Archive for the ‘gingivitis’ Category

Gum Disease Almost 100 Percent Preventable

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

gingivitisDo you wear sunscreen on blistering hot days? Do you buckle your seat belt when going on a road trip? Like these measures, taking care of your gums and teeth marks the benefits of preventative care. Think ahead of time. Not only will staying on top of your gum health ward off unwanted accidents, it might also keep money in the bank later on.

The early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, is the inflammation of your gums. Red tissue, receding gum lines and bleeding gums after brushing are all telltale signs of gingivitis. This occurs when plaque is allowed to accumulate in the pockets between where your teeth meet the gums. Plaque contains bacteria, which produce toxins that slowly eat away at the tissue. Although gums may be irritated at this point, teeth remain firmly planted in their sockets, and no irreversible bone damage has occurred yet.

If left untreated, however, gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease, or advanced-stage gum disease. At this point, the inner layer of the gum and bone begin to pull away from teeth, creating small pockets. The deeper the pockets, the more space bacteria have to grow.

At its nastiest, gum disease can result in the loss of teeth as well as the bones that support the teeth.

Biggest causes of gum diseases:
• Tobacco products: Smoking, chewing and any other use of tobacco has been shown as one of the leading causes of gum disease. The chemicals in tobacco leave harmful bacteria in the mouth, which erodes the gum tissue. When this happens, smoker’s breath might be the least of one’s concerns. Cigarettes, cigars and pipes contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis.

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Racing Toward Better Dental Health with Danica Patrick

Monday, January 20th, 2014

1397111_44698680NASCAR speedster Danica Patrick has launched a new campaign to give thousands of in-need Americans better oral health. Teaming up with Aspen Dental and Oral Health, the program is called the Healthy Mouth Movement, a community initiative designed to deliver free dental care to thousands of low-income communities across the country, spreading oral health education to millions more.

“Last year 100 million Americans didn’t visit a dentist, and millions more live in communities with little or no access to dental care,” Patrick, driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet SS in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, told Digital Journal. “This is an issue that affects a lot of hard-working people, including NASCAR fans, who are often living in pain. It’s time to do something about it, and that’s why I’m proud to partner with Aspen Dental and Oral Health America.”

Too many people live with gum disease - a problem that’s 100 percent preventable – and toothaches caused by cavities. These issues are a roadblock to staying focused at school and work, and can affect the body as a whole. After all, periodontal disease, or advanced stage gum disease, has linked diabetes and oral health together. Patrick reminds us that a healthy mouth paves the way for a healthy body.

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Navy Dentist Vying for the Olympics

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

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Lieutenant Amanda Rice, 29, is a general dentist who treats sailors at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Japan. She’s also an elite runner.

As the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro rise into sight, Rice continues training on a rigorous schedule. Before she goes to work at the Atsugi Branch Health Clinic in Yokosuka, Japan, the dentist/marathon runner gets up at 3 a.m. to start her workout. Often she runs 18 to 22 miles a day.

“It’s definitely a lifestyle one has to adapt to,” Rice told DrBicuspid.com. “It takes an amazing amount of self-discipline and perseverance. It can definitely be exhausting, but it’s also definitely rewarding.”

In the 2011 Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Rice broke a personal record with 2:38:57. For the Tokyo Marathon, she ran a 2:42:44 – both under the 2:43 time needed to quality for the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Rice was inspired to go into her chosen field by her uncle, Dr. Keith Stenshol, a central Oregon dentist. Stenshol pointed out that she’d treat patients with a mouthful of problems, including gingivitis and tooth infections.

“When we got together for our annual summer family reunions, I saw his passion for dentistry and the love he had for the profession, and I wanted to have the same in my own professional pursuits,” Rice explained to the source. “Through his guidance, I was encouraged to travel to Guatemala and Samoa to provide dental care to those most in need.”

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National Diabetes Month

Monday, November 25th, 2013

550152_84366311November is National Diabetes Month, which helps raise awareness for people who face the day-to-day struggles of the disease. If you’re a diabetic, you likely keep an eye on your diet and nutrition. Diabetics are more at risk for a variety of different conditions, especially dental health problems, including gum diseasedry mouth, tooth decay and oral infections. In fact, people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop gum disease than those with normal glucose function.

During this month, the American Diabetes Association wants to put the ever-growing disease in the national spotlight. At the beginning of November, they asked people to submit a personal image to the association’s Facebook mosaic demonstrating what “A Day in the Life of Diabetes” means to them. If you or anyone you know has diabetes, you already understand how life-changing the condition can be. According to the association, almost 26 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes. Another 79 million Americans have prediabetes, or impaired glucose tolerance, and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Raising awareness of diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects how the body breaks down sugar, or glucose, which is the brain’s main source of fuel. Normally, insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, keeps blood glucose in check. However, those who have diabetes experience insulin resistance, which results in high levels of blood sugar.

There are three main variations of the disease: type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Totaling 90 to 95 percent of all new cases worldwide, type 2 is by far the most common form of diabetes.

So, where does the health of your mouth enter the picture? Diabetes can lead to a spectrum of dental issues, with gum disease and dry mouth at the forefront.

Gum disease
Though periodontal disease, or gum disease, is regarded as a complication of diabetes, the connection is a two-way street; diabetics are more prone to gum disease, and in turn, gum disease can influence the development of diabetes.

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Poor Oral Health Slowed Down 2012 Olympians

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

468230_30211180Winning the gold takes everything. Many Olympians spend decades training for their event to earn the chance to stand above the rest on the podium. While staying in top physical peak is a big priority, is oral health important? Based on the 2012 Olympics, having a healthy smile is a bigger factor than most realize.  

According to a new study led by Professor Ian Needleman at University College London Eastman Dental Institute, more than half of Olympians had poor oral health, and many found it inhibited their performance. Researchers recruited 302 athletes to the dental clinic in the London 2012 athletes’ village during the two-week international event. Those surveyed were from the Americas, Africa and Europe, and represented more than 25 different sports, including track, boxing and hockey. The results were pretty shocking.

Fifty-five percent of the athletes involved showed signs of tooth decay. Cavities, rotting and the beginning of caries were all evident. Of that demographic, 41 percent of the damage was irreversible. More than three-fourths of the individuals suffered from gingivitis, which is the early stage of gum disease. The statistic is dramatically higher than people their same age – around 70 percent, based on the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

“Oral health is important for wellbeing and successful elite sporting performance,” explained Professor Needleman. “It is amazing that many professional athletes – people who dedicate a huge amount of time and energy to honing their physical abilities – do not have sufficient support for their oral health needs, even though this negatively impacts their training and performance.”

While almost one in five athletes said their training or performance was negatively impacted by oral health, nearly two-thirds said their poor dental care was affecting their quality of life.

It is clear that oral health and athletic performance are bound together. Gum disease and cavities often trigger pain and inflammation, which may reduce the quality of life and self-confidence of a competitor and therefore lower his or her ability to rise to the occasion. Stunningly, the researchers said that the dental hygiene of the world-class athletes resembled that of people living in disadvantaged populations. Nearly half of the 2012 London competitors said they hadn’t been to the dentist in more than a year.

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