Gum Disease Linked To Alzheimer’s: Keep Those Gums Healthy!

Dental health Gum disease Oral Health

gum disease treatment Phoenix

This post from Harris Dental in Phoenix gives you yet another reason to keep your gums in good condition.

Scientists have found a connection between a bacteria that causes periodontitis (advanced gum disease) and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Porphyomonas gingivalis is a bacteria that can result in chronic periodontitis. The bacteria was discovered in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

The research study is called “Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors.” Researchers concluded:

“Chronic periodontitis and infection with Porphyomonas gingivalis have been identified as significant risk factors for developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.”

Gum disease is inflammation or infection of the gums. For the most part, it is preventable.

Risk factors include tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, genetics, teeth grinding, inflammatory conditions, and poor nutrition.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we remind our patients to brush and floss at least once a day. Twice is better! If you develop gum disease, don’t despair: it’s a treatable condition. We also offer a fullrange of general dentistry services. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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Gum Health Affects Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Dental health General Dentistry Gum disease Oral Health

gum disease increases diabetes risk Phoenix

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we are concerned not only with the condition of your mouth, but also with how it affects your complete physical health and general well-being. This post looks at the connection between diabetes and oral health.

Scientists have known for quite some time that people with diabetes have higher rates of gum disease than those who don’t. Maintaining proper blood glucose levels is the key to minimizing the risk of gum disease and related problems for those affected.

Additional research is exploring the reverse relationship. In other words, whether poor oral health increases the risk of developing diabetes. Findings from a long-term study suggests that it does.

“We found that over two decades of follow-up, individuals who had periodontal disease were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life when compared to individuals without periodontal disease.” -Ryan T. Demmer, PhD, MPH1

Additional trials are exploring how tooth and gum health jolts the ability of diabetics to manage the disease.

“Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.”2

If you have diabetes, it is essential that you see a dentist regularly and are devoted to daily oral hygiene, proper nutrition, and other critical practices. In addition, your success in controlling your blood glucose levels will improve your oral health and vice-versa.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix, our services include gum disease treatment and general dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

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1Angelo Milone, “Does periodontal disease cause type 2 diabetes?,” Endocrine Today, November 2008, http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/diabetes/news/print/endocrine-today/%7Bacdccbd7-a2b2-4a9e-ac08-b29b53116908%7D/does-periodontal-disease-cause-type-2-diabetes, accessed August 12, 2015
2“Diabetes and Oral Health Problems,” American Diabetes Association, September 18, 2012, http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/oral-health-and-hygiene/diabetes-and-oral-health.html#sthash.9IlHJB8l.dpuf, accessed August 12, 2015

 

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The Prevalence of Gum Disease

Dental health Gum disease

Here is a statistic that should make everyone sit up and take notice: nearly half of all Americans over the age of thirty have some form of gum disease. That works out to about sixty-five million people. Gum disease treatment is available at Harris Dental in Phoenix.

Those statistics come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and they refer specifically to periodontal disease, the more advanced form. In its earlier, milder stages, gum disease is called gingivitis.

Gum disease is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.

No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. That’s why we also want to see our patients twice a year. Professional cleaning can get tartar off of your teeth.

Risk factors for developing gum disease include:

  • Smoking, which is the most significant
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medication
  • Medication that reduces the flow of saliva

The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

The type of treatment a patient gets for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.

We don’t think anyone needs much more reason to quit smoking and start brushing and flossing twice a day. If so, there it is: to head off a disease that could result in losing your teeth.

The stark truth is that anyone can get gum disease. But there is hope; the earlier it is detected, the sooner treatment can begin. Harris Dental in Phoenix provides gum disease treatment, as well as general dentistry. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

Connect with us.

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How Much Do You Know About Gum Disease?

Dental health Gum disease Oral Health

gum disease treatment Phoenix
We see too many cases of gum disease in our patients at Harris Dental in Phoenix. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss, but it’s preventable. With that in mind, here is a short quiz  to test your knowledge of gum disease.

1. Which of the following are risk factors for gum disease (periodontitis)?

a. Pregnancy
b. Underbite
c. Diabetes
d. Genetics

2. Which of the following are possible signs of gum disease?

a. Teeth that appear longer
b. A change in the way dentures fit
c. Bleeding gums
d. Tender gums

3. Which of the following are possible health matters linked to untreated gum disease?

a. Asthma
b. Low birth weight babies
c. Parkinson’s disease
d. Stroke

4. What percentage of men and women age 65+ have gum disease?

a. 5%
b. 12%
c. 25%
d. 50%

5. Which of the following services are used for gum disease?

a. Scaling and root planing
b. Soft tissue grafting
c. Flap surgery
d. Flip surgery

Answers
1. All of the above. Pregnancy, menopause, or any other condition that causes hormonal changes is a risk factor as is any type of malocclusion.
2. All of the above. Note: some patients don’t see any symptoms.
3. a,b,d.
4. c.
5. a,b,c.

Gum disease usually responds favorably to treatment—especially if caught early. If you haven’t seen a dentist in a while, or have been noticing troubles with your gums or teeth, please call us at Harris Dental in Phoenix. We treat gum disease, and conditions like TMD. We also offer a full range of dental services. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

Connect with us.

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Treatable: Gum Disease in Phoenix

Cosmetic Dentistry General Dentistry Gum disease Oral Health

Periodontal disease is not as common as it once was, but it is still more common than you might think. At Harris Dental in Phoenix, we see patients with gum disease more often than we like.

Some patients aren’t even aware they have it until it’s diagnosed. That’s because in its earliest stages, gum disease doesn’t give many signs. It does give a few, though: tenderness in the gums, and a little bleeding when you brush. Fortunately, it can be treated.

Gum disease is an inflammation or infection of the gums. In its mildest form, it is known as gingivitis. The more serious variety is periodontal disease. It can be very painful in extreme conditions, and limit your ability to eat normally. In severe cases, it can result in tooth loss.

Both gingivitis and periodontitis raise your risk of such conditions as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. As with most ailments, early detection is key to treatment.

Treatment
After we diagnose gum disease, the first task is to control it. The first step is a careful, in-depth cleaning that goes beneath the gum line. We’ll use special instruments in a deep cleaning.

A procedure called scaling is the removal of tartar both above and below the gum line. Root planing smooths out any rough surfaces of the roots of your teeth.

In addition to these, we may prescribe oral gels and other medications.

If deep cleaning doesn’t fully correct the issue, we may recommend surgical procedures like gum grafting or flap surgery.

Gum disease is a serious matter, but the thing to remember is that most cases are treatable, especially if it is diagnosed early enough. Harris Dental in Phoenix provides gum disease treatment, as well as general and cosmetic dentistry.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4 locations in Mesa, Phoenix, Queen Creek, and Scottsdale
Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona

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