Posts for tag: gum disease
One of the health issues pregnant women should be concerned about is a higher risk of periodontal (gum) disease. But you don’t have to be pregnant to have an increased risk — you also may be more susceptible to dental disease if you’re taking certain birth control pills.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque, food debris that builds up on tooth and gum surfaces due to poor oral hygiene. If left untreated gum disease can eventually lead to the breakdown of connective gum tissue and cause tooth loss.
Pregnant women are at greater risk because of an increased level of female hormones (estrogen) in their blood stream. This causes a change in the blood vessels that supply the gums, making them more susceptible to the effects of bacteria. A number of birth control options also increase estrogen levels, causing much of the same effect. To heighten the effect, you may also have a predisposition toward gum disease by your genetics or a high stress level.
There are some things you can do, however, to help lower your risk if you’re taking birth control medication. First and foremost, practice a consistent, daily habit of brushing and flossing. If you’re unsure if your technique is effective, we can provide guidance and training to make sure you’re performing these tasks properly. You should also visit us at least twice a year for office cleanings and checkups: no matter how effective you are with brushing and flossing, plaque can still accumulate in hard to reach places and form hardened deposits known as calculus.
You should also be on the lookout for signs of disease like gum redness, swelling or bleeding. If you see any of these signs, contact us as soon as possible for a thorough examination. As with many other issues involving health, the sooner we begin treatment for gum disease the better your chances of stopping it before it does too much harm.
If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and pregnancy or birth control, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy & Birth Control.”
If you have periodontal (gum) disease, you probably already know you’re in danger of eventual tooth and bone loss if the infection isn’t brought under control. But if you also have diabetes, the effects from gum disease could extend well beyond your mouth.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque, a film of food remnant that builds up on tooth surfaces mainly due to poor oral hygiene. As the infection grows, your body’s immune system responds by flooding your gum tissues with antibodies to fight it, resulting in inflammation. As the inflammation persists, though, it damages the gum and underlying bone tissue, which in turn leads to gum and bone loss from the teeth.
Diabetes also causes an inflammatory response within the body. The disease develops either as a result of the body’s decreased ability to produce insulin to balance the glucose (sugar) levels in the bloodstream (Type 1) or the body develops a resistance to insulin’s effects (Type 2). As a result diabetics experience abnormally high blood glucose levels, a condition called hyperglycemia. This triggers chronic inflammation that can lead to inhibited wound healing, increased risk of heart, kidney or eye disease, coma or death.
Gum disease can worsen diabetic inflammation, and vice versa. The effects of the oral infection add to the body’s already overloaded response to diabetes. In turn, the immune system is already compromised due to diabetes, which can then increase the severity of the gum disease.
Research and experience, though, have found that pursuing treatment and disease management for either condition has a positive effect on managing the other. Treating gum disease through plaque removal, antibiotic therapy, surgery (if needed) and renewed oral hygiene will diminish the oral infection and reduce the body’s immune response. Caring for diabetes through medication, diet, exercise and lifestyle changes like quitting smoking will in turn contribute to a quicker healing process for infected gum tissues.
Treating gum disease when you have diabetes calls for a coordinated approach on both fronts. By caring for both conditions you’ll have a more positive effect on your overall health.
According to the American Dental Association, 47.2 percent of adults over the age of 30 have chronic periodontitis in the United States. Periodontal disease is also the leading cause of tooth-loss in adults, which is why you need to make sure you visit your Grand Junction, CO, dentists, Drs. Brandon Berguin, Kira Funderburk and William Berguin, for your bi-annual dental checkup.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by plaque. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria after someone consumes a sugar-containing meal. When teeth aren't thoroughly brushed, the buildup of plaque on teeth becomes hard tartar.
When tartar, or calculus, accumulates on your gums, you may notice swelling and your gums bleeding easily. If you start noticing these symptoms, this means you're experiencing gingivitis.
Here are some more symptoms to keep a lookout for:
- Bad breath or bad taste that persists
- Gums pulling away from teeth
- Loose permanent teeth
- Gums that are red, bleed easily or are swollen
Reasons for Gum Disease:
Besides plaque, which is a result of poor dental hygiene, there are other factors that contribute to the increased risk of periodontal disease:
- Crooked teeth that can't be cleaned properly
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
You should have an oral and dental examination at your Grand Junction family dentist's office every six months. In addition to visiting your doctor, maintaining a healthy oral habit is essential. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day; brush your teeth after you eat breakfast and before you go to bed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. In addition to brushing, flossing daily, before going to bed, will help remove food debris and reduce the buildup of plaque.
In addition to oral hygiene, avoid eating sugary foods, like sodas and candy. Resort to a healthier diet, like apples and carrots which help scrape off tartar from the surface of your teeth, and drinking water, which can wash away food debris.
Scaling and Root Planing
Sometimes gum disease doesn't respond to conventional treatment and self-care like flossing so you may require scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing helps gums reattach to the tooth structure.
The procedure begins with:
- Administration of a local anesthetic
- Then a small instrument called a scaler is used to clean plaque and tartar beneath your gum line
- The root surfaces on the tooth are then planed and smoothed
If you want to schedule an appointment with Drs. Brandon Berguin, Kira Funderburk and William Berguin, a bi-annual checkup or because you suspect you may be suffering from gum disease, call (970) 241-3483. His office is conveniently located in Grand Junction, CO, so don't hesitate to visit them as soon as possible.