How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

You might think brushing gently twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing your dentist regularly make sense for good oral health.

But the health of your mouth could affect the health of your whole body. More and more evidence shows a strong association between gum disease and heart disease, stroke, diabetes, poor pregnancy outcomes, and other conditions. Some early research has even found a higher risk for certain cancers. Continue reading How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

 

Manual vs. Electric: Which Is the Better Brush?

Electric toothbrushes have been widely touted, and indeed they can be equally effective as — or in some cases even more than — manual brushes when used consistently. A variety of studies have been done comparing different power toothbrushes, and while there is agreement that power brushes are safe, results in plaque-removing capabilities of the various devices have varied.

Understanding the Research

An analysis conducted by an independent nonprofit organization, Reference by Harvard University. compared various types of electric toothbrushes. Researchers systematically sorted through the data from studies done from 1966 to 2004 that compared power brushes’ effectiveness at removing plaque, maintaining gum health, and removing stains, as well as their dependability and adverse effects. The power brushes were divided into seven groups based on how they worked.

They found that most of the power toothbrushes were no more effective than manual toothbrushes. Just one type of brush — the rotation oscillation design (where the brush heads rotate in one direction and then the other) — was consistently better at removing plaque and reducing gingivitis (gum inflammation) than a manual toothbrush. Examples of the rotation oscillation action include brushes in the Braun Oral-B Triumph and Professional Care product lines.

Who Needs an Electric Brush?

An electric toothbrush can be particularly helpful for people who have trouble reaching all corners of their mouth. For example, power brushes are useful for people with braces, parents brushing their young children’s teeth, and individuals with mental or physical disabilities that impair dexterity. The thicker handle on power models also is a plus for some older people and people with arthritis who have difficulty grasping the thinner shaft of a manual brush.

But ultimately the best brush may simply be the one you feel most comfortable with. If you have questions, bring your toothbrush to your next dental visit so your dentist can examine it. While you’re at it, demonstrate your brushing technique so your dentist or hygienist can make sure you are brushing correctly.

 

The Real Dangers of Snoring

While snoring maybe something we laugh about in the movies or on TV, in real life it can literally be life threatening.

For some people, snoring can develop into Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a condition in which moments are experienced during sleep when breathing completely stops. When you consider that this may happen more than 50 times an hour during sleep, you can clearly see how destructive this can be to overall health. In fact, the risks of undiagnosed OSA include heart attacks, strokes, impotence, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and heart disease. On a positive note, there are treatment options that can help. In addition to exercising and losing weight if you are over the normal range, there is more that can be done quite simply.

Did you know that a dentist trained in sleep disorders can play a key role in your treatment? One way is by making an oral appliance, a custom device that is similar to a retainer or sports mouthpiece, that is worn during sleep. To learn more about sleep apnea and your treatment options, discuss them with your dentist during your next routine exam.

 

Treatment for Loose Teeth

Explaining the treatment of loose teeth is actually much more complicated than this brief review will allow. For this reason, it is important for you to see your dentist or a periodontist for a detailed assessment and correct diagnosis of what is causing your teeth to be loose. However, what you are experiencing sounds like the end result of periodontal (gum) disease, in which bone that normally supports the teeth (together with the periodontal ligament that attaches bone to the teeth) is progressively lost.

Looseness of teeth is the result of occlusal trauma (“occlusal” – bite; “trauma” – injury) that can literally damage the remaining periodontal structures of the teeth. Occlusal trauma comes in two varieties:

  • Primary occlusal trauma — an excess force applied to normal periodontal structures that is usually caused by parafunctional forces (“para” – beyond; “function” – normal range) such as clenching or grinding habits.
  • Secondary occlusal trauma — normal biting forces applied to a tooth that has lost significant bone support or periodontal attachment.
  • A combination of both, in which excessive biting forces are applied to weakened or reduced periodontal structures (teeth that have lost bone due to periodontal disease).

Looseness of teeth is mostly caused by secondary trauma, as a result of bacterial plaque-induced periodontal disease. The approach to treatment of loose teeth is both biologic and mechanical. The biological approach involves treatment of the gum disease that must be addressed first to provide an environment in which the periodontal attachment can heal.

The mechanical approach involves modifying forces applied to the teeth, treating the effects of the force on the periodontal ligament (the attachment mechanism of the teeth to the bone) and also by modifying the amount of biting force generated by the jaw muscles and received by the teeth during biting. This can be achieved in a number of ways, depending upon the degree of looseness of the teeth. Here is a summary of current methods:

  • Occlusal (Bite) Adjustment: First, the bite or occlusion (how the teeth meet together), can be adjusted by minor reshaping of the biting surfaces of the teeth so that they receive less force. This procedure is known as occlusal adjustment by selective grinding and requires knowledge and skill of how bites work and function.
  • Splinting: If the teeth are very loose, they can be splinted or joined together like pickets in a fence so that any biting force is distributed among groups of teeth rather than individual loosened teeth.
    • Temporary Splinting can be achieved by joining the teeth together with:
      • Extra-coronal Splints (“extra” – outside; “coronal” – crown): With this approach, splinting materials are attached to a group of teeth generally by bonding to the enamel, thus making them more rigid.
      • Intra-coronal Splints (“intra” – inside): These splints involve cutting a small channel into the teeth, inserting a rigid custom formed metal splint and bonding or cementing it in place to stabilize the teeth.
    • Permanent Or Fixed Splinting: This method literally (and permanently) “fixes” loose teeth together by crowning the affected teeth and fabricating a splint in which the crowns are joined or fused together.
    • Occlusal Splints Or Guards: If parafunctional clenching or grinding habits are evident, then a removable occlusal splint or bite guard may further protect the teeth from the consequences of too much biting force. Since parafunctional forces and habits tend to be stress related, these removable guards can be used during times of tension, stress or when these bad habits are evident.

Another approach that is sometimes used to treat loose teeth is by orthodontic treatment — to reposition teeth so that they receive forces more evenly and appropriately. However, it can be a complicated process — especially if there is underlying periodontal disease that must be controlled before orthodontic treatment can be successful. When applied correctly, the controlled forces used in orthodontics to move the teeth can actually be used to regenerate lost bone and create new periodontal attachment.

The long term outlook or prognosis of the teeth must be considered before deciding upon treatment options. While temporary splinting options may buy you some time, the teeth themselves may need to be replaced if the damage to the periodontal structures is severe. See your dentist or a periodontist for a complete examination and consultation to learn all your options.

 

Dental Abscess – Causes And Symptoms

Dental abscess is characterized by pus formation in the teeth or the gums. This infection may occur either in the gums or the apex (tip) of the tooth. It usually occurs due to a bacterial infection which may enter the mouth through food, thus causing accumulation of plaque. If the plaque is not removed by following proper dental hygiene, then it may result in abscess.

Continue reading Dental Abscess – Causes And Symptoms

 

The Oral Effects of Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which your red blood cell count is lower than normal. Anemia also occurs when your red blood cells don’t contain enough of the iron-rich protein hemoglobin, which gives blood its red hue. Hemoglobin helps red blood cells transport oxygen throughout your body.

Continue reading The Oral Effects of Anemia

 

Bleeding Gums are a Warning Sign.

Bleeding Gums ,Periodontitis is an early warning sign of liver disease, which is a warning sign of pre-diabetes, then Type 2 diabetes.

The last place you would ever expect getti ng an early diagnosis of diabetes is at the dentist’s office. Yet the more we learn about the connection between oral health and overall health and understand that the mouth tells its own story about what’s going on in the body, it could very well become a reality that your dentist could warn you of the early onset of diabetes. This will not only help to prevent tooth loss, which is common with progression of periodontitis, it may just save your life. Continue reading Bleeding Gums are a Warning Sign.

 

Dental Health Quiz

Dental Health Quiz

1. If your gum bleeds, you have gum disease: True/False

2. Gingivitis, an early form of gum disease caused by the inadequate removal of plaque, is reversible: True/False

3. Healthy teeth and gums reflect your body’s overall health: True/False

4. Dentists recommend fluoride consumption for adults and children of all ages: True/False Continue reading Dental Health Quiz

 

Dental Awareness if You Have Kidney Disease

 If you have kidney disease, you may need to take extra care of your teeth and gums. That’s because you may be at risk for certain mouth problems.
For example, people with kidney disease may develop bad breath. This is caused by a metabolic problem that produces chemicals. These chemicals are exhaled through the lungs and can cause bad breath. But healthy oral habits go a long way toward controlling these problems. To control bad breath, brush your teeth gently at least twice a day, paying special attention to the gum line and floss at least once a day.Brushing the tongue is also helpful because many of the odor-causing bacteria are located on the back of the tongue.

Continue reading Dental Awareness if You Have Kidney Disease

 

Can Receding Gums Grow Back ?

The gums that surround and hold the teeth in place in your mouth can be impacted by a number of conditions that can result in them receding.

Periodontis disease along with conditions where a person does not perform regular oral care can cause the gum line to deteriorate.

This makes the tissues around the teeth gradually disappear or recede in time. Those who suffer from receding gums often beg the question “ Can Receding Gums Grow Back?”

Continue reading Can Receding Gums Grow Back ?