Oral Health can affect your Overall Health

oral health

Your oral health can give clues to your dentist and your doctor when it comes to your overall health. Problems that occur in your mouth really can affect your entire body.

The Connection

Your mouth is loaded with bacteria, and while most of that bacterium is harmless defending your body against the bad staff, poor oral hygiene can upset the balance. If the bad bacteria are allowed to live in your mouth, oral infections, such as gum disease and tooth decay can occur. Brushing twice and flossing once each day, along with regular dental appointments and a healthy diet, can go a long way in preventing bacteria growth.

Conditions that could be linked to Teeth and Gums

According to Century City Dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman, your mouth health could contribute to the following conditions and diseases:

Cardiovascular Disease-Recent research is suggesting that clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke may be linked to oral bacteria, infection, and inflammation.

Encocarditis-An infection that occurs in the inner lining of the heart, or the endocardium, Endocarditis will typically occur when germs and bacteria spread from one part of your body to another. Your Beverly Hills Dentist explains that mouth bacteria can spread from your bloodstream and attach itself to parts of your heart that are already damaged.

Pregnancy and BirthPeriodontal disease can cause premature and low birth weights. Women who are pregnant need to pay careful attention to oral hygiene.

Existing Conditions that Can Affect Oral Health

Diabetes-Diabetics have a lower resistance to infection making them more susceptible to gum disease. Gingivitis and the more serious periodontal disease occur more frequently in diabetics. Because people with diabetes have a tough time controlling blood sugar levels, it is vital that diabetics pay close attention to oral hygiene. People with diabetes may need to see their dentist more often as well.

Osteoporosis-Osteoporosis causes brittle and weak bones. Researchers have found evidence that osteoporosis could be linked to tooth loss and periodontal bone loss. Drugs that are used to treat the disease also carry a small risk of jawbone damage.

Alzheimer’s Disease-Poor gum health is now being linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. A huge percentage of Alzheimer’s patients have gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Other conditions that could be linked to poor oral health include neck and head cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and eating disorders.

Because of the potential link between oral health and your overall health, it is important that you tell your dentist if you are on any medications, or suffer from chronic conditions or recent illnesses.

If you would like more information regarding oral health, call or click and schedule a dental appointment with Los Angeles’ most well known dentist, Dr. Bill Dorfman.

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Is Periodontal Disease Contagious?

groupYour mouth is filled with bacteria. These bacteria form a sticky substance known as plaque. Good oral hygiene – brushing, flossing, rinsing – can help eliminate this plaque. However, without good dental care, plaque may harden and turn into tartar. When that happens, only your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist can remove it.

Periodontal Disease is an Infection

Untreated plaque eventually can advance into gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). You may not have given it much thought, however, as with other diseases periodontal disease is an infection; an infection that can destroy the bones, gums, and tissue that hold and protect your teeth.

While gum disease is an “inflammatory reaction” to the bacteria in your mouth, most dental experts believe it is not contagious. However, considering that the bacteria that causes the disease lives in your saliva, you may want to avoid mouth-to-mouth contact with any person who has periodontal disease. Additionally, your Century City cosmetic dentist recommends you refer them to your dentist.

Periodontal Disease Linked to Other Health Factors

Nearly half of all U.S. adults over 30 have chronic periodontal disease, according to the American Dental Association. Along with causing damage to your teeth, gums, and jawbone, studies suggest the inflammation caused by periodontal disease is linked to other systematic illnesses such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes. Particularly, researchers suggest that periodontitis has a negative effect on blood flow and blood sugar levels.

Conversely, these illnesses along with other factors such as tobacco use, genetics, and medication may increase your risk of developing gingivitis and periodontal disease. If you have any of these risk factors, be sure to discuss them with your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.

Managing Periodontal Disease 

Naturally, the best way to manage gum disease is through good oral hygiene. By brushing and flossing daily, and visiting your Century City cosmetic dentist on a regular basis, you can virtually eliminate gum disease.

However, equally important is to know the warning signs of gum disease. Keep an eye on your gums. If they become red, swollen, painful, and start to bleed, see your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can make a visual assessment to determine the extent of the problem. From there he may recommend several treatments including scaling and root planing. These methods of deep cleaning will remove the tartar and germs from below the gum line, where it is most difficult to reach by tooth brushing and flossing alone.

Periodontal disease doesn’t have to happen to you. If you have any questions about the care of your mouth, teeth, and gums or are concerned about gum disease, speak with your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist.

4 Surprising Things to Know about Invisalign Braces

invisalignIf you’ve been talking to your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist about Invisalign braces, you’ve probably learned a lot about their benefits as well as their drawbacks. However, here are four things that you may be surprised to learn about Invisalign braces.

Some People Lose Weight

While Invisalign braces aren’t meant for weight-loss, some patients have found that wearing them for 20 to 22 hours a day can affect their eating habits. After all, you have to remove them every time you eat or drink anything other than water.

Since the aligners need to fit snug on your teeth in order to provide the ultimate straightening benefit, some people find it a hassle to remove them very often. Therefore, they remove them less frequently. The result is as much as a 15-pound loss in weight, according to some.

Certain Beverages are Problematic

Drinking cold water with your braces in place is fine. However, hot beverages can affect the shape and, therefore, the fit of the aligners. Additionally, some dentists suggest that you avoid sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages as well.

Normally, saliva helps break down and wash away food particles. The difficulty with Invisalign braces is that the aligner trays can hamper the ability of saliva to do its job. That’s why your Century City cosmetic dentist routinely reminds patients about the need to brush after every meal.

Many Dentists Add Attachments

One of the many benefits of wearing Invisalign braces is the fact that they are virtually invisible. However, some dental patients have difficult dental conditions that require additional features to get the best results.

That’s when some dentists will use strategically placed attachments to help move some teeth, while keeping others stationary. Attachments enhance the braces’ ability to move. Be sure to speak with your Beverly Hills cosmetic dentist about your particular situation and if attachments are necessary for you.

It’s Important to Brush Often

Generally, most dental professionals recommend brushing two to three times daily. However, with Invisalign you may find yourself brushing more often.

Specifically, you’ll need to brush, floss, and rinse after eating anything. Otherwise, you increase your chances of trapping food particles and plaque when you wear your aligners. The result is an increased risk of cavities, periodontal disease, and bad breath.

If you’ve decided that it’s time to fix your smile, Invisalign braces may be the right choice for you. Take time to speak with your Century City cosmetic dentist about how Invisalign can give you a better smile.