Choosing Proven Treatments

Treat Gum Disease with Tried-and-True Methods, Not Quick Fixes

Miracle cures, or quick fixes, have been around for centuries; certain foods, ointments, or potions have claimed to cure everything from hair loss to cancer. Marketed as quick, easy, and painless, these miracle cures are often not backed by science or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that they may do more harm than good.

These Quick Fixes Are Everywhere

They exist in all areas of life. Similar quick fixes that claim to treat periodontal disease are no different. Though elements of these quick and easy periodontal “cures” may be FDA approved, there may be little or no scientific prof that they are effective in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. In fact, periodontal “miracle cures” may actually harm your oral health!

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. It has been associated with the progression of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

What’s Wrong With Quick Fixes for Periodontal Disease?

If you opt for a treatment for periodontal disease that has not been backed by scientific evidence, it’s possible that the treatment won’t effectively treat (or could even worsen) your condition. Just because a treatment is deemed “new” or “innovative” doesn’t mean that it works properly or better than more traditional treatments.

By choosing the quick fix route first, your oral health may remain in poor condition and you may require additional treatment.

Ignore Quick Fixes and Miracle Cures

Instead of opting for a treatment that is not proven to work and could harm you further, a better idea is to schedule an appointment with a periodontist when you notice signs of periodontal disease:

  • red, swollen gums
  • tender gums
  • bleeding while brushing
  • bleeding while flossing
  • gums that are receding/pulling away from the teeth
  • loose or separating teeth

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What Is A Periodontist?

A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists receive extensive training in these areas, including three additional years of education beyond dental school. They are familiar with the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, and their education and experience allow them to effectively treat periodontal disease using clinically proven treatments such as scaling and root planing, soft tissue grafts, and regenerative procedures.

A periodontist will evaluate your unique condition, and offer the treatment that is best for you; one that is supported by both science and experience. Your periodontist can also answer any questions that you may have about alternate treatment options.

What If I Need Periodontal Work?

If you or someone you know is considering treatment for periodontal disease, do some research on the disease and its treatment. Perio.org has information about the latest research and treatment options available. You may also want to talk to friends or relatives who have had periodontal treatment and learn about their experiences. By learning about different treatment plans, you will be prepared to discuss your options with your periodontist.

Don’t Let a Quick Fix Ruin Your Health

Your health is invaluable. While quick fixes for periodontal disease and other ailments may seem like a good option, it’s a better idea to research treatment options and discuss them with your healthcare providers first. The discussion has the possibility of saving you time and money in the long run.

 

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

 

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Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Relationship

The American Diabetes Association defines diabetes as “a serious disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily life.”

Diabetes and Oral Health

Approximately 23.6 million Americans have diabetes; however, 5.7 million of  them have not yet been diagnosed.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, you already understand the importance of keeping the disease under control. However, you may not know that good oral health not only keeps the mouth and gums free from periodontal disease, but also might have a significant impact on the control of diabetes. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory response to a bacterial infection that, if left untreated, may cause damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth, and may even lead to tooth loss.

People with diabetes are three to four times more likely to develop periodontal disease, which, like an other infection in the body, can impair their ability to process and/or utilize insulin. Additionally, people with diabetes tend to have more severe levels of bone loss, and often experience more aggressive disease activity. This can ultimately lead to tooth loss, which can make chewing and digesting food difficult. Fore people with diabetes, this can have a devastating impact on the ability to maintain proper nutrition and control blood sugar levels.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Just as diabetes can increase a patient’s chance of developing periodontal disease, research suggests that periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar. Periodontal disease increases the body’s systemic inflammatory signals that serve to increase blood sugar. This contributes to increased periods of time when the body functions with an unhealthy blood sugar level. Consequently, it is important for people with diabetes to treat periodontal disease to eliminate the infection for optimal metabolic control.

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Periodontal Treatment for Those With Diabetes

Periodontal disease is a leading complication of diabetes. Therefore, it is important for people with diabetes to know their treatment options. If detected early, a periodontist can provide treatment that can stop the gum disease and bring the gums back to a state of health, preventing additional bone or tooth loss. IN fact, periodontal treatment has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, suggesting that treating patients’ periodontal disease could decrease insulin requirements.

Questions Your Periodontist Might Ask

Be sure to know the answers to the following questions that your periodontist may ask at your next visit:

  • When were you diagnosed with diabetes?
  • What type of diabetes do you have?
  • Do you take any medication? (Must provide a written list.)
  • If not, how is your diabetes being managed?
  • Are you insulin-dependent?
  • What is your baseline sugar level?
  • What method do you use to measure your blood sugar level?
  • How often do you measure your blood sugar level?
  • What is the name, address, and telephone number of your diabetes care provider?

Diabetes and You

If diabetes is well controlled, treatment will be similar to the treatment of someone who doesn’t have diabetes. In the early stages of gum disease, treatment usually includes scaling and root planing, a procedure in which plaque and calculus are removed from the pockets around the teeth and near the gums. People with diabetes may want to schedule their dental appointments early in the morning after they have eaten a normal breakfast in order to stabilize and prevent a severe or sudden drop in blood sugar levels. Upon determining a treatment plan, your periodontist and physician will work together to help you control both your diabetes and your gum disease.

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Nutrition and Your Oral Health

Nutrition plays an important role in overall wellness, including your oral health. Eating well and maintaining a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing problems in your mouth, such as periodontal disease. In fact, including certain foods as part of a nutritious diet has actually been shown to play a role in the prevention of periodontal disease.

Lactic Acid and Calcium

Most people know that dairy products can help build strong bones. What some may not know is that consuming dairy products may also reduce your risk for developing periodontal disease. A recent study determined that individuals who regularly consume 55 or more grams of foods containing lactic acid, commonly found in dairy products such as yogurt, have a lower instance of gum disease.

Dairy products are also a good source of calcium which has been shown to lower the risk of severe periodontal disease.

The American Diabetic Association advises that adults should consume at least three servings of calcium each day to help keep your jaw bone strong and your teeth in place.

Vitamin C

When a cold is coming on, many people reach for the vitamin C. But this vitamin may do more than just fend off the sniffles’ it may reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

According to a study, consuming less than 60 mg of vitamin C each day can put you at slightly higher risk for developing certain types of periodontal disease. And this isn’t recent news! In fact, in the late 18th century, sailors away at sea would eat limes to prevent their gums from bleeding. The Institute of Medicine states the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 60 mg per day – or about one orange.

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Vitamin D

Sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D can help lessen inflammation associated with periodontal disease. Research shows that foods fortified with vitamin D such as milk, eggs, sardines, and tuna fish, as well as moderate exposure to sunlight, can provide you with the amount of vitamin D required to stay healthy.

Eat Well and Brush Well

While nutrients such as lactic acid, calcium, and vitamins C and D have been shown to have a possible effect on periodontal diseases, patients should be aware that a well-balanced diet alone is not a substitute for periodontal care. It is important to follow up every healthy meal with proper brushing and flossing.

Making sure you make and keep your regular dental cleanings and check ups with either your general dentist or periodontist are crucial as well.

Healthy Diet

There may be more reasons to watch what you eat other than maintaining a healthy weight. Studies indicate that obesity may be linked to periodontal disease. Obesity can be the result of an unbalanced diet, which may lack the nutrients known to help prevent gum disease. Also, excessive consumption of sugary drinks such as soft drinks and foods high in sugars, trans-fats, and sodium are often associated with increased tooth decay and can have a negative impact on periodontal health.

Without the proper nutrients from a healthy diet, the body can have a hard time fighting off infections such as periodontal diseases. And routinely including such things as lactic acid, calcium, and vitamins C and D in your diet have been shown to possibly reduce the occurrence of gum disease.

So the next time you go to the grocery story or sit down for a meal, remember: eat right to smile bright!

INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG IS A COURTESY OF PERIO.ORG, WHICH GIVES PERMISSION TO SHARE CERTAIN ARTICLES WITH THE PUBLIC. 

THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY PATIENT PAGE IS A PUBLIC SERVICE OF THE AAP AND SHOULD NOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE CARE AND ADVICE OF YOUR PERSONAL PERIODONTIST AFTER A THOROUGH EXAM. THERE MAY BE VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT THAT YOUR PERIODONTIST WILL RECOMMEND BASED ON INDIVIDUAL FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES PER PATIENT. VISIT PERIO.ORG TO ASSESS YOUR RISK AND FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PERIODONTAL DISEASE.

Dealing With Dental Phobia

You Aren’t Alone: Dental Phobia Is Very Real

Some people are afraid of heights, others of spiders or snakes. There are thousands of phobias that people suffer from in the world, and one of them is dental phobia.

What Is a Dental Phobia?

Dental phobia is more than just feeling nervous while you wait for your dental appointment. People with dental phobia have an intense fear of driving to or even past a dental clinic, even though it is almost always a pain-free visit. To avoid the dentist, they will deal with serious pain and infections, risking their own health and sometimes their lives, as many end up in the emergency room with a serious and painful health condition.

Who Does Dental Phobia Affect?

It has been estimated that between 5% and 8% of Americans – that’s over 30 million people! – suffer from true dental phobia. Even more deal with dental anxiety, which is different from a dental phobia.

– Dental anxiety: If you feel uneasy once you get to your dental appointment, have exaggerated fears or worries about your visit, or have rescheduled an appointment or two in the past because you didn’t want to go, you most likely have dental anxiety.

Dental phobia: If you are terrified or are thrown into a panic attack just passing a dental office and haven’t had your teeth cleaned or even checked in many years because you can’t overcome your fear, you more than likely have a dental phobia.

Anyone can have a dental phobia. From young children to the elderly and everyone in between, just like any other type of phobia, dental phobia can strike at any age.

Tips to Make Your Dental Visit Less Stressful

Dental phobia can leave people terrified while they are at the dentist. Many people who suffer from this phobia end up avoiding going to any type of dental professional at all costs. This is bad for your health, as the longer a person avoids going to a dentist for their regular checkups, the more likely it becomes that a very serious oral health issue – such as deep decay or oral cancer – isn’t caught and treated. It has been known for some time now that poor oral health is linked to some serious health conditions, like heart disease.

Sadly, patients have ended up in the emergency room in extreme pain from avoiding the dentist. Just because you can’t feel any pain in your mouth does not mean there isn’t decay or an infection present. In fact, most of the time, nothing will hurt until something very serious (and expensive to treat) is going on. This is why making sure you keep your six month cleanings and checkups is so important to your health.

To make your trip to the dentist bearable and to keep your dental phobia in check, try the following tips:

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  • Schedule a meet-and-greet appointment with your dentist where you simply meet and discuss your dental needs one-on-one without even getting in the chair
    • Always be honest with the entire staff of the dental office and let them know of your dental phobia so they will be able to help you as much as possible
    • Almost all dentists let you know how to signal them if you need them to stop what they are doing: be sure you know and agree on the signal before the appointment starts
  • Bring a trusted friend or family member with that knows about your dental phobia
  • Ask if you can bring noise cancelling headphones to your appointments
  • Ask if your dental office offers nitrous oxide or sedation dentistry
  • Meditate before your appointments as well as after
  • Try to distract yourself as much as possible during appointments: count ceiling tiles, listen to music, anything to keep your mind occupied

The above tips can help many people with dental anxiety and some who suffer from a dental phobia, but sometimes it’s still not enough for people with full blown dental phobia. In these circumstances, it is wise to seek professional help by speaking to your medical doctor right away. They can help you get your fears under control so you can in turn keep your oral health in check.

We Can Help With Your Dental Anxiety!

If you are one of the many patients who need periodontal work or a dental implant, yet suffer from dental anxiety or a dental phobia, fear not! Dr. Cristoforo offers patients the opportunity to utilize nitrous oxide during certain types of appointments. Nitrous oxide is a very safe and very effective sedative that’s combined with oxygen. It is inhaled through a comfortable nose piece throughout the entire appointment, but does not put patients to sleep. Instead, it causes patients to feel extremely calm and greatly reduces dental anxiety. Once it is turned off, the effects wear off quickly, meaning patients do not need to worry about having a driver for their appointment.

For those who suffer from a dental phobia who do prefer to be put to sleep, Dr. Cristoforo also offers conscious sedation for certain types of appointments. The patient is prescribed a medication or combination of medication that greatly relaxes the patient’s body and numbs pain. The majority of these patients have little to no memory of their appointments. Patients are required 100% of the time to have a trusted friend or family member to drive them to and from their appointments, and to stay with them for the day as the medication wears off.

If you need periodontal work or a dental implant and would like to discuss the options you may have for your dental phobia with Dr. Cristoforo, please contact our office today. We will schedule you for an exam to go over all of your dental needs.