Tag Archives: periodontitis

Is there a link between Pneumonia and Poor Oral Health?

Anyone and everyone can get pneumonia. In fact, according to a study by Science Daily, over 1 million Americans are infected with pneumonia every year. Furthermore, studies have also shown that there is a link between oral health and your risk for getting pneumonia – with people who never get dental checkups having an 86 percent higher risk of getting pneumonia.

More information about geriatric oral health and pneumonia risk HERE.

Pneumonia & Poor Oral Health: Pneumonia Prevention

Knowing that there is a link between pneumonia and poor oral health, one can assume that good oral health can help prevent pneumonia. According to scholar, Koichiro UEDA, “In recent years, the need for oral care in preventing aspiration pneumonia has been recognized across the academic disciplines.”

Pneumonia prevention consists of:

Regular Dental Cleanings

Regular cleanings and visits to the dentist will greatly reduce the number of harmful bacteria and plaque in the mouth. This keeps your mouth healthy and less at risk. On the flip side, when dental cleanings are ignored, there is a much greater risk for bacterial pneumonia because the bacteria are thriving in your mouth. According to Michelle Doll, MD, “In the case of bacteria that cause pneumonia, for example, they have to be inhaled to cause an infection. Getting regular cleanings and check-ups may reduce the amount of these bacteria.”

Read more on the importance of dental cleanings from Health.com HERE.

Related Articles:

Clean Teeth and Clean Lungs

Did you know that dental cleanings do much more than just clean your teeth and improve your oral health? They’re also beneficial for your lungs!

Here’s the basic rundown.

  • Dental cleanings reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • When bacteria are reduced in the mouth, it doesn’t get into the lungs.
  • This also reduces your risk for lung infection and helps keep your lungs bacteria free.

Learn more from WebMD about oral health and lung health HERE.

As you can see the link between pneumonia and poor oral health is a true concern, especially for our older dental patients. It’s clear that oral health is connected to your overall health, so remember to take care of your smile and your body will thank you!

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek’s experienced and friendly team at GPS Dental offers affordable dental care for all ages in San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we promote dental health awareness to our patients and provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at 210-633-3477 to make an appointment. 

Oral Bacteria: Are Healthy Teeth Just About a Pretty Smile?

Healthy teeth are about more than just a pretty smile… and what does oral bacteria have to do with a pretty smile?

Your oral health has a major effect on the overall health of your body, not just in your mouth. By maintaining healthy teeth and gums, you can make your body healthier from head to toe.

Oral Bacteria and Health

Bacteria in the mouth cause tooth decay – by feeding on the sugars in the foods and drinks we consume – they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm known as dental plaque.

Our mouths have lots of bacteria that is usually harmless. (Did you know that the bacteria in our body aids with digestion and other biological tasks?) However, if you do not brush or floss regularly, oral bacteria can reach dangerously high levels. When this happens, tooth decay, gum disease, and oral infections can be the nasty result.

Health Risks Throughout the Body

There is evidence that the oral bacteria and high level of inflammation associated with the serious gum disease known as periodontitis can play a role in diseases in other parts of the body.

The following health issues and diseases are linked with poor gum health:

  • Infections from Abscesses: In some rare instances, severe tooth decay can lead to an abscess. The infection can travel to the heart, brain, or lungs, causing severe illness or even death.
  • Cardiovascular Diseases: There are researchers who suggest that heart disease, stroke and clogged arteries are linked to the inflammation and infections caused by too much oral bacteria.
  • Pregnancy and Birth Complications: Severe gum infection has been linked to premature births and low birth weight.
  • Endocarditis: This is an infection of the inner lining of the heart. This can occur when bacteria from other parts of your body, such as your mouth, move through your bloodstream and become attached to damaged areas in the heart.

The Impact of Gum Disease

Did you know that 85% of Americans suffer from gum disease, yet only 60% of those infected know they have gum disease? Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth and is the leading cause of tooth loss. However, the impact can extend beyond your mouth.

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can significantly affect your general health.

Research shows that there is a connection between gum disease and other serious conditions such as:

  • osteoporosis
  • oral and pancreatic cancer
  • brain stroke
  • heart disease
  • gum disease may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia from oral bacteria that spread through the blood stream
  • gum disease also impacts those with diabetes by making it difficult to regulate blood glucose levels
  • Read More: Oral Disease: The Top 3 that Could Impact Your Health

If you have one of these systemic conditions, it is important to talk to your dentist about your risk for gum disease and the best treatment options.

Related Article: Gum Disease: Can a Simple Cavity Turn into Gum Disease?

Causes of Gum Disease:

  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Sugar and acid
  • Tooth abnormalities
  • Poor dental work
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Tooth grinding

Symptoms of Gum Disease Can Range from:

  • chronic bad breath
  • red, swollen gums
  • bleeding when you brush
  • painful chewing
  • loose or sensitive teeth
  • sensitive or receding gums

Sometimes there are no signs of gum disease, which is why it’s essential to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup.

Related Article: Oral Diseases and Tooth Loss

Treatment | Gum Disease is Treatable

The three goals of treatment involve:

  1. reducing inflammation
  2. decreasing pocket depth (the space between your tooth and gum)
  3. stopping bone loss

Initial treatment options can include Laser Pocket Disinfection or scaling and root planning (also known as deep cleaning). There are surgery options for advanced gum disease.

Protecting Your Oral Health

By protecting the health of your teeth and gums, you can keep yourself healthier too. Practice good oral hygiene daily to prevent overgrowth of bacteria.

This includes:

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice per day
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between teeth
  • Avoid tobacco use, as this can cause irritation in your gums
  • Replace your toothbrush every three or four months
  • Limit sugary snacks, which can feed bacteria and increase their growth

You should also have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Why? Read more about “Why it’s important to schedule your dental exam twice a year”.

If you notice a problem with your teeth or gums, call for an appointment right away. The sooner these are handled, the sooner you will be back to full health. Gary Skrobanek, DDS provides general and family dentistry in the San Antonio, Texas area to keep his patients healthy – including healthy teeth, healthy gums, and a healthy body. Time for your checkup? Call to schedule today.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.

Oral Disease: Top 3 Oral Diseases that could Impact Your Health

Headline: The top three oral diseases that could impact your health

When it comes to your mouth, it’s important to know what you’re up against in order to stay on top of your oral health and prevent future issues. According to the CDC, oral health includes the “teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak, and chew.” There are three common oral diseases that can greatly affect your oral health:

  • Dental caries (cavities)
  • Periodontitis
  • Oral cancer

By knowing the causes and prevention methods for each of these three diseases, you are one step closer to avoiding these oral problems and increasing not only your oral health, but your overall wellbeing.

Related article: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/conditions/index.html

Oral Disease: Dental Caries

Dental caries, also known as cavities or tooth decay, are the most common dental problem in both children and adults. Caries affect up to two thirds of adolescents, and 60-90% of school age children, according to statistics.

Specifically, dental caries are caused by numerous factors such as:

  • Consuming an excess of sugar
  • Not thoroughly cleaning the teeth
  • Having a high number of bacteria/plaque in the mouth

These factors can all lead to tooth decay or holes in the surface of your teeth. Thankfully, dental caries are also easily preventable. By brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, using a fluoride-based mouthwash, frequently flossing, and implementing a reduction in sugar intake will make a huge difference in your oral health and will greatly reduce your risk of oral disease.

Oral Disease: Periodontitis

Periodontitis is a gum disease caused by the inflammation of the gums and deterioration of the soft tissue surrounding the bones that support your teeth. Similar to dental caries, poor oral hygiene and a high concentration of plaque leads to a higher risk of periodontitis. However, there are other factors that also increase one’s risk, such as diabetes, a weakened immune system, smoking tobacco, and obesity.

Regular dental checkups are a must in order to catch this oral disease early for treatment. If left untreated, periodontitis can make the gums inflamed and infected, leading to tooth extractions. So, make sure to keep up with your regular hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and getting professional teeth cleanings to stay clear of this disease.

Oral Disease: Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is any type of cancer that forms in the mouth. It’s important to be diligent with your symptoms, and immediately let your doctor know if you are experiencing indicators such as: a sore that doesn’t heal, painful swallowing, a white or red patch in your mouth, or mouth pain. Like other types of cancers, oral cancer occurs when cells around the mouth mutate and form abnormal cells. It’s also important to catch this oral disease early on to increase the chances of ridding the cancer and improving your health.

Unlike dental caries and periodontitis, where frequent brushing and flossing will greatly decrease risk, there is no known prevention for oral cancer. However, according to Mayo Clinic, there are some steps to take to reduce your risk of developing this cancer, such as reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption.

To learn more about risks and prevention, please visit: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mouth-cancer/symptoms-causes/syc-20350997

Knowing how to prevent these three common oral diseases can make such a huge impact on the future of your teeth. Knowledge is power! Don’t forget to check back over our tips and prevention techniques to reach the best level of oral health.

GPS Dental Can Help

Dental professionals are true advocates of oral care. We are not only adamant about keeping teeth clean, but we­ are also concerned with your overall dental health. Checking for defects, abnormalities, and indications of severe issues in the bone, teeth, or gums are also at the forefront of our practice. Similarly, offering advice on how to properly care for teeth and correct certain habits is also a part of the patient education that we offer. Should you be looking for a dentist that is serious about oral care, contact our dental office to book your dental appointment.

Dr. Gary P. Skrobanek is a dental implant dentist and his experienced, friendly team at GPS Dental offer affordable family dentistry and gentle dental care in the San Antonio, TX area. Our Brooks City Base dentist office is conveniently located and offers early morning appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At GPS Dental, we provide most dental services, from family and general dentistry to dental implantssleep apneaTMJ / TMD Treatmentcosmetic dentistry and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Call us at (210) 633-3477 to make an appointment.