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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.

Halitosis is the medical term for chronic bad breath. Having halitosis is far different than having bad breath from eating too much garlic. Halitosis is a lingering bad breath and could be an indicator of something more serious going on with your health.

What Causes Halitosis?

What We Eat. What we consume at meals and snack time can definitely cause halitosis as mentioned previously. As we eat, the foods are absorbed into our blood stream and eventually out thru the lungs. These foods just need to be removed from the body for the halitosis to disappear. Brushing and flossing will only mask the odor for a short time before it returns. The most common foods of this type are:

Halitosis Marielaina Perrone DDS-Onions

-Garlic

-Cheese

-Pastrami

-Certain spices

-Orange juice or soda

-Alcohol

Many popular diets run into a problem with halitosis for these reasons. The large amounts of certain foods they choose to eat will linger in the body and cause chronic halitosis until they are removed.

-Xerostomia or Dry Mouth. Refers to a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth do not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Our saliva acts as a helper to our dental health and this includes warding off halitosis as well. Our saliva has the ability to rinse our mouths when eating, help break down foods, and keep bacteria at bay to fight tooth decay. A lack of saliva would definitely lead to chronic halitosis. Saliva also enhances your ability to taste and makes it easier to chew and swallow. Dry mouth can be caused by many factors. These include:

Prescription And Over The Counter Medications. Countless medications produce dry mouth as a side effect. The most common dry mouth cuplrits include antihistamines, decongestants, and pain medications.

Medical Conditions. These include diabetes, stroke, yeast infection (also called thrush) in your mouth, Alzheimer’s disease, or autoimmune diseases (including AIDS/HIV).

Mouth Breathing And Snoring. These two acts while often inter related can also cause dry mouth.

Cancer Treatment. Chemotherapy drugs can alter your saliva and the amount your salivary glands produce. This could be a temporary situation, with normal salivary flow returning after cancer treatment is completed. Radiation treatments in the head and neck area can also lead to damage of salivary glands. This damage could cause a marked decrease in saliva production. This could be temporary or permanent.

Tobacco And Alcohol Use. Both are known to increase dry mouth symptoms.

Excessive Caffeine Consumption. Another known cause of dry mouth.

-Mouth, Nose and Throat Infections. Postnasal drip, due to head and neck infections may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it is battling something like a sinus infection.

Dental Health IssuesTooth decay and periodontal disease can lead to long term chronic halitosis if left untreated. The bacteria in the mouth will be out of control and difficult to bring under control unless seen by a dentist.

Preventing Halitosis

The following are simple dental health tips to ward off halitosis:

Watch What You Eat And Drink. Avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause bad breath. Choose more fruits and vegetables and drink more water to stay hydrated.

Choose Sugar Free Mints And Gum. Both of these will stimulate salivary production to help cleanse the mouth and help ward off tooth decay. They will also give you a temporary fresh smelling breath.

Avoid Tobacco Products.

Floss Daily. It is recommended to floss after every meal but 1x per day should keep breath smelling fresh.

Brush after every meal. Use an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and brush at minimum 2x per day.

Use An Antiseptic Mouthwash. Listerine is a good example.

Be extra vigilant if you have orthodontic braces. Food and plaque can build up around brackets very easily.

What Is Halitosis? Conclusion

Halitosis is an embarassing problem to have but it can also be a sign that something more serious is happening in your body. If you have persistent halitosis, you should see your dentist and rule out the obvious causes. Your dentist will be able to diagnose the issue and get you back on track to fresher breath. With a professional cleaning and dental examination, your dentist can help rule out any dental health problems and educate you on at home dental hygiene. This will include what types of dental products to use or refer you to a physician for follow up.



Tooth sensitivity is generally the result of worn tooth enamel or exposed tooth roots due to gingival recession. Other causes of tooth sensitivity include tooth decay, a cracked or chipped tooth, a worn filling, or periodontal disease. Tooth sensitivity is a very common problem affecting more than 1 in 8 Americans. For some they are aware and neglecting the problem and for others they think it is normal and try to mask it by avoiding those teeth when it comes to certain food items. When tooth sensitivity is present it becomes difficult at times to enjoy our favorite food and drink or even brush our teeth properly.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?

The pain or discomfort you feel when a tooth is exposed to hot or cold temperatures or even an acidic food or drink. This is the hallmark sign of tooth sensitivity. There are 3 layers of a tooth. These are called enamel, dentin, and pulp. The enamel is the harder outer shell that covers your teeth. Tooth enamel is considered the hardest mineral substance in the body. Even stronger than bone. There is one other piece to the puzzle and that is cementum. Cementum covers and protects the root surface where the enamel does not cover. When something happens to the enamel or cementum you end up with tooth sensitivity. The enamel could be damaged thru tooth decay or trauma while the cementum can be lost due to periodontal disease.

Worn Down Enamel. Enamel can be damaged in a variety of ways. These can include overly aggressive brushing, tooth trauma, tooth enamel erosion from acidic drinks, and even teeth whitening products if not used as directed. In areas where the enamel breaks down it will expose the soft underlayer, the dentin. The dentin has tubules that connect to the inner layer the pulp. The pulp is where all the nerves and blood is. This will cause you tooth sensitivity to begin to develop.

Periodontal Disease. This is a progressive disease that triggers an inflammatory response in the mouth. If left untreated it can progress from gingivitis (reversible) to periodontitis (non reversible). Periodontitis will lead to destruction of cementum, gingival tissues, and bone surrounding your teeth. Once the roots of your teeth are exposed, you will develop tooth sensitivity.

Bruxism. Also referred to as teeth grinding. When we grind our teeth we put extreme forces on our teeth. This force can lead to cracks in the enamel on your teeth. Once those cracks form, it exposes the soft dentin beneath leading to tooth sensitivity.

Tips If You Have Tooth Sensitivity

-Softer Toothbrushing. Brushing technique should include use of a soft-bristled brush and use at a 45 degree angle to your gum. this will help prevent damage to your enamel and gum tissues.

-NO! acidic foods and drinks. These will only cause you pain and discomfort if you already suffer from tooth sensitivity. But if you do choose to consume these wait about 30 minutes after bruhing to give you a chance not to feel so much pain or discomfort.

-Slow Down On Teeth Whitening. Teeth whitening can cause temporary tooth sensitivity. If you do develop tooth sensitivity while undergoing teeth whitening treatment speak to your dentist immediately.

How Is Tooth Sensitivity Treated?

Dentistry is highly personalized care. Tooth sensitivity is no different. The treatment for tooth sensitivity will depend on the cause. A proper diagnosis is necessary to develop a proper treatment plan for your tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity treatment can include:

-Use Of Desensitizing Toothpaste. A common over the counter toothpaste is called Sensodyne. This toothpaste acts to seal those tubules present in the dentin. By sealing those tubules, it will remove or diminish the tooth sensitivity you may be feeling. Sensodyne contains, calcium, phosphate, as well as fluoride.

-Fluroide Treatment. This can be done at home or in office. In office, the fluoride will be applied using a tray and applied to your teeth giving adequate coverage. There are also take prescription home rinses that can be used by the patient as needed.

-Custom Fabricated Mouth Guards. This would be used to ward off damage from teeth grinding that can cause tooth sensitivity.

-Restore Broken, Chipped, or Fractured teeth. This can include dental bonding or dental crowns to restore your teeth to a healthier state and prevent tooth sensitivity.

-Periodontal Disease Treatment. This can include bone grafting as well as gum grafts to cover the root surfaces of your teeth that have been exposed.

Root Canal Therapy (RCT). In some cases tooth sensitivity is caused by a dental infection present inside a tooth.

What Causes Tooth Sensitivity? Conclusion

Now you know the causes of tooth sensitivity it is important to address these issues if you have them with your dentist. Be proactive and treat tooth sensitivity before it gets out of control.

Dry socket (also called medically as alveolar osteitis) is a very painful dental condition that can sometimes happen following removal of a permanent adult tooth. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot at the area of tooth removal fails to develop, or it dislodges or dissolves before the wound has fully healed. Having a tooth removed by your dentist comes with certain expectations. This includes discomfort following the tooth removal. However, this discomfort should last a day or 2 at the most and be fairly mild. Dry socket pain can become very intense quickly and last for almost a week in some cases. Dry socket is actually the most common complication of a tooth extraction. Even with that fact it still only occurs a little less than 2% of the time (about 200,000 cases in US each year) and most often following removal of wisdom teeth. It is also prevalent in those with poor blood flow, smokers, and diabetics. Dry socket generally occurs 2-3 days following tooth removal procedure.

When a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms to protect the opening in your gums as it heals. If the blood clot does not form properly or becomes dislodged, it can create a dry socket. A dry socket leaves the nerves and underlying bones exposed, so it is important to see your dentist immediately. If left untreated, this can lead to dental infection and other complications. Dry socket most often occurs in those  who smoke, are on oral contraceptives (estrogen can interfere with clotting mechanisms), or do not follow post care instructions properly.  Interesting for women, the oral contraceptives also tend to lower pain tolerance which will lead to increased pain sensation if dry socket occurs.

What Is A Dry Socket? Symptoms

Dry Socket Las Vegas Marielaina Perrone DDSSigns and symptoms of dry socket may include:

-Sharp, aching pain usually starting 2-3 days after removal of a tooth or teeth

-Blood Clot Missing. If you peek into your mouth you would see an opening where tooth was and if there is no blood clot present then you probably have a dry socket. In a normal situation a blood clot forms and covers the exposed opening.

-Visible Bone Present. Bone that can be seen upon visual examination in the socket.

-Radiating Pain. Radiating from the tooth socket to your ear, eye, temple or neck on the same side of your face as the tooth removal.

-Abnormally bad breath or a foul odor emanating from your mouth. This will include having a bad taste in your mouth as well.

-Swollen Lymph Nodes. If you have swollen lymph nodes around your jaw or neck, this is a sign of dental infection and you need to be seen by your dentist immediately as this can be a serious medical emergency if untreated. Signs of a dental infection can include fever, swelling, redness, and pus discharge from extraction site.

-Over The Counter Pain Medications Do Not Work. Generally, tylenol, aleve and advil will not be strong enough of a pain reliever to be able to control dry socket pain.

How Can A Dry Socket Be Treated?

Your dentist will relieve the area of pain using a local anesthetic. If the infection has spread this may not relieve all pain and discomfort at this time but it will help. Your dentist will need to inspect the tooth removal site and clean it of any debris or food particles. Once the area is cleaned sufficiently, your dentist will probably place a medicated dressing over the area to promote healing and soothe the dry socket symptoms. These medicated dressings usually need to be changed daily until dry socket symptoms subside. Use of a warm cloth on outside of face can also aid in healing by promoting increased blood flow to the area. If there is infection present or your dentist suspects one is forming an antibiotic may be prescribed. You will also be given detailed instructions on at home care. Usually includes rinsing with warm, salt water and just being careful with area while it heals. Healing of a dry socket at this point will take between 1 and 2 weeks.

Possible Home Help Remedies For Dry Socket

Home remedies to help with dry socket pain can include:
-Rinsing with Warm salt water. Rinsing can help eliminate bacteria and reduce or prevent further infection.
-Cold and heat therapy. This can promote blood flow to area of dry socket. For the first 24 hours or so following a tooth extraction, use cold against your face for 15 minutes at a time to reduce swelling. After 1st day you can use heat in the form of warm cloth to help manage pain.
-Clove oil. This contains eugenol (this is traditional dental office smell), which has anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. It can help to soothe pain and help prevent infections. Some people have reactions to clove oil so speak to your dentist before using. You can place clove oil on a sterile gauze and place it over dry socket area for 15 minutes or so to help relieve dry socket symptoms.
-Honey. Honey has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Clinical studies have found that honey when used for dry socket applications resulted in a significant reduction in inflammation, swelling, pain, and discomfort. There was also evidence honey possibly prevents further dental infection. Honey can be applied similar to the clove oil. Place a small amount of honey on a sterile gauze and place over dry socket wound.
-Black tea. Contains tannic acid. Tannic acid can act as a natural antibacterial agent while also having the ability to reduce both swelling and pain.
-Tea tree oil. Also has antiseptic, antibacterial, and analgesic properties.
-Oregano oil.  Has antibacterial benefits and studies have shown it may even be effective against some drug-resistant strains of bacteria.
-Chamomile tea. Chamomile has anti oxidant properties. This can promote wound healing.

What Is A Dry Socket? Conclusion

It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions especially following a tooth removal. Communicate concerns and questions immediately so they can be addressed immediately to avoid unforeseen complications. A dry socket can be quite painful and can have serious consequences if ignored. See your dentist regularly to maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime.