Posts Tagged ‘gum disease’
New Study in Journal of the American Dietetic Association Indicates Link
Healthy teeth and gums improve your smile and oral health. Most adults will have gum disease at some time in their lives. You may have it right now and not know it! Can a diet rich in foods like peanut better and salmon help? A recent study says yes!
In my Media PA dental office, I see otherwise vigorous adults with an unhappy smile due to gum disease. Gum disease not only leads to tooth loss and premature facial aging, but it has also been implicated in diabetes, heart disease and even dementia!
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 110, Issue 11 (November 2010), Harvard researchers found that eating polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), like those found in fish oil and nuts, may help prevent gum disease. PUFAs have anti-inflammatory properties that benefit some types of heart disease and arthritis. This study provides more evidence that these same good foods may also lower the risk of gum disease, such as inflammation and infection of the gums (periodontitis). For good oral health, I recommend foods like salmon and nuts to my Media PA dental patients.
Periodontitis is a common inflammatory disease in which sensitive gum tissue shrinks away from teeth, creating open pockets. These pockets accumulate infectious bacteria that cannot be removed by simple tooth brushing. The trapped bacteria produce toxins that lead to bleeding gums, disappearing bone and eventually, tooth loss. In my Media PA dental office, I see patients with advanced gum disease and weakened bone. They did not realize they had periodontitis because they felt no pain until their teeth started to comes loose. These researchers studied the effect of diet on oral health among 9,000 American adults who participated in this study. People with low PUFA diets had three times more periodontal disease. People with high fatty acid intake, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) had the lowest incidence of periodontitis.
Polyunsaturated fats are found in fish oil, fatty fish like salmon, peanut butter, certain margarines, and all types of nuts. Modest portions were enough to lower the incidence of gum disease in the study participants. As a Media PA dentist, I recommend these foods for a healthier smile.
If you are concerned about gum disease, see your dentist soon. If you live near Philadelphia or Wilmington and would like to consult with an expert, gentle Delaware County dentist to discuss all your options, please call our office so we may assist you – (610) 565-2868.
Your oral health and dental care is important to me. Life is better with a healthy smile!
Dr. L. Z. Bodak-G
Media PA Dentist
We have long known that there is a link between diabetes and gum disease, but which comes first? Can controlling periodontal disease help reduce the risk of diabetes? The answer: Possibly YES!
Normal healthyy gum tissue is pink, not red. Healthy gums do not bleed during usual dental care. Gingivitis, or inflamed gums, is caused by bacteria in plaque. In this mild form, it is curable. But if left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can develop where gaps form between the teeth and gums. These gaps trap bacteria, which multiply rapidly in the mouth, and further destroy the bone holding the teeth in place. In the most serious cases, the bone dissolves and the teeth cannot be saved.
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that there are nearly 60 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Many of these people will develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years. Periodontal diseases of the gums and bony tissues of the mouth may allow pre-diabetes to progress. The gaps or pockets between the teeth and gums become infected, releasing natural toxins called cytokines. Cytokines may play a role in damaging the pancreas and disturbing sugar metabolism.
Scientists from Denmark and the Unites States have observed in animals and humans that periodontal diseases can disturb the glucose (sugar) regulation of a non-diabetic who has pre-diabetic characteristics, thus contributing to the progression of Type 2 diabetes.
According to Dr. Preston D. Miller, Jr., President of the American Academy of Periodontology, “These findings underscore the importance of taking good care of your teeth and gums: it may be a simple way to prevent diabetes, or to prevent the progression of diabetes.”
Let’s face it, we men are less likely to take care of our overall health. Many man ignore the health of the mouth, teeth and gums for years, visiting a dentist only when they have a problem. Would you like to live a long, healthy life? Good oral health is linked to longevity, but one common factor associated with infrequent dental checkups is just being male. Men are less likely than women to see their dentist for regular preventive care. The average man brushes his teeth less than twice a day. If he smokes, he may lose half of his teeth at age 72. Men are also more likely to develop oral and throat cancer and periodontal (gum) disease.
Why is periodontal disease a problem?
Periodontal disease is a result of plaque, which hardens into a rough, porous substance called tartar. The acids produced and released by bacteria found in tartar irritate gums. These acids cause the breakdown of fibers that anchor the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets that fill with even more bacteria. Research has proven a connection between the chronic infection of gum disease and cardiovascular disease, which places people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. See your dentist if you have any of these symptoms:
· Bleeding gums during brushing
· Red, swollen or tender gums
· Persistent bad breath
· Loose or separating teeth
Do you take medications?
Since men are more likely to suffer from hypertension and heart attacks, they also are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in your mouth. Medication for the heart or blood pressure, and others such as anti-depressants, restrict your salivary flow, increasing your risk for cavities.
Do you use tobacco?
If you smoke or chew, you have a greater risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected twice as often as women, and 95 percent of oral cancers occur in those over 40 years of age. The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft palate ssues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer tican spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. More than 8,000 people die each year from oral and pharyngeal diseases, often because the disease is detected late. If you use tobacco, it is important to see a dentist frequently for cleanings and to ensure your mouth remains healthy. Your general dentist can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer.
Do you play sports?
If you participate in sports, there is a possibility of injury to your mouth and teeth. If you play contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and even baseball, it is important to use a mouthguard, which is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects teeth from trauma. If you ride bicycles or motorcycles, wear a helmet to protect your face.
Taking care of your teeth
How much time do you spend taking care of your car? Yet your car will probably not last ten years. If you spend 8-10 minutes every day caring for your teeth, and visit your dentist for regular preventive care, your teeth can last 80 years or more. To improve your oral health, it is important to floss daily, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. Here are some tips to better dental health:
· Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reach every surface of each tooth. If the bristles on your toothbrush are bent or frayed, buy a new one.
· Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been sick.
· Choose a toothpaste with fluoride. This can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent.
· Brush properly. To clean the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion using short, gentle strokes. To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle strokes over each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue. Spend at least three minutes brushing.
· Floss properly. Gently insert floss between teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or snap it into place. Curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.
Adapted from the Academy of General Dentistry “Dental care and oral health information you need”