July 31, 2012

Healthy Gums Can Lead To A Healthier Body

Inflammation is a major risk factor for heart disease, and periodontal (gum) disease increases the inflammation level throughout the body.  Since several studies show that people with gum or teeth problems also have an increased risk for heart disease, more cardiologists and dentists are joining forces for the improved health of their patients.  Dentists can serve as your first line of defense against future heart disease.

One study, looking at women with periodontal bacteria in their mouths, reported that they were more likely to have jawbone loss resulting in tooth loss. 

Scientists have found that bacteria growing in the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs to cause serious respiratory illness such as pneumonia, especially in people with periodontal disease. 

This discovery has led to the belief that such a mouth-body link can cause infections like chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD).  The question now is, “To what extend does oral hygiene play a part of reducing the frequency of COPD?”

Bacteria in the mouth through the exchange of saliva can also be shared amongst couples, children, and families, spreading the risk of periodontal disease more quickly.

Premature and underweight babies are seven times more likely from women with periodontal disease than from those without.  For a long time risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, and drug use were known to contribute to risky pregnancies.  Now periodontal disease can be added to the list.

The increase in blood sugar that often accompanies periodontal disease contributes to the higher risk for diabetic complications.  Therefore, patients with both diseases should be treated to eliminate the infections of the gums.  In addition, it’s been found that poorly controlled Type 2 diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease than are well-controlled diabetics.

The connection between oral disease and systemic disease is backed by scientific findings, and it makes common sense.  After all, the mouth is a part of the body – it’s the gateway to the entire body.

For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com

July 24, 2012

Should I Extract My Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

You’ve gone to your dentist for your routine checkup.  You have no pain, no discomfort in your mouth.  It’s time for you to have some x-rays.  After the dentist evaluates the x-rays, he tells you that you have impacted wisdom teeth and you need to go to an oral surgeon to have them extracted.  What do you do?

You have a lot to consider.  This kind of recommendation is especially made to younger people (usually the recommendation comes before it’s time to go off to college).  It is easier to have wisdom teeth that are impacted extracted when people are younger, because the wisdom teeth roots aren’t fully developed and the dental bone is not as dense as it is in older patients.  If the teeth are easier to remove, then the recovery is easier as well.

An impacted wisdom tooth is stuck under the gum, usually embedded in the jawbone.  Even though you have no symptoms, there are reasons to justify extracting them.  When a wisdom tooth is partially embedded in the gums and part of the crown is exposed in the mouth, there is a pocket between the gums and the tooth and this area can easily get infected.  When this happens, it usually keeps getting infected (this is called a pericoronitis), and this is very painful.  It makes sense to extract a tooth such as this when there isn’t room for the tooth to fully erupt into the mouth.

Other reasons for extracting a wisdom tooth are irreparable tooth decay, an abscess, cysts, tumors, or damage to the nearby teeth or bone.

It usually is advisable to have all four wisdom teeth extracted at the same time if you are going forward with the surgery, because it is usually painful after the procedure, so if you do only one or two extractions and you need others, you may not want to go back, fearing a repeat performance of pain and swelling.  The extractions can be several thousands of dollars at an oral surgeon’s office, and you have to consider, there always is some risk involved in any surgical procedure.  You have to consider how proactive and preventive you want to be to avoid possible problems in the future.

For information about other dental topics visit our website: www.TavorminaDentistry.com

July 18, 2012

Why Are Regular Dental Checkups Important?

In most cases when there is a problem with our health we feel a symptom in our body. When we get a symptom, such as pain for example, it’s a signal for us to do something about it. Most of us go to the physician to find out what’s going on.  We want to find out what’s causing the pain/problem.

I don’t know why it is this way, but we have seen advanced dental disease in people who never had pain. There were signs and symptoms, but no pain in many instances. This isn’t unusual with dental disease. The signs were bleeding gums, loose teeth, gaps forming between teeth, bad taste or odor in the mouth, discoloration of teeth.  However, without any pain, it is often easy for some people to ignore or be unaware of the signs before it’s too late.

We have seen people with teeth so loose, the teeth come out by themselves – but the person didn’t have pain during the entire time the dental bone holding their teeth in their mouth was being destroyed by infectious bacteria.  We have also seen people with the entire crown of the tooth destroyed by decay, and there never was any pain.

Regular dental checkups are important so that we have an opportunity as dental professionals to find any problems that may be present at the earliest time during the disease process. We want to diagnose gum disease early, before there is any bone loss around the teeth and subsequent tooth loss. We want to discover any decay that might be present before it goes deeper into the tooth, destroys more tooth structure, and continues to enter the nerve of the tooth causing the need for root canal therapy in order to save the tooth. Finding any dental disease early takes less time and money and helps people to maintain their teeth for a lifetime. Dentures are not an inevitable result of aging. They can totally be avoided with regular dental checkups and necessary care when problems are minor.

For information about other dental topics visit www.TavorminaDentistry.com

July 10, 2012

The Stages of Periodontal Disease

We want you to be aware of how gums can go from healthy to severely infected with periodontal (gum) disease.  Be on the alert for the signs and symptoms and if you suspect you may have gum disease, don’t wait to see a dentist.  Remember that gum disease is related to systemic disease, so keeping your gums healthy also helps prevent heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and other illness.

Healthy gums have a healthy, pink color.  The gumline hugs the teeth tightly and there is no bleeding.

The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis.  When you have gingivitis your gums bleed easily when you brush or when your gums are probed gently during a dental examination.  Gums with gingivitis are inflamed and can be sensitive to the touch.  Sometimes with gingivitis there is possible bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth.  The gums between your teeth may look blush-red in color.

The next stage is early periodontitis.  At this stage the gums may begin to pull away from the teeth.  The bleeding is more pronounced and gum puffiness and inflammation is more pronounced as well.  There is bad breath and bad taste with early periodontitis.  On the dental x-rays the dentist can see slight horizontal bone loss.  Pockets of 3-4mm between the teeth and the gums are in one or more areas of the mouth.

The disease progresses to moderate periodontitis in which gum boils or abscesses may develop.  The teeth look longer as gums begin to recede from the normal position against the teeth.  Your front teeth may begin to drift and show spaces between the teeth.  There’s bad breath and bad taste.  There is both horizontal and irregular bone loss on the x-ray.  You would have pockets between teeth and gums that range from 4-6mm deep.

With advanced periodontis your teeth may become mobile or loose.  Bad breath and bad taste are constant.  The roots of your teeth may be exposed and are sensitive to hot and cold.  There’s severe horizontal bone loss and varying heights of bone on x-rays.  The pockets between the teeth and the gums are now in excess of 6mm deep.

For information about other dental topics visit www.DrTav.com

July 3, 2012

Paint Yourself A Whiter Smile

Sometimes people are looking for a professional teeth whitening result, but want a more economical alternative than take home whitening trays.  We recommend the Liquid Smile Professional Whitening Pen for our patients who want to enhance whitening that they did a while ago, or for those patients who want to spend even less time and money to whiten their smile yet want a result they can count on.

Liquid Smile is a paint-on gel.  It’s unique gel formula contains 12% hydrogen peroxide, the most powerful paint-on formulation on the market.  You just have to paint a thin layer of the viscous gel on your teeth right after brushing and flossing.  It takes only about a minute and creates whitening without strips or trays to wear. 

Results are typically noticed after the second or third application.  You only apply once at bedtime for two weeks for maximum results.  Liquid Smile is three times stronger and four times faster than store bought whiteners.

Your teeth can get up to five shades lighter, depending on your present tooth color.  Teeth with dark gray or dark brown hues of color will take longer to see results than teeth with yellow or orange hues.

Liquid Smile ensures an enjoyable pain free whitening experience.  While you’re sleeping, your teeth rest from extreme hot and cold temperature changes and the saliva flow decreases so the gel will stay on your teeth longer.  This allows the gel to work at full strength and work faster.

For information about other dental topics visit www.tavorminadentistry.com