gum disease

February is National Dental and Heart Health Month!

February 13th, 2018

You may remember our post from last week, when we discussed February being American Heart Health Month, but did you know that February is also National Dental Health Month?  Coincidence?  We think not!

Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care. Visiting our office on a regular basis can help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. If you do have gum disease, it is important to have it treated as this is an inflammatory disease in your mouth that leads to higher levels of inflammatory factors in your blood stream.  Studies are still underway to determine the connection between the increase in heart disease in patients who have gum disease and vice versa.  Scientists believe it could have to do with the bodies inflammatory response in both cases.  Both heart disease and gum disease show higher levels of C-reactive protein.  A protein more prevalent in people with diseases caused by inflammation or autoimmunity.  More work needs to be done to really learn the connection, but no matter what, we want you to keep your mouth and whole body healthy.

Our office is committed to the health of your gums by preventing and treating gum disease and giving you the tools and techniques to keep them healthy after.  Make sure you stay regular with your dental care and keep up with that flossing - you maybe keeping more than just your teeth and gums healthy!

Also, remember that this month Powell & Tiller Dental Care is giving $5 to the American Heart Association for every post on our patient's social media pages where you tell us why you love us and tag our office.  Help us show America's hearts some love!

The Link Between Osteoporosis And Gum Disease

July 26th, 2017

WHAT DO OSTEOPOROSIS and gum disease have in common? Bone loss! For anyone with gum disease, osteoporosis, or both… it’s important to know about the correlation between these two conditions.

How Does Gum Disease Cause Bone Loss?

Are you surprised to hear that gum disease can contribute to bone loss? The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, rarely affects bone structure. But if it progresses to advanced periodontitis, then the infection spreads beneath the teeth to destroy connective gum tissue AND supportive structure in your jaw.

Those With Osteoporosis May Have 85% Greater Periodontitis Risk

A recent study showed an alarmingly high correlation between low bone density and gum disease risk. Bone density was measured using a FRAX score (fracture risk assessment tool). Even disregarding common risk factors like age, smoking, or diabetes, it was shown that patients with osteoporosis have an 85% greater likelihood of periodontal disease.

More research is needed to find the reason for this correlation. However, one factor is important to note: advanced gum disease degrades bone mass in the jaw. For those with already-low bone mass, thanks to osteoporosis, the risk is even greater. Gum disease can very quickly cause a lot of damage.

We’re Looking Out For Your Whole-Body Health

So, if you have gum disease, along with other possible risk factors for osteoporosis, don’t be surprised if we ask you the last time you had a checkup with your physician. After looking at a dental x-ray, we may recommend that you have your bone health assessed.

In the meantime, take good care of your teeth. Gum disease can be worrying, but it’s preventable with good personal care habits and frequent visits with our team.

The relationship between osteoporosis and gum disease is just one example of the mouth-body health connection. The more we learn, the more we see that what happens in your mouth doesn’t just stay in your mouth. Dental health has an effect on your entire body.

Let us know if you have any questions about your dental health. We’re honored to be your partners in oral health care.

Common Misconceptions About Gum Disease

March 28th, 2017

WE BELIEVE the more educated our patients are about dental health issues, the better they’ll be able to prevent them. We often warn of periodontal disease and the detrimental effects it has on the mouth and body. But there are also many common misconceptions about gum disease. To help you better understand it, we’ve decided to bust some myths today!

Myth #1: Bleeding Gums Are Normal
This is probably one of the most perpetuated dental health myths. The truth is, bleeding gums are the first sign of gum disease. Gums swell, bleed and become tender when plaque accumulates on the teeth and around the gum line. Keep your gums healthy by removing plaque and food debris with daily brushing and flossing.

Myth #2: People Get Gum Disease Because They Don’t Clean Their Teeth
While poor oral hygiene definitely contributes to the development of gum disease, there can be many other factors involved. Tobacco use, stress, a bad diet, genetics, and certain illnesses such as diabetes can all increase your risk of developing gum disease. And as we’ve explained before, even being pregnant makes you more susceptible!
We also don’t want our patients to think that if they are cavity-free they couldn’t possibly have gum disease. Gum disease is painless in its beginning stages and many people don’t know they have it. That’s why proper oral hygiene and twice-yearly visits to your dentist are essential for your oral health, even if you don’t have a cavity!

Myth #3: Gum Disease Is Irreversible
What we really want our patients to understand is that gum disease is reversible in its earliest stage: gingivitis! The earlier gingivitis is caught, the easier it is to eliminate it before it advances to full-blown periodontitis. Finding out you have gingivitis can be worrisome but here’s the good news: good oral hygiene habits and professional cleanings can, in most cases, rid you of gingivitis and stop gum disease in its tracks.
To learn more about periodontal screenings, check out the video below!

Myth #4: Only Adults Can Get Gum Disease
Gum disease is much more prevalent in adults, but that doesn’t mean that our children are invulnerable. Children can be more susceptible to gum disease if they are genetically predisposed or have certain illnesses such as autoimmune disorders or diabetes. Even puberty, with all its hormonal changes, can put your child more at risk. Their best defense against any dental disease–gum disease and tooth decay included–is to take care of their teeth at home and visit the dentist on a regular basis.

Myth #5: Everyone With Diabetes Has Gum Disease
If you have diabetes, developing gum disease is not inevitable, although you are certainly at a higher risk. Now more than ever you’ll need a good relationship with and frequent visits to your dentist. A rigorous oral hygiene regimen as well as frequent cleanings can help stave off the onset of gum disease. Proper blood glucose control can also help you lower your risk.
Now that you know more about gum disease, keep up the good work avoiding it! Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Thanks for reading!  We hope it helps you stay healthy!

February is Heart Health Month

February 20th, 2013

Good oral health is important for more than just your smile!  Many studies are currently exploring the link between gum disease and heart disease or stroke. While scientists haven't shown a direct cause and effect relationship, we know increases in one elevates your risk in the other. One theory suggests that oral bacteria may affect heart health when it enters the blood and attaches to the fatty plaque in the heart's blood vessels. This can cause the formation of blood clots. Another theory suggests the possibility that inflammation could be a contributing link between periodontal disease and heart disease. Gum disease increases inflammatory factors in the blood stream which may also contribute to the development of swollen or inflamed coronary arteries.

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease is caused in part by the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries. Blood clots cut off blood flow, preventing oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Both blood clots and the buildup of fatty proteins on the walls of the coronary arteries may lead to a heart attack. Moreover, periodontal disease nearly doubles the likelihood that someone will suffer from coronary artery disease. Periodontal disease can also worsen existing heart conditions. The fact that more than 2,400 people die from heart disease each day makes it a major public health issue. It is also the leading killer of both men and women in the United States today.

 

At Powell & Tiller Dental Care, we want to help you keep your body and heart healthy.  Our charity of the month is the American Heart Association for Heart Health month.  Share this blog or tag us in a post on Facebook or Instagram on why you love our office this month and we will give $5 per tag to the AHA to help further research into heart health.  We <3 our patients!

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