Stamm Dental

Smoking and Your Oral Health

Smoking and Oral Health

At Stamm Dental Wellness it is our mission to educate and support our patients and community to achieve their highest possible health potential. The daily habits we choose to engage in impact our health today and in our future. We want you to understand the impact smoking has on your oral health and support you in the decision to quit in whatever way we can. We understand it isn’t easy, but we have seen first hand the amazing impact stopping smoking has on your overall health and smile.

Smoking is a habit that negatively impacts our health and can lead to an earlier death; however, many don’t think about the impact it has on their mouth and the appearance of their smile.  There are many concerns smoking contributes to in your mouth (including creating bad breath), but these were the  top 3 reasons to call it quits for your health, mouth and smile.

  1. Oral Cancer:  Oral cancer is painful, scary and kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. According to the IDPH, about 90 percent of people with oral cancer use tobacco. The risk of developing these cancers increases with the amount smoked or chewed and the duration of the habit. Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers.
    www.idph.state.il.us/cancer/factsheets/oralcancer.htm
    Find more info at https://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/tobacco/
  2.   Yellow Stained Teeth: Our teeth are porous and can absorb and stain due to the things we eat, drink and smoke. Nicotine and tar in the tobacco can build up on your teeth and begin to cause yellowing in a very short time. If you are a heavy smoker, teeth can actual begin to look brown. This staining does not go away after quitting, so whitening products or cosmetic dentistry would need to be done to improve your smile.

3. Gum Disease and Bone Loss: Smoking impacts your body’s ability to heal and fight infection of all kinds. It can also increase the build up of  plaque on your teeth making it harder to get your teeth clean with brushing.  Gum (periodontal) disease is an infection of the gums and can affect the bone structure that supports your teeth. In severe cases, it can make your teeth fall out. Smoking is an important cause of severe gum disease in the United States.1

To Quit or Not to Quit? An Exercise in Understanding 

Smoking and Oral Health (Printable download)

Understanding one’s reasons for smoking or quitting is an important first step in making this life altering decision. Like any habit we choose to engage in, there is a short-term pay off happening or we would not do it. Each individual’s is unique. Understanding your “why” for smoking can give important insight in creating a game plan for dealing with the loss of the habit.

Some common pay offs are:

  • Smoking is a stress reliever
  • It gives me a reason to slow down and take a break
  • Helps suppress my appetite
  • Creates a specific feeling or projects a desired persona

Smoking also comes with challenges. How is it currently making life harder?

  • I am tied to an urge that makes travel, work, or interacting socially more challenging.
  • It costs lots of money
  • I have trouble breathing and exercising
  • I smell bad
  • I have bad breath

Smoking has a severe detrimental effect for long term health. Consider what goals and activities it may prevent or affect in the future. Create a list with all the reason’s you would like to live a long and healthy life. Some may include:

  • I want to be around to raise my kids and meet my grand-kids some day.
  • I want to limit the negative health impact my second-hand smoke has on loved ones.
  • I don’t want to deal with painful health challenges like cancer, gum disease, or breathing conditions.

Quitting smoking or any changing any habit is a personal decision. To truly be successful I believe you have to be ready. Stamm Dental Wellness wants to support you any way we can. We can be one of your accountability partners, asking you how you are doing in your process. Also we will continue to point out all the impacts your decision will have.

Feeling ready? For more helpful tips check out:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/quit-smoking/making-decision-to-quit/

https://coquitline.org https://oralcancerfoundation.org/understanding/tobacco/tobacco-cessation/

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Nasal Breathing vs Mouth Breathing: Which is Better for Health?

Nasal Breathing vs. Mouth Breathing

Nasal Breathing Has Many Health Benefits

Breathing is foundational for survival.  However in regard to achieving optimal health, does it matter how our air enters our bodies? YES IT DOES. Because we so frequently use our nose for scent, its other vital functions are largely (and unwisely) ignored. Breathing, primarily, through your mouth can lead to or exacerbate many chronic health issues like sleep apnea, snoring, chronic rhinitis and high blood pressure. Outlined below are several, significant reasons why nasal breathing is not only healthier but imperative.

Nasal breathing allows for better oxygen exchange.

Our nose functions as a filter-regulator of sorts by controlling air flow, cleaning contaminants, and even changing the air temperature slightly all to allow for the best oxygen exchange in your lungs. In addition, nasal breathing produces a chemical called Nitric Oxide (NO) in the nasal passages and paranasal sinuses. Among a variety of other physiological and pathophysiological processes in the body, NO increases the size and surface area of the alveoli in the lungs (those tiny sacs where oxygen is absorbed), thereby further improving oxygen exchange.

Nasal breathing (as opposed to mouth breathing) increases circulation, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, slows the breathing rate and improves overall lung volumes. (Swift, Campbell, McKown 1988 Oronasal obstruction, lung volumes, and arterial oxygenation. Lancet 1, 73-75).

Nasal breathing helps prevent infections.

The filter part of our nose helps fight and prevent infections. The mucous membrane lining the nasal passages extends all the way from the nostrils down to the lungs themselves. Our Nose houses good bacteria that helps combat bad bacteria. Germs and dangerous bacteria get stuck in the mucous and die, never raching our more vulnerable lungs. 

It boosts exercise performance and reduces stress.

As mentioned, nasal breathing slows the air flow coming in and out down, allowing more time for oxygen exchange and allowing it to happen more effectively. Breathing through your nose during exercise also helps prevent exhaustion.  In a very simple view, mouth breathing signals our fight or flight instinct: you’ve overworked and stressed your body, it was a special situation and now you must deviate from your normal instinct (at a price) to recover. Your highest level of exertion over a prolonged period should be at a level that can be performed while only breathing through the nose.  It is important to not only to breath in through your nose but out as well because we absorb the most oxygen on the exhale.

Making the switch.

Like changing any habit, moving from mouth to nose breathing takes time, effort and consistency. In the occasional absence of those things, taping your mouth shut is effective. Try with your coworkers or spouse to improve your day. For many self-evident reasons (like suffocation), do not use a strong adhesive tape. We recommend 3M Micropore Surgical Paper Tape (Can be found on Amazon) because it is easy to remove and will come off during coughing.

Click the Instructions link below for a printable how to guide on mouth-taping. 

Mouth Taping Instructions

Besides taping your mouth shut, which may be impossible for some for various reasons, there are also gradual breathing exercises you can do. Research Buteyko Breathing Method or order the book Close Your Mouth by Patrick McKeown to dive deeper. If you would like to come in and discuss your breathing with our dentist, please call 303-839-5109 or email [email protected] to schedule.

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Tips for More Restful Sleep

Tips to Improve Sleep

Healthy Start System

Sleep is Important at Every Age

Getting quality sleep plays a huge role in health, development and aging. When we sleep it is our body’s time to re-charge, repair, heal and detoxify. So when sleep is interrupted these important body processes do not take place to the same level. When you are young and growing this is a very important role in development. Dentistry is starting to focus on Sleep Evaluation and Treatment, including the treatment of Sleep Apnea . At Stamm Dental we have many programs for patients of all ages. For children we are one of the few offices that offers Healthy Start to encourage proper growth and development.  As we age our sleep is often lighter; however, studies show we still need as much sleep as when you were young. Our goal is to help support our patients to create proper sleep hygiene habits to stay healthy and happy for years to come.

 

  1. Go to sleep early- Take a hint from the farming community. Go to bed and rise in rhythm with the sun and wake up refreshed.  Our bodies work with the sun on a cycle called the Circadian Rhythm. When we stray from this it can negatively impact the quality of our sleep.
  2. Turn lights out and power down- When the light begins to dim in the evening we release a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain only in the absence of light. For most of human’s existence candle light and fire were the only light available after the sun went down. We are now surrounded by artificial lightning, television, smartphones and computers.  We have to make a point to unplug so that our body will get the message we should be sleeping soon. Avoid these technologies altogether two hours before bed or where special glasses that block out blue light.
  3. Create complete darkness- Light shining into our sleep environment, disrupts our sleep. So make the room you sleep in completely dark. Try “black-out” curtains or blinds and removing bright clocks and night lights. If this is impossible, wearing an eye mask can help.
  4. Avoid stimulants– Especially if you aren’t getting good sleep, fatigue can be a big problem during the day. So many people drink coffee or soda and then have trouble falling asleep.  Try taking a power nap for 15 minutes in the afternoon to boost energy and skip the stimulants.
  5. The bedroom is for sleep and sex- Do you use your bed room as a multi-purpose room working on your lab-top in bed, watching TV or eating? The bed should be a place your body associates with rest and pleasure.
  6. Maintain a routine– We need to follow routines, especially when it comes to sleep. Try to go to sleep and wake up the same time every day, even on the weekends.
  7. Take a bath– Taking the time to wind down before bed can be a valuable practice. One of the best ways to calm the mind and body is to take an epsom salt and lavender bath. Epsom salts are a natural muscle relaxer and lavender has a calming effect on the nervous system.

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Changes to Spine, Pelvis and Posture during Pregnancy

Chiropractic Care is a Safe Treatment for Discomfort During Pregnancy

At Stamm Dental Wellness we combine chiropractic and dental care, to optimize your overall health. We love welcoming pregnant patients into the office for amazing dental services as well as assessing how their spine, pelvis and posture are responding to the rapid changes of pregnancy. Pregnancy is a very important time to take care of your mouth and body.  Making sure you get regularly teeth cleanings and check ups as well as chiropractic or physical therapy visits with a practitioner familiar with the specific techniques to assess and address the unique stresses pregnancy creates is important and safe.

There are many changes to spine and pelvis that can contribute to discomfort:

The discomforts of pregnancy can be treated safely with chiropractic

  • Change in your weight distribution can lead to forward head posture, creating more work for the muscles holding up your head all day. This can cause neck and shoulder pain, headaches and carpal tunnel symptoms.
  • Expansion of rib cage can cause discomfort in ribs, mid back or chest, which can also make it more difficult to breathe.
  • Titling pelvis can lead to low back and pubic bone pain as well as sciatica.
  • Changes in your gait or the way you walk can irritate your pelvis and hip joints.

Chiropractic adjustments help your body adapt to the rapid changes and can provide relief for any discomfort naturally. It also relaxes your nervous system which can ease tension and promote better rest. Our chiropractor, Dr. Chrissy Stamm-Christian, has a lot of experience helping pregnant feel good throughout their pregnancy. Contact us to schedule today!

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Printable Tooth Fairy Report

THE OFFICIAL TOOTH FAIRY REPORT

The Tooth Fairy is a fun tradition for children that builds magical memories for years to come.  I remember the anticipation as I placed my newly wiggled out tooth under my pillow. What will she bring? Will she remember to come? Then waking to find little gifts, like a tooth brush, and/or money filled me with joy. However, I never got an official tooth report that would remind me to keep my teeth healthy and clean.

Click on the link below to enjoy this FREE printable Tooth Fairy Report.

Official Tooth Fairy Report

Hope it makes the visit from the Tooth Fairy a little more magical and official. Feel free to add glitter for the “fairy dust” affect.

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Tips for Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy Changes The Body AND the Mouth 

Follow these tips to enjoy optimal oral health during pregnancy for you and your baby. 

 

Maintain Your Dental Cleanings

  1.  Go to your Dentist for a Check-up and Cleanings: – Some moms don’t realize it is safe to get a cleaning during their pregnancy or they are afraid it will hurt because their gums are already sore and bleeding. It is not only safe, it is highly needed. Hormonal changes can cause dry mouth issues which can lead to increased risk of tooth decay. The hormone Relxin has a relaxing effect on the ligaments holding your teeth, which may make your teeth feel as if they are becoming loose. This loosening doesn’t normally cause problems, as long as your tooth and gum foundation is good. It is something to have monitored as it can cause the normal alignment of the bite to shift.  Lastly, pregnancy gingivitis causing swollen, bleeding gums can contribute to gum disease, which can cause pre-term labor and lower birthweight.
  2. Treat Morning Sickness. – Regular bouts of morning sickness can erode the tooth material, increasing risk of decay. If the hormonal changes of pregnancy are causing sever vomiting, getting medication from a doctor may be necessary.  However, most can be managed with ginger chews, making sure to eat regularly, and eating small meals throughout the day.
  3. Brush and Floss Even If Your Gums are Sore- Brush as soon as your wake up before breakfast and then again before bed. Make sure your brush throughout the day if you have vomited. Also use a brush with soft bristles or use an electric toothbrush.  Be gentle with your floss, but don’t skip it. It is easier for food and bacteria to get stuck in swollen and inflamed gums. Doing a warm Salt-Water rinse can help sooth before or after you floss.

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Best Practices For a Toothache

 

Everyone agrees, toothache pain is terrible.

There are few things as painful as a toothache, but, as pain is merely a symptom,  you can’t truly heal until you find the ROOT (pun intended) cause. Many people approach pain via self medication (e.g. NSAIDs, opioids, etc.); unfortunately, treating a symptom only ensures the problem will occur again. Ignoring the pain and/or self medicating will only give a small, inexpensive problem the incubation time needed to become a big, expensive life issue.

When you have pain, contact your wellness dentist to set an appointment immediately. In the meantime during the short wait for your appointment, however, here are a few short-term, home remedies:

  1. Rinse with warm salt water up to four times a day. This will help clean and soothe the inflammation around the tooth. It can reduce swelling and gently removes bacteria from the affected area. Heat 8 ounces of water on the stove and add 1 tsp of salt. Once dissolved allow water to cool until it is at a safe temperature. Rinse and swish salt water around in your mouth for 30 seconds and then spit it out.
  2. Apply clove oil or a product with clove oil in it. Eugenol, the active ingredient in cloves is a natural pain reliever. Rub a tiny amount of the clove oil on your gums to ease pain. Too much of it can irritate the inflamed area. Mix a couple drops of clove oil with olive oil or coconut oil to dilute it before applying it to the area.
  3. Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling and relieve pain in the area. Try it for 15-20 minutes every couple hours. This can be especially helpful if the pain is related to a trauma. Do not to place ice directly on your skin; it will burn you. Use or create a compress that is cold but not freezing.

Remember, call your dentist if you have tooth pain to make an appointment: (303) 839-5109. Stamm Dental Wellness wants you to live with as little physical pain as possible so you can enjoy life with health and vitality.

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Healthy and Yummy Keto-friendly Superbowl Appetizer

 

Will a Keto diet improve the health of your gums, teeth and mouth?

We know the health of the body is connected to the health of the mouth; the reverse is also true. Fortunately, you can choose what you eat and enjoy the health benefits of your informed choice.

I love to eat. I enjoy the complexities of taste, the smells wafting from the kitchen, the warmth of the table with with my loved ones around and I particularly enjoy how all these seemingly unrelated things become something vastly more than the individual pieces. Unfortunately, not all foods are conducive to a heathly lifestyle.  I am not a person that eats raw kale all day and calls is yummy. I love being healthy only slightly more than I love good food, so keep that in mind as we explore options to have both.

Basically everything we eat can be categorized two ways:

1) Helping our bodies heal and adding to our vitality.
or
2) Causing stress on our body and adding to inflammation and disease.

Some people view food as a drug: something to be measured precisely and taken at regular intervals to keep you healthy. To me, food is a huge way we enjoy ourselves and connect with friends and loved ones. There is a healthy balance between these two views. I want to eat tasty and pleasurable items but also want to feel good and have energy throughout my day. The balance of these two views makes me picky about the types and quality of food I eat.

Lately, I have been choosing to eat a more paleolithic (paleo) or ketogenic (keto) focused diet and have felt a positive impact in my energy and waistline. I also take a few different supplements that help me with digestion and inflammation naturally.

Our daily food choices impact us negatively or positively. The most important word in the previous sentence is “choices”; you control what you eat. Many patients are confused and overwhelmed with all the information and various opinions on diet that exist. Any random person with a smartphone can put information online, and, as a result there seemingly infinite opinions posted on what constitues a healthy diet. In addition to all the various opinions, the scientific community also changes their stance. 15 years ago when I was taking nutrition classes, things like grains and low fat foods were the epitomy of health are now being shown to be inflammatory.

I also hear, incorrectly by the way, eating healthy doesn’t taste good. If your body is addicted (yes, addicted) to super sweetened and/or processed foods, your body will take time to get used to healthy options. You (and your body) will also be shocked at how much more energy and vitality you have by making some small choices and not quitting the healthy lifestyle before you body can change. Give it a week and let me know if I was right or wrong.

Want to sit down and get some support to pick the best diet for you? Do you have questions about what supplements to take?

I’m here to help! Call the office at 303-839-5109 to appointment for a 60 minute nutritional sit down and I will help you make a plan for feeling and looking your best.

With the Superbowl coming up this weekend, there will be plenty of yummy but unhealthy food to eat. So I wanted to share a recipe I found that is tasty AND healthy for all of you to bring to the party on Sunday.

NOW FOR THE RECIPE: Mexican Deviled Eggs with Avocado and Bacon

These naturally keto deviled eggs with avocado and bacon are easy to make, with common ingredients. I use naturally raised, uncured bacon and mayonnaise made with avocado or olive oil instead of canola or soybean oil, which are more inflammatory. If you are vegetarian, skip the bacon; it still works!

Prep Time 10 minutes / Cook Time 8 minutes / Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients:
6 Large Eggs
2 tbsp Avocado (Just scoop with a spoon)
2 tbsp Mayonnaise (Try a Paleo Mayonnaise with Avocado or Olive Oil)
1 tsp Lime Juice
3/4 tsp Taco Seasoning (Add 1/4 TSP  of salt if seasoning is unsalted)
1/2 C Tomatoes (Finely chopped, seeds removed and juices drained)
1/4 C Bacon, Crisply Cooked and Chopped (Bacon Bits can be used, but WHY?!?)
2 tsp Fresh Cilantro (Finely chopped)
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper (Otional for a little more kick)

Directions:
1. Hard Boil your eggs. I let mine boil for about 6 minutes and they are creamy not too hard. My husband swears by the steaming method if you want easily peeled eggs (he’s a better cook, but whatever). Find your own path, but you want to get the yolks just SLIGHTLY more cooked than soft-boiled.

2. Peel the eggs, slice them in half and place the yolks into a bowl.

3. Mash the yolks together with some avocado (make sure it’s super soft!), mayonnaise, and taco seasoning. This is where you can add cayenne pepper for a kick, or even chopped jalapenos if you want to!

4. Fold half of the chopped tomatoes and half of the bacon bits into the bowl. We’re saving the other half for topping! Make sure you don’t add any water that accumulates as you chopped the tomatoes, and try to skip the seeds too, for better texture.

5. Transfer your mashed mixture back into the egg white halves. You can do this with a piping bag (easy piping bag is a ziplock with a corner cut out), or if you’re lazy like me, just a spoon. It doesn’t matter too much because the last step is topping them with remaining tomatoes, bacon bits, and cilantro.

Yum! The best avocado deviled eggs with bacon.

Recipe from https://www.wholesomeyum.com/mexican-keto-deviled-eggs-recipe-with-avocado-and-bacon/

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Integrative Dental and Wellness Care creates Optimal Patient Outcomes

Integrative Care has benefits for doctors and patients and we are excited to join the movement at Stamm Dental Wellness.

Duke Integrative Medicine defines Integrative Healthcare as “an approach to patient care that seeks to integrate the best of western scientific medicine with a broader understanding of the nature of illness, healing and wellness. The care addresses the whole person, including body, mind, and spirit in the context of community.” I love this definition because it doesn’t throw out any of the benefits of modern medicine but instead adds the important element of looking at the whole person and not just the symptomatic parts.

I have had the opportunity to work and create integrative care models with chiropractic and medical management for chronic pain patients at pain hospital in Arizona. I have seen first hand how working together across different specialties gives a unique opportunity for complementary and conventional treatments to occur simultaneously. Also, when doctors and specialists can integrate their specific skill-sets under one roof, getting to the root of the symptoms, becomes a collaborative and positive journey for everyone involved.

The care providers can sit down together face-to-face and discuss the best approach. This collaboration happens in real time instead of having to share information over the phone or just sending notes and records out. Plus the patient doesn’t have to repeat his or her story over and over going from office to office, which saves time and frustration. We are excited to continue this positive health care trend at Stamm Dental Wellness. Our goal is to streamline our care so our patients get the best outcome possible. Thank you to our patient community for taking this new adventure in Dental Wellness with us. We are already seeing the amazing results this new integration will be able to produce (see below).

“Stamm Dental has forever changed my life in the best ways possible! Dr. Stamm has helped my jaw pain immensely by developing an individualized plan for me. Her compassion and empathy were clear from the first appointment. The addition of Dr. Chrissy as a chiropractor within Stamm Dental has allowed me to see significant improvement for many concerns (dental and otherwise) that I never thought could be addressed. The combination of dentistry and chiropractic care has been a very positive experience and I feel at home with all the wonderful staff of Stamm Dental. It is truly a pleasure from the moment I walk through the door to the moment I leave. Stamm Dental feels like a family. I am forever grateful! ”

-Rachel H (a happy integrative patient)

Dr. Chrissy Stamm-Christian

Dr. Chrissy is our Denver Chiropractor for Dental Wellness at Stamm Dental

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How to Floss Correctly for Optimal Dental Health Benefits

How to Floss: Not just the dance, but to correctly help your gums,teeth and smile

  • Get a piece of floss approximately 18 inches in length and wrap it around both middle fingers, with more on one finger than the other. Leave one to two inches of floss to utilize.
  • Hold the dental floss tightly between your thumb and index finger, slide it between your teeth up-and-down gently in a “C” shape motion.
  • Glide the dental floss between your teeth using a zig-zag motion, making sure to go gently beneath the gum line. Do not use too much pressure, this could cause bleeding and damage to gums.
  • Move from tooth to tooth, repeating the process and do not forget your very back teeth! They are susceptible to plaque, gum disease and tooth decay as well. 
  • Also check out our blog on Waterpik, if you hate flossing and want another options to keep health gums and teeth.