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PREVENTING GUM DISEASE

The control of plaque is the key to maintaining periodontal health

PERIODONTAL DISEASE IS USUALLY A PAINLESS PROGRESSIVE INFECTIOUS DISEASE

You can help prevent gum disease by taking good care of your teeth every day and having regular dental checkups

Here's how to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush your teeth well twice a day.
    This removes the bacteria from the teeth and prevents bacteria from overgrowing. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition. Toothpastes with fluoride to strengthen your teeth.  
  • Mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine ,an anti-microbial agent, which removes excess bacteria.
  • Clean between your teeth every day.
    Cleaning between your teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth, where a toothbrush can't reach.  By not flossing you allow the bacteria to build up to dangerous levels. Early gum disease can often be reversed by daily brushing and flossing. If you use interdental cleaners, ask your dentist how to use them properly, to avoid injuring your gums.

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  • Use the perio-instrument, Rota-dent, that is a soft professional brush that cleans your gum, teeth and between your teeth all in one tool.

  • Use a fluoridated rinse daily: The fluoride rinse shows a significant inhibition of plaque regrowth.  Although the effect on plaque regrowth showed Chlorhexidine rinsing was superior to that with fluoride, the fluoride rinse was not associated with side effects.  Fluoride rinse may represent an effective alternative to Chlorhexidine rinse as an adjunct to oral hygiene.
    Mouthrinse on Supragingival Plaque Regrowth Giuseppe Pizzo, Rosario Guiglia, Monica La Cara, Giovanna Giuliana, and Matteo D'Angelo regrowth. J Periodontol 2004;75:852-857.

  • Eat a balanced dietA well balanced diet is important for the body and subsequently the mouth's health, vitamin C is important for tissue health and calcium is important for bone health. 
    Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Limit between-meal snacks and avoid sticky sweet snacks.
  • A new study has shown that taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may help prevent tooth loss associated with gum disease by helping to limit bone loss around the tooth roots caused by gum disease.*
  • Follow through on all recommended treatment recommended by your doctor.
  • Avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products
  • Avoid grinding or clenching your teeth because this puts pressure on the bone fibers that support your teeth and can increase your chances of making existing gum disease worse.
  • Visit us at least twice a year for an oral exam and through cleaning. These professional cleanings remove tartar which harbors and nurtures the growth of the undesirable bacteria.
  • Take a daily supplement with 1,000 of vitamin D to help prevent gum disease. Nutrition Action April 08 pg 7 Circulation 117:503,2008

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Who can get gum disease?

Anyone can at any age, however after 35 about three out of four adults have some form of gum disease.  Their are certain medical conditions or medications that can make you more susceptible to gum disease such as: diabetes, epilepsy, pregnancy and medications as birth control pills, chemotherapy, antidepressants and medications for heart problems.

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Treatment for gum disease:

     The type of treatment you require depends on how advanced your case is and could involve one or more of the following:

PATIENTS WITH GUM DISEASE ARE 1.5 TO 2 TIMES GREATER RISK OF FATAL CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

( Individuals such as immunocompromised and hospitalized patients are at greater risk for general morbidity due to oral infections.)

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REMEMBER that once gum disease is treated it can still return because the bacteria in your mouth that caused gum disease can reoccur if you do not follow through with good home care, regular checkups and professional cleaning to prevent periodontal diseases.

Updates:

Antacids May Fight Gingivitis

Chemicals commonly used to treat heartburn also display fighting power against the oral bacteria linked with gum disease, according to researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The team studied a compound known as lansoprazole, part of a family known as benzimidazoles that already have a range of uses, primarily controlling stomach hyperacidity and killing bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers. This compound is showing potent antimicrobial actions that interfere with other types of bacteria that cause plaque buildup and gingivitis. The research, supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, "shows promise for preventing cavities and providing protective benefits to guard against gingivitis."


TIP: Watch for developing research. (Source: University of Rochester Medical School,www.urmc.rochester.edu, November 2006, Archives of Oral Biology.)

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More vitamin D may mean healthier gums

People with higher blood levels of vitamin D may be less likely todevelop gum disease. Using data from a national U.S. health survey, researchers found that teenagers and adults with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were 20 percent less likely than those with the lowest levels to show signs of gingivitis -

The current study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is based on data from 6,700 Americans who took part in a federal health study between 1988 and 1994. When the researchers broke participants into five groups based on their blood levels of vitamin D, they found that as vitamin levels rose, the risk of gingivitis inched downward. The group with the highest vitamin D levels was 20 percent less likely to have signs of gingivitis than the group with the lowest levels-even with factors such as age and income taken into account.

Vitamin D is probably best known for its role in calcium absorption and bone health. But recent research has suggested that it also helps maintain a healthy immune system and may fight inflammation. It's this anti-inflammatory benefit that may explain the vitamin's link to healthier gums, Dietrich and his colleagues speculate. Gingivitis arises when bacteria build up between the teeth and gums, leading to inflammation and bleeding.

It is possible that vitamin D does not directly affect gum disease risk, but is instead a marker of general health habits, according to the researchers. Vitamin D levels depend in large part on sun exposure, and people with higher levels may, for instance, spend more time exercising outdoors. These same people may be especially careful about brushing and flossing, the researchers point out.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 2005.

For more facts about gum disease click here: Facts about Periodontal Disease.

Visit A.G.D

Gum disease information provided by American Dental Association

Visit: The Academy of General Dentistry to learn more about gum disease

Visit: The Mouth-Body Connections for more about how gum disease can affect your total health and well being. Presented by American Academy of Periodontology.

Products and Services: Perioguard  Root Planing and Scaling  Rota-dent

*American Journal of Medicine, 2002.

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*Ms Flossy

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