Healthy Gums Healthy Mouth

Your gums are important parts of your mouth that protect your jawbones and help keep your teeth securely in place.

Regardless, taking care of them can be seen as an inconvenience. The brushing and flossing between each tooth can be a pain. Sometimes, your gums become irritated and bleed, taking away your motivation to properly care for them.

Healthy Gums = Healthy Mouth

Taking the time to properly care for your gums, however, results in a healthy mouth that will give you a healthy bite, teeth and overall oral health that will give you beautiful smile for years to come and freedom from jaw problems, crooked teeth, loose or missing teeth, headaches, tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, broken teeth, missing teeth, infected or decayed teeth, bad breath, dry mouth, heartburn, breathing disorders and oral cancer.

These various dental issues that affect the teeth, jaws and overall oral health all point back to how healthy the gums are. Issues with the gums can progress to cause these issues in other parts of the mouth.

The most common gum health issue is gum disease.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the infection of the gum tissue that lead to gum inflammation and loose teeth. If the infection progresses from gingivitis to periodititis, teeth can be lost.

Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is minor plaque buildup along the gums by the teeth. This stage of periodontal disease can and is easily treated. If treatment is ignored, gingivitis can escalate to the more serious periodititus. In this second stage of periodontal disease, the infection can spread to the tooth and jaw bone. If not treated, the jaw bone can get so severely damaged, it can no longer securely hold teeth in place.

Taking the time to daily care for your gums as well as your teeth can help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis.

What do patients who already have the early stages of gum disease do?

How Periodontal Disease is Treated

Fortunately, periodontal disease can be easily treated if caught early on. The two common methods of treating gum disease are scaling and root planing.

Scaling. The scaling procedure involves the removal of tartar, plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and the area just below the gum line. Usually, manual hand instruments are used, though some dentists may use a combination of manual and electronic instruments.

Root Planing. Root planing involves the same tartar, plaque and biofilm as scaling, but is done to the surface of the tooth root below the gum line, to decrease the inflammation of the gum tissue.

Both procedures also smooth out rough areas to make it harder for future tartar and plaque build-up.

These two procedures are sometimes referred to as a professional deep cleaning.

Why a Deep Cleaning is Needed to Stop Gum Disease

Deep cleaning is often a part of the routine twice yearly teeth cleaning and examination. This regular professional cleaning plays an essential part in maintaining the health of your gums and will ensure a healthy mouth. Healthy, strong gums will bring you relief from:

  • Strong gums aren’t as sensitive and prone to cuts and bleeding.
  • Healthy gums accumulate less dangerous plaque than unhealthy ones.
  • Gum recession. Gums that are taken care will not recede like unhealthy gums. Receding gums can cause pain, discomfort and increased sensitivity. It can also lead to tooth problems.
  • Tighter “pockets” between the teeth and gums. The “pocket” between the gum and tooth are where the plaque that causes periodontal disease forms and grows if not treated. Healthier gums will be “hug” the tooth more securely, creating less space for plaque to accumulate.

Gum disease is nothing you want to deal with. If left untreated, it can lead to additional dental problems concerning your teeth, jaws and overall oral health.

Daily, at-home brushing and flossing accompanied with regular, twice-yearly professional deep cleaning are the best methods to prevent gum disease and keep it from progressing to something more severe.

The office of Dr. Stacey Godes takes the oral health of each patient seriously. We are a holistic dentistry that maintains patients’ oral health utilizing the most natural and safe methods and products available. You won’t find any dangerous chemicals or metal fillings here.

Contact us today to schedule a deep cleaning appointment and let us help you keep your beautiful, healthy smile.

Research Shows a Link Between Periodontal Disease and Breast Cancer

periodontal disease linked to breast cancerBreast cancer or just the “big C” in general is a horrible disease to suffer from or to watch a loved one suffer from. In the U.S. breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women after skin cancer. Periodontal disease is extremely serious and without proper care it can be linked between many other diseases, but research has discovered that there is now a new risk to be added to that list: breast cancer. Many women suffer from breast cancer, which is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells, but women who are postmenopausal and suffer from periodontal disease are more likely to develop breast cancer than those without, especially if they are smokers.

Despite the fact that oral-associated microbes have been found in breast tumors, very little research had been done on the link between periodontal disease and cancer. Recently The University at Buffalo has done research and discovered that gum disease has in fact been linked to breast cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. They monitored over 73,000 women who were postmenopausal, 26.1 percent of those women had periodontal disease at the beginning of the study.

At the end of the study, 6.7 years later, 2,124 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and throughout all of the women in the study those with periodontal disease had a 14 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

Research has shown several possible causes for the link to periodontal disease, such as:

  • When brushing, flossing and chewing, bacteria from the oral cavity get into the bloodstream and although the bacteria is cleared rather quickly, there is sizable exposure to tissues. Long term exposure to the breast tissue could be the cause.
  • Another possible cause that could impact chronic diseases is inflammation in other parts of the body.

Previous to the research done at The University at Buffalo only three very small studies were done in order to discover the link between periodontal disease and breast cancer. Because of  the small size of these studies they weren’t able to examine the possible effects from smoking and the research showed no significant increase in risk. However, the study done at The University at Buffalo was able to do their research on a much larger-scale of women, which allowed them to look more closely at how smoking affected the relationship between periodontal disease and breast cancer.

“There’s been an explosion of information recently that makes it clear that many different parts of the body that were thought to be sterile contain bacteria and other microbes,” Freudenheim says. These bacteria may influence diseases that were previously thought to have no infectious component.”

Periodontal disease or oral disease of any kind is very serious. Now that there has been research that links this disease to breast cancer it makes it even more of an issue for woman, especially for those who are postmenopausal. Having good oral hygiene is important for your health and that includes regular visits to our office. Call today and schedule a checkup. Our trained and knowledgeable staff is ready to make sure you have a healthy mouth.

What is Holistic Dentistry

 

Are you curious about holistic dentistry? Check out our simple infographic to see what that part of our practice is all about! Call us today to get all of your questions answered.