Practice News

The Facts: Heart Disease and Oral Health

Research shows over 90 percent of all systemic diseases, including heart disease, have oral symptoms. A sore or painful jaw could indicate an impending heart attack or heart disease, making bi-annual visits to the dentist an important investment in one’s oral as well as overall health.

Careful dental examinations of patients with a history of heart disease for any signs of oral pain, infection or inflammation paired with proper treatment is crucial to overall health. In some cases, patients medications have been decreased by eliminating local infections involving a tooth or the gums.

Communication with dentists and doctors is critical in the proper diagnosis and treatment of all diseases, especially heart disease, since the longer it goes untreated there is an increased risk of heart attack.

Conversely, treating a patient with a heart condition can exacerbate the problem if the patient does not share a complete medical history, including all medications they are taking.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease Connection

Gum disease, often called gingivitis in its early stages, is caused by plaque buildup and affects 75 percent of American adults. New studies suggest that people who have gum disease are at a higher risk for heart attack. If bacteria in the infected gums dislodge, they can enter the bloodstream, attach to the blood vessels and increase clot formation. Clots decrease the blood supply flow to the heart and can increase chances of a heart attack and aggravate higher blood pressure.

Signs of gum disease include bleeding or puffy gums, bad breath, sores in the mouth, receding gums, pus or infection between gums and teeth and/or gums that pull away from the teeth. Preventing plaque buildup by brushing and flossing regularly helps minimize the chance for getting gum disease. Seeing the dentist every six months can help identify gum disease as well as overall health problems in their earliest stages.

Dentists know that your teeth and gums hold important clues to overall health and can work with you to reduce your risk and treat current health problems.

Wondering about the latest in dentistry? We're working very hard to make sure your visits are convenient, comfortable and gentle. To that end, we investigate all the latest technologies and techniques. Read on to learn more about some of the latest discoveries in dentistry!

From Dull to Dazzling: Enhancing Your Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

Oftentimes the dentistry profession is labeled strictly for cleaning and hygiene purposes. But little do you know a dentist is actually an artist who can make your nice smile, a sensational one. Most dentists now practice and perform cosmetic techniques, not just the old run-of-the-mill routine cleanings. Cosmetic dentistry is an area of dentistry seeking to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile and not just a healthy smile.

Although you may be meticulous about your dental care routine, your teeth still might not look their very best. Drinking coffee, tea or wine will take a toll on your teeth, causing them to look dull and stained. Aging or the use of some medications can also result in a dingy, yellow smile. One easy, safe way to revive your smile from these factors is through whitening. Ask your dentist which methods he or she offers.

Plenty of adults are looking towards their dentist to heighten the appearance and function of their teeth. Cracked, chipped or unevenly spaced teeth are easily resolved by procedures entailing bonding or veneers. Severely damaged teeth can be repaired with crowns, while bridges and implants are natural-looking options used to revitalize your smile. These methods will not only give you a more beautiful smile, but will also rejuvenate your mouth’s functionality.

If you are not satisfied with your smile and want to take it a level up from dull to dazzling, speak with your dentist about the many smile enhancing preferences available to you. Hesitate no more! Your dentist will be more than happy to assist you with achieving your perfect, sparkling smile.

Something to Smile About

Caring for your oral health includes regular teeth care as well as gum care. Neglecting your gums can eventually lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, which is a culprit for the deterioration of your overall oral health. Periodontal disease affects 75% of adults over 35 years of age and is responsible for approximately 70% of all adult tooth loss. Since symptoms of periodontal disease oftentimes are unnoticeable, people never realize their mouth is under bacterial attack.

Highly recognized as a greatly progressive disorder, periodontal disease is triggered by preventable factors like plaque build-up, tobacco use, certain medications and stress, as well as unpreventable measures like systematic disease and fluctuating hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy or menopause. Research proves up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.

Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in the sticky film which forms on the tooth surface, or plaque, causes gum inflammation. If the irritation is ignored, the unruly plaque will release toxins breaking down the natural fibers which hold your gums to your teeth, permitting even more bacteria and toxins to invade. Plaque deposits quickly harden into calculus or tartar, which is a rough, porous substance not removable with brushing. Over time, this progression can lead to severe inflammation, bone loss, gum recession and tooth loss.

Symptoms and signs include:

  • Red, swollen, tender or bleeding gums
  • Gum recession, or gums pulling away from teeth
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Pus between the gum and tooth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Bite changes
  • Change in the fit of partial dentures

If you have noticed any of the above signs or symptoms, please make an appointment with your dentist promptly! Together, you and your dentist can win the battle against periodontal disease and maintain your wonderful, dazzling smile: gums and all. Now that’s something to smile about.

“Bridging” the Gaps and Wearing a “Crown”: Total Oral Health Renovation

Let’s face it. We are rough on our teeth. Sometimes we neglect them, take them for granted or simply just abuse them. Between physical activities like sports or chewing hard substances like ice, our teeth get knocked out, broken, cracked and worn down. Forgetting routine dental appointments and ignoring to practice proper cleaning tactics can result in periodontal disease, tooth decay and ultimately tooth loss.

When teeth are missing in certain places your mouth must compensate for the lack of chewing power in that area in order to function normally. So, the chewing force will shift to the opposite part of the mouth, making the new used teeth flare out which causes unwanted spaces and changes in your smile. Teeth adjoining the absent tooth may move out of its normal position, thus snowballing from merely a missing tooth, to a completely altered face. When teeth are not replaced, wrinkles and lines form causing premature and unnecessary aging.

So, how do we mend our mouth’s broken ties? By simple dentistry procedures. Smiles can be renovated to look pristine using a combination of crowns and bridges to support or replace lost teeth. A crown snugly covers the complete visible surface of your affected tooth to add strength, durability and tooth stability, while restoring your tooth to its natural shape and size. Crowns can be made of precious metal, porcelain pressed to metal and all-porcelain. A bridge, also known as a pontic, is a false tooth which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill the gaps left by the original missing tooth. The new tooth is then anchored to the two porcelain crowns, renewing your once damaged smile.

The moral of the story is to be nice to your teeth: be diligent with your oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. Your teeth are hard workers and they deserve to be pampered. But, if the damage is already done, see your dentist immediately. The two of you can decide on the best treatment to restore your smile. Your teeth will thank you for it.

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