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Toothaches erupt twice as often between 3 and 8 a.m. as they do between 3 and 8 p.m. The culprit is cortisol, a key inflammation-fighting hormone that disappears at night and reappears in a burst when you wake up.

Time to change: If pain is a major factor, make a midafternoon dental appointment (local anesthetics last longest in the afternoon). Ibuprofen appears to relieve dental pain better in the early-morning hours and in the afternoon than at night.

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Good Periodontal Health

Without good periodontal health, there cannot be good general health. Periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease) can affect the state of your whole body. Over the past few years, studies have shown a definitive link between your oral health and your general health.

Here are some of the many problems that can be aggravated by poor oral hygiene:

  • Stroke - Those with adult periodontitis may have increased risk of stroke.
  • Respiratory Infections - Inhaling bacteria from the mouth and throat can lead to pneumonia. Dental Plaque buildup creates a dangerous source of bacteria that can be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Heart Disease - Those with adult periodontitis may have increased risk of fatal heart attack. And are more likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
  • Bacteria from the mouth may cause clotting problems in the cardiovascular system.
  • Severe OsteopeniaReduction in bone mass (osteopenia) is associated with gum disease and related tooth loss. Severity has been connected to tooth loss in postmenopausal women.
  • Uncontrolled Diabetes - Chronic periodontal disease can disrupt diabetic control.
  • Diabetes can contribute to bacterial overgrowth in the mouth. Smokers with diabetes increase their risk of tooth loss by twenty times. People with type II diabetes are tree times as likely to develop periodontal disease than are non diabetics.
  • Preterm or Low Birthweight Babies - Women with advanced gum disease may be more likely to give birth to an underweight or preterm baby. Oral microbes can cross the placental barrier, exposing the fetus to infection.

Remember, there are a number of advanced oral care remedies available to control or eliminate periodontal disease, such as antimicrobial mouth-washes, flossing regularly, and certain medications... and you thought all you needed was a toothbrush!

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Raisins May Help!

Raisins may actually help protect the teeth and gums. U.S. researchers have found that contrary to the prevailing beliefs that raisins contribute to tooth decay, raisins may actually help protect the teeth and gums.

Five compounds (phytochemicals) were found that might contribute to the healthfulness of teeth and gums--oleanolic acid, oleanolic aldehyde, betulin, nic acid and 5-(hydroxymethyl) -2furfural. Christine Wu, of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, said in a press release, that the "Phytochemicals in raisins may benefit oral health by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease."

Laboratory tests showed that phytochemical slowed or stopped the growth of two different types of bacteria commonly found in the mouth: Streptococcus mutans, which cause cavities, and Porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes gum disease; and prevented cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to surfaces.

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