Ever heard the phrase, “you’ve gotta be cruel to be kind?” It has never been truer than when referring to gum disease treatments. Periodontal disease affects as much as 80% of US adults, but the way dental practitioners handle periodontal treatments may be part of the problem. Patients avoid periodontal treatment due to lack of treatment urgency, not fully understanding necessary treatments, and money. Many dentists hesitate to fully explain and recommend periodontal therapy because they fear patients will simply cancel appointments due to the added cost. Instead, dentists tend to try the “nice” approach – recommending periodontal appointments every three months but billing them as regular dental cleanings during six month checkups. However, by changing the focus of periodontal disease treatment to communicating clearly, emphasizing assessment and prevention, and working with patients to maximize insurance benefits, dentists can better equip patients to receive the dental care they need.
Continue reading Do Nice Dentists Finish Last? – Do Dentists Have to be Cruel to be Kind?
Most people know that gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can cause major problems like bleeding gums, tenderness, and even eventual tooth loss. The more serious complications associated with this common disease, however, are not as readily recognizable. Keeping your gums free of infection can actually help you avoid a variety of other health problems now and in the future.
Oral Health and Your Future
When your gums are infected, the bacteria that flourish there can easily travel through your body to other tissues and organs. Because this process takes time, you may not even realize that you are at risk until more pressing symptoms arise. Medical problems that have been linked to untreated gum disease include the following:
- Complications in pregnant women, including pre-mature birth and low birth weight infants
- Dementia in older patients
- Pancreatic cancer
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other bone/joint problems
- Complications in the treatment of diabetes
Treating periodontal disease now is one of the first lines of defense against these and other medical conditions. Your dentist can discuss with you the periodontal therapy process, providing you with all the information you need to make a decision regarding your oral health and your systemic well-being.
Healthy Gums, Healthy Body
If you have noticed the tell-tale signs of gum disease (including bleeding gums, sensitivity, redness, and a receding gum line), it is imperative that you make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Early treatment of gum disease helps ensure a faster recovery, thereby reducing your risk of developing diseases and health conditions like those listed above. Call your local dentist today and take the first step toward a healthier body and a happier smile with periodontal therapy.
Getting ready to welcome a new member into your family is an exciting time. Between much-needed rests (sustaining a growing baby saps a lot of your energy!), you focus on all sorts of preparations. You’ll decorate the nursery, attend check-up visits and sonogram appointments with your doctor, and some unfortunate soul will be tasked with the job of putting together the baby’s crib.
In the flurry of anticipation, don’t forget to take care of your teeth and gums. It’s likely more important now than ever to keep brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for preventive maintenance like professional cleanings and checkups. Studies suggest a link between gum disease and instances of premature births, as well as other pregnancy complications, so you want to keep a very close watch on your dental health during this most formative stage of your child’s development.
Swollen, bleeding gums are a common complaint for pregnant women, and it stems from the higher progesterone levels in your body. The increase of this hormone means your gums are more prone to irritation from plaque, which can quickly cause gingivitis. Continue reading Smiles Needs Protecting When You’re Expecting
The link between gum disease and diabetes has been debated for some time. Researchers agree that the link exists, but the relationship is unclear. Are patients with diabetes more susceptible to gum disease, or is it the other way around? In recognition of National Diabetes Month, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) has released some new guidelines on oral health for people with diabetes.
According to recent studies, a two-way relationship exists between oral health and diabetes. Gum disease, an infection of the soft tissues that support the teeth, increases blood sugar levels, which elevates the risk of diabetic complications. Patients who already have diabetes are more susceptible to infection, and therefore, more likely to contract the disease. The bottom line? Everyone, especially diabetics, needs to pay close attention to his or her oral health. Continue reading Important News for Patients with Diabetes