Monday, June 29, 2009
If you have been told you have periodontal disease (also known as gum disease or periodontitis), you're not alone. An estimated 80 percent of American adults currently have some form of the disease! Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Gum disease is a threat to your oral health. Research is also pointing to health effects of periodontal diseases that go well beyond your mouth. So we at Pediatric Dental Specialists want to let you know some interesting facts and ways to treat the disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
"Perio" means around, and "dontal" refers to teeth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the structures around the teeth, including the gums and the bones that hold the teeth. The earliest stage of periodontal disease is gingivitis – an infection of the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved, including the bone. Bacteria that live and reproduce on the teeth and gums cause periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Symptoms may include the following:
--redness or bleeding of gums while brushing teeth or using dental floss
--halitosis, or bad breath
--gum recession, resulting in apparent lengthening of teeth
--"pockets" between the teeth and gums indicating that the bone which holds the teeth in the mouth is dissolving
Gum inflammation and bone destruction are largely painless. Hence, people may wrongly assume that painless bleeding after teeth cleaning is insignificant, although this may be a symptom of progressing periodontitis. If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it's normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss.
Periodontal Disease Affects Your Health
Periodontal disease is a putrid, festering infection of the mouth. Bacteria and inflammatory particles can enter the bloodstream through ulcerated and bleeding gums and travel to the heart and other organs. In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of health problems. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:
--Heart disease: Gum disease may increase the risk of heart disease. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
--Stroke: Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke caused by blocked arteries
--Diabetes: People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
--Premature births: A woman who has gum diseases during pregnancy may be more likely deliver her baby too early and the infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.
Combating Periodontal Disease
--See your dentist! See your dentist every six months for a checkup! Regular professional cleanings and checkups make you feel good, look good, and could be a lifesaver!
--Brush and floss daily. Take your time and do it right!
--Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Daily use of an anti-bacterial mouthwash helps to disinfect the teeth and gums, and reduces the number of bacteria.
--Straighten your teeth. Crowded teeth are nearly impossible to keep clean. Orthodontic treatment can greatly reduce inflammation and periodontal disease.
--Pediatric Dental Specialists
Monday, June 22, 2009
Whether you’re 5 or 50, your health depends on your awareness of what’s good for you. But in a world filled with fad diets, blaring advertisements, and unintelligible ingredient lists, we at Pediatric Dental Specialists know it can be difficult to determine exactly what is good for you – and what’s not.
For straightforward guidance on how to live a long, healthy life, we recommend Brush Your Teeth! And Other Simple Ways to Stay Young and Healthy by Dr. David Ostreicher. The book sums up good health in six fundamental principles: hygiene, diet, attitude, exercise, sleep and personal safety.
Drawing on nearly three decades of experience as an orthodontist and professor of health and nutrition, Dr. Ostreicher definitively answers age-old debates, like the best way to prevent colds and flu (your mom was right: wash your hands). He provides straight talk on a variety of diet choices including salt, fats, carbs and organic food, and he documents the importance of regular sleep, stress reduction and positive thinking to your overall health. His suggestions throughout are simple, clear, and inexpensive.
Dr. Ostreicher advocates a back-to-basics, common-sense approach to staying young and healthy. We at Pediatric Dental Specialists couldn’t agree more, and we’d like to repeat the title of his book as our favorite piece of advice: don’t forget to Brush Your Teeth!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
At Pediatric Dental Specialists we see lots of patients concerned about their bad breath. So we want to educate you about what you can do to really keep your chompers clean and breath minty fresh!
Naturally, good oral hygiene is the first set. With proper brushing and regular dental checkups you can keep bad breath (halitosis) in check.
Certain foods, medications, smoking, sinus issues, or even gum disease cause most bad breath. If the stink lingers for longer than 24 hours, you should see us at Pediatric Dental Specialists. It might be something more serious, like dehydration, zinc deficiency, diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure, or even certain kinds of cancers!
In the meantime, here are some home remedies to keep you smiling bright from Pediatric Dental Specialists.
--Spice Up Your Life
Snack on some cloves, fennel, or anise after each particularly odorous snack.
--Don’t forget the tongue
Lots of people brush their teeth regularly, but leave the tongue alone. One of the main causes of bad breath is food and plaque residue on the surface of your tongue. So give it a nice gentle brush-over too!
--Watch your drinking habits
The worst options are coffee, wine, whiskey, and beer.
Carry a toothbrush with you so brushing after each meal is convenient and refreshing! Trust us, you’ll love the way it makes you feel. If you can’t brush, still swish around a couple sips of water to remove any lingering food.
--Make your own Gargle
Gargling with a home mixture of sage, calendula, and myrrh gum extracts four times a day should ward off that bad breath potential.
--Parsley’s there for a reason
Finish your parsley after you finish your dinner and you’ll find a refreshing breath enhancer. Hate the texture? Throw a couple sprigs in a blender to sip after each meal.
Always a good idea to carry some mints or sugarless gum for that quick spruce up before you meet the boss.
--Don’t cut that cheese
The stronger the cheese, the stinkier your breath can become. Think about blue cheese and Roquefort? They really get the party started in your mouth and it’s hard to make them leave!