Dental Tips Blog

Mar
31

What Your Gums Reveal About Your Risk for Alzheimer’s

Posted in Gum Disease

Brushing your teeth isn’t just good for your mouth. It could even have a beneficial effect on your long term memory, according to one study.

Researchers in Taiwan have recently made an interesting observation about gum disease and Alzheimer’s.

While we can’t say for sure that there is a direct link between the two conditions, there’s a definite pattern. Statistics show that older adults who have lived with gum disease for ten years or more were 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

This figure already accounts for other factors known to contribute towards Alzheimer’s such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Does this mean that if you have gum disease you’ll develop Alzheimer’s?

Not necessarily. In fact, for all we know, a genetic inclination towards Alzheimer’s may be what predisposes someone to periodontitis.

But some experts suggest that having a chronic low-grade inflammation – like gum disease – raging in your body may play a role in the onset of other serious conditions.

Alzheimer’s disease is difficult to predict and prevent and impossible to reverse. But gum disease, on the other hand, is highly preventable. It usually responds well to straightforward treatment right in your local dental office.

As more research unfolds on the connection between gum disease and other illnesses, now is the best time to get your gum health under control.

Get started by:

  • Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein and vitamin C
  • Brushing and flossing daily
  • Visiting a dentist for a gum health assessment

As your local dentist to evaluate the condition of your gums. Keeping them healthy is a great way to lower your risk for many other potential problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Mar
30

Older Women with Gum Disease May Be at Higher Risk for Cancer, Study Finds

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease has been associated with conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction, just to name a few. But now researchers are wondering about how chronic gum disease could affect a person’s cancer risk.

What the Study Found

Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo took a look at medical data collected over the course of eight years. The subjects of the data were postmenopausal women, most of them white.

The research findings showed an interesting pattern: women with periodontal disease (gum disease) were 14% more likely to develop cancer than those without gum disease. Whether the women smoked or not didn’t make a difference.

Site-specific cancers noted in these women’s health histories included lung, breast, skin, and gallbladder cancer. But the highest risk was for esophageal cancer.

What This Could Mean

Since gum disease has established links to other health problems, there may be some connection to cancer risk. Scientists have to study further what those connections may be and who are really at risk.

What This Doesn’t Mean

Not all older women with dental problems will develop cancer. This study was limited in scope. All though the finding was significant, it proved no direct connection between gum disease and cancer.

Keep Your Gums Healthy!

Good oral hygiene doesn’t just prevent tooth – loss; it could lower your cancer risk. A healthy diet rich in vitamins is also key to gum health. Lower your chancer further by reducing stress and avoiding tobacco use.

No matter age or gender, gum health is important to all. Regular gum health evaluations are an important part of oral hygiene. Schedule a checkup with a dentist near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Mar
30

Are Braces Making Your Gums Swell? What it Could Mean

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums are touchy and sensitive. They can even be a little moody. They don’t like sharing their space with anything.

When new braces come into town, gums can overreact by swelling beyond their normal size.

Some people’s gums are more sensitive than others. For the most part, however, you may be able to pin your swollen gums on a specific cause.

Put a Little More Work into Your Brushing!

Braces provide more surface area for plaque bacteria to collect on. These germs cause gum irritation (gingivitis), so getting braces increases your chances of angering your soft tissues.

This situation is easily remedied by taking your tooth-brushing game to the next level.

Your gums could benefit greatly from:

  • Extra brushing during the day
  • Brushing with a powered toothbrush
  • Using a water flosser
  • Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash

Hormones Turning Up the Volume on Gum Inflammation

In some instances, you aren’t entirely at fault for swollen gums. Sometimes it can be your hormones.

People usually get braces while in their teens. This is a time when hormones wreak havoc all over the body. It can be the same when you’re expecting; if you’re pregnant, you might see the same effects of how your situation starts to affect your gums.

Those picky gums respond in dramatic fashion to hormones with swelling and bleeding. Even so, this is still a good time to improve your oral hygiene.

Swollen gums can lead to serious gum disease later on, but they don’t have to, as long as you practice diligent oral hygiene. You can keep wearing your braces by doing your best to keep your teeth – and gums – clean. If swelling has you nervous about your braces, talk with your dentist or orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Mar
6

Get Rid of Gingivitis At Home with These 4 Easy Steps

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is inflammation of your gums. It’s a very common condition affecting people of all ages. If you’re dealing with it now, then you want to know how to get rid of it before it turns into something worse.

Fortunately, you can take measures here and now to start reducing the inflammation.

  1. Change Your Brush

It’s as simple as getting a more effective toothbrush. Look for one with soft bristles and a head that’s small enough to access all of your teeth. Many people with gingivitis like a powered brush because it’s good at removing the bacterial plaque that causes inflammation.

  1. Floss Daily

Flossing is good for preventing cavities. But it’s also essential for removing the plaque in between teeth that trigger gum inflammation. Flossing every day should eventually help your gums to bleed less.

  1. Antimicrobial Rinse

Look for an ADA-approved mouthwash that claims to kill bacteria. When used along with brushing and flossing, a rinse can prevent plaque buildup from recurring for long periods throughout the day.

  1. Vitamin C

Your gums can benefit a lot from just a little extra vitamin C in your diet. A strong immune system empowers your gums to fight off bacterial infections. Get lots of this water-soluble vitamin in strawberries, oranges, red peppers, kale, and other vegetables.

Fighting gingivitis is important because it can advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis attacks the bone and ligaments that keep your teeth in place. It can also increase your risk of developing other health problems.

After doing what you can at home, make sure to schedule a checkup with your local dentist. Professional dental cleanings will help you maintain the best gum health possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Feb
13

Gum Disease – Is It Written in Your Genes?

Posted in Gum Disease

If you don’t floss and brush regularly, your teeth will fall out from periodontitis.

Well, that’s only part of the story.

From what we do know about gum disease, there are a few thoroughly-understood risk factors:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Stress
  • Compromised immune system
  • Smoking

For the most part, these are controllable. They affect how the gums react to plaque bacteria that cause gum disease.

But why is it that some folks with terrible oral hygiene never suffer more than a mild case of gingivitis while some avid flossers can’t kick periodontitis?

Research suggests that the presence of disease-causing bacteria isn’t enough to trigger the problem. Rather, the way your body responds to them may be more important.

A genetic marker has been cautiously pegged as an indicator of being prone to gum disease. It needs to be studied more, but it lines up with other research and observations indicating that there is some hereditary factor.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that smoking in itself has proven to be a far bigger risk factor in gum disease than the presence of that marker. Smoking ups your risk so much that it doesn’t matter whether gum disease runs in your family or not.

What’s the takeaway here?

While there appears to be a genetic factor at play in the risk for periodontal disease, there is not yet a sure way to predict your individual chances. The best you can do for now is lower your risk with great oral hygiene and not smoking. Your local dental team can help you develop a personalized preventative plan.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Jan
29

Do Your Gums Bleed When You Brush? Something Could Be Very Wrong, Dentists Warn

Posted in Gum Disease

“My gums always bleed when I brush.”

“Flossing cuts my gums so I just don’t floss.”

“I never seem to have problems until the hygienist cleans my teeth.”

Don’t think we don’t know about those memes picking on dental professionals for making the patient bleed during treatment.

They are universal myths – bleeding gums are normal and dentists take delight in purposely irritating them during your appointment. Is that so? The truth just might surprise you.

Gums are very sensitive and complex tissues. They respond to things like hormones, infections, irritants, and medications. They even respond differently based upon genetics. Your gums are an extremely close reflection of the functionality of your immune system.

Like other body tissues that respond to infection, your gums can swell with disease-fighting agents and extra blood vessels to deliver them there. This inflammation stretches the thin skin on the surface and makes it more prone to damage.

It’s as simple as that. Sick gums are weak gums. If your gums bleed easily, 9 times out of 10 it’s because they are already suffering an infection. If not cared for, your gums can be the portal for bacteria to enter your body. Not only this, but your teeth can lose the support of gum tissue entirely and fall out.

If you take away nothing else from this post, remember this: your gums should not bleed at the dentist’s any more than your hands should bleed when you get a manicure. The same can be said of cleaning them. If your hands bled when you washed them, you might be a little concerned. Bleeding gums can be a sign of periodontal disease (gum disease) or other health concerns.

So why ignore gums that bleed? Do your gums a favor and visit your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Jan
10

Could There Be a Connection Between Arthritis and Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

The potential connection between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis has been a topic of interest all around the world.

While we’ve known for some time that there must be some kind of link between the two conditions, we still don’t know exactly what it is. We do know that both are inflammatory diseases. It definitely seems that having one of the two issues puts you at risk for the other.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Gum Disease . . . ?

Some studies suggest that people with rheumatoid arthritis are up to five times more like to develop serious gum disease than those who don’t have arthritis.

A study in Germany also found that when cases of gum disease showed up among rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, it was more severe and aggressive than usual.

Could the two conditions share an even deeper relationship?

Genetics could have something to do with it. According to one study in Israel, a genetic marker (HLA-DR4) linked to rheumatoid arthritis was also found in 80% of study subjects with gum disease.

. . . Or Does Gum Disease Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Another possible theory points to the fact that gum disease can make people up to four times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. It’s widely suggested that bacteria from the gum infection travel via the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in other areas of the body. This would directly contribute to a systemic condition like rheumatoid arthritis.

Are You At Risk?

Your local dentist can help you find out what your gum disease risk is. You can lower your chances by practicing excellent oral hygiene.

Posted on behalf of:
Bear Valley Dental Care
137 Montgomery Ave, Suite 200
Boyertown, PA 19512
610-473-0717

Jan
4

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Yes and no. That’s because gum disease falls under two major categories. One is reversible. The other is not.

Gingivitis

Gum inflammation usually starts in a superficial infection called gingivitis. When the gums around teeth get irritated by dental plaque, they turn red and a bit puffy. At this level, this beginning stage of gum disease is easily reversed by removing the plaque from the teeth. The swelling goes away when oral hygiene Improves.

Periodontitis

Take things a bit further, and the situation gets more complicated. Deeper layers of gum tissue are made up of ligaments that hold your teeth in place. When these are affected by inflammation, they can start breaking down in a condition called periodontitis. These tissues don’t grow back on their own.

To make things worse, the infection can travel yet farther into the bone surrounding tooth roots. The bone that disappears from gum disease doesn’t grow back on its own. As a result, teeth can eventually fall out. Chronic periodontitis has well-researched links to inflammation and infection in the body, being implicated in problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart disease

Get Rid Of Gum Disease

If you just have a mild case of gingivitis, that can go away simply by upping your oral hygiene efforts. But to stop periodontitis in its tracks and restore the damage done, you need to see a dental professional.

Don’t be suckered in by claims of herbs, oils, and other at-home remedies for treating gum disease. You’ll just be wasting time unless it’s treated at the source with tools and medications only a dentist can recommend.

Suspect your gums may be in danger? Contact a dentist near you to get a complete gum health evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

 

Dec
31

Is Scurvy Still A Thing?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s not just pirate lingo – scurvy is a very real condition that still affects people even today. Scurvy isn’t a communicable disease like the common cold. Rather, it’s a deficiency of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. This vitamin is found in many fresh foods including:

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Citrus fruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Papaya

In times past, scurvy was common among seafarers (like pirates) who didn’t have access to such fresh foods for months at a time. Today the condition is actually very rare, but people in certain groups are at risk. The elderly, those with sensitive food allergies, anorexia sufferers, alcoholics, and people who can’t or won’t make fresh foods a part of their diet are prone to scurvy.

Symptoms of this condition include appetite loss, diarrhea, fever, irritability, odd skin markings, and puffy, bleeding gums. If allowed to progress, scurvy can result in the loss of teeth. There are even indications that a vitamin C deficiency in pregnant mothers can adversely affect brain development of the baby.

Treatment and prevention for scurvy are the same: plenty of vitamin C. Our bodies can’t make this vitamin on their own and neither can they store it for long. That’s why it’s so important to get a healthy dose of it every day via a balanced diet loaded with fresh foods.

Interestingly, vitamin C is also essential for disease prevention and healing in the gums. Talk with your dentist about increasing your intake if you have been diagnosed with any form of gum disease. A daily glass of orange juice may be all it takes to keep your gums and body healthy with sufficient vitamin C.

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

Dec
26

4 Things Your Smile Reveals About Your Sleep

Posted in Gum Disease

Did you know that many people discover they have a sleep disorder after a trip to the dentist?

The following complications are very common among American adults. By taking a good look at your mouth, you and your dentist might be able to figure out if any of these issues are a sign of a bigger problem…like obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. You Breathe With Your Mouth Open While You Sleep

This isn’t unusual if you have sinus issues. But breathing through your mouth can cause a few problems in your smile:

  • Higher risk for cavities and gum disease
  • Less healthy saliva flow
  • Gum recession

If you suffer from dry mouth and have puffy, rolled, red, or receded gums, then there’s a good chance your mouth is wide open to catch those Z’s!

  1. You Grind Your Teeth At Night

Flattened molars and biting edges are a good sign that you’re grinding your teeth together. This common habit usually happens while people are asleep and unaware of it. If you have sensitive aching teeth or are constantly damaging dental restorations, grinding/bruxism and clenching could be to blame.

  1. You’re A Restless Sleeper

Ever wake up with a headache and sore jaw? Stress could be causing you to clench them together in your sleep. This could be stress related to waking activities or the kind that accompanies vivid dreams.

  1. You Snore

Snoring is caused by tissues in the neck and throat collapsing over the airway. If you have extra tissue around your neck and often wake up with a sore throat and dry mouth, this could mean your body is struggling to breathe while you sleep.

Contact your dentist to learn more about the sleep and smile connection.

Posted on behalf of:
Dentistry of Highland Village
3651 Weslayan St. #208
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 360-7700

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