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Posts Tagged ‘gingivitis’

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

In Dental Care on October 11, 2011 at 4:30 AM

In addition to October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dental practices across the land will be celebrating proper dental hygiene the entire month!

In honor of this dental-centric October occasion, we’d like to take this opportunity to showcase some seemingly obvious, but far too often overlooked, dental hygiene facts, courtesy of the American Academy of Dental Hygiene.

Brush 2 minutes, 2 times per day toothbrush_national_dental_hygiene_month

Brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day remains a critical component to maintaining a healthy smile.

Studies have shown that brushing for two minutes is perhaps the single most important step an individual can take to reduce plaque build-up and the risk of plaque-associated diseases, such as cavities and gingivitis.

Floss Daily

Proper flossing or interdental cleaning removes plaque and food particles in places where a toothbrush cannot easily reach — under the gumline and between your teeth. Because plaque build-up can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, daily flossing is highly recommended. toothbrush_national_dental_hygiene_month

Flossing is an essential part of the tooth-cleaning process because it removes plaque from between teeth and at the gumline, where periodontal disease often begins.

Studies have revealed that only 16% of 961 periodontal patients followed over an eight-year period, complied with the recommended maintenance schedules.

Click the link to learn more about what to expect at your next Dental Hygiene Appointment.

Remember to floss daily, and brush for 2 mins per day – 2x day!

This simple oral health care regimen will not only lead to a happier encounter with our dental hygienists, and a healthier smile, we could also go a long way toward protecting ourselves against future maladies, such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.

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Does Gum Disease Inhibit Pregnancy?

In Gum Disease on July 7, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to a recent ScienceDaily® article highlighting another health complication related to gum disease, Professor Roger Hart told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that the negative effect of gum disease on conception was of the same order of magnitude as the effect of obesity.

That’s a pretty staggering and scary proclamation. And one we should share with every woman we know that could be contemplating a family.

Photo Courtesy of Jenny Rollo©

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.1

It’s when this bacteria, if left unchecked due to poor oral health habits, creates inflammation around the tooth; the gum starts to pull away from the tooth, creating spaces (periodontal pockets) that become infected.2

The inflammation sets off a cascade of tissue-destructive events that can pass into the circulation. As a result, periodontal disease has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease, and problems in pregnancy such as miscarriage and premature birth.3

Conception Complications

Prof Hart, who is Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia) and Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia, said:

“Until now, there have been no published studies that investigate whether gum disease can affect a woman’s chance of conceiving, so this is the first report to suggest that gum disease might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of a pregnancy.”

The researchers followed a group 3737 pregnant women, who were taking part in a Western Australian study called the SMILE study, and they analyzed information on pregnancy planning and pregnancy outcomes for 3416 of them.

They found that women with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant — two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to conceive.4

Information on time to conception was available for 1,956 women, and of, these, 146 women took longer than 12 months to conceive — an indicator of impaired fertility. They were more likely to be older, non-Caucasian, to smoke and to have a body mass index over 25 kg/m2. Out of the 3416 women, 1014 (26%) had periodontal disease.5

Additionally, Professor Hart mentions that all women should also be encouraged to see their dentist to have any gum disease treated before trying to conceive. It is easily treated, usually involving no more than four dental visits.

Schedule a dental appointment and talk to your dentist about gum disease and Periodontitis BEFORE you decide to plan a pregnancy.

For more staggering statistics on the study, click over to the ScienceDaily® article here.

Then go share this important piece of dental health information!

 
 

Sources:

How Do You Know if You Have Gum Disease?

In Dental Care on February 10, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Asking your dentist would be the first step, but for those times when we’re all away from the dental chair there are some signs to keep in mind. Gum disease is quickly becoming an overall health issue, rather than something limited to our teeth and gums. Understanding the signs to look for can not only help prevent the onset and advancement gingivitis and periodontitis, but possibly more serious health concerns.

If we detect – or if our dentists detect – gum disease at an early stage, things can often be reversed. And although anyone can develop symptoms, adults are most likely to develop gum disease. Here are some signs to look out for between your twice (or thrice!) annual dental visits.

Here are some signs of gum disease courtesy of Colgate.com:

  1. Red, swollen and/or tender gums
  2. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  3. Receding gums
  4. Changes in your bite, or the way your teeth fit together
  5. Persistent bad breath

If you experience any of these symptoms or notice any signs described above, do yourself a favor and make a dental appointment immediately. Gum disease can lead to more serious health issues such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Ask your dentist if you have any questions on the oral systemic connection.