3904 South Lynn Court
Independence, MO 64055
Call Us Today: (816) 252-0055

August 15, 2016

Gum Disease Can Remain Silent

Gum disease affects the tissues that support and surround your teeth and is one of the main causes of adult tooth loss, and because it is usually painless, you may not even know that you have it.

A film of bacteria, also known as plaque, causes gingivitis, and the more serious periodontal disease. Brushing your teeth twice and flossing once each day along with regular dental checkups can help prevent gum disease.

Gum Disease Warning Signs

  • Red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Gums that are starting to pull away from your teeth
  • Loose adult teeth
  • Bite changes
  • Denture fit changes
  • Pain when chewing

Although poor oral hygiene is one of the main causes of gum disease, some other factors can increase the risk. According to your dentist, those factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Tobacco use
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy
  • Crooked teeth that are difficult to clean
  • Diabetes
  • Medications including cancer therapy drugs, steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, oral contraceptives and calcium channel blockers

Early Gum Disease

Colgate explains that gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. If you have it, your gums may bleed easy, become swollen or red. During this stage, your gum disease is reversible and can usually be eliminated with a professional dental cleaning or a root planing and scaling procedure.

Advanced Gum Disease

Periodontal disease affects nearly 50 percent of people over the age of 30 in the U.S. If left untreated it will lead to tissue and bone loss. The more severe the disease the more chance you have of losing your teeth. Although it slowly gets worse, there could be times when it progresses rapidly.

Aggressive periodontal disease is highly destructive and can occur in people who have good overall health. Common features of advanced periodontitis include a rapid loss of bone and tissue that could occur in the entire mouth.

The Mouth and Body Connection

Although studies are ongoing, recent research is indicating a connection between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. While there is no conclusive link, severe periodontitis could be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

You may have gum disease, especially if you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist. Regular dental appointments can catch gingivitis before it advances to periodontal disease.

Don’t wait until it gets worse. Call or click and schedule a thorough dental examination with your dentist today.

May 15, 2015

Kick the Habit for Healthy Teeth and Gums

Kicking the habit is not just good for your body, but good for your teeth and gums as well.

According to your dentist, smoking and using tobacco products will cause bad breathe and tooth discoloration. If you are a heavy smoker and have nicotine stained fingers, you can only imagine what smoking is doing to your teeth.

Tobacco products can inflame the salivary glands on the roof of your mouth, and increase plaque and tartar buildup. Continued use of tobacco products can also cause jawbone loss. If you smoke cigars, cigarettes, pipes, hookah pipes or chew tobacco, you are increasing the risk of white patches, or leukoplakia inside of your mouth. Tobacco use can also delay the healing process if you are having any type of oral surgery including tooth extractions, periodontal treatment, or dental implants. In fact, the success rate of dental implants is considerably lower for people who smoke or chew tobacco. Not only does tobacco increase your risk for oral cancer, but can also cause gum disease, which if left untreated, can lead to tooth loss.

Tobacco can cause gum disease as it affects the soft tissue and bone attachment to your teeth. The American Dental Association explains that smoking affects the normal functions of your gum tissue cells. This interference makes tobacco users more susceptible to periodontal disease and other infections. Because smoking and chewing tobacco impairs the flow of blood to your gums, it can also slow the healing process.

Just like cigarettes, pipes, cigars and hookah pipes will eventually lead to all sorts of oral health problems. A 23-year study showed tooth and bone loss in cigar and pipe smokers that was equivalent to cigarette smokers. Although cigar smokers do not inhale, they are still subject to other oral health problems including gum disease, stained teeth, bad breath, and oral cancer.

If you thought you were safe with smokeless tobacco products, think again. Because snuff and chewing tobacco contain over 28 chemicals they will increase your risk of throat and oral cancer. It’s a fact that chewing tobacco has more nicotine than cigarettes making it difficult to kick the chewing habit. One pinch will deliver more dangerous nicotine than 60 cigarettes.

Chewing tobacco irritates your gum tissue causing recession. Once the roots of your teeth are exposed, you are increasing the risk of dental caries. Exposed roots will also cause tooth sensitivity. If that isn’t bad enough, sugar is sometime added to enhance the flavor of chewing tobacco that can also put you at risk for tooth decay.

The best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease is to stop smoking and practice good oral hygiene that includes brushing twice and flossing once each day and enjoying a good health diet that is full of fruits and vegetables. Of course, regular checkups with your dentist should also be included in your oral health regime.

For more information regarding tobacco use and your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.

3904 South Lynn Court, Independence, MO 64055 USA
David A. Schaefer, DDS Independence MO dentist (816) 252-0055