Archive for the ‘periodontal disease’ Category

The New Old Practice of Oil Pulling

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

1211548_68090598Oil pulling. No, it does not have to do with digging beneath the dirt to fill up expensive barrels. Gaining ground in recent years, oil pulling describes swishing around coconut oil in the mouth in an effort to pull bacteria from your mouth and body. Though its health benefits have been debated for some time, people who use it tend to swear by it. Daily oil pullers report improvements in dental hygiene, such as whiter teeth and healthier gums, as well as a detox of the body.

While it may be rising in popularity, the practice is far from new. Oil pulling was invented thousands of years ago by Ayurvedic medicinal practitioners who utilized it for its cleansing properties. In the ancient Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita, oil pulling claimed to cure about 30 systemic diseases, spanning from migraines to asthma.

Until recently, it’s been hard to find qualified experts in the scientific or dental community to back up these health claims. Now, some dentists have spoken up about the resurgent trend.

Jessica Lo, a dental hygienist, said she saw a healthy transformation in her patients who oil pulled, according to Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV.

“Specifically the patients that had periodontal disease – they’re the ones that had the gum infections, the inflammation, the bleeding, the tenderness, the bad breath,” Lo told WRTV. “This is amazing, because I’ve been able to whiten my teeth and not have sensitivity.”

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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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New Oral Care Appliance Helps Fight Gum Disease

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

ACCS-MSC-128On the whole, people care about their teeth – what they look like, how they feel and how white they can get. However, our pearlies are only half the equation of a healthy smile, as our gums play a larger role than we might think.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 50 percent of American adults have gum disease. This consists of both gingivitis – the inflammation of the gums (early stage), and periodontal disease (advanced stage).

Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that keep your teeth in place. More often than not, it is triggered by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque and anaerobic bacteria to stick onto the teeth. The main area of infection is where the teeth meet the gums, or the gum pockets. The bigger the pockets, the larger amount of space bacteria has to take shelter. If left untreated, the gingivitis can turn into advanced-stage gum disease. Gradually, a patient’s gums erode; the teeth loosen, and may even fall out.  Today, more people lose their teeth due to gum disease than tooth decay.

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Link Shown Between Oral Bacteria and Joint Infection

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

STKT-PER-286Doctors and scientists have long been concerned about a link between oral bacteria and joint health. In 2012, researchers studied a small group of participants who suffered from periodontal disease and joint disease, some of whom had joint replacements. Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine questioned the DNA of bacteria from the lubricant fluid in hip and knee joints, which is called synovial fluid. Then, the dental plaque of the patients with periodontal disease was also examined.

Case Western study
In the study “Identification of Oral Bacterial DNA in Synovial Fluid of Patients with Arthritis with Native and Failed Prosthetic Joints,” researchers examined 36 participants, five of whom had a direct link between the DNA of his or her dental plaque and the bacteria in the joints. Eleven of the participants had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and 25 were diagnosed with osteoarthritis (OA) during the time of the study. Of these participants, eight with OA and one with RA had failed prosthetics. Bacterial DNA was detected in five patients with failed prosthetic or native joints, and two of those individuals were identified to have gum disease and identical bacterial clones between the joint and mouth. This study showed a possible link between gum disease and failed joints; however, the findings were not substantial enough to make definitive claims.

The dental plaque that was tracked during the study is the cause of inflammation in the mouth, which, once in the bloodstream, can cause kidney and heart disease, cancer or even premature births or fetal deaths.

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What’s the Deal with Hydrogen Peroxide?

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

184540_6193Hydrogen peroxide is one of those items that almost everyone has in their medicine cabinet, and it can actually be a great solution for many things. Whether you have a cut on your hand, need to whiten your clothes or want to wipe down mirrors without streaks, hydrogen peroxide can get the job done. It also has many benefits for your mouth, and it is widely, safely and effectively used in dental practices today. Most notably, the solution is used as a home remedy for teeth whitening.

A recent article published in Registered Dental Hygienist reported that the product can be used to treat periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease. In 1913, dentists started using hydrogen peroxide to decrease the amount of dental plaque on teeth and to control gum disease, and it can still be used today. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen, which is a powerful antimicrobial action. If hydrogen peroxide can be held in place along the gum line and within the periodontal pockets that appear in those with gum disease, it can penetrate the slime matrix that protects biofilm and then removes bacterial cell walls; however, it needs as least 10 minutes to do so.

The study followed four patients who were suffering from different stages of periodontal disease, and each were given doses of hydrogen peroxide for at least 10 minutes. Depending on the clinical level of each patient’s illness, the time frame of the dosage was increased. Patients received 10-minute dosages either two times a day, or four times a day for five weeks, or 15-minute dosages six times a day for two weeks. After using the solution for the designated amount of time, all four patients had no bleeding when dentists probed the gums as well as no or less bacterial sites.

While hydrogen peroxide does not have the same powers as antiseptics, it works to clear away debris through oxidation, which is why it is very effective for getting rid of dental plaque. Additionally, this may mean that hydrogen peroxide can be used as a tool against bad breath because it prevents bacteria buildup in the mouth if used on a regular basis.

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