Posts Tagged ‘periodontitis’

A Drug used to Treat Osteoporosis may Help Reverse Inflammatory Gums and Teeth

Monday, March 12th, 2012

In a post on intelihealth.com, the News ReviewFrom Harvard Medical School has released an article stating that a drug call teriparatide (Forteo) may actually help bone repair for those suffering from periodontitis.

What is periodontitis? Well, most of us know its precursor, gingivitis. Gingivitis symptoms include red, swollen gums that bleed easily.

Periodontitis is when the gum disease has been left untreated as gingivitis and has become more severe. Periodontitis can lead to bone loss under teeth as well as teeth themselves. Symptoms of periodontitis include pus between teeth and gums, gums pulling away from teeth and permanent teeth that are becoming loose.

Teriparatide is currently used to help build bone in people suffering from osteoporosis. According to intelihealth.com, “It [teriparatide] actually stimulates new bone formation. But doctors also know that this drug, if given for more than two years, might increase the risk of developing bone tumors.” Thus, it is not the most commonly prescribed drug to help with osteoporosis.

However, in terms of people with periodontitis, teriparatide might really help, as it “did seem to help stimulate bone growth in the mouth.”

There are plans for more testing with periodontitis suffers. As intelihealth.com states, “We clearly need larger studies of this drug in the treatment of periodontitis. I think we also will see trials of this drug in the treatment of osteonecrosis of the jaw and of other areas of bone.”

(more…)

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Can You Have Bad Breath with Healthy Gums?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Having bad breath can be a real nuisance, particularly when you try to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This issue led us at TheraBreath to try something of a thought experiment. Can you have halitosis even though your teeth are white and you have healthy gums?

As you might expect from such a leading question, the answer is most certainly yes. Even individuals who brush three times a day and floss are at risk for breath odor, which is why we provide specialty breath freshening products for individuals of every level of oral health.

It’s easy to spot clean teeth. After all, white chompers tend to stand out naturally, just as their opposite – that is, stained, yellow teeth – also make an immediate impression. But what do healthy gums look like? Are they all that different from those that are unhealthy?

Well, according to the American Dental Association, healthy gum tissue (also known as the gingiva) is usually light pink in color. It is also uniform, meaning your gums are not spotty, streaked or discolored. Healthy gums cling tightly around the teeth and have little or no plaque stuck down inside them.

Infected gums look and feel very different. They are typically a deep red or purple, and they can get quite swollen. If you have gum disease or worse, periodontitis, your gums may be loaded with plaque and will appear to be pulling away from the teeth. And it almost goes without saying that unhealthy gums can be terribly uncomfortable or painful.

To keep your healthy gums in good shape, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research recommends brushing twice a day, flossing, seeing the dentist often and avoiding tobacco. Adding a specialty breath freshening rinse or lozenge to this routine may keep your gingiva even healthier, since all-natural, oxygenating products can reduce the level of bad bacteria in your mouth.

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Keeping Clean is Important – No More Biofilm

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

teeth

A recent survey about hygiene was done by a dental hygienist.  She asked questions dealing with teeth and other aspects of keeping clean.

Teeth Survey Results

Experts say that ideally you should brush three times a day and floss at least once a day.  Two brushings a day is usually the bare minimum recommended for maintaining good oral hygieneBiofilm, also known as plaque, is one of the main reasons it is necessary to brush.  The least amount of damage it can do is cause cavities, and it can even cause periodontal disease (gum disease) and bone loss.

Biofilm has even more serious threats than tooth loss!  Scientists have also seen the same bacteria found in cavities in clogged blood vessels. Since biofilm can threaten the teeth and the ability to eat, it can even affect the immune system negatively. Gum disease, as we have read before in articles about pregnancy gingivitis, can affect pre-term babies in a negative manner as well. Bad breath is also an obvious consequence of biofilm.

People must acknowledge that poor oral hygiene and maintenance can have devastating long-term consequences, since the mouth and the rest of the body are all inter-related.

According to the survey results, only 12% of people said they brushed more than twice a day; 41% said twice a day, 42% only once a day, and 5% said they went a full day without brushing sometimes.  Roughly half of people brush as much as they should!

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Gum Disease

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Article: Gum Disease

 Dr Katz, America’s Bad Breath Expert, discusses what bleeding gums mean and how to get rid of gum disease.

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Gum Disease

Friday, August 14th, 2009

What Is Gum Disease? 

Gum disease, also known was periodontal disease, is an infection of the tissues and bones surrounding and supporting the teeth.  The shallow v-shaped crevice between the tooth and the gums is called a sulcus, and gum diseases attack right below the gum line in the sulcus, where it causes the tissues to break down.  The sulcus can develop into a pocket as the tissues break down.

There are two stages.  Gingivitis is reversible and milder than the periodontitis stage, since it only affects the gums.  Gingivitis generally involves having swollen, red gums that bleed easily when one flosses/brushes.  Generally it does not cause pain.  Gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, which is a much serious and destructive version of periodontal disease.  Periodontitis involves the gums pulling away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets where the bacteria can grow and damage the bone that supports the teeth.  The gums also shrink back from the teeth, and the teeth may need to be pulled out, or may become loose and fall out. 

Gum Disease Causes

People’s mouths are always creating plaque, which is a clear and sticky substance that contains bacteria.  The bacteria contains toxins that can irritate the gums and cause gum infection.  It is necessary to remove plaque from one’s teeth regularly otherwise the plaque can spread below the gums and damage the tooth-supporting bone.  Hardened plaque is known as tartar and has to be removed by a dentist/dental hygienist. 

Here are some factors that increase the risk of gum disease occurring:

-          Chewing or smoking tobacco
-          Certain medications (Steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives)
-          Uneven teeth
-          Bridges that do not fit properly
-          Pregnancy/hormonal changes
-          Defective fillings
-          Poor oral hygiene
-          Genetic predisposition
-          Weak immunity system, possibly caused by:
            *Excessive amounts of stress
            *Poor diet
            *Diabetes and/or other systemic diseases

Gum Disease Warning Signs

Gingivitis Symptoms

-          Gums that easily bleed
-          Tender/bright  red/swollen gums

Periodontitis Symptoms

-          Pus between teeth and gums
-          Gums pulling away from the teeth
-          Chronic bad breath/foul tastes
-          Permanent teeth that are becoming loose/separating
-          Change in the way that one’s dentures fit
-          Change in the way one’s teeth fit together when biting

How is Gum Disease Diagnosed?

An oral care expert will know to look for the following:

-          Bleeding gums
-          Plaque/tartar buildup above and below the gum line
-          Areas where the gum tissue is pulling away from the teeth
-          Growing pockets between the gums and teeth

Gum Disease Treatment

If the gum disease is mild, simply brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist regularly should be enough to get rid of it.

If the gum disease becomes worse and one has periodontitis, root planing and scaling may be in order.  This rids the mouth of plaque and tartar buildup.  Antibiotics might be recommended, and surgery could be necessary depending on how severe the disease is.

One can have periodontal disease without having any symptoms.  This makes dental visits and examinations important.  The type of treatment one should get depends on the type and severity of gum disease.  Good dental hygiene should be practiced in order to prevent the disease from occurring, becoming worse, or recurring.  Periodontal disease does not mean you will lose your teeth.  In order to maintain good oral hygiene, one should brush, floss, use mouthwash, eat a healthy diet, and schedule regular dental examinations.

Source: ADA, Web MD 

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