Cosmetic & Family Dentistry
Healthy Mouth ~ Healthy Body
Blood Cell Disorders
HIV Infections & AIDS
Low Birth Weight or Pre-term infants
Although periodontitis may contribute to these health conditions, it is important to understand that just because these conditions may occur at the same time, it doesn't necessarily mean that one condition causes the other. They just can occur simultaneously, most likely due to the inflammation that results from the disease. Researchers are currently examining what happens when periodontitis is treated in people with these various health problems. If you want more information about periodontal disease, please contact us at Designing Smiles, in Tampa, at 813.891.1212. We'd be happy to help.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Brush your teeth 2 - 3 times a day, floss at least once daily and use an antibacterial rinse to kill bacteria present in your mouth.
Eat a balanced diet and reduce snacking between meals. Brush or chew sugarless gum if you cannot immediately brush your teeth. Avoid sugar. Get regular dental checkups. At Designing Smiles, Dr. Hilton-Foley and her hygienist will take 6 measurements around each of your teeth, at least annually to map out your bone levels and determine if you have periodontal disease which needs to be treated. We are very proactive concerning preventing and maintaining healthy mouths. Keep us informed of any health changes or medications that have changed since your last visit. If you are currently pregnant or you are thinking about becoming pregnant, make sure that your gums are healthy. Some insurance plans will allow you to get your teeth cleaned every 3-4 months, while pregnant. Hormones can exaggerate gingivitis, just as puberty or menopause can. If you smoke, talk to your dentist or your physician about quitting. Smoking can mask gum disease since it damages the gums. Often you don't see the signs of gum disease in smokers, until bone loss occurs and becomes visible on xrays.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF PERIODONTAL DISEASE THAT I SHOULD WATCH OUT FOR?
Red, swollen, puffy gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. "Pink in the sink" is not good!
Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
Persistent bad breath
Pus between your teeth and gums
Loose or separating teeth
Losing a tooth because it mobile
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Longer teeth than you had when younger
Spaces that seem to be getting larger, especially black triangle between the teeth
Pregnancy, heart disease, stroke and gum disease are linked to inflammation in the body.
It's more than just your teeth that are affected by periodontal disease. Your overall health and that of your baby could be affected. There is an established link between cardiovascular disease, stroke, and low birth weight babies. This link is attributed to poor dental health, specifically periodontal disease and gingivitis. It is not known if the inflammation from these diseases causes your body to create inflammation in your mouth, or the reverse. The bottom line here is that you should not neglect your oral or bodily health, because there are consequences that can affect your overall health and quality of life. The bacteria that are in your mouth, can be found throughout your body and bloodstream, especially in diseased tissue. By brushing and flossing, and having regular cleanings you are more likely to improve these conditions by having decreased inflammation (c-reactive protein). People who have diabetes, have trouble fighting off disease from infection. It is also very important for people with this metabolic disorder to manage their oral health carefully. If you would like more information, please feel free to ask us at your next visit.
It has been said that the mouth is the window of the body, because the mouth can show signs of disease, nutritional deficiencies, general infection, and systemic diseases. Our mouths are filled with all kinds of bacteria that cause disease. Researchers have found that periodontal disease (the advanced form that can cause tooth loss) is linked with other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Likewise, pregnant women with periodontal disease may be at an increased risk of delivering a pre-term and/or low birth weight baby. Dr. Angela Hilton-Foley and her experienced dental team at Designing Smiles, in Tampa, Florida take this important health information, very seriously, and want you to know that we are pro-active against periodontal disease. We see the whole person, not just their mouth, and want to make sure we provide you the kind of care that prevents and treats periodontal disease. The bacteria and inflammation linked to periodontitis play a role in systemic diseases or conditions such as: