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Periodontal disease is a slow, progressive disease that affects the teeth, gums, and surrounding bone structure. As periodontal disease advances it can lead to tooth loss but recent studies have linked it to issues that can be much more sinister to your overall health. In recent years periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease and alzheimer’s disease. New studies have also linked it to changes to your blood pressure.

Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis – This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is the most mild form of periodontal disease. Symptoms include red, swollen (or puffy) and inflamed gums due to plaque-bacteria build-up. The gums may also bleed easily during brushing or eating of hard foods. During the earliest of stages the periodontal disease process it can be reversed thru proper brushing, flossing and professional dental care to remove the excess bacterial plaque. If the required oral hygiene does not occur, the periodontal disease then progresses  to the next stage. The majority of people with this early form of periodontal disease, do not even know a dental problem exists. This is a crucial period for the patient, as the condition can be reversed (since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place have not yet been affected) at this point if it is recognized and properly treated.

Periodontitis – As the periodontal disease progresses it will become harder to treat and control. The difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that gingivitis only infects the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth while the periodontal disease process also invades the bone that provides support and stability for the teeth. The bacteria eventually invades past the initial the gum line area and destruction begins to the point that gums may begin to separate or pull away from the teeth (taking away support and connective fibers with it). What results are called periodontal pockets. These pockets allow for bacteria to invade below the gum line.  They eventually become loaded with toxic plaque and bacteria that moves and works its way deeper. It begins to erode the bone below the gum line. A patient’s bite will be affected (as the teeth shift or loosen) by the lost support which then affects chewing and other functions.

High blood pressure Periodontal DIsease Marielaina Perrone DDS
Good Dental Health Can Mean Good Overall Health

Advanced Periodontitis – As the periodontal disease process advances, the fibers and bone that provide support for the teeth is destroyed. At least half of the bone support (if not more) will have broken down at this late stage of periodontal disease. It does not grow back naturally. Teeth may begin to loosen. Deep root cleanings and surgical intervention are typical at this stage. This may include cleaning with a periodontal microscope, (Perioscope), grafting of tissue, bone, placement of growth factors, (Emdogain), periodontal antibiotic regimen (Periostat), placement of antibiotics directly into pockets, (Arestin), open flap surgery, and, possibly tooth removal.

Periogen Marielaina Perrone DDS
Don’t Let Periodontal Disease Ruin Your Smile

Blood Pressure And Periodontal Disease

Recent research suggests that the presence of periodontal disease may interfere with the control of high blood pressure. The research team that completed the study reviewed medical and dental records of more than 3,600 people previously diagnosed with high blood pressure.

The study compared and contrasted the records to separate those with periodontal disease and those without. They found that those with periodontal disease were less likely to respond favorably to high blood pressure medications being prescribed. They were also found to be 20% less likely to be able to achieve healthy high blood pressure targets.

This study will need further investigation to confirm but adds another direct link that our oral health is intimately connected to our overall health.

Conclusion

Regular visits to the dentist along with good dental hygiene at home should be enough to keep periodontal disease in check and give your overall health a boost. It is becoming ever more important to maintain good dental hygiene if you wish to maintain good overall health. Speak to your dentist at your next visit if you are having trouble maintaining healthy blood pressure. Periodontal disease could be the cause.


Is there such a thing a sleep apnea dental appliance? Have you been struggling with restless nights? Not getting a full night’s sleep? Talk to your dentist they may be able to help with a sleep apnea dental appliance. Snoring and disturbances of sleep are often a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and your dental health could be the reason. A dentist can often be the first person to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea and give you relief with a sleep apnea dental appliance.

Can A Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Help?

Sleep apnea is a common but potentially serious condition in which breathing stops and starts up again for periods of 10-20 seconds while you sleep (this can go on 100’s times each night). Even though sleep apnea is very treatable, it very often goes undiagnosed by medical doctors. Sleep Apnea affects approximately 18 million people in the United States alone and not even 10% ever get diagnosed properly. It is believed if sleep apnea is left untreated, it can take about 8-10 years off a person’s life span. A simple sleep apnea dental appliance can add years back to you life. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. This type of sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes during sleep, causing a Marielaina Perrone DDS Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Las Vegasblockage of the airway. This in turn blocks the airflow into the lungs causing a cessation of breathing momentarily. Obstructive sleep apnea is defined as five or more episodes of apnea (temporary absence of breathing) or hypopnea (diminished depth and rate of breathing) per hour of sleep (called apnea-hypopnea index or AHI) in individuals who have excessive daytime sleepiness. Patients with 15 or more episodes of apnea or hypopnea per hour of sleep are considered to have moderate sleep apnea. If left undiagnosed and untreated sleep apnea prevents you ever gaining  a restful sleep necessary for your health. The recurring pauses in breathing shocks your body out of its natural sleep rhythms over and over again. This results in you tending to spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be full of energy, mentally sharp, and productive the following day. Sleep apnea can be difficult to diagnose without medical help. This is because most sleep apnea symptoms occur during sleep. Help is needed so ask a bed partner or record yourself during sleep. A common misconception is that everyone who snores has sleep apnea. This is not a hard and true fact. Some recent clinical studies have also found that if you have snoring and grind your teeth than you likely have some form of apnea, so you should get checked by a medical doctor. So how do you tell the difference between common snoring and a more serious case of sleep apnea? The biggest marker is how you feel during the day. The quality of your sleep is unaffected by “normal” snoring as much as sleep apnea does. So you would be less likely to suffer from sleepiness and fatigue during the day. Obviously, we will all have some restful nights. This would be more of a long term feeling day after day.

How Can Your Dentist Help With A Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance?

An official sleep apnea diagnosis is needed and must come from a medical doctor with the possibility of a visit to a sleep center. A dentist can fabricate a sleep apnea dental appliance which are used to reposition the tongue and lower jaw forward during sleep to maintain the open airway. Usually a sleep apnea dental appliance is recommended for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea patients. A sleep apnea dental appliance can also be utilized in severe obstructive sleep apnea patients who cannot tolerate the use of a CPAP machines. The standard medical treatment right now is use of a CPAP (called a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure). Approximately 25%-50% of sleep apnea patients do not regularly use or tolerate CPAP machines. Some recent clinical studies have shown the use of a sleep apnea dental appliance to be the most effective in treating snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Types Of Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance

Mandibular advancement device (also called MAD). This is the most popular sleep apnea dental appliance prescribed for obstructive sleep apnea patients. This sleep apnea dental device is very similar in appearance to an athletic mouthguard. There is a hinge between the upper and lower part of the sleep apnea dental appliance allowing the lower jaw to be eased forward. The Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP) is a sleep apnea dental appliance that allows further adjustments than most. This TAP sleep apnea dental appliance gives control over the degree of lower jaw advancement for even more comfort and control of obstructive sleep apnea. –Tongue Retaining Device (TRD). Not as popular as the sleep apnea dental appliance above. This device works by holding the tongue in place which ends up keeping the airway open. Ask your dentist which sleep apnea dental appliance is right for your particular case of obstructive sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Dental Appliance Conclusion

The best course of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea depends on many factors. These factors include the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea, the physical anatomical structure of your upper airway, other medical issues you may have, as well as a patient’s personal preferences. Choosing the right sleep apnea dental appliance is a very personalized decision. Speak to your dentist about which sleep apnea dental appliance is right for you. There are proven scientific links between a lack of a good night’s sleep and a host of problematic symptoms including depression, memory loss, hypertension and weight gain. With the help of your dentist and a sleep apnea dental appliance, you can improve your sleep and your overall health!



Fluoride has been a controversial subject for many. However, the benefits of fluoride are well known as studies have shown fluoridation of community water has reduced tooth decay by at least 25%. Beyond our drinking water fluoride supplements are also available. For pregnant women, it is important to consider what is ingested to keep the baby and the mother healthy during this critical time.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral found throughout the earth’s crust and widely distributed in nature. Some foods and community water supplies contain fluoride.

How Does Fluoride Work To Prevent Tooth Decay?

Fluoride helps prevent cavities in two different ways:

1. Fluoride concentrates in the growing bones and developing teeth of children, helping to harden the enamel on baby and adult teeth before they erupt.

2. Fluoride helps to harden the enamel on adult teeth that have already erupted.

Fluoride works during the natural process of building up (remineralization) and breaking down (demineralization) the enamel of our teeth.

-After eating a meal, your saliva contains acids that cause demineralization (dissolving of the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface).

-At other times during the day when your saliva is less acidic, replenishing the calcium and phosphorous that keep your teeth hard. This process is caused remineralization. When fluoride is present during remineralization, the minerals deposited are harder than they would otherwise be, helping to strengthen your teeth and prevent breakdown during the next demineralization period.

Is It Safe For Women To Take Fluoride Supplements During Pregnancy?

NO! Currently there is no evidence to show any benefit to the developing baby’s teeth. In fact they can be hazardous to the baby’s developing teeth. Fluoride supplements can cause the the placenta and be ingested by the baby possibly leading to dental fluorosis (is a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development).

Conclusion

While fluoride supplements should be avoided during pregnancy they serve a positive purpose the rest of our lives. Whether it is through drinking community water, brushing our teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, and through fluoride supplements provided by your dentist.



At Thanksgiving we have a lot to be thankful for…great family and friends to share the holiday with, good health, and good food. Our Thanksgiving traditions center around a bountiful, hearty meal. This Thanksgiving we will all sit down to a bountiful feast but did you know not only can it be delicious but also healthy for your teeth and gums? A delicious Thanksgiving feast can include various vitamins and nutrients that are important to our oral health. These include Vitamins A, C, D, phosphorous, and calcium. Eating a nutritious meal will benefit not only your oral health but your entire health as a whole.

Best Thanksgiving Foods to Eat for Good Oral Health

-Turkey is high in phosphorous. The phosphorous is not only healthy for developing teeth but can actually help rebuild and re mineralize teeth and bones of the jaw.

-Sweet potatoes are filled with nutrients including vitamins A, C, and B6. Sweet potatoes are thought to be much healthier and nutritious than regular white potatoes as they are digested faster by the body.

-Green and winter vegetables are great sources of vitamins A and C. These vitamins are important for gum health and repair of periodontal diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis).

-Cranberries contain flavonoids. These can prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth and forming plaque. Bacteria (and their acid byproducts) are responsible tooth decay and periodontal disease. Most cranberry side dishes contain high amounts of sugar. Try sweetening with agave, stevia, or splenda.

-Pumpkin pies are loaded with vitamin C and Calcium. Vitamins that are important for gum health and developing teeth and maintenance of bones. Remember, pies have high sugar, so make sure to brush after!

Health for your entire body including your smile starts with good nutrition and prevention. We all have so much to be thankful for, so let’s hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving!!