Archive for the ‘periodontitis’ Category

Gum Disease (One of the Major Causes of Bad Breath) Myths

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

gum disease myths

Many people fail to treat gum disease, even though it can cause severe damage if left untreated.  This is probably because most people fail to understand how serious gum/periodontal disease can be.   Statistics say that around 75%-80% of people have a for of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe. 

Here are some common MYTHS that you need to discard:

1.  Bleeding gums are not a big deal.  FALSE!  Many gum symptoms (i.e. bleeding/receding/red/swollen gums/bad breath) are all key signs that you might have periodontal disease.  If you notice that certain foods, flossing, and/or brushing can cause your gums to bleed, it’s best that you go to the dentist and get a diagnosis.  Gum disease not only can lead to tooth decay and loss, but it may help instigate disease in the heart, diabetes, and so on.  It may also be a sign of other serious issues in your body!

2.  Flossing every day is not important.  FALSE!  A good oral hygiene regimen requires that you floss on a daily basis as one of the main ways, besides brushing, to prevent gum disease.  Allegedly, only 13.5% of Americans floss that often.  Not a good sign! 

3.  Periodontist visits are intimidating, and they’ll pull your teeth if you go in for treatment.  FALSE!  Experts on gum disease have received specialized training to help with your dental problems– everything from the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease.  Also, technology and treatments are always improving, so visits are becoming more and more comfortable.  If you avoid gum disease treatment, the gums will continue to recede and you’ll lose your tooth naturally. 

4.  Once a tooth is lost from gum disease, you can’t get it back.  FALSE!  Gum disease may be one of the main causes of tooth loss in people over age 18, but periodontists are extremely knowledgeable in placing dental implants.  These are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth.   Dental implants have a 98% success rate, and according to surveys, over 70% of people are extremely satisfied with the results of their dental implants. 

5.  Practicing poor oral care is the only way to get gum problems.  FALSE!  Neglecting your oral hygiene can definitely be a reason for gum disease progression, but other important factors need to be acknowledged.  Tobacco use, stress, a poor diet, and even genetics can alter how your body reacts to bacteria in the oral cavity. 

6.  Gum disease gets better on its own.   FALSE!  With the right care, it may clear up eventually, but it is an infection that needs immediate attention.  Just imagine if you had these open sores on your skin–just because it is in your mouth doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

7.  Bleeding gums are normal.  FALSE!  There is a reason as to why your gums are bleeding.  It does happen to almost everyone, but there has to be an actual injury to the gums causing them to bleed.

So, all in all, these statements are NOT true, and gum disease is something that you need to treat ASAP. 

Source:  The Mouth Doctor, Perio

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Brushing a Dog’s (or Cat’s) Teeth

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

brush dog's teeth

Does your dog have bad breath? Well, maybe you are not employing the use of proper oral hygiene. After all, us humans need to maintain a level of oral care so that we don’t have halitosis. Also, just like people, dogs and cats can get gum disease–and if a dog or cat’s gums are infected and abscessed, bacteria can enter the bloodstream, causing liver, kidney, and even heart malfunctions. So, what’s a good way to brush your best friend’s teeth?

Here are some tips for brushing your pet’s teeth:

#1 Start off slowly. Make sure to use a toothpaste formula that is specifically made for animals, since human toothpaste can give stomach upsets to animals. Have your pet lick the paste off of your finger, and you might need to try a few different flavors to find one that your pet likes.

#2 Once you can get toothpaste into the animal’s mouth, use a slight amount on your finger and run it across the dog or cat’s teeth. This might even take several days to get your pet to do this agreeably. Once your pet is fine with you doing this to its teeth, use a toothbrush (made for pets) and make small circles on the gum line. Don’t brush too hard!

#3 Be sure to cheer on your pet and express approval during this process. Afterward, you could also give your pet a treat, playtime, a walk, etc., so it will think of brushing as a positive moment.

#4 In order to practice proper oral hygiene with your pet, try to brush your pet’s teeth every day.

Here are some warning signs to look for in your pet’s mouth:

  1. Yellow or brown tartar, especially where the teeth and gums meet
  2. Red, swollen, bleeding, inflamed, tender, and/or receding gums
  3. Chronic halitosis
  4. Teeth that are chipped/broken
  5. Tooth resorption (especially common in cats)- a very painful condition in which the tooth dissolves
  6. A change in the animal’s diet, chewing habits and appetite can signify depression (along with pawing at the face/mouth).

Also, don’t forget to try this oral rinse for dogs and cats that helps prevent plaque and tartar buildup.  Be sure to practice good oral hygiene with your pet, so that the both of you can have great smiles!

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Bad Breath is a Symptom of Gum Disease in Dogs and Cats

Friday, February 19th, 2010

bad breath in pets

Even though February is National Pet Dental Health Month, proper oral hygiene for pets should be practiced year-round. Bad breath in your pet can be a symptom of an oral health dilemma. Taking your dog or cat to the veterinarian is one of the most important things that you can do to prevent and treat periodontal (gum) disease in your pet. According to sources, an estimated 68% of cats and 78% of dogs that are 3 years of age and older have a form of oral disease.

In recognition of National Pet Dental Health Month, more information is being released for pet owners and vets to help improve or maintain a good level of oral hygiene for their animals. It reminds us of the old saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” All breeds of these animals are susceptible to developing periodontal disease. Studies show that the top breeds of dogs that are predisposed to getting gum disease are the Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Pomeranian, Shetland Sheepdog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Papillion, Standard Poodle, Dachshund and Havanese. The disease is most prominent in the following types of cats: the Himalayan, Siamese, and Persian.

Each year that your pet is alive, the risks of developing the disease actually increase 20%. Vets everywhere should insist that pet owners should treat the disease if it is diagnosed, so that it does not become serious.  Let’s not forget that TheraBreath has an excellent oral health formula specifically made for dogs and cats. Stop bad breath in dogs and cats today!

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Secrets from Dentists

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

kids bad breath

There are many things that people may not realize regarding oral care and its relationship to overall health.  Dental health is a very important thing and should not be neglected.  Here are certain things that you may not have known about dental care and dentists:

Pay More Attention

  • Just because your mouth may not hurt, does not mean it is healthy. 
  • Your oral health can affect the rest of your body
  • People with HEALTHY gums should go to the dentist twice a year.  Most people do not.  If your gums are NOT healthy, you should go even more. 
  • People tend to brush their front teeth more, and many people have periodontal disease in their back teeth because of this
  • People tend to spend around 2-3 minutes total brushing per day, even though proper oral care requires at least ten minutes of brushing and flossing each day.  Kids tend to spend even less time than adults. 

Bad Breath

  • Chewing gum or mints is not going to cover up the smell from smoking cigarettes.  This is because the smell is deeply ingrained in the mouth and gum tissues.
  • Most dentists won’t tell you if you have halitosis unless you ask.
  • People need to floss since brushing does not go deep into the gums.  If a person brushes and flosses properly, gets regular cleanings, and STILL has bad breath, then he or she should check into diet and health complications.

Children’s Teeth

  • Dentists may secretly blame parents when their kids’ teeth go bad.
  • Cavity-causing bacteria CAN be spread from person-to-person via saliva.  This includes parents to children– if a parent tastes a baby’s food, and puts the same spoon back into the baby’s mouth, the baby is at risk.
  • Children with dental problems, like toothaches, tend to have more problems in school.
  • There’s a significant risk of infection with any kind of mouth piercing if it is not performed in a sterile environment.  Also, tongue piercings tend to chip the front teeth.

Patient Concerns

  • Having metal fillings removed can release more mercury than leaving them in.  Metal fillings are much more durable than tooth-colored fillings.
  • People are exposed to more radiation standing outside for an hour than they are when they have dental X-rays taken.
  • People are getting teeth pulled that don’t need to be just because they can’t afford to fix them.
  • Very few insurance companies cover dental implants, even though they’re better than dentures
  • Teeth that are not aligned correctly can cause migraines
  • Bleeding gums is one of the first signs of diabetes
  • Did you know that teeth get whiter when they dry out?  If you go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened, and your mouth is left open for an hour, the teeth could be two shades whiter from dehydration alone. 
  • Cosmetic dentistry only works in a healthy mouth.  Always treat your gum disease first.
  • When you go to the dentist, check to see if the magazines in the waiting area are up-to-date…this shows if they pay attention to detail.

Here is an interesting quote by dentist Damian Dachowski: “When someone meets you for the first time, the first thing they notice is eyes. Second is teeth, and third is hair. But people spend way more money on their hair than their teeth.”

Source: Reader’s Digest

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February is National Pet Dental Month!

Friday, February 5th, 2010

pet health

February is National Pet Dental Month!  According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats allegedly have symptoms of dental disease by age three!  Beyond that, oral disease is also the most commonly diagnosed health issue for our canine and feline friends.  We may hear about bad breath in pets all the time, but that doesn’t mean that it could be caused by something serious. 

Periodontal disease has the same roots in dogs and cats as it does in people.  Bacteria from food can build up in the oral cavity, and if it’s left untreated, the bacteria cause plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth and gumline.  Over time, if the buildup is neglected, periodontitis can form, which is an irreversible condition involving gum inflammation and infection.  If the gums are inflamed, they become separated from the teeth, thus allowing bacteria to enter and attack the tooth’s root.  Furthermore, bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and venture on over to the heart, liver, kidneys, and other organs, and cause serious problems.

These are all reasons as to why it is very important to be proactive about protecting your pet’s health.  Some warning signs that you can look for in your pet are: bad breath, yellow-brown crust on the teeth, bleeding gums, changes in eating/chewing habits, pawing at the mouth, and/or depression.  These are all potential signs that the pet has an infection, and you should schedule a dental checkup as soon as you can.  If the pet is in good health, one should schedule regular veterinarian visits anyway.   A pet owner should schedule a professional cleaning to have the following done: tartar removal, cavity/growth check, diseased teeth extracted, and tooth polishing.  Tooth polishing helps prevent the formation of new plaque/tartar buildup

You should also practice regular brushing with your pet, and follow a home care regimen.  You can introduce toothpaste to your pets by using a small amount on your finger and rubbing it on their teeth.   Make sure to use a toothpaste that is specially made for cats and dogs.  The next step is to have the pet lick the bristles of a toothbrush with the toothpaste on it.  Then, you can begin brushing its teeth.  This should be done twice every week.  Don’t give up if your pet doesn’t seem willing to have its teeth brushed. 

Also, certain pet foods actually help plaque/tartar removal, so you can look for that in stores.  Ask your pet’s doctor for any advice.  Good luck and spread the word!

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