In our last blog, we discussed what periodontal (gum) disease is, some of the signs and symptoms that may indicate the disease, and how important it is to come see us at our Erdenheim dental office as soon as possible if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms. Today we’re going to tell you why a quick diagnosis and early treatment of periodontal disease is so important.
Your gums are the window to your overall health. They not only let us know if there is an issue in your mouth, they can also indicate other problems within your body. And when they’re infected, they can make you more susceptible to serious health issues and diseases.
In fact, people with gum disease are more prone to strokes, heart attacks, heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes, among other severe health concerns.
How can a disease in your mouth cause problems in the rest of your body?
There are four main ways that periodontal disease can lead to other serious health concerns.
Bloodstream – Chewing food injects infectious bacteria into your bloodstream, which is then carried throughout your body.
Breathing – Periodontal bacteria can be breathed into the lungs and increase the chance of lung disease.
Transmission – Periodontal infection can be transferred directly from spouse to spouse and parent to child through a simple kiss.
Immune System – Gum disease can lower your immune system, making you less effective at fighting off infections.
While we know that gum disease can lead to serious medical problems and diseases, at Chesheim Dental Associates, we also know that early diagnosis and proactive treatment can keep gum disease from causing any of these major health concerns. That’s why keeping up with your regularly scheduled visits is so important.
If you’re due for an exam, call our Erdenheim dental office today to schedule your appointment. We look forward to seeing you!
You know we’re always happy to see you at Chesheim Dental Associates. We think of you as part of our extended family, so we’re truly concerned when we see patients with periodontal disease, or what we usually call “gum disease.”
When gum disease is in its early stages, you might not even be aware that there’s a problem. In that case, your gum disease may go untreated and progressively get worse. If that happens, then your gums are harder to treat, and your teeth and overall health can be at serious risk.
What Is Gum Disease?
If you read or hear anything about gum disease, you probably run across different terms that all sound like the same thing. Let’s start with some of the basics.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and when you might not spot the symptoms yourself. Your gums become red and swollen, and may bleed easily when brushing or flossing. You may think some bleeding is natural when you’re cleaning your teeth—not true! It’s one of the first signs that you should call our dental office in Erdenheim for a checkup and to have us assess the health of your gums.
Periodontitis occurs when the dental plaque that forms on your teeth begins to spread below the gum line. The bacteria in plaque irritate your gums and cause inflammation, and that’s when the gum tissue can break down. This can cause loose teeth, or even the loss of one or more teeth.
Healthy teeth and gums are important building blocks for good overall health and well being. They’re one of our first priorities when you’re here for checkups. If you’re due for a regular visit, or have any questions or concerns, give our Erdenheim dental office a call to schedule a visit.
It is important to your dental health to visit the dentist every 6 months for a thorough checkup and cleaning. But perhaps even more important is the preventive measures you take every day, including what you eat and drink and your oral hygiene regimen.
Your diet can have a dramatic effect on your oral health. Think of it this way: if it is bad for your diet, it is not good for your teeth. For example, energy drinks, like Red Bull have been found to damage tooth enamel, greatly increasing the risk of cavities and increasing tooth sensitivity. Once enamel is gone, it can’t be replaced.
Other “foods” that are bad for your teeth are sticky snacks – think fruit chews, caramels or other chewy candy. These treats can loosen dental restorations. And if you have a restoration that is already loose, chewy candy can pull it right out. Hard candies are also bad for your teeth. They linger in your mouth for a long time, allowing sugar to coat you teeth. Sour candies have a high acid level that can damage tooth enamel. Even gummy vitamins that you take to be healthy can be damaging to your teeth for these very reasons.
But if you think you just have to be wary of simple sugars, like candy and soda, think again. Even complex carbohydrates turn into sugar in your mouth . . . sugar that bacteria can use to produce acid and damage teeth.
In addition to carefully monitoring what goes in your mouth is actually taking care of your mouth with your home oral hygiene regimen. You should thoroughly brush your teeth with a quality, fluoridated toothpaste at least twice a day for at least two minutes at a time. You should also floss daily. We also recommend using a fluoride rinse and an oral irrigator, like the HydroFloss or WaterPik, for an even deeper clean at home.
You know that eating sugar isn’t just bad for your diet – it is bad for your teeth! Eating sugar creates an acidic condition in the mouth. Acidity strips minerals from tooth enamel, causing it to weaken and be more vulnerable to bacteria.
As a result, tooth decay occurs. But what if you don’t have time to brush after lunch? Or after a sugary snack? Simple. Grab some Xylitol!
Xylitol is a naturally occurring compound that actually creates an unwelcome environment for oral bacteria; they simply cannot stick to teeth in a Xylitol-rich environment. In fact, studies show a dramatic reduction in new tooth decay in patients who chewed Xylitol sweetened gums. And it isn’t hard to find anymore. Xylitol is found in some sugar free or whitening gums such as Trident. Just check the label and keep some handy for those times you indulge in sweets!
The Erdenheim, PA dental practice of Chesheim Dental Associates incorporates the latest in innovative dental technology to enhance patient care. One such example is the Tekscan® for computerized occlusal analysis. The T-Scan is a diagnostic device that records your bite force dynamics, including occlusal force, location and timing. What does that mean for you?
The position of your bite is very important. The slightest change can throw it off. For example, if you lose or break a tooth, your bite balance changes. When we restore your tooth with a crown or tooth-colored filling, it is important that it is placed correctly within your bite. If the filling surface is too high or too low, your bite will be thrown off balance.
With the T-Scan we can precisely analyze your bite – making sure it is in an optimal position so the forces are balanced and even. No longer do we have to ask you, “Does that feel ok?” There is no more guesswork. We know where the correct bite position is.