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Periodontal Disease and Eating Disorders

Like all eating disorders, bulimia nervosa can be very damaging to a person’s overall health.  However, noticing these detrimental effects in yourself or in someone you love might be more difficult than you would think. This is because many individuals who struggle with bulimia maintain a normal weight, and the health problems that result from bulimia may not be immediately apparent. It may surprise you to learn that dentists like Phoenix periodontist Dr. Trujillo are sometimes among the first to recognize the signs of bulimia in their patients.

Why? When acid of any kind enters the mouth, it can cause tooth decay, enamel erosion, and cavities. It can also lead to dry mouth, frequent sore throats, mouth sores, and esophageal damage. For those who suffer from bulimia, teeth may be in even greater danger of tooth decay because frequent vomiting causes an abnormally high amount of stomach acid to enter the mouth.

One of the common tooth-related risks of bulimia is periodontal disease. When gum tissue is repeatedly exposed to stomach acid, it can become inflamed, leading to gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease. As gingivitis progresses and the gums become more irritated, the gum tissue separates from the teeth, creating “pockets” between the teeth and gums. Unfortunately, these pockets only help gum disease worsen, as they provide great hiding places for bacteria to move in for good, further irritating the gums while simultaneously eroding the tooth below the gum line. At more advanced stages, periodontal disease eats away at the tissue and bone that support the teeth. If periodontal disease isn’t treated, it can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Dental health problems, like all other health problems caused by eating disorders of any kind, have adverse effects on a person’s quality of life and must be treated. Fortunately, tooth decay and periodontal disease, even if they have progressed to a serious stage, are treatable in many different ways. However, for patients with eating disorders, the underlying cause of the problem needs to be corrected in order for any dental remedy to really be effective. Bulimia is a mental and emotional condition that is difficult to overcome, but with the help of trained professionals, it can be treated. Thousands have overcome bulimia, returning to a state of better physical health and increased confidence.
If your dental health has been damaged by the effects of bulimia and you are ready to get your smile back, Dr. Ariel Trujillo of the Arizona Periodontal Group is ready to help you. Dr. Trujillo is one of the most trusted specialists in periodontal disease and dental implants in Phoenix. Schedule a consultation with us today.

Periodontal Disease and Dry Mouth

At Dr. Trujillo’s office, we encounter many cases of periodontal disease linked to a patient’s dry mouth, or xerostomia. Although dry mouth alone is not a cause of gum disease, its effects can play a major role in the development of gingivitis, an early stage of the disease.  

What role does dry mouth play in the onset of periodontal disease?

Saliva is the body’s natural “mouth rinse” that washes away food and bacteria from the teeth. Without it, bacteria are better able to remain on the teeth and gums, where they cause decay and inflammation. When a patient suffers from dry mouth, their salivary glands are unable to produce enough saliva to keep their mouth moist and their teeth clean. When this happens, gingivitis develops more easily, and may worsen into periodontitis.

How do I reduce my risk of dry mouth and periodontal disease?

Dry mouth can result from a number of causes including the use of prescription drugs, dehydration, nerve damage, medical conditions, smoking, consumption of sugary foods, and more. If you suffer from dry mouth it is important to talk to Dr. Trujillo or your primary care physician about habits that you may need to change as well as further treatment options.

How do I treat my symptoms and gum disease?

Treating dry mouth can be a fairly easy process with immeasurable benefits. Simply limiting sugar and caffeine intake, sleeping with a humidifier, or quitting the use of tobacco may cure the symptoms of dry mouth and prevent the onset of gum disease. If your dry mouth persists, pay extra attention to your daily oral hygiene. In addition, you should talk to Dr. Trujillo, your Phoenix periodontist, about the possible causes of your dry mouth and how to prevent secondary problems like periodontal disease.

If you are already seeing signs of gingivitis or periodontitis, including sore, bleeding, or receding gums, it is even more important to see Dr. Trujillo as soon as possible. Finding the disease early can save you a lot of time, hassle, and money so if you are experiencing bad breath, jaw pain, swollen gums, loose teeth, sensitivity, or bleeding gums, contact our office today.

Periodontal Disease and Hearing Loss

Periodontal infection can cause hearing lossMany people wouldn’t think to associate periodontal disease with hearing loss. However, gum disease has been proven through numerous studies to have a direct impact on your hearing.

What role does gum disease play in hearing?

The inflammation associated with gingivitis and periodontitis is essentially the body’s way of fighting back against a buildup of bacteria along the gum line. When that bacteria gets into your gums, it causes inflammation, bleeding, serious infection, and tooth loss if left untreated. Gum disease poses other risks, though, aside from losing your teeth and dealing with a serious mouth infection. The bacteria that cause your body to react harshly in your mouth can enter your bloodstream. If they do, they can cause inflammation and narrowing of arteries and blood vessels – including the ones involved in hearing.

To understand this, it helps to know exactly how your hearing works. Your outer ear collects and funnels noise through your ear canal and into your inner ear and ear drum. This is where your sensory organs for hearing (and balance) are located. Once vibration reaches that area of your ears, it stimulates thousands of tiny hairs that transmit the movement to your brain, which in turn interprets the messages as sound.

Those tiny hairs are essential in your hearing, and their health can be affected by the flow of blood through vessels in your inner ear. If those vessels become infected by bacteria caused by your gum disease, those tiny hairs will die. Once dead, there’s no way to replace them. It’s a permanent death, and you’ll be stuck with a degree of hearing loss for the rest of your life. If you leave this hearing loss untreated, it can even progress to dementia and memory loss. That’s why it’s so important to take care of your oral health.

Treatment

For gum disease treatment, come to Dr. Trujillo, your local periodontist in Phoenix, as soon as possible. We can help you get ahead of the game when it comes to fighting periodontitis, and can even help you reverse its damaging effects.

Prevent it before it begins

You can prevent gum disease, and the hearing loss it can cause, by the very simple act of following a regular oral health care schedule. Brushing, flossing, avoiding foods high in acids and sugars, and visiting our office at least twice a year will ensure that you have great oral health.

If you feel that you may have early signs of gum disease, please contact us today so we can help.

Periodontal Disease and Cancer

Periodontal Disease and CancerPeriodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the biggest threats to your oral health. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss among American adults, and can cause other serious issues with the bones in your jaw if left untreated. While gum disease is a serious issue, and can have a hugely negatively affect on your life, there’s an even more worrisome problem that arises if you find yourself suffering from gum disease: an increased risk of cancer.

What role does periodontal disease play in cancer?

Gum disease’s most noticeable impact on your life is tooth loss—and tooth loss has been linked to an increased likelihood for cancer. Numerous studies have shown a rise in rates of oral cancer if you have periodontal disease or tooth loss in general. This is one of the many reasons that if you feel you may be suffering from gum disease, you should see Dr. Trujillo, your periodontist in Phoenix, immediately. Treating gum disease as early as possible will reduce the chances of you contracting cancer from any of periodontal disease’s negative effects.

What cancers am I at risk for if I have tooth loss?

Unsurprisingly, oral cancer is the number-one cancer risk associated with tooth loss. While this association makes intuitive sense, it isn’t the only risk. There are also proven links between tooth loss and upper GI and gastric cancers as well. One study performed in Japan showed that there was a two-fold increase in a person’s chance of contracting upper GI and gastric cancers if they were missing 10 or more teeth, compared to people missing fewer than 10 teeth. Strong evidence also exists to link tooth loss to pancreatic cancer. Avoiding tooth loss and periodontal disease produces many benefits to your health apart from the obvious.

How can I prevent tooth loss?

The easiest way to prevent periodontitis is by following the same simple tips every dentist has been giving you for years: brush and floss regularly, and don’t miss your dental checkups. These simple activities prevent the buildup of plaque that spurs gum disease. By performing regular oral care, you’re doing all you possibly can to protect yourself from contracting the cancers associated with tooth loss. If you are exhibiting signs of gum disease, contact the Arizona Periodontal Group today to request an appointment.

Periodontal Disease and Nutrition

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the largest threats to a patient’s oral health—leading to gum recession and tooth loss if it is left untreated. Many patients assume it is solely the result of poor oral hygiene, but there are other factors that play a role into the health of your teeth and gums. One of these factors is nutrition and dieting—you can learn more about how what you eat and drink plays a part in your oral health.

What Role Does Diet Play?

The leading cause of plaque buildup is sugar and other refined carbohydrates on a person’s diet. By consuming these foods, it creates an acidic environment which is the perfect arena for plaque forming bacteria to grow and thrive. Not only that, but sugar consumption also lessens your immune system which makes your oral health more susceptible to periodontal disease as you lack the vitamins needed for healing. Even alcoholic drinks play a role in periodontal disease—causing patients to have an increased risk for as a result of reduced levels of B vitamins, blood clotting inhibition, and bone formation suppression. Alcohol consumption also causes your mouth to be dehydrated leading to the bad bacteria not getting easily washed away by saliva—resulting in faster plaque formation.

Nutritional Treatment

While good oral hygiene and plaque control measures are vital to treating periodontal disease, there are nutritional therapy options as well. First, it is important to nail the basics like eating fresh, natural roods like fruit, beans, seeds, vegetables, fish, and whole grains. High fiber can be good for you as well as it promotes saliva which is vital to protecting your teeth form gum disease. You’ll want to avoid damaged fats, alcohol, salt, and artificial foods if possible as these contribute towards plaque accumulation.

Learn About Nutrition

Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can be one of the leading causes of periodontal disease—making a balanced nutrition crucial to keep your oral health in good condition. If you have any immediate questions about nutrition and the impact it can have on your oral health, feel free to reach out as we would be happy to help you. If you would like to make an appointment, our trained periodontists based in Phoenix can discuss with you your specific nutritional habits and needs to ensure that you’re eating right to keep your mouth happy and healthy.

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.