and coffee all contain pigments that can lead to stains on the teeth, which is why dentists often advise avoiding them, especially in people with veneers, crowns or recently whitened teeth. Consult with your dentist about the best way to prevent stains and remember to consume these dietary vices in moderation and follow by brushing or swishing with water to enjoy their oral health benefits without risking your teeth.


To brighten your smile and keep it healthy, contact Dupont Dental to learn more about our variety of dental services.


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Tips on Achieving Your Healthiest Smile

There are many common myths and concerns regarding the most important aspects of maintaining great oral health. The goal of any quality dental practice is to help their patients achieve their healthiest smile, and although a flawless Hollywood smile may be what some patients want, healthy is more important than perfect.

Health Over Perfection

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a perfect smile, but it should be the perfect smile for each patient and not adhere to an unachievable standard. Smiles make everyone unique and adds a bit of character. As long as the smile is healthy enough to last a lifetime and the patient feels great about it, that’s all that matters. Dental professionals ask their patients what they love about their smile and what, if anything, they want to change so they can work together to achieve a bright, healthy smile.

Home Oral Health Extremely Important

Keeping up great dental hygiene at home is the most important dental work that can happen in a person’s mouth. Aside from elected cosmetic dentistry and treating decay or cavities, dentists are happiest when they only need to see their patients every 6 months for a normal cleaning and exam. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day is the best way to prevent decay and cavities.

Proper Alignment More Important than Perfectly Straight

Braces and other orthodontic treatments produce straight, evenly spaced teeth, but what’s more important is that they create a properly aligned bite. Even someone with straight teeth may require bite alignment if they frequently bite their lips or cheeks, have difficulty chewing, suffer frequent headaches, clench or grind their teeth and have crowding or gaps between teeth. If a misaligned bite doesn’t receive some sort of correction, it can lead to more serious oral health issues.

Poking Around Gums is Necessary

Nearly everyone who has ever gone to the dentist complains about the dental hygienist and/or dentist poking around in their gums until they become sore or even bleed. Although some view it as a type of torture, dental professionals do it because they want to ensure their patients have the healthiest teeth and gums possible. The same holds true for asking about flossing habits. Only with a thorough exam and honest answers to questions, can dentists get a complete picture of a person’s oral health. Healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy mouth and with gum disease affecting almost half of adults 30+ in the U.S., it’s not something anyone can ignore. Without healthy gums, patients can’t receive treatments such as teeth whitening, bridges, veneers, Invisalign or dental implants. Once a patient achieves healthy gums, then they can consider additional cosmetic or restoration treatments.

Over-whitening Teeth can Cause Oral Health Issues

While brighter teeth can improve a person’s appearance, it’s possible for patients to over-white if they use at-home kits too often. In-office teeth whitening treatments are the safest, most effective way to brighten a smile, and a dental professional can advise a patient when they’re trying to bleach too often. Over-bleaching can cause gum irritation, tooth sensitivity and even chemical burns in the soft tissue of the gums. It can also wear away tooth enamel leaving teeth at a higher risk for decay. While touch-up treatments are often necessary to maintain results, it’s important that people whiten in moderation to maintain a healthy smile and avoid damage.

Achieve your healthiest smile with regular cleanings and exams from Dupont Dental.

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Conditions That Require Oral Surgery

There are multiple conditions that can require treatment with oral surgery, but with today’s innovative dental practices, a patient can feel safe and comfortable undergoing such a common practice. Sometimes oral surgery is avoidable with good oral hygiene and sometimes it’s necessary to treat any oral issues that could become worse without attention. Tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgeries, but there are also jaw problems that may require surgery.

Wisdom Teeth Removal

The third molars or wisdom teeth develop last and most of the time there isn’t room for them in the mouth, which prevents them from emerging and leads to impacted teeth. The impacted teeth become trapped between the gum tissue and jawbone, and this can cause pain, swelling, and infection in the gum tissues. Impacted wisdom teeth may damage nearby teeth, bone, and gums permanently and cause tumors or cysts that can destroy jaw sections. For these reasons, dentists perform oral surgery to remove the impacted wisdom teeth. Sometimes other teeth such as bicuspids become impacted too and require removal.

Tooth Replacement

Someone who has suffered tooth loss and seeks tooth replacement with dental implants will have to undergo oral surgery to place the implants. Dental implants replace the tooth root with a titanium rod anchored in the jawbone and the dentist then places an artificial tooth that functions like the remaining natural teeth.

Jaw Problems

For some people, their jaw doesn’t develop properly and this unequal jaw growth can lead to difficulties with eating, speaking, breathing, and swallowing. While issues such as misaligned teeth are correctable with orthodontics, more serious jaw problems need oral surgery to reposition the jaw for proper function. Sometimes severe cases of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) require oral surgery on the joints to correct problems in the temporomandibular joint.

Proper Fit for Dentures

First-time denture wearers may need oral surgery to correct jaw irregularities before the dentists makes the dentures. These corrections help the dentures fit better. Long-term denture wearers may also benefit from oral surgery if the jawbone deteriorates and the dentures don’t fit properly anymore. The oral surgeon may perform a bone graft to strengthen areas of bone loss.

Repair After Facial Injury

Someone who has suffered a facial injury, such as broken facial bones or fractured jaws, may require oral surgery to restore the structure and health of the teeth, gums, and jaw.

Treat Facial Infections

Infections in the neck, jaws or face can become life threatening without proper treatment. Oral surgery such as tooth extraction or making an incision to drain the infections may be necessary.

Oral surgery has many beneficial issues to oral and overall health and today’s dental professionals work to make it as stress-free an experience as possible. Learn about your oral treatment options by contacting Dupont Dental.


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Bleeding Gums

Causes of and Treatments for Bleeding Gums

When someone notices bleeding gums during brushing and flossing, it can be cause for concern. Not all reasons for bleeding gums require dental treatments, but it’s a good idea to visit the dentist for an evaluation that can find the cause and address it as necessary. One of the top reasons for bleeding gums is gum disease, which is why this symptom should never be ignored.

Causes of bleeding gums

Although gum disease is a common cause for bleeding gums, it’s not the only cause. Other causes of bleeding, tender gums include:

Brushing incorrectly

If someone brushes too vigorously and uses too hard a toothbrush, this can lead to sensitive, bleeding and swollen gums. It’s always best to use a toothbrush with soft bristles and to use gentle circular motions to clean the teeth and massage the gums. For those who use an electric toothbrush, it’s important not to press the brush head too hard into the teeth and gums, which can lead to irritated gums that can bleed and may eventually recede.

Flossing incorrectly

Flossing is an important part of oral hygiene because it removes plaque where a toothbrush can’t reach, but flossing wrong can cause irritation and bleeding. Instead of forcing floss between teeth, sliding it gently up and down and following the curve of each tooth is the best technique.

Gum disease and bleeding gums

Research indicates that a majority of people suffer from gingivitis, which is one of the early stages of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss so it’s important to discover and treat it quickly before it can progress into periodontitis that can lead to tooth loss. Bleeding gums can be an early indication of gum disease and often happens when a person doesn’t have good oral hygiene. Without good oral hygiene practices, bacteria build up in the mouth, forms plaque on the teeth and can irritate and inflame gums to the point where they’re swollen, red and bleeding. Catching gum disease early makes it possible to reverse it with proper oral hygiene, but without treatment, gingivitis grows worse. Even without any discomfort, a person experiencing any of the following symptoms should consult a dental professional promptly.

  • Bleeding gums during or after brushing teeth
  • Bad taste in the mouth or bad breath consistently
  • Gum recession
  • Swollen, tender and red gums
  • Deep gum pockets between teeth and gums
  • Shifting or loose teeth
  • Change in bite or fit of partial dentures

If allowed to progress, gingivitis develops into periodontitis where the bones and gums holding teeth in place become unhealthy and compromised. Bacteria on the teeth release toxins that damage gums, cause infection and inflammation and degrade bone and gums. This can cause bleeding and swelling and eventually lead to tooth loss.

Preventing bleeding gums

The best way to prevent bleeding gums is by practicing good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice daily and flossing at least once using the correct techniques. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is great for overall and oral health, especially when it includes proper amounts of calcium and Vitamin C for healthy teeth and gums. Drinking water during the day and after meals helps wash food off teeth and reduces bacteria formation. Avoiding or quitting tobacco use promotes better health in the body and mouth as tobacco inhibits the immune system and can lead to dry mouth. Stress can raise hormone levels that can lead to inflammation in the gums and rest of the body, so it’s important to find ways to relax and de-stress.

If you’re experiencing bleeding, tender or swollen gums, contact Dupont Dental immediately to set up an exam that can find the underlying cause and determine the best treatment.

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is oil pulling good

Is Oil Pulling Beneficial to Oral Health?

Although the practice of oil pulling existed as an Indian folk remedy for thousands of years, it’s recently grown in popularity in the United States and other countries. Many wonder if the practice of swishing coconut or sesame oil in the mouth is truly beneficial to oral health. If you’re considering taking up this practice, there are some important things you need to know.

Potential benefits

Swishing, pulling or sloshing the right type of oil around in the mouth for 20 minutes helps to eliminate bacteria in the mouth and can, therefore, improve overall health. A large majority of those who practice oil pulling also claim that their overall health has benefited along with their oral health. Improvements oil pullers have claimed include reductions in:

  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Infections
  • Liver issues
  • Asthma
  • Acne breakouts

Reported dental improvements from oil pulling include whiter teeth, gingivitis prevention, and plaque elimination. When people practice oil pulling using high-quality oils, the procedure is completely natural.

Theory behind oil pulling

The theory behind oil pulling is that swishing the oil around for 20 minutes pulls bacteria out of the mouth. Proponents recommend using coconut oil or sesame oil because they contain antibacterial properties and only pulling for 20 minutes because any longer and the body can reabsorb the oil. Removing bacteria from the mouth is beneficial because many harmful infections and bacteria can penetrate the blood through the mouth. By eliminating that bacteria before it reaches the bloodstream, people can potentially prevent or improve specific health conditions. Although not everyone experiences overall health improvements, even seeing dental health improvements can be beneficial.

Dental perspective

Dental professionals remind patients that no current scientific research supports the claimed benefits of oil pulling, but that doesn’t mean they recommend against the practice. People should consult with their dentist to gain his or her perspective. Oil pulling has no known side effects and the potential to make patients more interested in their oral health, which is a good thing, but it’s important to remember that oil pulling is not a substitution for thorough dental exams, cleanings, and treatments.

There’s nothing wrong with pursuing more homeopathic ways to promote good oral health, but it’s a good idea to consult with a dentist first to ensure you’re not risking damage to your teeth. Contact Dupont Dental today to find out more great ways to protect and improve the health of your teeth and gums.

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Sugar damages teeth

Excessive Sugar Intake Damages Healthy Smiles

Most people might not realize this, but on a worldwide scale, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases. A study of public health records from around the world conducted by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University College London revealed that the diet of people in the United States contains far too much sugar, which is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Starting at a young age

The London study of public health records showed that nearly 90% of school-age children in the U.S. had experienced tooth decay and 92% of adults have suffered cavities. Comparing these stats to Nigeria, where there’s barely any sugar in diets and only 2% of the population has tooth decay, uncovers the disturbing truth about American’s overly sugar-filled diets.

Consequences of excessive sugar consumption

It’s easy to blame sugar for tooth decay and view it as the main villain, but in reality, it’s the reaction sugar sets in motion in the mouth. Once a person consumes sugar, and it combines with bacteria and saliva in the mouth, it begins a destructive process. Sugar is the ideal food for oral bacteria and the acids it activates in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Along with damaging teeth, sugar consumption helps oral bacteria reproduce and accumulate, which inflames the gums and creates the initial stages of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in America.

Recommended sugar intake

In America, it’s common for food and drink to contain loads of sugar, and they’re all readily and easily accessible, which leads to an excess intake. The recommended total calories for a person should consist of now more than 5% sugar, according to The World Health Organization. Unfortunately, sugar is prevalent in American diets and proven to be addictive. People also build up a tolerance to sugar so the more they consume, the more they’ll crave, and this is a symptom of substance dependence.

Fighting back against sugar intake

There are numerous resources available to help people reduce their sugar consumption and quitting cold turkey may not be the best course. Finding natural sugar alternatives such as honey still gives people that sweetness without creating the high and addiction of sugar. Fluoride can help, but it’s not enough to counter continued sugar consumption in American diets. Reducing or eliminating sugar intake benefits not just oral health, but overall health as well.

Protect your smile by reducing your sugar intake, but remember that it takes time to break such an addictive habit. As you’re weaning yourself off excessive sugar, make sure you maintain great oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing, drinking ample water to counter the acidic reaction of consuming sugar and keeping your regular dental check-ups on schedule.

Contact Dupont Dental to learn additional ways to protect, maintain and improve your healthy smile.

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foods that are good for your teeth

Foods That Can Improve Oral Health

Practicing good oral hygiene including regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist helps keep your mouth healthy by eliminating the bacteria that leads to plaque formation. Recent research suggests that certain types of foods that are heart-healthy are also great for your oral health. Having another weapon in the battle against plaque, especially when it tastes good, helps you protect your beautiful smile.

Calcium and phosphorous-rich foods

According to the American Dental Association, food items that contain calcium, including almonds, leafy greens, and cheese, and items high in phosphorous such as eggs, fish, and meat may help tooth enamel remain strong and healthy. While acidic beverages and food can cause small holes in tooth enamel, consuming calcium and phosphate rich foods help redeposit minerals back into those holes. You already know calcium is good for your bones and that includes your jawbone.


Studies about the health benefits of tea are ongoing, but research indicates that the polyphenols in green and black tea can slow down the growth of bacteria that leads to cavities, decay, and gum disease. Tea prevents some bacteria from clumping together with other bacteria, which can lead to less plaque buildup on teeth. Black tea, especially, can help fight bad breath, as it suppresses bacteria that create unpleasant compounds in your mouth.


Although already mentioned for its calcium rich characteristic, cheese has even more benefits. Research in the General Dentistry Journal reveal that teenagers ages 12-15 years who consumed cheddar cheese had lower acid levels in their mouths than the same age group who drank a glass of milk or ate sugar-free yogurt. The teenagers rinsed their mouths with water after eating the cheese and other foods and when the acid levels in their mouth were measured, those who ate cheese had a large drop in acid, while the other showed no change in pH levels. Researchers believe that cheese may neutralize plaque acid and that chewing increases saliva, which washes some bacteria from the mouth.

Apples and carrots

Eating crunchy foods like apples, carrots, cucumbers and celery may help cleanse teeth as it disturbs dental plaque. This means that the bacteria in your mouth gets cleared away and doesn’t settle on your teeth.


With their natural sweetness, raisins don’t have table sugar or sucrose in them that can help bacteria stick to the surface of your teeth, which leads to plaque production. Raisins also contain phytochemicals and compounds that may eliminate bacteria that cause cavities and affect the growth of gum-disease-causing bacteria.


With polyphenols like those found in tea, cranberries help prevent plaque from clinging to teeth, which lowers the risk of developing cavities. The downside of cranberries is that their natural tartness means that many cranberry products contain added sugar that can undermine any potential benefits.


Although not as effective as cheese at lowering pH levels in the mouth, drinking milk after consuming sugar-sweetened foods like cake, can help neutralize some amount of the acid that plaque bacteria produces.

Sugarless gum

After eating, chewing sugarless gum increases saliva production, which helps clear away plaque-causing bacteria.

By eating foods that are good for your mouth and body, you’re improving your overall health, which gives you just one more reason to smile. Contact Dupont Dental to learn the best ways to protect, improve and maintain your oral health.

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