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Periodontal disease is a major oral health issue affecting millions. The St. Paul Family Dentist has learned that The Centers for Disease Control estimates that approximately half of adults over 30 have some extent of periodontal disease. Preventive treatments and proper oral hygiene are very effective for eliminating the risk for gum disease. But even the most diligent oral health care can sometimes result in periodontal disease.

Dangers of Periodontal Disease

Left untreated, gum disease can cause teeth to loosen and may eventually lead to bone loss and even tooth loss. But the dangers of periodontal disease are not limited to your oral health. It has been documented that there is a direct relationship between the presence of chronic oral infections like gum disease and serious health concerns like heart and respiratory disease, diabetes, and stroke.
Laser Dentistry, the Non-Invasive Solution

In the past, the only solution for eliminating periodontal disease was painful gum surgery. Fortunately advances in dental technology have provided us with non-invasive options like laser dentistry. Dental lasers are gentle and effective and remove periodontal infection no cutting of tender gum tissue necessary. In fact, dental lasers are actually good for your oral health because they promote the regrowth of healthy gum tissue.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

The key word here is “prevent.” Dentists have always advocated preventive approaches to protect their patients’ oral health. Brushing and flossing twice a day, along with regular exams by your dentist and professional cleanings have always been important, and the best way to prevent any oral health problems from developing or becoming serious. In light of the information we now have about the affect of gum disease on our general health, though, prevention is vital.

You can do a lot to protect your own oral health by maintaining a healthy diet and proper oral hygiene. But no matter how proactive you are in taking steps to protect your own oral health, you must have regular dental cleanings. Plaque and tartar can build up on your teeth in spaces your toothbrush can’t reach. Once tartar has developed, it can only be removed by a dental hygienist during routine cleanings.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of laser dentistry, please contact the St. Paul General Dentist so we can help you take the necessary steps to protect your oral health.

A growing number of patients visit our Minneapolis Dentist Office suffering unnecessarily with gum disease. Gum disease (periodontal disease) means that your gums are infected. This can cause the jaw bone to weaken as well as other tissues supporting the teeth.

Research indicates that bacteria and inflammation related to periodontal disease may play a role in overall health issues such as cardiovascular difficulties, bacterial pneumonia, increased likelihood of pre-term delivery of unborn babies, low-birth weight babies and physical health issues for diabetics.

Considering the potential for links between bacteria that causes gum disease and systemic diseases, the prevention of periodontal disease is a crucial step in preserving overall health.  Periodontal disease can, in most cases, be stopped with regular daily oral hygiene and routine professional dental care.

When a film of bacteria (plaque), is permitted to accumulate on teeth, periodontal disease develops. This sticky film of plaque is constantly forming on the teeth, but most plaque can be removed before periodontal disease develops just with proper daily cleaning. Brushing thoroughly twice a day can go a long way towards keeping your gums healthy. Use toothpaste to help prevent tooth decay. Proper brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of the teeth before it can harden into calculus.

You can also help prevent gum disease by cleaning between your teeth thoroughly with floss or other type of interdental cleaner on a daily basis. This type of cleaning regimen is the only way to assist in removing plaque collecting in the spaces between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. Your dentist may advise you to use an ADA-accepted antimicrobial mouth rinse as part of your daily oral hygiene routine if you need extra help in keeping your plaque under control.

Contact our St. Paul Highland Park Dentist office today to schedule an appointment for a professional dental cleaning and examination. Gum disease is highly preventable, and an ounce of prevention now will save unnecessary pain and expense in the long-term.

An increasing number of patients in my practice are reporting a problem with dry mouth. This condition is termed "xerostomia." Xerostomia can be a side effect of the medications a person is taking for illnesses such as high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, allergies, weight loss, Parkinson's disease, pain and many more. However, there are many other factors that contribute to a decrease in salivary production including the aging process, radiation treatments and depression.

At St. Paul General Dentistry we know that, aside from being annoying, the symptoms of dry mouth can cause significant dental hygiene problems. Saliva is the body’s natural cleansing mouth rinse.  Each time we swallow, saliva washes away bacteria, as well as the food and debris on which they feed. Saliva contains compounds that kill bacteria in the mouth, and without proper dental hygiene dry mouth enhances the conditions for bacterial growth (and associated periodontal disease) as the ability to neutralize bacterial waste products is reduced.

If you’re experiencing chronic dry mouth and you suspect that it may be due to medication, consult with your medical doctor who may be able to adjust your dosage to help alleviate the problem. Some other steps you can take to reduce symptoms are:

  • Using sugar-free candy or gum
  • Drinking plenty of water to help keep your mouth moist
  • Using a vaporizer to add moisture to the air in your bedroom
  • Using an artificial saliva substitute available at your pharmacy
The reduction in saliva production leads to the very conditions on which the bacteria in your mouth thrive, allowing bacteria lingering at the gumline and between teeth to cause serious damage, periodontal disease or gingivitis. Since patients with Xerostomia (dry mouth) are at increased risk for periodontal disease, good dental hygiene - brushing regularly with toothpaste, using a mouth rinse, and visiting your St. Paul Highland Park Dentist frequently for cleanings and examinations - are critically important to your oral health.

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