South Park Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

The Connection between Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s

Long-term exposure to periodontal disease bacteria causes inflammation and degeneration of brain neurons in mice that is similar to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease in humans, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.The findings, which are published in PLOS ONE, suggest that periodontal disease, a common but preventable gum infection, may be an initiator of Alzheimer’s, which currently has no treatment or cure.

“Other studies have demonstrated a close association between periodontitis and cognitive impairment, but this is the first study to show that exposure to the periodontal bacteria results in the formation of senile plaques that accelerate the development of neuropathology found in Alzheimer’s patients,” said Dr. Keiko Watanabe, professor of periodontics at the UIC College of Dentistry and corresponding author on the study.

“This was a big surprise,” Watanabe said. “We did not expect that the periodontal pathogen would have this much influence on the brain, or that the effects would so thoroughly resemble Alzheimer’s disease.”

To study the impact of the bacteria on brain health, the Watanabe and her colleagues — including Dr. Vladimir Ilievski, UIC research assistant professor and co-author on the paper — established chronic periodontitis, which is characterized by soft tissue damage and bone loss in the oral cavity, in 10 wild-type mice. Another 10 mice served as the control group. After 22 weeks of repeated oral application of the bacteria to the study group, the researchers studied the brain tissue of the mice and compared brain health.

The researchers found that the mice chronically exposed to the bacteria had significantly higher amounts of accumulated amyloid beta — a senile plaque found in the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients. The study group also had more brain inflammation and fewer intact neurons due to degeneration.

These findings were further supported by amyloid beta protein analysis, and RNA analysis that showed greater expression of genes associated with inflammation and degeneration in the study group. DNA from the periodontal bacteria was also found in the brain tissue of mice in the study group, and a bacterial protein was observed inside their neurons.

“Our data not only demonstrate the movement of bacteria from the mouth to the brain, but also that chronic infection leads to neural effects similar to Alzheimer’s,” Watanabe said.

The researchers say these findings are powerful in part because they used a wild-type mouse model; most model systems used to study Alzheimer’s rely on transgenic mice, which have been genetically altered to more strongly express genes associated with the senile plaque and enable Alzheimer’s development.

“Using a wild-type mouse model added strength to our study because these mice were not primed to develop the disease, and use of this model gives additional weight to our findings that periodontal bacteria may kick-start the development of the Alzheimer’s,” Watanabe said.

The researchers say that understanding causality and risk factors for the development of Alzheimer’s is critical to the development of treatments, particularly when it comes to sporadic, or late-onset disease, which constitutes more than 95 percent of cases and has largely unknown causes and mechanisms.

“Oral hygiene is an important predictor of disease, including diseases that happen outside the mouth,” she said. “People can do so much for their personal health by taking oral health seriously.”

This Week in Perio

This week in Perio we are looking at many different studies regarding the links between periodontal disease and unhealthy blood pressure, immune culprits linked to inflammation and bone loss in gum disease and cancer-detecting mouthwash. Click the link to learn more!

http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/AAPORG/AAPORG102418.php

 

 

Should You Brush or Floss First?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear on a daily basis is “Should I brush or floss first?” This article, published by American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), explains the data researchers have found through surveys and randomized controlled clinical trials. Find out what is best to maintain the health of your smile!

https://us.dental-tribune.com/news/should-you-brush-or-floss-first/

Give us a call at one of our convenient locations to learn more about your gum health and overall oral care!

SouthPark Office:  704-366-2774

Union County Office:  704-919-0454

Fort Mill Office:  803-547-0304

 

The Importance of Oral Health and Type 2 Diabetes

In the article below, the University of Buffalo performed a study evaluating Non-surgical Periodontal Therapy on patients with type 2 diabetes and the effect it had on their HbA1c levels. Overall the study showed that non-surgical treatment of periodontitis improves the glycemic status and levels of glycated hemoglobin, which proves great importance of oral health in patients with type 2 diabetes.  Give us a call at one of our convenient locations to learn more about your gum health and overall oral care!

SouthPark Office:  704-366-2774

Union County Office:  704-919-0454

Fort Mill Office:  803-547-0304

Enjoy!

Better Dental Hygiene Linked to Improved Type 2 Diabetes Glycemic Levels

Gum Disease Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to a study presented at the annual European Congress of Rheumatology people at risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis have increased levels of gum disease.  Check out this great article published by Denistry Today for additional information:

http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/3499-gum-disease-may-initiate-autoimmunity-related-to-rheumatoid-arthritis

 

Give us a call at one of our convenient locations to learn more about your gum health and overall oral care!

SouthPark Office:  704-366-2774

Union County Office:  704-919-0454

Fort Mill Office:  803-547-0304

 

High Quality H2O

Whether you’re drinking from a glass that is half-empty or half-full, drinking a glass of water is always beneficial to your health. Human beings are 60% water; so staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for the hydration of tissue, the distribution of nutrients, and the removal of waste from your body. Not only is drinking water beneficial to your overall health, but your dental health as well!

Here are four reasons why water is the best beverage for your teeth:

1. Water keeps your mouth clean.

High Quality H2OWater cleans your mouth with every sip! As your drink, water washes away leftover food and any residual cavity-causing bacteria. Water also reduces the pH of your mouth by diluting the acids produced by bacteria that live in your mouth. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, but drinking water throughout the day will help keep your smile healthy and cavity-free.

2. Water strengthens your teeth.

Drinking water with fluoride, aka “nature’s cavity fighter”, is one of the easiest and most effective ways to fight cavities. While almost all water contains naturally-occurring fluoride, the community water systems that serve most American households adjust the level, usually by adding fluoride to achieve the right amount to reduce tooth decay. Health organizations, like the American Dental Association (ADA), say this is one of the major reasons most people no longer need the dentures that were so common before widespread fluoridation, and studies have shown that it is why dental costs are lower and oral health problems have declined in fluoridated communities!

3. Drinking water fights dry mouth.

Saliva is the human mouth’s first defense against cavities. Saliva helps wash away residual food and coats your teeth in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. When your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva, you run the risk for tooth decay. When your mouth is feeling dry, drink a glass of water to quench your thirst, and strengthen your teeth!

4. Water is free of calories.

Drinking sugary beverages can create a cavity-prone environment within your mouth, and can lead to weight gain. Studies show that drinking water, eight 8-ounce glasses or 8×8, can help you lose weight.

If you have questions regarding water consumption or your overall dental health, don’t hesitate to call South Park Periodontics & Implant Dentistry at South Park Periodontics Phone Number (704)366-2774 today!

Lasers for Healthy Gums!

The first laser was developed in 1960, based on concepts developed by Albert Einstein many decades before. Shortly after the arrival of the first laser, dental researchers began to investigate how lasers may be used to aid dentists in their work. By the mid 1990s, the first dental lasers were released.

Lasers in PeriodonticsLasers for Healthy Gums

For periodontal care, lasers are proving themselves to be less invasive tools for accomplishing (in most cases) the same mission: the cleaning of tissue and roots under the gums to avoid or treat gum disease. Traditionally, (and in some cases we still perform this method), we used hand tools to scrape calculus and plaque out of the gumline and around the tooth root. The advent of lasers, however, has allowed us to treat many of our patients in a less invasive way than what we have done in the past.

Lasers have several benefits over traditional root scaling and other periodontal surgeries:

  • Generally speaking, anesthesia isn’t required as the procedure is less painful, particularly when excising diseased gum tissue.
  • Healing time is usually shorter because of the less-invasive nature of the process.
  • Pain and bleeding is also less when lasers are used.
  • And, finally, lasers are very good at targeting diseased areas with precision, and therefore saving adjacent tissue from trauma.

Cost Considerations

The cost of the treatment is totally dependent on the extent of your gum therapy needs. However, it is worth pointing out that sometimes the laser procedures are less expensive than traditional periodontal surgery. This is due to the fact that fewer visits are required.

In short, if you’ve been told that you need to have extensive periodontal treatment and long-term care, you may benefit by starting with our laser process, right here in our office. Give us a call to find out if you are a good candidate for laser periodontal therapy!

 

Learning the Lingo – Dental Implants

Dental implants are a safe and effective replacement for a missing tooth or teeth. The implant is placed in your jawbone and integrates with your natural bone. This implant then forms a stable, sturdy base for your new teeth.

What They Are
LearnTheLingoImplants Implant: The implant itself is a rod that is screwed into the jawbone.

Abutment: This is the connection between the implant and the crown.

Crown: A tooth shaped cap that is attached to the abutment. It is the part of the tooth that is visible above the gum line.

What They’re Made Of

Titanium: Most implants are typically made of titanium, a biocompatible metal.

Zirconia: Often used for crowns and bridges and can be used as a metal-free option. Zirconia is biocompatible just like titanium.

Where They Go

Endosteal Implants: Placed in the jawbone. These implants are typically shaped like small screws, cylinders or plates, and they are the most commonly used.

Subperiosteal Implants: Placed under the gum, but on or above the jawbone. These implants are mostly for people with smaller jaws or shallow jawbones.

What Happens To Them
Osseointegration: Creates strength and durability by fusing directly to the bone and is bio-compatible. Bone cells attach themselves directly to the titanium/zirconium surface, essentially locking the implant into the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants can then be used to support prosthetic tooth replacements of various designs and functionality. Anything from a single tooth, to all teeth in the upper and lower jaws. The teeth/crowns are usually made to match the enamel color of the existing teeth to create a natural appearance.

Bone augmentation: Some people do not have enough healthy bone to support dental implants, so bone must be built. Procedures can include bone-grafting which means adding bone to the jaw.

Talk to us today at South Park Periodontics & Implant Dentistry to discuss your options with an implant specialist!

Going Green: Dark Green Vegetables and Dental Health

Everyone is going green, but did you know that “going green” can also benefit your oral health? Your pH levels inside your body can greatly affect your overall health. Too much acid in your system can make various parts of your body inflamed. This may include your gum tissues. Gingivitis (early gum disease) and periodontitis (advanced gum disease) are conditions of infection and inflammation. Aiming to consume a balanced diet with the goal of achieving an acidic-alkaline balance (balanced pH level) has been shown to reduce symptoms of many health conditions. One of the fastest and easiest ways to saturate your body with these nutrients is by consuming green fruits and vegetables. Some great green additions to your diet are spinach and green smoothies:

Go GreenSpinach & Dark Green Vegetables

Eating dark green veggies, like spinach, can have some great health benefits deeming it a “super food” among nutrition experts! The nutrients found in spinach are a powerful source of cancer-fighting properties, producing a substance that causes prostate cancer cells to self-destruct, and another compound that can prevent the formation of ovarian cancer cells. Spinach promotes cardiovascular health via properties that can lower blood pressure and prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Evidence shows that juicing dark green vegetables like spinach can improve your dental health, preventing gum disease and cavities!

Green Smoothies

Green smoothie can keep your gums, jawbone, and teeth healthier and stronger! The best part about drinking green smoothies is the taste. If you can get over the color, you will find how delicious a green smoothie can be. Spinach, cucumber, kale, lettuce, and zucchini can be blended with fruit to create a low-calorie, nutrient dense meal replacement that boosts your oral health. A great addition to your green smoothie is yogurt. Yogurt has been shown to strengthen teeth and prevent bad breath, as well as add a creamy consistency to your nutrient-dense smoothie.

If you have questions regarding your dental health, give South Park Periodontics & Implant Dentistry a call at South Park Periodontics Phone Number (704)366-2774 today!

10 Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be serious business if left untreated. The good news is, with regular maintenance and good oral hygiene, you can avoid and even reverse the early stages of gum disease. We’ve put together some tips for you that will help you prevent gum disease.

Maintaining a Clean Mouth

10 Tips Prevent Gum DiseaseBrushing your gums, as well as your teeth after every meal is the best way to take care of your teeth. Remove those food particles without being too hard on your enamel. We can show you the best method at your next appointment.

Dental floss can reach those spaces in your mouth that a tooth brush just can’t get to. Get in between your teeth with floss before you brush, so that any food you pull out can be picked up by your tooth brush.

While you shouldn’t rely on mouthwash alone, certain mouthwash products are great for killing bacteria. Consult our office for suggestions as some products are better than others.

Practice Good Overall Health

Keeping a balanced diet keeps your whole body healthy. Staying away from eating too much sugar is a great place to start. Making sure you get all the nutrients you need helps your body fight bacteria, including those that can cause gum disease.

If you are a smoker, quit! Smoking is not just awful for your lungs, smoking leads to tooth decay, tooth loss and poor gum health. Smoking leads to the creation of pockets in your gums, where bacteria collect and form tartar. It also degrades the tissues that hold your teeth in place.

Talk to Your Doctor about your Medications

It may be worth talking with your doctor about the side effects of any medication you may be on. Some drugs lead to bacteria build up in the mouth, or affect the flow of saliva that keeps that bacteria from settling.

Hormones can also play a role in oral health. If you are experiencing hormonal changes, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity, and promoting the development of gum disease.

Stress

Stress affects your body’s ability to fight infection. Evaluating the stress in your life and what you can do to manage it is a great idea to promote your general health.

Appointments

Regular oral health visits are the best way to pin down gum disease. The professionals at our office are trained to notice the kinds of things you may not see in your mouth.

You may not have considered that your crooked teeth put you at risk for gum disease. Having straight teeth means eliminating certain pockets where gum disease can develop. Braces are a great way to do this.

Contact our office today to set up your next appointment!