What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontist in Park Ridge

Dentist in Park RidgePeriodontal disease ranges from a mild inflammation of the gum tissues to periodontitis, a major oral disease that can result in soft tissue and bone damage. Periodontitis is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States.

One of the major causes of gum disease is practicing poor oral hygiene habits. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional exams and cleanings are essential to maintaining optimal oral health. When these practices are not followed, plaque can form on the teeth and along the gumline. If this plaque is not properly removed, it may harden over time and become tartar. Once that occurs, only a dental professional can remove the tartar from teeth.

If gum disease is not treated in a timely manner, tartar may continue to build unchecked. When this occurs, the gum disease may advance to gingivitis. In this stage, gums redden, swell, and become prone to bleeding from normal activities, such as brushing or eating. Some other common symptoms include: chronic halitosis (bad breath), sensitive teeth, and difficulty or pain with chewing. At this point, professional periodontal treatment is needed to prevent the gingivitis from advancing to periodontitis.

When gingivitis is not treated in time, it may become periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most advanced form of periodontal disease. With periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating small “pockets” along the gumline. These spaces are highly difficult to clean without professional intervention and can lead to rapid worsening in overall oral health. Without prompt and thorough treatment, bone, gums, and soft tissues may be destroyed by periodontitis.

Some of the most common factors that contribute to periodontal disease developing include poor oral hygiene habits, diabetes, smoking, and hormonal changes in women. Some medications can cause gum tissue to grow abnormally, which can increase difficulty in proper cleaning of the teeth. People who are receiving treatment for AIDS are also at increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

Many recent studies have found that untreated periodontal disease may negatively impact other aspects of your overall health, especially for patients with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of developing certain pregnancy complications, such as low birth weight or premature birth.

Our doctor has the training and experience to diagnose and treat every stage of periodontal disease. If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Severe Gum Disease May Increase Risk Of Death In Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease

Dentist in Park Ridge, IL

Severe gum disease increases the risk of death in chronic kidney disease patients, a new study suggests.

The findings add to growing evidence that poor oral health is associated with other chronic diseases, according to the researchers at the University of Birmingham in England.

They analyzed data from more than 13,700 Americans who took part in a federal government health survey. They found the 10-year death rate among chronic kidney disease patients was 41 percent for those with severe gum disease, compared with 32 percent for those without severe gum disease.

The study was published Feb. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology.

Severe gum disease affects more than 11 percent of people worldwide, the researchers said.

“It’s important to note that oral health isn’t just about teeth. The mouth is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums,” study author Iain Chapple said in a university news release.

“A lot of people with gum disease aren’t aware of it, perhaps they just have blood in their spit after brushing teeth, but this unchecked damage to gums then becomes a high risk area for the rest of the body,” he explained.

Study co-author Praveen Sharma said researchers are “just beginning to scratch the surface of the interplay between gum disease and other chronic diseases; whether that be kidney disease, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.”

Knowing the heightened risk that gum disease presents to people with a chronic disease “tells us that oral health has a significant role to play in improving patient outcomes,” Sharma added in the news release.

The researchers are now trying to learn more about the link between gum disease and kidney disease, and whether treating gum disease and maintaining dental health could improve the overall health of kidney disease patients.

“It may be that the diagnosis of gum disease can provide an opportunity for early detection of other problems, whereby dental professionals could adopt a targeted, risk-based approach to screening for other chronic diseases,” Chapple said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has more about gum disease.

SOURCE: University of Birmingham, news release, Feb. 18, 2016

 

Original Source: HealthDay – Severe Gum Disease May Boost Death Rate of Kidney Disease

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NYTimes “Well” Blog Considers Whether To Floss Or Brush First.

The New York Times (5/29, Saint Louis) “Well” blog considered the question of whether to floss before or after brushing the teeth. Although “flossing first isn’t necessarily better for oral health than the other way around” ADA spokesman and professor of restorative dentistry at UCLA Dr. Edmond R. Hewlett “recommends flossing first” because that way you “get the unpleasant task out of the way to avoid the temptation to not do it,” as the Times put it. The Times went on to point out that flossing is less important for cavity reduction than it is as a method of maintaining proper gum health. Said Dr. Hewlett, “Gingivitis is the first step in losing your teeth,” adding, “The nice thing about catching inflammation when gums are bleeding is you can reverse it then, if that’s all that’s going on,” with proper flossing and brushing.

Drawing on the New York Times coverage, the Today Show Online (6/1) reported that “one spokesman for the American Dental Association told the Times…that it’s preferable to floss first” because “people will be less likely to skip flossing than if they wait until after brushing.” Additionally, the Today Show reported that as long as patients floss “at least once every day, you’re going to minimize the nasty bacteria clinging to your teeth, says Matthew J. Messina an American Dental Association spokesperson and private practice dentist in Cleveland.”

Consumers Should Look For ADA Seal Of Acceptance When Buying Toothpaste.

The Ladue News (MO) (5/15, Mitchell) reports on what to look for when purchasing a toothpaste. One dentist noted that fluoride “is the most important ingredient in toothpaste,” since “numerous clinical trials have shown it to be effective against tooth decay, and most toothpastes in the United States contain fluoride.” The dentist also “suggests consumers look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal when purchasing toothpaste,” noting that while the FDA has various requirements for products, it does not test them, but the ADA “conducts extensive testing to determine whether they meet specific criteria for safety and effectiveness,” the dentist said.