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Gum Disease, Diabetes and your Gettysburg Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Fri, Mar 4, 2016 @ 19:03 PM

 

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Periodontal disease starts with bacterial growth in your mouth and can lead to tooth loss. One of the main causes of periodontitis is dental plaque. Other factors are:

  • Illnesses
  • Hormonal changes
  • Medications
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • A family history of the disease

Gum disease can progress slowly and painlessly without any warning signs. There are however, symptoms to look out for including bleeding gums, bad breath, and the formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums. A dentist can diagnose periodontal disease during a dental exam by checking for the following:

  • Gum swelling or bleeding
  • Teeth movement and sensitivity
  • Bone loss evident on x-rays
  • Pockets between the gums and teeth

There is a link between periodontal disease and diabetes. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease than non diabetics.  Diabetics are more susceptible to contracting infections in general and gum disease is a form of infection. Patients with poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely. Their immune system may not function properly, thus creating the risk of developing gum problems. Another theory is that damage to capillaries in the gums of diabetics may reduce the blood supply  to the gums. Lack of a good blood supply may limit the gum tissue’s response to infection and the ability to heal.

It is imperative that people with diabetes visit a dentist regularly. Good blood glucose control is a key factor in controlling and preventing mouth problems. A dentist can detect and treat gum issues before they become extreme. Good oral hygiene is also important. Your routine should include brushing, flossing daily.

 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

 

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   334-0555

Topics: Gum Disease

Health Risks Related to Gum Disease

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Feb 17, 2015 @ 09:02 AM

 

 

Gum Disease Dentist

 

Often times when we think of a healthy mouth, the first thing that springs to mind is a sparkling, white smile. What we might not consider, however, is the role our gums play in our oral health. Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is linked to a host of other health concerns. In fact, increasingly more research shows that the inflammation and bacteria associated with gum disease is likely related to heart disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. In short, poor oral health can jeopardize your overall health. Below we will discuss some of the health risks relating to gum disease.

Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Although a cause and effect relationship has yet to be established, there's a growing body of evidence suggesting the two are linked. People who have gum disease are more likely to have heart problems, including heart attacks. The common denominator, experts believe, is inflammation. In 2009, the American Academy of Periodontology and The American Journal of Cardiology released a paper suggesting that cardiologists ask their patients about prior gum disease and that periodontists gather patients' family heart history.

Periodontal Disease and Dementia

It may seem like an odd association, but researchers have also found a link between gum disease and dementia. Individuals who suffer from gum disease may have an increased risk of dementia later in life. 

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Those who suffer from diabetes are more likely to have gum disease. Inflammation is probably at least partly to blame for the connection. Additionally, individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to infections in general, including periodontal disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gum Disease

At first glance, it might seem strange to link an oral disease to a type of arthritis. However, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by painful joints-- and inflammation. In fact, chronic inflammation is a common denominator in both rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease. People with RA may be more likely to also suffer from gum disease than the general population.

 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.  He may be contacted at 717-334-0555. GettysburgFamilyDentist.com

Topics: Diabetes and dentistry, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease

What is gum disease?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, May 21, 2014 @ 15:05 PM

 

 

 

Gum disease

 

 

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal an alarming truth: By the time you’re 30, you stand a 50 percent chance of developing periodontal disease. The risk increases with age; in adults 65 or older, the rate rises to almost 70 percent. If you crunch the numbers, you’ll realize that periodontal disease is dangerously prevalent. Periodontal disease will eventually destroy the connective tissue, bone and gums in the mouth, leading to the loss of teeth. What can you do to stop periodontal disease in its track? Get rid of habits that promote periodontal disease. Here are five habits that can put you at risks or aggravate the condition.

Does smoking cause gum disease?

If you smoke, you’re more likely to develop periodontal disease. Tobacco impairs blood supply to gums and reduces inflammatory and immune responses to toxins generated by periodontal disease. Result? Bacteria multiply and speed up the progress of periodontal disease. According to the National Institutes of Health, smoking increases pocket formation (a symptom of periodontal disease that causes the gums to pull away from the teeth) and promotes attachment loss. So what type of smoking is detrimental to periodontal disease? Cigar, pipe, water-pipe and cannabis smoking have similar effects on periodontal disease as cigarette smoking. To make matters worse, smoking also interferes with non-surgical and surgical treatments of periodontal disease. To improve your odds of preventing periodontal disease, it’s imperative to quit smoking.

How does sugar hurt my teeth?

Have a sweet tooth? If you enjoy eating foods high in sugar content, you may be doing your teeth a disservice. Much has been said about sugar and dental caries, but a sweet mouth environment may fuel bacteria activity linked to periodontal disease. Bacteria feast off the sugar and multiply. They interact with the mucus in the mouth to create plaque. When plaque is not brushed away, it hardens into tartar and tartar is known for destroying the connective tissue in the mouth. The ensuing scenario is not pretty—once the connective tissue is destroyed, tooth loss may result.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If there’s one overriding habit that encourages periodontal disease, it is poor oral hygiene. Oral neglect over time can negatively impact dental health. Bacteria flourish, plaque forms, tartar builds up and these factors work to destroy the gums and connective tissue. To fight periodontal disease on the frontline, brush and floss twice daily and rinse your mouth after meals to flush out any sugary residue. Dentists also recommend regular professional cleaning and routine checkups.

What diseases affect gums?

While the studies are still inconclusive, there is some evidence that certain diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular health can increase the risks of periodontal disease and vice versa. While the cause and effect are hard to pinpoint, one thing is certain—it’s crucial to maintain good general health to increase your chance of fighting periodontal disease.

These are just a few habits that can increase risk of periodontal disease. For more information on how you can prevent periodontal disease, contact us.

Topics: Dental Hygiene, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Periodontal Disease and your heart

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Mar 6, 2014 @ 16:03 PM

 

 

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Can your mouth tell on you? An eye doctor can effectively look inside the eye and tell what health conditions you have. Can your Gettysburg dentist look inside your mouth and warn you of certain health risks? Recent studies suggest that common problems such as cavities, missing teeth and periodontal disease may be linked to heart disease. The American Academy of Periodontology warned that people with periodontal disease may be twice as likely to have heart disease complications.

If you crunch some numbers--heart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women, claiming as many as one million lives annually-- this piece of enlightenment may have far-reaching implications. Can periodontal disease increase risks of heart disease and will preventing or treating periodontal disease help to reduce risks of heart disease? While the answer is not as simple as stating it in an equation, here are some information to consider.

Oral Bacteria May Cause Narrowing of arteries

Periodontal disease results from unchecked bacterial activity in the mouth. Neglect or poor oral hygiene cause plaque (a sticky clear residue of bacteria, acid and food particles) to build up around the gums surrounding the teeth, causing inflammation and eventually destroying the structure that holds up the teeth. The bacteria don't just stay in the mouth, they may enter the blood stream through the gums. Once in the bloodstream, the bacteria may deposit themselves on the fatty plaque already in the bloodstream, narrowing and hardening the blood vessels. This buildup will eventually block the flow of blood, increasing risks of heart attack or stroke.

Oral Bacteria May Trigger Inflammation

Inflammation has been blamed for a number of diseases, including heart disease, arthritis and periodontal disease. When the body fights against invading bacteria, inflammation (together with swelling) often results. Applies this logic to oral bacteria traveling through the body—they trigger inflammation, causing the blood cells to swell and clog the arteries. Narrowing of the arteries increases cardiovascular risks.

Although the exact dynamics of the connection need more investigation, the correlation is still important in the overall health picture. Since the symptoms of heart disease don’t necessarily show up in the early stages, such as the hardening and narrowing of arteries, any other telltale signs help. For instance, it's easier to spot bleeding gums and check for other related health risks, including heart disease.

If keeping your mouth healthy may reduce risks of heart disease, contact us at Samuels Dental Arts P.C.
 
for a comprehensive oral exam to determine the state of your oral health.

Topics: Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg, holistic dentist Gettysburg

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Gum Disease and Diabetes

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Feb 13, 2014 @ 14:02 PM

Gettysburg Dentist Gum Disease

 


 

Various population studies indicate a strong relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. These two chronic and highly prevalent diseases work like a tandem bicycle, one affects the other and vice versa. People with periodontal disease have a harder time controlling their blood glucose level and, conversely, patients with diabetes are more susceptible to infection, which can further complicate periodontal disease. In recent years, researchers and dentists have been able to understand a little more of the complicated puzzle to better treat periodontal disease. Recent development may shed more light on how to manage periodontal disease and in so doing, keep diabetes in check.

Nonsurgical Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease (due to unchecked oral bacteria) that works to destroy the tissues and bones that support the teeth. If left unattended, the disease can inflict eventual tooth loss. In the early stages of periodontal disease, nonsurgical treatments are used for damage control and to prevent progression. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, basic nonsurgical procedures did not improve the glycemic control of patients with type-2 diabetes. However, there is evidence that more proactive intensive periodontal treatment may be effective in glycemic control.

In the above research, 500 patients were divided into two groups. One group had basic periodontal treatments done such as scaling, root planing and an oral rinse, followed by further periodontal treatment after three and six months. The other group received no treatment at all. After six months, the group receiving treatment showed improvement in the gum disease, but no visible improvement in their blood-sugar control.

In the light of recent developments, one thing remains constant: prevention is better than cure. The perennial, old fashioned method of diligent oral care remains your best defense against periodontal disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend daily brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and quitting tobacco use.Patients with diabetes should also receive annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation (includes thorough assessment of periodontal health and any other risk factors).

Do your body a favor.  Keep your teeth and gums healthy.  Call us today for a visit with a Gettysburg hygienist.

Topics: Dentist in Gettysburg, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Three Things You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Nov 28, 2013 @ 18:11 PM

 



 

Gettysburg dentist

As with most things, periodontal disease starts small, unnoticeable. First, unattended bacteria deposit a colorless, sticky layer on your teeth, which eventually becomes plaque. Uncontrolled plaque damages gums and bone and give rise to periodontal disease. That’s the development of periodontal disease in a nutshell but there’s more to the story. More and more scientific studies are pointing to a scarier picture than at first glance. Periodontal disease is now linked to a number of systematic diseases, among them, diabetes. The periodontal disease and diabetes correlation has serious health implications.

There are ongoing debates as to whether periodontal disease compounds diabetes or whether diabetes compounds periodontal disease. Both possibilities are viable. Here are three things you need to know about periodontal disease and diabetes:

Diabetes Affects Periodontal Disease


Diabetes increases glucose presence in the saliva and that makes a conducive environment for bacteria. They have a field day and manufacture more plaque to ruin gums and teeth. That’s one scenario. In another scenario, diabetic patients tend to have high levels of inflammatory chemicals known as interleukins, that can cause damage to blood vessels. Decreased blood flow to the gums may worsen periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease Affects Diabetes

If you have periodontal disease, it may be more difficult tocontrol diabetes. Why? Severe cases of periodontal disease increase blood sugar. That does not sit well for a diabetic person as sustained high blood glucose level can lead to diabetic complications such as damaged nerves (which further jeopardize gum health), poor eye health and hypertension.

Treat One, Treat Another

As you can see, periodontal disease and diabetes are closely linked together. One affects the other. Periodontal disease makes it hard to control blood sugar and diabetes increase risks of periodontal disease. What is one supposed to do, given the close link? Break the cycle. Studies reveal that treating periodontal disease will help you control blood glucose. Conversely, living healthy and managing diabetes will lessen your appeal as a periodontal disease candidate.

Oral hygiene is key in this vicious link. Keep periodontal disease in check with regular checkups and routine cleaning. Visit your Gettysburg dentist for a comprehensive dental exam to determine if you have periodontal disease or initial gum disease (gingivitis). Our knowledgeable and caring team at our Gettysburg dental office will be happy to help you in any possible way.

 

Submitted by:  Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Gum Disease, Gettysburg dentist

A day in the life of a Gettysburg Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 @ 16:02 PM

Gettysburg family and sedation dentist, Peter J. Samuels, DDS 

 

 

What is it like to be a dentist in Gettysburg?  What is the typical day of a Gettysburg dentist?  Well, here's what this family dentist did today.

The day began with Maia.  Maia’s blue eyes welled with tears.  The dental chair dwarfed her tiny, seven year old body.  She clung to my assistant’s hand as she looked over all the strange “tooth ticklers” and squirmed nervously.  “My big brother said it’s gonna hurt real bad, but my mommy said it wouldn’t be worse that a bee sting.” 

“Oh my”, I thought.  The family had already set the stage for a bad experience. This was going to take all my children’s dentist chairside skills!  Well, we turned it all around and Maia had a great experience.  Her first cavity was bonded with white, composite filling and she bragged to her mom that she never felt anything at all!  We sealed the permanent molars and spent some time showing Maia how to brush and even floss so she will, hopefully, never have another cavity in her life.

Mrs. Wolfe was already in the next room.  A new patient, she had called first thing this morning in pain, hoping we could work her in.  Her jaw was swollen to the size of a golf ball on the lower right and she looked exhausted from lack of sleep.  A quick, digital x-ray showed the culprit.  An abscessed, lower right molar.  I hate to blog gross, but a quick, small opening in the top of her dead tooth allowed a back pressure of pus to drain and almost instant pain relief followed.  Mrs. Wolfe was a happy camper and so was I.  The ability to immediately relieve pain is one of the most rewarding aspects of life as a Gettysburg dentist.  Time for a course of antibiotics and a trip back in a week or so to go over some long term options.

Beep…beep..beep… the heart monitor called out its rhythm as our anesthesiologist provided his expertise in our dental sedation room.  Sandra was meticulous about her health, but when it came to her teeth,  her bad, childhood, dental  experiences had left their mark.  She hadn’t been to a dentist for 20 years before seeking us out for sedation dentistry.  I remember when she first came in.  A grown woman of 45, she had cried before we even examined her mouth.  She tried to rationalize her fear, but she simply could not.  Sandra lay quietly sedated in la la land as my team and I worked for three hours repairing  years of dental neglect.  She smiled at the end with pretty, new front teeth and whispered, “That felt like I was in the chair for five minutes!”

Lunch, for me, is more of a power nap time that an eat time.  A time to recharge.  I looked over the afternoon’s schedule.  At two I would make a porcelain cap for Carmen’s upper lateral incisor.  Carmen was 62.  She’d broken her tooth in a bicycle accident when she was 11 and it had been down hill since.  After years of patching it had finally given up the ghost and broken off at the gum-line.  Luckily, dental technology had improved since Carmen’s accident.  We had replaced her tooth with a titanium dental implant anchored in the jaw several months ago and today we would make the final, beautiful, all porcelain crown that goes on top.  From three feet away,  no one would be able to tell it wasn’t her real tooth.

Three o’clock , a Cerec , in office, computer  cad cam created porcelain crown and bonded, composite fillings.  Four o’clock, two orthodontic patient checks.  One had Fast Braces on, and it was always fun to see how much her teeth had moved since the last visit.  The other, preferring no visible wires,  was wearling Invisalign aligners.

There is more.  In between  procedures I’ll be checking  the progress of our periodontal therapy patients as they work with the hygiene department.  Periodontal disease is one of the most widespread infectious diseases and the most common reason for tooth loss.  It has been implicated in heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.  Treating and controlling gum disease is one of the most important jobs of the modern, family dentist and it is important healthcare.

The day in the life of a Gettysburg dentist is sometimes hectic, sometimes stressful, often rewarding, but never boring!  I honestly look forward to tomorrow.

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gum Disease, Gettysburg dentist

A visit to the dentist or dental hygienist; it could help spare you a heart attack

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 @ 10:11 AM

   

Scientists and physicians are beginning to change their minds about what’s most likely to put patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. For some time now, the key factors were believed to be things like heredity, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, age and obesity. But now a new component is beginning to emerge as possibly the most critical of them all: inflammation.

Inflammation can be the result of an infected wound. But a more common—and more persistent form—originates not on the skin but inside the mouth. Dentists call this periodontitis, perio, or simply, gum disease.

While periodontitis may result in tooth loss—which is bad enough—we’re discovering apparent links between perio and problems in other parts of the body including diabetes, heart disease, and complications of pregnancy like low-birth weight babies.

Although the jury is still out and the relationships are complex, the essence of the problem is this: periodontitis is an infection that can be picked up by the blood in the gums (and there’s plenty there) and spread where it can do additional dirty work. That’s why stopping the spread of perio—or better, preventing it in the first place—is important for reasons that go way beyond saving teeth.

 

Perio and the Heart

 

Studies in Finland noted that heart attack patients tended to have more severe oral infections like tooth decay and gum disease. Another study, following healthy patients over an 18-year period, suggested gum disease sufferers were twice as likely to die of a heart attack and nearly three times as likely to die of stroke. Other studies suggest that periodontitis is associated not only with heart attack and stroke, but is linked to a thickening of the artery wall, which typically hastens heart attack.

 

Protect Your Gums

 

Recently, oral biologists at the University of Buffalo have shown that levels of two inflammatory proteins known to raise the risk of heart disease can be reduced substantially by regularly treating inflamed gums. Blood samples drawn from patients with high levels of C-reactive protein (a known heart disease risk) and fibrinogen (which can promote blood clotting) were observed and reduced over 12 months simply through aggressive treatment of gum disease. This is exciting news!

                We’re learning more about the relationship between inflammation, sore gums, teeth, heart disease, and other ailments every single day. We’re also learning what an additionally harmful effect tobacco use has on these relationships.

 

Gum Disease plus Smoking

 

Within the past few years, the U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, M.D., issued a report which, in part, concluded “evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between smoking and periodontitis”—not to mention cancer of the oral cavity.

                Do you smoke? Do you have sore, inflamed gums? Are you worried about your heart’s health, and how much time may still be available to enjoy your life and family?

 

What to Do

 

Fighting periodontal disease through outstanding daily hygiene and regular dental appointments is a three-for-the-price-of-one proposition: protect your gums, protect your teeth, and protect your health in general. If it’s been a while since your last dental examination, let the dentists and hygienists at Samuels Dental Arts P.C. help you!  Give one of our friendly ladies a call at 717-778-4268.

 

Topics: Dental Hygiene, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease

Flossing: Are You Guilty of Ignoring It?

Posted by Julie Berger on Mon, Jul 18, 2011 @ 15:07 PM

Recent studies have shown that a great many Americans are ignoring a simple activity that will keep their smiles looking gorgeous, help prevent cavities, reduce tooth loss, and – as many dentists and physicians believe – significantly reduce the chances of heart disease and strokes.

Though a large majority of patients swear they do this simple activity, according to the American Dental Association, more than 90% of Americans don’t!  What is that simple activity?  That’s easy – it’s flossing your teeth!  And just remember, a quick and strenuous attempt to floss right before your visit to our office doesn’t fool us!  Please continue reading – it can change your life!

Flossing is the absolute best method of cleaning bacteria and debris from the spaces in between your teeth and underneath your gums.  Left alone, that harmful film can cause cavities and gum disease, as it eats away at the bone that actually holds your teeth in place and causes your teeth to loosen and, sooner or later, be lost.  What’s worse, recent research has linked gum disease to heart disease and strokes.   But there’s hope for everyone!

Most activities require practice and patience.  You couldn’t play a musical instrument without practice and, more often than not, academic or professional tutelage.  You probably never solved a complex puzzle the very first time you sat down to try it.  And though flossing is certainly much easier than either of the aforementioned activities, far too many people try it just a few times and then give up in frustration believing that they can’t, and never will, do it correctly. But with a little patience and practice you definitely can!  And some of the better flosses in stores today make it so much easier than it has ever been in the past.

We at Samuels Dental Arts want you to keep your beautiful teeth for the rest of your life and maintain the best overall good health possible. Doing so involves flossing – remember, that simple activity – every day. We’re here to help you! Feel free to call us at (717) 778-4268 and we will arrange for one of our friendly, professional dental team members to give you a personal lesson. Or simply ask during one of your regular appointments.  We know that flossing correctly takes practice. But with the proper technique and commitment you’ll be a pro – and maintaining your beautiful smile and overall good health. Don’t wait another day! Call us today for more information. Your life and your smile are worth it!

Topics: Dental Hygiene, Flossing, General Dentistry, Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease

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