Tag Archives: periodontal disease

You Asked: What are the most common dental problems?

Your Teeth: A Thing Of Beauty!

Your teeth are truly an amazing part of your body, and as beautiful as those pearly whites of yours can be, they are extremely important as well. Being responsible for breaking down food for consumption, obviously your teeth play a vital role in daily life. However, with such an important purpose, the hazards your teeth face on a regular basis are countless.

Indeed, your teeth are very tough, the constant wear and tear they endure is bound to take its toll.  Additionally, if your teeth are improperly cared for or neglected, this could spell disaster for your teeth in a variety of different ways!

Common Dental Problems

Although some of the most common dental problems are not exactly terms that are unfamiliar, the resulting ramifications of such issues can have devastating effects on not just your oral health, but your general health as well.

Listed below are some of the most common dental problems and health issues affecting patients today.

Tooth Decay:

As one of the most widespread diseases in the United States (second only to the common cold) tooth decay is the condition in which excessive buildup of bacteria in the mouth breaks down the tooth’s enamel, thus causing the tooth to decay. Tooth decay can affect people of all ages, and although slow to progress, if left untreated tooth decay can cause permanent damage to your teeth and gums. Wanna know more about tooth decay, click here.

Periodontal Disease:

Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a progressive infection of the gum tissue, and much like tooth decay, can present a major problem if allowed to progress. If periodontal disease progresses to its later stages, it is likely to interact with and exacerbate other illnesses such as diabetes, or heart disease.

Foul Breath:

The condition known as halitosis or bad breath can certainly be the cause of social anxiety or embarrassment, however if this remains a persistent problem, there is likely an additional oral issue to blame. Chronic foul breath can be indicative of numerous issues such as cavities, dry mouth, gum disease, buildup on tongue, or even oral cancer.  Read more about how to stop bad breath.

Toothaches:

Like foul breath, toothaches or tooth sensitivity can be a tell-tale sigh that there may be additional dental problems that perhaps have not been addressed. Tooth sensitivity may indicate undetected damage (such as cracks, chips or abscesses) or even the early symptoms of tooth decay. Regardless, if chronic toothaches are ignored, they are only likely to worsen over time.

Oral Cancer:

Oral cancer is an extremely aggressive type of cancer that is responsible for approximately 9,750 annual deaths in the U.S. alone, and remains a major health issue nationwide. While treatable in its early stages, if allowed to spread oral cancer may not be able to be stopped, thereby having potentially fatal consequences. Read more about oral cancer screenings and how they can save your life, here.

You may not know that these common dental problems can lead to additional health problems. Read more about additional consequences of poor oral health here.

Risk Factors And Prevention

The before mentioned issues obviously can pose some serious problems, however by recognizing the various triggers or risk factors of some of these common dental problems, you may allow yourself to take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent such issues before they occur.

  • Improper Daily Hygiene: While this may seem like a given, unfortunately it can be very easy to fall into poor oral hygiene habits, and while this many not seem like a big deal, obviously it dose put you at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other related complications.
  • Dietary Habits: It’s certainly okay to enjoy the occasional treat, however if sugary drinks and snacks are a part of your daily diet, then you might consider cutting back on the sweets. Excess sugar can cause a number of alarming concerns and oral problems are certainly no exception. If reeling in your sweet tooth is an issue, then it is essential that you practice proper oral hygiene.
  • Smoking/Tobacco Use: As you probably realize, excess tobacco use can be catastrophic on one’s oral health, and cigarette smoke is often the culprit of this. Tooth decay, gum disease, and of course oral cancer can all be caused by smoking, thus the likelihood of tobacco users developing any of these issues is exponentially higher than that of nonusers. If you are a regular tobacco user, we strongly encourage you to seek professional counseling and to consider quitting. There’s also a new trend on the rise, vaping. Read more about the dangers of vaping.
  • Infrequent Checkups: As a rule of thumb, most dentists agree that a dental appointment approximately every six months is the best course of action, effectively resulting in two appointments per year. Unfortunately, this rule is not always adhered to and while making at least one dental appointment per year might suffice in some cases, there are some people who won’t even do that. It’s important to remember that your dentist is trained to not only take care of your teeth, but also to recognize the signs of any additional health issues (both oral and otherwise). By not giving your dentist the time to give you a proper examination, you are preventing your dentist from detecting any health issues, thereby allowing the issues to progress and worsen. 

A Smile Is A Terrible Thing to Waste!

Your smile is something you should love and take care of. But if you take it for granted, your beautiful smile not only won’t stay beautiful, but could also end up making you very sick! While all these common dental problems can potentially become a severe health crisis, keep in mind that almost all of these conditions can be prevented or successfully treated by taking the time to see Dr. Kimes and his wonderful staff at Overland Park Dentistry. 

Remember a Smile is a terrible thing to waste, Don’t waste yours!

Local dentist, Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS, and his team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with preventativerestorative or cosmetic dentistry. To schedule your dental appointment with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.

Dental Health Awareness: Gum Disease and Heart Disease

dental-health-awareness

Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease: A Dangerous Duo

A little-known fact…

When someone is stricken with an illness, they often feel as though they are “fighting” the illness, and while it has become something of a cliché way of describing it, indeed “fighting it” is actually a quite accurate way of putting it. Fighting a disease is essentially like fighting an enemy within your own body and while fighting one disease at a time can be very tough, fighting two different diseases at one is a harrowing experience to say the least!

Unfortunately, this has been the case for many people, as not having accurate dental health awareness, overlooking routine oral hygiene procedures or improperly preforming them can lead to the condition known as Periodontal Disease!

Periodontal Disease: A Deceptive Enemy

Whether known as Periodontal Disease, or more formally as Periodontitis, or even simply as gum disease, this progressive illness should not be taken lightly! While initially considered to be more of a cosmetic issue, periodontal disease has in many cases been thought of as little more than a nuisance that merely discolors your teeth and gives you bad breath. However, this is a gross misconception. In reality, gum disease is a progressive infection that while beginning in the gumline, eventually spreads throughout the mouth, often damaging everything it reaches. In some of the more severe cases, gum disease has been known to entirely destroy a sufferer’s jawbone, or even spread into other regions of body. Once periodontal disease has reached this stage, the likelihood of it triggering additional illnesses or interacting with pre-existing ones becomes a serious concern, that may even prove to be life-threatening.

 

Dental Health Awareness: The Interaction

While periodontal disease can affect a person’s health in a number of different ways, the link between periodontitis and a person’s cardiovascular health is perhaps the most prominent. As something of an umbrella term, cardiovascular or heart disease pertains to any such conditions that may block the heart’s valves or restrict its blood flow in anyway. As mentioned previously, in severe cases of gum disease once the excess bacteria enter the body’s blood vessels, it will begin to travel throughout the body. If the periodontal bacteria reach the heart, it will likely inflame vessels causing blood clots to develop and damage to occur. This damage will slowly began restricting the flow of blood, effectively choking the heart and forcing it to pump faster while producing less and less.

Given this data, skeptics in both the dental and medical fields are quick to point out that despite the previous information, periodontal disease still does not guarantee an eventual heart attack. While this is certainly true, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard University, individuals afflicted with gum disease have at least a two to three times higher probability of suffering a heart attack, stroke, or other sort of cardiovascular-based issue; alas, proving the correlation to be self-evident.

 

Dental Health Awareness: What to look for

Along with the clear link to cardiovascular illness, periodontal disease can also play a major role in the onset of or worsening of diabetes mellitus, which if mismanaged may wreak havoc on a person’s health and overall quality of life.  With so many hazards and associated issues, you’re probably wondering what exactly can be done to stop gum disease? Odd as it may sound, the key to preventing periodontal disease from appearing in your life is prevention itself. Much like a large hornet’s nest that has been left to grow and prosper, (thereby becoming a problem) gum disease is a progressive illness that will only become an issue if it is neglected, improperly managed, and ultimately allowed to thrive. This is one of the main reasons we talk so much about dental health awareness.

Learning and familiarizing yourself the signs and symptoms of gum disease is a crucial first step in preventing periodontal disease from becoming an issue in the first place. Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Bleeding or noticeably swollen gums
  • Excess pus buildup around gums and teeth
  • Hard brownish deposits that accumulate along the gum line
  • Chronic foul breath
  • Newly formed gaps between teeth or teeth that appear loose
  • Alterations in bite / changes in chewing habits

Related Article: Diabetes and Oral Health: The Link to Gum Disease

 

Dental Health Awareness: Risk Factors

As you can imagine, there are multiple factors such as; lifestyle habits or underlining issues that can play a major role in the development or worsening of periodontal disease which is why your dental health awareness is important to our team.

Such risk factors may include:

  • Smoking or any tobacco use
  • Genetic disposition / history of dental problems
  • Poor or improper oral hygiene
  • Preexisting health issues such as diabetes or hormonal disorders
  • Prescription or recreational drug use
  • Bruxism / clenching and grinding your teeth
  • Excess stress or a weakened immune system
  • Inadequate nutrition
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Previously damaged or misaligned teeth

 

Don’t Fight Alone!

As mentioned previously, what truly makes a disease like Periodontitis so dangerous is its uncanny ability to trigger additional issues such as heart disease. While fighting this gruesome twosome of periodontal disease and heart disease is certainly an uphill battle, you don’t have to fight alone! At Overland Park Dentistry, Dr. Kimes and his wonderful staff are here to help you in this battle by providing you with some of the highest quality dental care in the Kansas City area.

Related Article: Your Overland Park Dentist: Charles R. Kimes, DDS

Make no mistake, gum disease is very dangerous and if left untreated the consequences could be dire. So, please don’t let this happen to you, come see us at Overland Park Dentistry and let’s fight periodontal disease together!

Dr. Charles R. Kimes, DDS and his expert team at Overland Park Dentistry look forward to having the opportunity to care for you and your family with any preventativerestorative or cosmetic needs you or your family may have. To schedule your dental appointment or whitening consultation with your Overland Park Dentist, contact us at our south Overland Park office at (913) 647-8700 or our north Overland Park office at (913) 341-2380.