17Apr

Periodontal disease is a progressive condition where the gum tissue surrounding the teeth becomes infected. Bacteria grow above and below the gum line, eventually causing the gum tissue to separate from teeth.

It is a disease that is far too common, and patients of the Chapel Hill, NC general dentist are often surprised to find there are other serious physical complications associated with the disease.

Periodontal disease, heart disease, and stroke may seem to be completely unrelated, but research has shown that people suffering from gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease. Researchers have also found that oral infection is a risk factor for stroke.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Research has further proven that the presence of periodontal disease can aggravate existing heart conditions. Several theories attempt to explain the link between heart disease, stroke and periodontal disease, some of which are:

  • Oral bacteria affect the heart – There are many different strains of periodontal bacteria. Some of these strains of bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty plaques in the coronary arteries. This buildup contributes to clot formation, putting the individual at higher risk.
  • Weakened immune system – Individuals who have high levels of oral bacteria may also have weaker immune systems. This may set off a chain of events that have been shown to contribute to the onset of certain forms of heart disease.

Diagnosing Gum Disease

Since periodontal disease appears to be a risk factor for both heart attack and stroke, it is essential to seek immediate treatment. Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination to assess the exact condition of the teeth, gums, and jawbone.

Treating Gum Disease

Mild gum disease, or gingivitis, can usually be treated with a thorough professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits. Periodontitis, the severe form of gum disease may require a deep cleaning treatment, antibiotics, and increased frequency of cleanings in the future.

Call Today to Arrange An Appointment

Don't put your oral and general health at risk. Call the Chapel Hill, NC general dentist today to arrange an appointment to make sure you're protected.

 

 

10Apr

Dental emergencies are always inconvenient and often painful. Prompt treatment is almost always necessary to alleviate pain and to ensure the teeth have the best possible chance of survival. ALWAYS contact your dentist immediately if you experience a dental emergency. Here are a few of the more common dental emergencies and how you should handle them:

Severe Pain

This is the most common type of emergency, and it’s an indication that a serious problem is developing. After you call your dentist, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers and a cold compress on and off your face for 20-minute intervals.

Knocked-Out (Avulsed) Tooth

If a tooth has been knocked out of the mouth, it is crucial for you to deal with it immediately. Contact your Chapel Hill emergency dentist immediately because if the tooth can be placed back into its socket within an hour, there is a chance the tissues will grow to support the tooth once again.

  • DO NOT touch the root of the tooth to avoid damaging attached tissue. Handle it carefully by the crown and rinse under warm water.
  • Place the tooth in a cup of milk, saliva, or water. It is important to keep the tooth from drying out.
  • If your emergency involves trauma to the face or jaw, or you experience excessive bleeding, call 911 or go directly to an emergency room.

Lost Filling or Crown

Once you’ve lost a filling the affected tooth may become highly sensitive to temperature changes and pressure. When a crown comes out make a dental appointment as soon as possible. If you wait too long, you may damage the tooth and require a new restoration. Wrap the crown in tissue and bring it to the dentist. A lost crown can often be reused if we can replace it immediately.

Cracked or Broken Teeth

Natural teeth are strong, but they are still prone to fractures, cracks and breaks. If the crack extends into the root, the pain may be extreme. If a tooth fractured or cracked, you must see the dentist as quickly as possible.

Please Call Your Chapel Hill Emergency Dentist

Don’t let a dental emergency compromise your oral health. Call us right away to get the fast relief you need!

03Apr

Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. All of us suffer from bad breath from time to time, especially in the morning. Some common reasons for bad breath include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Using tobacco products
  • Dieting
  • Medical conditions 

Your Chapel Hill family dentist wants you to be informed about the reasons for bad breath and how to eliminate it. While there may be a medical reason for chronic bad breath, there are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to minimize the risk.

  • Don’t smoke: While there is a multitude of reasons to quit the bad habit of smoking, one of the more obvious ones is to devoid yourself of the smell externally (clothes and body) and internally (your mouth).
  • Don’t eat foods with strong odors: Avoid onions and garlic, especially before or during an important business meeting or other event where you need to interact with others. Onions and garlic leave a strong odor because they contain elements that make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs until you finally breathe them out.
  • Do floss: Flossing isn’t only necessary for your oral health to prevent cavities, but it dislodges food particles that would be otherwise stuck between your teeth, trapping bacteria and causing a distinctive odor.
  • Do chew sugarless gum: If you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating, try rinsing out your mouth with water or chewing sugarless gum about 20 minutes after mealtime. Chewing stimulates saliva production, which combats bacteria and cavities that lead to bad breath. 

Chronic breath is not only unpleasant, but it may also be an indication of a more serious problem like periodontal disease. Please call your Chapel Hill family dentist to arrange an appointment. You may be surprised that’s all that’s needed is a thorough dental cleaning to refresh your smile.