Dental Care Monthly Updates

Oral Hygiene Tips & More

We do our best to keep you informed on how to maintain a beautiful smile!


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It’s National Heart Health Month! Did you know that oral health can be directly linked to heart health? Delta Dental has recently provided evidence that gum disease in both moderate and advanced stages puts you at a greater risk for developing heart disease than you be with healthy gums. Regular oral screenings can also help point doctors to a variety of other diseases that may start with warning signs in your mouth.

How Does Your Oral Health Connect to Your Heart?

Every system in your body is connected. Just like consuming food through your mouth makes its way to your stomach, any bacteria or germs that start off in your mouth can fairly easily be spread throughout the rest of your body through your blood stream.Mayo Clinic and theAmerican Heart Association have been able to show that this bacteria can actually attach itself to any already damaged areas when it gets to your heart. The attached bacteria can then lead to further inflammation, which has been linked to clogged arteries and even strokes.

Are You At Risk?

People who suffer from chronic gum diseases like gingivitis or advanced periodontitis are at the highest risk for developing heart disease as a direct cause of poor oral health and dental hygiene. It is important to know that plaque buildup from skipping just one brushing or flossing session a week can easily add up to create issues with your gums.

  • Common Symptoms and Warning Signs
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Soreness and discomfort in your gums
  • Excessive bleeding when your floss or brush your teeth
  • Newfound misalignment or the feeling of teeth moving away from each other
  • Receding gum lines

How To Prevent Heart and Oral Diseases

Keeping up with your regular cleanings and examinations here at Belvedere Family Dentistry & Orthodontics is extremely important in protecting yourself against harmful bacteria and diseases. Call our front desk today at 704-927-5499 to schedule your next appointment with us! If you have any concerns surrounding your oral health, and gum diseases especially, be sure to talk to one of our dentist and explain all of your symptoms.

Read this article by Tracey Sandilands, published for Colgate, to learn more about how your heart and mouth are related and what you should do to prevent disease from growing.


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Imagine it’s still winter … you’re standing at the door, ready to brave the cold. You’re layered-up with three shirts and a sweatshirt, your heavy winter coat, and two layers of socks underneath your waterproof winter boots. Then you’ve got those awesome jeans with the flannel on the inside, your comfy hat, scarf, and gloves. You’re set! But wait. As you step toward the door, you suddenly realize you have an itch … and it’s deep down … buried beneath all those layers. And, try as you may, every attempt to reach that bugger-of-an-itch fails. Defeated, you realize the only relief you’re ever gonna’ get is to remove each one of those layers. Where are we going with this?!

The Tongue

We’re going inside your mouth, of course, to your tongue – this is a dental article, after all! Because whether you know it or not, like you in the wintertime, your tongue is also “all covered up” – buried beneath layers of bacteria, fungi, and food residue that can inhibit your ability to taste, let alone cause your tongue to appear various shades of yellow, white, or green! Remove the bacteria, though, and your food will once again directly interact with those taste buds, and return to its natural hue. So how does one do that? With a tongue scraper, of course!

WHAT is a tongue scraper?

A tongue scraper is a U-shaped device designed to “scrape” the top layer of scum from your tongue. They have been in use since ancient times, and have been made of everything from wood to whalebone. Nowadays, they are made of more hygienic material, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes, designs and colors.

WHY use a tongue scraper?

The residue on your tongue includes things like the cavity-inducing Streptococcus mutans bacterium, fungi, rotting food (that’s not good), and what’s referred to as “volatile sulfur compounds.” In other words, sulfur – that “rotting egg smell.” Talk about ew! So, as you can see, there are several reasons why you’d want to get rid of this gunk in your mouth. Let’s tackle them one by one:

  • Reduce bad breath: ‘nuff said!
  • Reduce your risk of periodontal disease and cavities: Bad bacteria contribute to plaque and tartar on teeth, making them more susceptible to cavities. Bacteria build-up can also lead to inflammation of gum tissue (gingivitis). If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which means a more expensive dental visit (plus other unwanted consequences!). Speaking of avoiding an expensive dental visit, when was the last time you came in to see us? Come see us now if it’s been awhile, by calling in at 704-927-5499.
  • Make room for good bacteria
  • Prevent heart disease? While the debate is still up in the air, some studies suggest there could be a correlation between gum disease and heart disease.

HOW does one use a tongue scraper?

In general, make sure to rinse your tongue scraper before and after use. Apply the tongue scraper to the back of your tongue and drag it forward. Then, rinse and repeat. Make sure to get the sides of your tongue as well, not just the center! Make sure not to press too hard or you can cause yourself to bleed. And, if you’re wondering if you should scrape your tongue while recovering from a dental procedure, that’s a good question … ask your dentist for the best advice particular to your situation. Still not sure how this thing really works? The next time you’re in ask Dr. Bansch for a quick tutorial!

WHERE do I buy one?

Tongue scrapers are relatively inexpensive, and can be found at any local drugstore. It doesn’t matter the material, color, or brand – just find the one you like and get scraping!


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Seeing some red in the sink after brushing or flossing may raise an eyebrow or two. It may seem like your gums are bleeding for no reason. But before you venture down the rabbit hole of what-ifs, consider these common causes of bleeding gums.

Common Causes of Bleeding Gums

  • Vigorous Toothbrushing: The extra oomph you’ve put into your brushing since your most recent visit may be the first place to look. Instead of brushing with the vigor you’d use while scrubbing a stack of plates after Thanksgiving, aim for gentle and patient: place the bristles along your gums at a 45-degree angle, and gently brush two to three teeth at a time.
  • Inadequate or Forceful Flossing: Changing your flossing routine can also cause your gums to bleed. If you’ve returned to regular flossing after a little hiatus or if you’re flossing more forcefully than usual, bleeding is common. Remember to floss daily and with ease.
  • Medication: Some over-the-counter medications, including aspirin, as well as prescription drugs, like blood thinners, may lead to gum bleeding. Be sure to let us know which medications you’re taking, and keep us in the loop if you and your healthcare provider change your medications.
  • Vitamin Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamins is a common factor in gum bleeding. Vitamin A helps form your teeth and protects your mouth’s membranes; vitamin C helps maintain the health of your teeth and gums; and vitamin K ensures your blood clots. If you’ve upped your hygiene game but still spot blood after brushing, try adding more vitamin-rich foods to your diet.
  • Gingivitis and Periodontitis: Gum bleeding, as well as swelling and tenderness, is a common symptom of gingivitis and periodontitis. Often due to poor oral hygiene, both gingivitis and the more-serious periodontitis do require treatment.

When It’s Time for a Visit

If you do make these suggested changes to your oral health routine but the bleeding doesn’t improve within 10 days, it’s best to come in to Belvedere Family Dentistry for a visit. Give us a call today at 704-927-5499 or schedule your next appointment online now!






Uptown Charlotte Dentistry & Orthodontics

Specializing in Braces, Invisalign, Composite Bonding, Veneers and Crowns.

We do our best to make it easy for you to get the beautiful smile you deserve! Our office accepts nearly all major insurance plans. Even though dental insurance is a private arrangement between you and your company, we will file your claim, handle all the paperwork, and help you get maximum insurance benefits.


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