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Periodontal Diseases: What You Should Know

Periodontal Diseases:  What you should know  – adapted from American Dental Association

Periodontal disease is a chronic infection caused by bacteria.  It begins when certain bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth and tissues in the mouth) produce toxins and enzymes that irritate the gums.  This causes inflammation if plaque is not removed daily.

Plaque that remains on teeth can irritate the gums, making them red, tender and likely to bleed.  This condition, called gingivitis, can lead to more serious types of periodontal disease.   Gingivitis can be reversed and gums kept healthy by removing plaque every day with a good oral hygiene routine and by having your teeth professional cleaned.

But if gingivitis is allowed to persist, it can progress to periodontitis, a chronic infection in the pockets around the teeth.  The resulting inflammation, which may be painless, can damage the attachment of the gums and bone to the teeth.  At this stage, treatment by a dentist is needed.  Left untreated, teeth may eventually become loose, fall out or require removal by a dentist.

 

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Improving Your Smile

Improving Your Smile  – adapted from American Dental Association

A great smile can be the most attractive feature of your face, and that great smile means more to others than you may realize.  It conveys vitality, health, success, youth and sincerity.  A smile is meaningful in your personal, business and social contacts.  So it’s important that you are happy with the appearance of your smile.  If you are like many people, however, you may not be.

Today, there are many options for solving cosmetic dental problems.  You no longer have to settle for stained, chipped, or misshapen teeth.  Even subtle changes in your smile can make a dramatic difference in the way you look and feel about yourself.  Speak with Drs. McFarland and Pallencaoe about how to improve your smile.  They will work with you to find the solution that best fits your needs.

Due to advances in materials and techniques during the past few decades, cosmetic dentistry has made great gains.  You now have choices that can help you smile with confidence.

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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body

There is a potential link between periodontal disease and systemic health problems.  Prevention may be an important step in maintaining overall health.

What you can do:

  • Brush your teeth throughly twice a day:  Clean between your teeth with floss or another type of interdental cleaner once a day.  You may consider or your dentist may recommend using an anti-microbial mouth rinse as part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
  • Choose dental products with the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, an important symbol of a dental product’s safety and effectiveness.  The ADA seal represents extensive clinical and research for the dental products upon which it appears.  The ADA seal assures you that the product is not only safe but it does what it claims to do.
  • Eat a balance diet and limit snacks, which may reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups.  Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar (calculus), which traps plaque bacteria along the gum line.
  • Tell your dentist about changes in your overall health, particularly any recent illnesses or chronic conditions.  Provide an updated health history including medication use – both prescription and non-prescription products.  If you use tobacco, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.
  • If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, pay particular attention to your teeth and gums.  That’s because pregnancy – and the changing hormone levels that occur with it – can exaggerate some dental problems.  Taking good care of  your oral health is important for you and your baby.

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From ADA phamlet:  Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body – Making the Connection

For more information on oral health matters, visit www.ada.org

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Regular Checkups for Good Dental Health

Brush and floss. Avoid too many snacks. See your dentist regularly. How many times have you heard that? Now there are even more reasons to heed that advice.   Taking good care of your teeth and gums isn’t just about preventing cavities or bad breath.

The mouth is a window into the health of the body.  It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection.  Systemic diseases – those that affect the entire body such as diabetes, AIDS and Sjὃgren’s syndrome – may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.

The mouth is filled with countless bacteria, some linked to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.

Accumulating scientific evidence suggests that periodontal, or gum, disease may be associated with a number of systemic disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, stroke and adverse pregnancy outcomes.  Pregnant women may be at risk for delivering preterm and/or low birthweight babies.  It is important to note, however, that an association between these systemic conditions and periodontal disease does not mean that one condition causes the other.

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For more information on oral health matters, visit www.ada.org

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