Tag Archives: gum disease

Could Gum Disease Be Linked to Alzheimer’s? | Palm Harbor Dentist

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 percent of senior Americans (65+ years) have moderate or severe gum disease. Alzheimer’s disease also serves as the prelude or leading cause of dementia, and affects more than 5 million Americans. Why the stats? There may be a link between the two.

In 2013, Health Day News published an article pertaining research results that found a linkage between Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s. During this study, researchers analyzed brain samples of 10 individuals with Alzheimer’s and 10 individuals without a brain disease; the results were startling. Those with Alzheimer’s showed gum disease-related bacteria in the brain, while no bacteria was found in the brain samples from individuals without Alzheimer’s.

More recently, a 2016 study by University of Southampton and King’s College London set out to determine whether or not periodontitis or gum disease was linked to the severity of dementia. The subsequent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients and seem to back up the original theories. Researchers concluded that because bacteria can enter the bloodstream from the mouth, the bacteria can travel its way through the blood and to the brain, causing potential hazards in the neurological region.

Growing evidence from a number of studies links the body’s inflammatory response to increased rates of cognitive decline, suggesting that it would be worth exploring whether the treatment of gum disease might also benefit the treatment of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Just one more reminder that it is important to keep up with our daily dental routines.

If you’re interested in learning more about periodontitis, contact Dr. Larry Lieberman, DDS at 727-785-8017 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com for additional information.

Dr. Larry Lieberman proudly accepts patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and surrounding areas.

What Bad Breath Could Mean | Palm Harbor Dentist

close up smile red lipstickDo you suspect you have bad breath? If so, it might be an indication of other problems and not just a lack of proper oral hygiene. With perpetual bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

The medical condition dry mouth also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Brush teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch). Don’t forget to brush the tongue, too. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between teeth once a day. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  • See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
  • Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist. Chewing gum (preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Gums and mints containing xylitol are best.
  • Keep a log of the foods you eat. If you think they may be causing bad breath, bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors(Source: WebMD).

In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.

To find out more about bad breath contact Dr. Larry Lieberman and make an appointment 727-785-8017 or visit our website at www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Accepting patients from Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs and all surrounding areas.

Myths about Gum Disease | Palm Harbor Dentist

periodontal

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Despite the major prevalence, only three percent of those individuals actually seek treatment for their gum disease. With more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, maintaining healthy teeth and g ums have become more and more important.

Here are some common things in which the AAP have deemed misconceptions about oral health that should help you distinguish signs of gum disease:

Bleeding gums are not important

Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are an important sign of periodontal disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional in order to be evaluated for periodontal disease right away.

You don’t need to floss every day

Having a set oral health routine is incredibly important. This includes keeping up with brushing AND flossing.

A tooth lost to gum disease is lost forever

This is in face incredibly false. While Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss, periodontists use procedures such as dental implants to replace teeth.

Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease

Good oral hygiene can definitely contribute to the prevention of gum disease, however there are other factors in which having good oral hygiene won’t matter. For example, tobacco use. Using tobacco increases your chances of developing gum disease by a large amount.

For more information on how you can prevent or treat gum disease call Dr. Lieberman in North Palm Harbor, FL at 727-785-8017 or visit www.dentist-lieberman.com.

Dr. Lieberman also proudly accepts patients from North Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Trinity, and surrounding areas.