Periodontal Disease and Osteoporosis

Woman holding a glass of milk

While no one is entirely safe from gum disease, some risk factors can speed the development of periodontal infections and lead to more serious damage sooner. Osteoporosis is one such factor. At Arizona Periodontal Group, we want to encourage you to take proactive steps to prevent periodontal disease—especially if you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or a low bone mineral density.

Losing Bone

In the late stages of periodontal disease, teeth are lost due to the deterioration of gum tissue and alveolar bone caused by the infection. Osteoporosis causes a more generalized bone loss, diagnosed by measuring bone mineral density (BMD). Because both diseases involve the loss of bone, it seems obvious that there might be a risk of worse damage when the two are combined. This hypothesis has been borne out in multiple studies. Osteoporosis has been found to increase the loss of alveolar bone, especially in patients who already had periodontitis.

Halting The process

To prevent possible tooth loss and other damage to the structures of the mouth, it is essential to take careful preventive measures against periodontal disease. Regular brushing, flossing, exams, and preventive treatments such as cleanings are important for everyone, but especially for those with osteoporosis. Your fight against periodontal disease begins long before the first detectable signs appear.

For your general health as well as possible dental benefits, you should also seek treatment for your osteoporosis if you haven’t already. Currently, available medications can slow or halt the deterioration of bone mass and reduce the danger of fractures.

The Periodontitis-Osteoporosis Link

New research indicates that periodontal disease and osteoporosis may be even more closely linked than previously thought. The condition of bones in the mouth appears to be a good predictor of bone quality elsewhere in the body. This may one day provide a method of early diagnosis for osteoporosis that could allow for more preemptive treatment.

Ultimately, Dr. Trujillo’s advice to patients with osteoporosis is to care for their teeth the same way you would otherwise. Be especially cautious in checking for and treating periodontal disease, as it may have a more severe effect than it would in other patients. For help monitoring your oral health and treating gum disease early in its development, make an appointment with our office

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

Young pregnant woman holding her bellyDuring pregnancy, it is important to be aware of the effects your body’s changes can have on your health—and also the way various health conditions affect your pregnancy. Periodontal disease is no different. Gum disease and pregnancy each affect the other, and the combination can cause complications that are best avoided. To protect yourself and your developing child, you should be aware of how pregnancy and gum disease interact.

The Effects of Pregnancy On Your Dental Health

During pregnancy, there is an increase in your body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that can change the way your body responds to plaque buildup. The accumulation of plaque between brushings is inevitable, and these hormones encourage your body to react more strongly to its presence. This reaction leads to “pregnancy gingivitis,” in which the gums are red, sore, and more likely to bleed. Either ordinary gingivitis or pregnancy gingivitis can lead to more serious periodontal disease if left untreated.

In addition to the increased reaction to plaque buildup, pregnancy can also change your eating habits. An increase in the consumption of sugar will accelerate the growth of plaque and increase your chances of experiencing pregnancy gingivitis.

During pregnancy, there is also the possibility of developing “pregnancy tumors”–non-cancerous growths on the gums due to irritation. Although these growths are not harmful and will go away on their own after childbirth, any inconvenient or uncomfortable growths may have to be removed to allow you to eat and speak normally.

The Effects of Dental Health On Pregnancy

When bacteria builds up in the mouth, it can travel to other parts of the body and cause problems there. Gum disease has been linked to numerous serious health conditions. In the case of pregnancy, the presence of bacteria may trigger early labor by causing the production of prostaglandins. Periodontal disease is statistically linked to premature birth and low birth weights. If you are experiencing gum disease while pregnant, or think you may become pregnant soon, seeking treatment is one of the best things you can do for your baby and yourself. When in doubt, consult your obstetrician about the most healthy choice.

Treatments During Pregnancy

Some dental procedures should be avoided during pregnancy, but gum disease treatment is not one of them. Dr. Trujillo provides treatments that are safe during pregnancy and can lower your risk of complications. Make an appointment with our office to have your teeth and gums checked for periodontal disease, and keep yourself and your baby healthy and safe.

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

X-ray of teeth and a dental pickWhile gum disease and diabetes may seem like completely separate conditions, research has shown that these two diseases can have a significant impact on each other—which can be bad for you as a patient. Here at the Arizona Periodontal Group, we want you to understand how to effectively manage both periodontal disease and diabetes. Here is a little more information about gum disease and diabetes, and how you might be able to ward off complications.

Diabetes Affects More Than Your Blood Sugar

If you are a diabetic, you might be familiar with the side effects of a constantly fluctuating blood sugar level. In addition to tracking your insulin, your doctor may have also prescribed lifestyle changes and emergency procedures—if that sugar ever gets dangerously high or low.

Unfortunately, that blood sugar can also wreak havoc inside of your mouth. Because diabetes affects the way that your body handles sugar, diabetes creates the perfect environment for dental decay. For these reasons, diabetics are at a much higher risk for developing gum disease and periodontitis.

How Diabetes and Gum Disease Affect One Another

Here is a more in-depth explanation of how gum disease and diabetes directly affect one another:

  • Blood Vessel Changes: Diabetes makes the blood vessels of the body thicken, which limits the flow of blood inside the tissues of your mouth. Unfortunately, since blood vessels carry away wastes, these blood vessel changes can make it harder for your oral tissues to recover from infections.
  • Bacterial Growth: Your mouth contains up to 25 different types of oral bacteria designed to harm your teeth. Unfortunately, since these bacteria feed on the sugars in your mouth, diabetic imbalances can exacerbate dental decay.
  • Smoking: If you have diabetes, smoking is just about the worst way to complicate your illness. In addition to potentially throwing off your blood sugar levels and making it harder to breathe, smoking has also been shown to dramatically increase your chances of developing gum disease. In fact, research has shown that smokers who are 45 or older are more than 20 times more likely to develop severe gingivitis.

Unfortunately, if your gum disease goes unchecked, it can eventually lead to periodontal disease, which can eat away at your jawbone and make your teeth fall out. The bone loss that occurs during periodontal disease can even make it hard to get dental implants in the future.

Do yourself a favor and take diabetes and gingivitis seriously. Manage your diabetes by eating right, exercising, and meeting with your doctor regularly. Make an appointment with our office to have your teeth and gums checked for the symptoms of gingivitis. By being careful, you might be able to protect your smile—and avoid complicating your diabetes.

Happy New Year from Arizona Periodontal Group

Make Dental Care One of Your 2016 Resolutions!

Happy New Year 2016

After the holidays, it is a good time to reflect on the previous year and think about what you would like to change. If you are like most people, you might focus on your weight, your personal habits, or your relationships with others. However, improving your dental care is a great resolution to make that might even save you a little time and money.

Here at the Arizona Periodontal Group, we are laser-focused on helping our patients to have a happier, healthier 2016. Here are just a few of the services we offer in our office that might improve your smile:

Dental Implants

If you have missing teeth, it might be affecting more than your self-esteem. Because teeth stimulate your jawbone as you talk and chew, losing a few teeth can actually cause your bone to melt away. Fortunately, dental implants, which are anchored directly into your jawbone, can recreate this stimulation to keep your mouth healthy. Dental implants are customized for each patient, which means that the repair will blend in and look natural.

Periodontics

Unlike other dental practices, here at Arizona Periodontal Group, we specialize in the treatment of advanced gum disease. If your gums are inflamed or you have lingering issues because of a previous bout with periodontitis or gum disease, we can help.

General and Preventative Dentistry

We can also handle any of your routine dental needs, such as fillings, root canals, or even routine cleanings. We love to help patients to learn more about preventative dentistry so that their teeth can stay healthy.

Our Care Philosophy

We believe in providing each and every patient with top-notch dental care. We also believe that your dental care can be comprehensive, which is why we focus on a multi-faceted approach to dentistry. We are currently accepting new patients, so call us at 602-459-9617 to make an appointment today!

Treating Gum Recession

Woman smilingYour Gums Matter

When most people picture beautiful smiles, they think about the shape, color, and spacing of their teeth. However, those pink gums are just as crucial to the overall look and health of your teeth. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful, your gums could recede away from your gum line, making your mouth look unhealthy. Recessed gums can also cause extreme dental sensitivity since the area near your dental roots has a thinner layer of protective enamel.

Why Gums Recede

If your gums look like they are running for cover, you might wonder why. Here are a few common reasons that gums recede in the first place:

  • Over-Aggressive Brushing: Have you ever been told by your dentist that you are a hard brusher? If you grip your toothbrush improperly or push too hard, it can rub away gum tissue.
  • Poor Oral Hygiene Habits: If plaque and tartar aren’t removed through normal brushing and flossing, bacteria can collect in pockets underneath your gums. As the bacteria multiply, it can irritate your gums and cause cell death, which leads to recession. If the biofilm isn’t removed, it can even cause gum disease or periodontitis, which can make your teeth fall out altogether.
  • Hormonal Changes: Even simple hormonal changes can alter the way that your gums look. As you get older, you might experience gum recession, which can make your mouth uncomfortable.
  • Genetics: If your parents suffered from a receding gum line, you might too. Talk with your parents and your grandparents to see if recessed gums run in your family.
  • Injury: Oral injuries can also contribute to a recessed gum line. Once an injury has occurred, gum tissue might not grow back, which can leave your dental roots vulnerable to damage.

Ways We Can Help

Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for gum recession. In addition to traditional gum grafting procedures, our periodontists can also use the pinhole surgical technique. During this procedure, the periodontist makes a small incision and uses a tool to gently push down your gum tissue. This procedure is incredibly effective and requires very little recovery time.

If you suspect that your gums are receding, don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment. We would be happy to evaluate your overall dental health and make a recommendation based on your current condition. We can also talk with you about the average costs, recovery times, and details of each procedure.

Start your day with a beautiful smile.

When you visit our office, your oral health is our top priority. Dr. Trujillo and his entire team is dedicated to providing you with the personalized, gentle care that you deserve.