03Feb

Pregnancy and Oral Health
How does pregnancy affect my oral health?
It's a myth that calcium is lost from the mother's teeth and "one tooth is lost with every pregnancy." But you may experience some changes in your oral health during pregnancy. The primary change is it surge in hormones - particularly an increase in estrogen and progesterone -which is linked to an increase in the amount of plaque on your teeth.

How does a build-up of plaque affect me? If the plaque isn't removed, it can cause gingivitis-red, swollen, tender gums that are more likely to bleed. So-called "pregnancy gingivitis" affects most pregnant women to some degree, and generally begins to surface in the second trimester. If you already have gingivitis, the condition is likely to worsen during pregnancy. If untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, a more serious form of gum disease.

Pregnant women are also at risk for developing pregnancy tumors, inflammatory, benign growths that develop when swollen gums become irritated. Normally, the tumors are left alone and will usually shrink on their own, but if a tumor is very uncomfortable and interferes with chewing, brushing or other oral hygiene procedures, the dentist may decide to remove it.

How can I prevent these problems? You can prevent gingivitis by keeping your teeth clean, especially near the gumline. You should brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal when possible. You should also floss thoroughly each day. If tooth brushing causes morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or with anti-plaque and fluoride mouthwashes. Good nutrition-Particularly plenty of vitamin C and B12-help keep the oral cavity healthy and strong. More frequent cleanings from the dentist will help control plaque and prevent gingivitis. Controlling plaque also will reduce gum irritation and decrease the likelihood of pregnancy tumors.

11Nov

The hygienist will assess the state of their gum health, perhaps with the Halometer to legitimize the problem. It is usually found that the person has unhealthy gums, and teeth cleanings and home care instructions are given. This is borne out by American Dental Association statistics indicate that 85 - 90 percent of all adults will have some form of gum disease during their lifetime.

Our Dental Wellness Center has been a breath center for over 25 years. Dr. McBride's study of oral microbiology led to the use of laboratory microscopes in our office. It is well-known that bacteria enter the blood stream through "leaky gums" and are contributing factors in coronary disease, diabetes and low birth weight babies.

In our office, the source of the problem is identified for each patient by assessing the types and numbers of oral bacteria. Our hygienist has a scholastic background in microbiology and the use of the microscope. Appropriate regimens are prescribed for each patient based upon individual microscopic and periodontal assessments. Gum infection is eliminated or controlled, healthy gums are developed with an added benefit - the person now has sweet breath and knows how to keep it that way.

16Sep

How We Deal With all patients with Bleeding Gums
It is well known that diabetes is associated with inflammation in the body.  To put gum inflammation into perspective, the combined surface area of bleeding gums of a person scoring high in the number of bleeding areas would be equivalent to the area of the palm of their hand.    

For some time now, we have seen amazing results with our non-surgical approach to stopping gum infection and inflammation.  Each patient has individualized needs, and these are determined through:

  1. A complete medical and dental history
  2. Thorough oral examination, including x-rays of teeth and surrounding bone
  3. Measurements of the spaces between the teeth and gums (periodontal pocket depth measuring)
  4. Phase microscope plaque assessment
  5. Blood marker testing including:
  6. Fasting Blood Glucose
    • Hb1Ac
    • Lipid profile
    • C Reactive Protein
  7. Neutraceutical Supplementation
  8. Laser pocket sterilization
  9. Bacterial elimination rinses

What is exciting is that we routinely see reductions in the above mentioned blood test markers due to the elimination of gum inflammation and infection.   

The formation of plaque on the teeth is the first step toward periodontal disease. Plaque, the white sticky substance that collects between teeth, is often the start of periodontitis. Made of microorganisms, dead skin cells and leukocytes (infection fighting white blood cells), it can be removed by brushing and flossing regularly. If it is allowed to build up, it will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar can only be removed with a professional cleaning at the dentist's office. Both plaque and tartar make the gums vulnerable to infection.
If an infection enters the gums it is referred to as gingivitis, the first stage of periodontitis. Bacteria that collect and breed at the gum line and the groove between the gum and the tooth cause the gums to redden, swell and bleed. This response is normal but can also lead to periodontitis. Gums affected by gingivitis often bleed and are sensitive, but not always. Other signs include swollen gums, loose teeth, a bad taste in the mouth and persistent bad breath.