Friday, March 31, 2017
Friday, March 24, 2017
Congratulations! You’ve already taken the first step towards good oral health by pursuing active
periodontal therapy. You’re already beginning to enjoy some of the benefits of treatment- a healthy
mouth and a happy smile. Now that you’ve made the commitment to good oral health, it’s important for you to protect it. Without careful, ongoing monitoring and treatment, periodontal disease can recur. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone and tooth loss. With help from periodontists, dentists who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease, you have an excellent chance of keeping your teeth for a lifetime!
How do I protect my oral health?
Once you’ve been diagnosed with and treated for periodontal disease, regular periodontal maintenance enables you to gain control of the disease and increases your chances
of keeping your natural teeth. Periodontal maintenance is a specialized treatment to protect your
gums and the bone that supports your teeth. This treatment is different from traditional six-month
dental cleanings from your general dentist, which also help to protect the health of your teeth.
During a periodontal maintenance visit, your periodontist updates your dental and medical histories to note any factors that may influence your periodontal health. In addition to a dental examination, a thorough periodontal evaluation is performed, which may include an assessment of your probing depths, oral cancer screening, and x-rays to evaluate the bone supporting your teeth. Plaque and calculus are then removed from above and below the gum line, and your periodontist will
review your at-home oral hygiene routine. If new or recurrent periodontal disease is identified,
additional treatment may be recommended.
How will I benefit from periodontal maintenance?
Periodontal disease is similar to other chronic diseases, such as diabetes; the key to control is early
diagnosis and prompt treatment. Periodontal maintenance is a way for you to protect your oral health by helping to prevent or minimize the recurrence and progression of periodontal disease. If the disease returns, careful monitoring increases the likelihood of locating and treating it in a timely manner before tooth-threatening bone loss becomes uncontrollable.
Protecting your periodontal health brings a lifetime of benefits. You keep dental costs down by
preventing future visits. You smile, speak, and eat with comfort and confidence. More importantly,
research has linked periodontal disease to other health problems such as cardiovascular disease and
diabetes. As research continues to define how periodontal disease is linked to these and other health
problems, oral maintenance is essential. As you can see, gum disease is more than just gums; a
commitment to oral maintenance is a commitment to better health!
How often do I need periodontal maintenance?
The answer to this question varies from person to person. Your periodontist will work with you to create a schedule that best protects your oral health. The intervals between periodontal maintenance visits may range from every few weeks to a few times a year, and the frequency may be influenced by:
• Risk factors such as genetics or tobacco use
• Severity of periodontal disease
• Severity of bone loss
• Overall general health
• At-home oral hygiene
At each periodontal maintenance visit, your periodontist will monitor your disease progression and treatment effectiveness, and may increase or decrease the frequency of your visits accordingly.
Friday, March 10, 2017
YOUR MOUTH AND THE RISK OF SYSTEMIC DISEASE
Each week as I go through the articles and recent research looking for interesting things to share with my blog followers, it is astounding how many studies are correlating disease in the mouth to some health condition.
The shear number of diseases and their links to the oral microbiome are compelling. Here are just a few of the conditions I've seen mentioned in recent studies:
- Alzheimer's disease
- Migraine headaches
- Heart disease
- Erectile dysfunction
- Estrogen therapy
- Chronic systemic diseases
- Pre-term babies & low birth weights
- Testerone levels
- Kidney disease
- Bacterial pneumonia
- Chronic inflammatory diseases
- Nutritional deficiency
This is a huge warning that your health is tied to the choices you make related to caring for not only your body but your mouth. After all, the mouth is the first place that food enters the body and in many cases it is the first place that bacteria enter the body.
In an unhealthy mouth, red swollen bleedy gums give bacteria access to your blood stream and thereby they have access to your entire body! Many studies have shown that when a mouth is healthy or when an unhealthy mouth is treated hospitalization rates are reduced and medical expenditures go down.
In all of my years in the dental field the number one excuse for not doing dental treatment has been lack of insurance and the cost of dental treatment, not fear! But it is FEAR of NOT doing treatment that should motivate people to seek treatment for their dental disease! It has become clear that dental disease, cavities and gum disease, are linked to systemic diseases that at the very least can reduce the quality of your life and at the very worst can be the cause of an early death.
Dental disease is relatively easy to prevent in the early stages with excellent home care routines. Daily removal of the bacterial colonies that accumulate on the teeth and at the gumline by brushing twice a day, daily flossing and rinsing with an alcohol free mouthwash after brushing are the first defense against oral disease. The second defense is regular checkups with your dentist to educate you in oral hygiene techniques and to stop/treat disease early before it progresses. So go ahead save your life today and get and appointment with a competent dental provider!
Friday, March 3, 2017
The Role of Estrogen Therapy in Controlling Periodontal Disease
Estrogen therapy helps women in menopause reduce hot flashes, improve heart health and bone density, and maintain levels of sexual satisfaction. Plus, the same therapy that treats osteoporosis may lead to healthier teeth and gums as well, reports the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
As estrogen levels fall during menopause, women become vulnerable to numerous health issues including loss of bone mineral density, which can lead to osteoporosis. Around the same time, changes in oral health also are common as teeth and gums become more susceptible to disease, which can lead to inflammation, pain, bleeding, and loose or missing teeth.
Researchers have found an association between osteoporosis treatment and severe periodontitis in postmenopausal women. They evaluated 492 postmenopausal Brazilian women between the ages of 50 and 87 years, with 113 in osteoporosis treatment and 379 not treated, to determine whether osteoporosis treatment could help increase the bone mineral density in their jaws and improve overall oral health.
According to the study, the rate of occurrence of severe periodontitis was 44% lower in the postmenopausal osteoporosis treatment group than in the untreated group. The treatment comprised systemic estrogen alone or estrogen plus progestin, in addition to calcium and vitamin D supplements, for at least 6 months.
“Osteoporosis can occur throughout the body, including the jaw, and lead to an increased risk of periodontal disease,” said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “This study demonstrates that estrogen therapy, which has proven to be effective in preventing bone loss, may also prevent the worsening of tooth and gum disease. All women, but especially those with low estrogen or on bisphosphonate treatment for osteoporosis, should make good dental care a part of their healthy lifestyles.”- See more at: http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/1704-estrogen-therapy-reduces-periodontitis-for-postmenopausal-women?highlight=WyJlc3Ryb2dlbiIsInRoZXJhcHkiLCJ0aGVyYXB5J3MiLCJob3Jtb25lcyIsImVzdHJvZ2VuIHRoZXJhcHkiLCJlc3Ryb2dlbiB0aGVyYXB5IGhvcm1vbmVzIiwidGhlcmFweSBob3Jtb25lcyJd#sthash.kygZAleG.dpuf
This article is from Dentistry Today 2-22-17
For more information about Periodontal disease and Osteoporosis, see our blog post of September 11, 2015