Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Practice Early Prevention

We, at "Beverly Hills Periodontics" will give you all the tools to practice early prevention techniques.   Whether you are dealing with rampant decay, or you are facing a vicious type of gum disease, we as a team will give you the tools and knowlege to prevent or slow down its progression the best way possible.

Mouth & Body Connection
The connection between the health of the mouth and body has been shown in many different medical and dental journals.   Bleeding gums, loose teeth and visible root surfaces are not normal at any age.  These are usually signs of an infection called Periodontal (gum) disease.  Periodontal disease has been linked to many different severe health problems.   What this means is that an unhealthy mouth can worsen serious medical problems, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.  There is even evidence of a smilimar connection between  the mouth and pregnancy as well as lung infections.   Thus, there is more than one reason to keep healthy gums and teeth.

Important Oral Hygiene Tips
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day with a soft brush.  A rotating motion of brushing on the gum line is thought to be the least abrasive on the gums and most effective in plaque removal.   you dont need to apply heavy pressure while brushing.  Probably soft to medium pressure while brushing should be sufficient to remove all the plaque from the teeth.  If you have limited ability to move your hands and arms you may benefit from using an electric tooth brush.  In case you prefer using electric brushes we recommend  the rotating type electric brushes for the reasons described before.  Regardless of the type of toothbrush you use we recommend changing your brush every 3 months.  Clean between teeth daily with floss or other interdental brushes such as picks or proxy brushes.

If you are getting higher than normal amount of cavities in your mouth there are things you can do to break this cycle.  Some of the things you got to look at is if you have a dry mouth (xerostomia).   Our saliva is our body's natural defense mechanism against forming cavities by providing a buffering biochemical action that neutralizes the acid produced by bacteria that feed on sugary content diet in our mouth. Sometimes,  our body naturally does not make sufficient saliva or this could be the result of medications that cause dry mouth.  This can be discussed with your dentist so that salivary substitutes such as biotene rinses, etc. can be used.    Multiple snacks throughout the day will nourish the bacteria the sugar they need to do the damage.  Fewer number of snacks throughout the day and combining them into more nutritous diets containing less sugary ingredients also helps decrease cavities in our mouths.  Xylitol gums will help you produce more saliva which has an anticavity buffering action.  Depending on the category of decay you fall into your doctor may advice you to use over the counter flouridated mouthrinses such as "ACT" or may recommend a prescribed rinse that may have  higher content anticavity ingredients. 

It is important to brush and clean your removable prosthesis such as your partial or complete dentures.   Bacteria can not only stick to your teeth,  they can also stick to these prosthesis.   Moreover, dentures need to be removed each night so that the gums can rejuvenate in the mean time.  lack of proper cleaning these prosthesis or their removal at least for a few hours a day will lead to the inflammation of the oral tissues. Ask your dentist regarding the solutions and devices  to use inorder to keep them clean periodically. 

Research shows that people who smoke will loose more teeth in their life time  than ones who do not smoke.   Smoking is one of the leading causes of gum disease.  Evidence of gum disease is two to three times more in the smoker population, and the severity of gum disease is also higher in the smokers relative to the nonsmoker population.  Smoking acts by decreasing the power of the immune system that fights bacteria.  In addition via its vasoconstriction action it does not allow enough nutrients to be supplied to some key areas. Smoking, unfortunately adversely effects healing from periodontal treatment and dental implant success rates. There are many options for tobacco cessation available. Ask your dentist or doctor to help you choose a program that may be more helpful for you.

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