Posts for: February, 2018
Periodontal Disease and the Inflammation It Causes
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is a chronic inflammatory condition in which plaque bacteria accumulate below the gum line. Over time, the inflammatory response to the bacteria can cause the eorision of gum tissue and supporting bone. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
The good news is that through such treatments as scaling and root planing, Dr. Cristoforo at Dental Implant and Periodontal Speacialists can help you reduce the inflammation in your gums. There are a few things you can do at home as well to help reduce inflammation in your mouth and throughout your entire body.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids - including oily cold-water fish (salmon, tuna, herring, or sardines) and walnuts - have been found to reduce inflammation. The body doesn't produce these acids naturally, and they can come only from consuming certain foods. Additionally, antioxidant-rich green tea has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
People who exercise regularly demonstrate fewer incidences of periodontal diseasethan those who do not. While moderate exercies may help reduce inflammation in your obdy, extreme exercise (such as running marathons) can actually increase systemic inflammation. Exercise also reduces stress, another risk factor for periodontal disease. Stress has a negative impact on the body's ability to fight infection and inflammation.
It's a very good idea to discuss your exercies plain with a health professional to ensure that it's a good fit for your lifestyle.
Brushing and Flossing
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recommends brushing twice a day and flossing once a day as a part of a daily oral health routine. You should also undergo a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year to assess the health of your gums.
If periodontal disease does develop, your periodontist Dr. Cristoforo can develop an effective treatment plan for your unique needs.
Other Systemic Conditions and Periodontal Disease Development
Research suggests that periodontal disease shares an association with systemic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The AAP recommends that if you are living with any of these conditions, it is important to notify your periodontist about your medical health history. Likewise, if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, you should make your physician aware and create an informed care team that can manage both our oral and physical ailments effectively.
The American Academy of Periodontology Patient Page is a public service of the AAP and should not be used as a substitute for the care and advice of your personal periodontist after a thorough exam. There may be variations in treatment that your periodontist will recommend based on individual facts and circumstances per patient. Visit perio.org to assess your risk and for more information on periodontal disease.
For over a century dentists treated tooth decay by removing both diseased portions of the tooth and healthy structure deemed at risk for future decay. In the 1970s, though, a new approach emerged, known as Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID). This practice protocol attempts to preserve as much of the healthy structure as possible.
Before MID, dentists followed a decay treatment protocol developed in the 19th Century. A part of this became known as extension for prevention calling for dentists to remove healthy structure considered vulnerable to decay. Besides reducing the tooth's volume, this practice also resulted in, by today's standards, larger than necessary fillings.
It was thought that removing this additional material would make it easier to clean bacterial plaque, the source of decay, but later, research showed the practice couldn't guarantee the teeth wouldn't be reinfected.
Since then we've learned a lot more about teeth and have developed new ways to detect decay at earlier stages. X-ray imaging, for example, has transitioned largely from film to digital technology, providing more detailed images at greater magnification. This, along with laser fluorescence and infrared cameras, has made it easier to detect the first tiny stages of decay.
We can also limit tooth decay damage by boosting enamel strength with fluoride applications and sealants or reducing decay-causing bacteria with anti-bacterial rinses. We've also seen advancement in techniques like air abrasion that remove decayed tooth material while leaving more healthy structure intact better than using a traditional dental drill.
Restoring teeth after treatment has also improved. While dental metal amalgam is still used for some fillings, the main choice is now composite resin. These new tooth-colored dental materials require less tooth preparation (and thus less material loss) and bond well to the remaining structure, resulting in a stronger tooth.
Following a MID protocol leads to less intervention and less time in the dentist's chair. It also means preserving more of a natural tooth, an important aim in promoting long-lasting dental health.