Posts for: October, 2018
Cardiovascular disease and periodontal (gum) disease are two different conditions with their own set of symptoms and outcomes. But they do share one common element: inflammation. In fact, this otherwise normal defensive response of the body might actually create a link between them.
When tissues become damaged from disease or injury, the body triggers inflammation to isolate them from the rest of the body. This allows these tissues to heal without affecting other tissues. If inflammation becomes chronic, however, it can damage rather than protect the body.
This happens with both cardiovascular disease and gum disease. In the former, low-density lipoproteins (LDL or “bad cholesterol”) in animal fat leave behind remnants that can build up within arteries. This stimulates inflammation of the vessel’s inner linings, which accelerates hardening and increases the risk of heart attack or stroke.
With gum disease, bacteria living in a thin, built-up film of food particles on the teeth called plaque infect the gum tissues, which in turn trigger inflammation. A struggle ensures between the infection and inflammation, causing the gum tissues to weaken and detach from the teeth. Coupled with erosion of the supporting bone, the risk of tooth loss dramatically increases.
Recent research now seems to indicate the inflammatory responses from these two diseases may not occur in isolation. There is evidence that gum inflammation could aggravate inflammation in the cardiovascular system, and vice-versa. The research, though, points to some possible good news: treating inflammation in either disease could have a positive effect on the other.
Making heart-friendly lifestyle changes like losing extra weight (especially around the waist), improving nutrition, and exercising regularly can help reduce LDL and lower the risk of arterial inflammation. Likewise for your gums, daily oral hygiene and visiting the dentist at least twice a year reduces the risk for gum disease. And at the first sign of a gum infection—swollen, reddened or bleeding gums—seeking immediate treatment will stop it and reduce any occurring inflammation.
Taking steps to prevent or reduce inflammation brought on by both of these diseases could improve your health and save your life.
If you would like more information on how your oral health affects your whole body, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Link between Heart & Gum Disease.”
Tooth loss can happen to anyone. Gum disease continues to be one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but accidents and trauma can also cause unexpected tooth loss. Missing teeth can ruin your smile, but they can also cause oral health problems down the road. The good news is that there are a number of options available to restore your smile and oral health. The dentists at 1st Choice Dental in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA, recommend dental implants for healthy adult patients who can commit to good oral hygiene practices and ongoing follow up dental care.
Get a Brand New Smile with Dental Implants in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA
Implants consist of the implant and a cosmetic crown. In order to qualify for implants, adults must be in good overall health, and have enough bone density in the gums to support the implant, which will fuse with the surrounding bone tissue after it is surgically placed in the socket of the missing tooth. The implant is a small titanium screw that acts as the root to which the crown is attached through an abutment.
Implants are the only restoration available that replaces the entire structure of a missing tooth from root to crown. In addition to making the crown more secure, implants help to prevent bone loss in the gums, which begins as soon as a tooth falls out. With good oral hygiene and follow up care, implants have a very high success rate and are designed to be a permanent replacement for a missing tooth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth to an entire set of dentures for full tooth loss.
Find a Dentist in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA
To learn more about dental implants and whether they are the right dental restoration option for you, contact 1st Choice Dental today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists by calling (678) 293-8773 in Kennesaw or Woodstock.
Many teenagers and adults who need orthodontic treatment to fix common bite and alignment issues are often reluctant to get braces for a number of reasons, from social and professional concerns, to practical issues like dietary restrictions and adjustments. Invisalign clear aligner trays offer a discreet and effective alternative to braces. The dentists at 1st Choice Dental offer a range of general and cosmetic dentistry services in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA.
Invisalign in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA
In addition to the fact that they are inconspicuous and virtually undetectable when you smile, Invisalign offers a number of additional benefits for your oral health and quality of life.
How Invisalign Works
The Invisalign system consists of a series of custom designed, disposable aligner trays that gradually shift your teeth into alignment. The trays are worn for approximately two weeks, and can be removed for up to two hours every day which allows you to maintain a normal oral hygiene routine and eat without restrictions. In some cases, the duration of the treatment period may be shorter with Invisalign than with braces, depending on your specific alignment needs.
What Dental Issues Can Invisalign Correct?
Some of the bite and alignment issues that can be corrected with Invisalign include:
- Open bite
- Gaps and spacing
In addition to the cosmetic problems caused by common bite problems, they can also put you at greater risk for oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease. Crowded or overlapping teeth can make it difficult to brush properly and lead to plaque and tartar buildup. Invisalign offers the best of both worlds by addressing your orthodontic needs without sacrificing your smile in the process with metallic braces.
Find a Dentist in Woodstock and Kennesaw, GA
For more information about the benefits of clear aligners and to find out if Invisalign is a good option for you, contact 1st Choice Dental today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists by calling (678) 293-8773 in Woodstock or Kennesaw, GA.
The vast majority of teeth and gum problems stem from two dental diseases: dental caries (tooth decay) and periodontal (gum) disease. But although these dental diseases are all too common in our society, there’s a good chance you can prevent them from harming your own dental health.
That’s because we know the primary cause for both of them—dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles that can build up on tooth surfaces usually as a result of poor oral hygiene. Remove this plaque build-up daily and you dramatically decrease your risk for disease.
The primary way to do this is with a daily habit of brushing and flossing. While regular dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from hard to reach places, it’s your regular practice that removes the bulk of daily buildup. Interrupting plaque buildup helps keep disease-causing bacteria at bay.
That also means performing these two hygiene tasks thoroughly. For example, you should brush all tooth surfaces, especially in the rear and along the entire gum line (a complete brushing should take at least 2 minutes). And by the way, “thorough” doesn’t mean “aggressive”—a gentle circular motion is all you need. If you scrub too hard, you run the risk over time of damaging your gums.
And while many people discount flossing as a hard and unpleasant task, it’s still necessary: at least half of the plaque in your mouth accumulates between the teeth where brushing can’t reach effectively. If you find flossing too difficult, you can take advantage of tools to make the task easier. A floss threader will make it easier to get floss through your teeth; you could also use an oral irrigator, a device that emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen and flush away some plaque.
Along with dental visits at least twice a year, daily brushing and flossing is the best way to reduce your risk of both tooth decay and gum disease. Avoiding these two diseases will help ensure your smile is attractive and healthy throughout your life.
If you would like more information on preventing dental disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Daily Oral Hygiene: Easy Habits for Maintaining Oral Health.”
During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.
Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.
For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.
When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.
But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.
Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.
So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…
If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”