Tag Archives: gum disease

4 Things You Should Know About Gum Disease

ID-1001617051. Gum disease, clinically known as periodontal disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal disease is a chronic disease which, to some degree, affects at least 75% of American adults. Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes destruction of the bone and soft tissue which supports the teeth. Symptoms include reddened, swollen gums which bleed easily, gum recession and pocketing and eventually loosening of the teeth. Up to 30% of adults are genetically predisposed to periodontal disease, despite good personal oral hygiene.
2. Gum Disease is a Bacterial Infection
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection. Plaque and bacteria form on tooth surfaces, and harden into tartar. Regular brushing and flossing helps remove plaque, but only a professional cleaning can remove the hardened tartar.

Left untreated, the bacteria affects the gums, causing them to get irritated, swollen and tender. This is a condition called gingivitis. As the disease advances, it begins to destroy healthy bone and gum tissue, and results in a chronic infection deep in the gums.

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Signs and symptoms include deep pockets around the gums, bone loss around the tooth roots, tooth abscess and loose teeth.
Untreated bacterial infections can cause serious problems with overall health when they occur elsewhere in the body. An infection in the oral tissues is no different. Periodontal disease is not a “small” infection. In fact, the mass of the oral tissues is about the same as that on your arm, from your elbow to your wrist. If you had an infection which encompassed an area as large as your forearm, you would not ignore it, but seek medical intervention right away.
3. Gum Disease Can Be Treated And Even Reversed
As with any destructive process, the early identification of gingivitis and periodontitis is the key to successful treatment and even reversal. The goal of your dentist is to identify early symptoms and risks for susceptibility to periodontal disease before advanced disease occurs. Earlier stages of periodontal disease can often be treated non-surgically utilizing a targeted and specialized cleaning procedure which removes plaque and tartar from deep gum pockets. This procedure also helps to smooth the surface of the tooth root to remove and inhibit bacterial growth. Often, antibacterial therapy is delivered straight to the source of infection. When non-surgical treatment is successful, careful maintenance, more frequent professional dental cleanings and careful personal oral hygiene help maintain gum health.
4. Gum Disease May Be Linked to Systemic Diseases
Because periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, it makes sense that it can be linked to other chronic inflammatory conditions. Research has shown that oral infections can cause problems in other areas of the body. Chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease and Alzheimer’s disease have been linked to advanced periodontal disease in studies.
Prevent gum disease with good personal dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing is not enough.

Seeing your dentist for a check-up every six months is important for disease prevention and early detection. Your regular dental cleaning removes hardened plaque deposits (tartar) around gums which cannot be removed with brushing and flossing. If you have active periodontal disease, your dentist can recommend special treatment designed to halt the destructive process and in some cases, repair the damage.
See Your Dentist Right Away If:
• Your gums are red and swollen
• Your gums bleed easily
• Your gums are receding
• Your gums are painful or tender
• Your teeth are becoming loose

Schedule an appointment with your Saratoga Dentist.

4 Ways Invisalign Can Improve Your Dental Health

Invisalign is the clear alternative to braces
Straight Teeth are Healthy Teeth

Most people think that straightening their teeth is purely cosmetic. Did you know that orthodontic treatment with Invisalign not only straightens teeth, but provides benefits that can actually help your teeth and gums become healthier?  Here are 4 ways straight teeth can improve your dental health and overall health.

1. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean.

One of the problems with misaligned and crooked teeth is that there are more crevices and hard to clean areas. In some cases, even diligent brushing and flossing will leave tooth surfaces impossible to keep clean. Bacteria and plaque that remain in the crevices cause tooth decay. Straightening misaligned teeth makes it easier to keep them clean and plaque-free, resulting in fewer cavities, less tartar and healthier teeth.

2. Proper dental alignment reduces the risk for gum disease

Tight spaces harbor bacteria and plaque. Some oral bacteria are known to be the cause of gum disease (periodontitis). When teeth are crooked, the tight spaces harbor bacteria that can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the teeth, and is caused by destructive bacteria. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and the only stage that can be completely reversed. As the disease progresses, it destroys gum tissue and bone that surrounds the teeth.

Over time, diseased teeth can become loose and even fall out. Almost half of American adults have some degree of gum disease. When teeth are properly aligned, it is easier to remove plaque and bacteria that cause periodontitis. Advanced gum disease can be prevented with Invisalign treatment and proper dental hygiene.

3. Misaligned teeth can cause frequent headaches

When your teeth do not fit together properly, your bite is unbalanced. This causes improper strain on the facial muscles that can lead muscle fatigue. Many dental patients with misaligned or crooked teeth complain of frequent headaches. When the facial muscles become chronically strained and fatigued, patients can develop myofacial pain which involves painful symptoms in the facial muscles, jaws, head and neck. In addition to facial muscle fatigue, it is possible to develop dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint. While misaligned teeth are not the only cause of frequent headaches and myofacial pain, it makes sense to bring teeth into proper alignment if you are experiencing these problems.

4. A healthy bite helps support a healthy body.

When your bite is incorrect and teeth do not fit together properly, it can be difficult to bite and chew food. Some orthodontic patients complain that their molars to not meet when they chew or that they have an ‘open bite’. An open bite is when the front teeth do not come together, but the molars do. Inability to properly bite and chew can prevent a healthy diet. Softer foods tend to be higher in sugars and carbohydrates, which promote tooth decay.

Patients who cannot chew their food properly omit healthy food choices like fresh vegetables and fruits from their diet because they are too difficult to eat. A healthy diet consisting of fresh vegetable and fruit choices, lean meat and limited fats and grains helps your body stay healthy. Poor diet has been linked to systemic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
There is a lot more to orthodontic treatment with Invisalign clear aligners than just a beautiful smile. To learn more about how straightening your teeth can help improve your dental health and positively impact your overall health, contact Park Saratoga Dental.