Archive for October, 2010

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Fryeburg Family Dental would like to thank the community for all it’s wonderful support in our goal to provide access to oral health care more easily and readily than in the past to the area. We are also pleased to announce the sharing of space with Standish Denture Clinic for your Denture and Partial Denture needs as of September 1st.
OLDER ADULTS, DENTURES, PARTIALS, AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE
People are living longer and healthier lives. And, older adults also are more likely to keep their teeth for a lifetime. Studies indicate that older people have the highest rates of periodontal disease and need to do more to maintain good oral health with connection to their systemic health. Whatever your age, it’s important to keep your mouth clean, healthy and feeling good. Oral health is not just important for maintaining a nice looking smile; good oral health is essential to quality of life. Older adults are likely to take medications that can impact oral health and affect dental treatment. Many common medications including antihistamines, diuretics, pain med’s, high blood pressure med’s, and antidepressants can cause side effects such as dry mouth, changes in the oral tissue, taste changes, and gum tissue overgrowth. Dry mouth leaves the mouth without enough saliva to wash away food increasing the risk of tooth decay, calculus (tarter) buildup and periodontal disease.
Denture wearers need to avoid plaque buildup that can irritate the tissues under the dentures. Thoroughly clean dentures daily and remove dentures at night to avoid bacteria growth. Most people feel that if you wear full dentures there is no need to continue to see a dental professional regularly. Because mouths continually change, dentures need to be checked for proper fit to avoid irritation, have oral cancer screenings to check for possible lesions under the dentures, evaluate for infections, and check for increased bone loss. A change in the fit of Partial Dentures (an appliance that only replaces some of the teeth in either arch) could indicate periodontal disease. A study by the American Dental Association and Oral-B in 1998 found that nearly half of survey respondents age 65 and older selected a smile as the first thing they notice about people. Almost 80 percent in this age group also reported that a smile is very important to a person’s appearance. Even if you wear a full denture or a partial denture, changes in your bone level can affect the way these fit and alter that smile you are trying to achieve. This is why it is still important to have a regular dental screening done at least every six months. It is especially important to practice a dedicated oral home care routine as you age.
Receding gum tissue affects a large percentage of older people. This condition exposes the roots of teeth and makes them more vulnerable to decay, sensitivity, and periodontal infection. To keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must remove the plaque from your teeth and gums every day with proper brushing and flossing. Daily cleaning will help keep calculus formation (hard deposits/Tarter) to a minimum, but it won’t completely prevent it. A professional cleaning with the Hygienist at least twice a year is necessary to remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed along with having the oral tissues and bone depths evaluated in the same visit for the importance of your health. If you have dexterity problems or a physical disability there are many options of adaptable oral health care aids that can be explained to you at your next dental hygiene visit.
Written by: Bernadette Kozak, IPDH
Fryeburg Family Dental
207-265-7606
Web page: www.fryeburgfamilydental.com

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Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis is there a link?

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality. In Rheumatoid Arthritis disease, pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors produced by cells in the inflamed synovium (lining of the joint) can influence bone growth differentiation, providing a link between inflammation and the bone destruction. This is the reason why the joint becomes swollen and joint pain is often felt. RA is considered an autoimmune disease that is influenced by the body’s immune system that normally fights off infection and viruses. Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease), produces some of the same pro-inflammatory cytokines that are found in RA. While having this bacteria exist on a regular basis in the mouth and left untreated, we are allowing our immune system to constantly be inflamed and in overdrive and possibly enhancing the Rheumatoid Arthritis. If we have a medical condition that is influenced by inflammation, and it is a fact that the most bacteria in our body are found within the oral cavity, then it would be to our health and comfort to keep a periodontal situation under control by having your teeth cleaned every three to four months. While most people come to the Hygienist every six months, those with a compromised medical or systemic health problem would benefit with a good oral home care routine and more frequent cleaning appointments to help keep the bacteria to a minimum.

*Next month: Gum Disease and the Tongue Piercing.

Written by: Bernadette Kozak, IPDH
Fryeburg Family Dental
www.fryeburgfamilydental.com

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Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Gum inflammation and the bacteria associated with it have been linked to the associations between Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) and Heart Disease (Cardiovascular Disease). This has led to a search for biological mechanisms that explain the associations. Genetic factors that influence biological processes involved in both diseases represent the possibility of a link between Gum Disease and Heart Disease. A Gene called Interleukin-1 that influences inflammation has been associated with both Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease. Common risk factors related to both are; age, diabetes, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and diet. A research study of 5,000 subgingival (below the gum) samples resulted in evidence of four known bacteria found in both diseases. These four specific bacteria were found in higher levels in the mouth when the Patient also had Heart Disease. There are therapies to treat each disease separately, but none together. It is known that inflammation in the body triggers other problems and that it is important to keep bacteria levels down to stay healthy. It is also known that the most bacteria in the body is in the mouth and by scheduling regular cleanings with your hygienist and practicing good oral home care can keep these oral bacteria to a minimum.
*Next month: Gum Disease, Elderly Patients, and Pneumonia, common risk factors

Written by: Bernadette Kozak, IPDH
Fryeburg Family Dental
Web page: www.fryeburgfamilydental.com

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