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Gettysburg Dentist Warns Against Gum Disease

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Oct 3, 2013 @ 14:10 PM

gum disease dentist

 

Gum disease, more medically known as periodontal disease, is an
infection that destroys the gums and the bone that supports your teeth. It can
affect one or more teeth, removing bone without you knowing until it's too
late.

The primary cause is plaque, a colorless film that forms all the time around
your teeth. When left untended, plaque can harden into tartar, which can only be
removed by a dental professional. However, many factors can affect gum
disease.

  • Genetics. If you're family has a history of periodontal disease, you're more
    likely to develop it.

  • Bad oral hygiene. Not brushing or flossing after every meal allows tartar to
    accumulate.

  • Tobacco. Smoking not only increases the chances of periodontal disease but
    can affect treatment.

  • Poor nutrition. Without the right food, your body is less able to ward off
    infection.

You won't always experience the symptoms of gum disease, but some of them
include the following.

  • Bleeding while you brush or floss.

  • Tender and swollen gums.

  • Loose or separating teeth.

  • Constant bad breath.

  • Gums receding from the teeth, making them appear longer.

Treatment for gum disease varies according to how far the infection has
progressed. In the early stages, we may simply remove the tartar, and
recommend brushing and flossing to minimize the problem. Later stages may see
significant bone loss, which may require surgery.

The best way to determine if you have periodontal disease is to contact us,
your Gettysburg dentist, so we can
examine your gums and teeth.

Topics: Dentist in Gettysburg, Periodontal 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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