Gum Disease: Rubber Tipping Better Than Antibiotics | Alhambra Dentist

A recent study showed that massaging the gums with a rubber tip (found at the other end of some toothbrushes) is actually more effective in reducing germ count than a regimen of antibiotics!

Bacteria that cause gum disease are like vampires. They must live in the dark. Oral bacteria are “anaerobic,” meaning that they cannot live in the presence of oxygen. They thrive in dark spaces between the gum and the roots of the teeth called gum “pockets”. Brushing and flossing are effective in part because oxygen is introduced into these pockets.

Vigorous massaging of the gums with the rubber tip introduces fresh air into these dead spaces. In comparing the percentage of bacteria between those who massage their gums with the rubber tip and those who took antibiotics, the rubber tipping group actually had slightly more reduction in bacterial count. Both groups brushed and floss their teeth during the experiment.

The additional benefit of massaging your gums with the rubber tip is that plaque and cellular fluids are flushed out and circulation in the gums is improved.

This is not to say that you should only massage your gums, and not brush and floss your teeth. In fact, you should only massage your gums after you have thoroughly brushed and flossed your teeth. As a precaution, if you have moderate to severe gum disease, it may not be a good idea to massage your gums before you talk to your dentist.

Here is how you can massage your gums: Grasp the handle firmly in your hand and place the rubber tip between the spaces between two teeth. Point the rubber tip toward the center of the teeth. Gently press the rubber tip upward if you are massaging the upper arch, and downward if dealing with the lower arch. If you encounter bleeding from the gums, you are either massaging too hard, or you have a gum condition that should be checked by your dentist. Continue to massage every space between the teeth for 10 to 15 seconds. Do not massage the spaces between the front teeth. Slight temporary soreness is to be expected. This soreness will likely disappear over two weeks. If soreness persists, then you should consult your dentist. Do not massage your gums if there is heavy plaque formation. Under certain circumstances, your dentist may ask you to massage your gums vigorously. In other circumstances, your dentist may instruct you not to use the rubber tip at all.

And if you are still unsure of how to use the rubber tip properly, ask your hygienist or dentist for a demonstration.

If you would like more information about rubbertipped toothbrushes, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.askyourdentistaboutpinhole.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

2019-08-16T23:16:01+00:00May 17th, 2019|General Dentistry, Periodontal|

Frequent Recreational Use of Cannabis Is Associated with Gum Disease | Alhambra Dentist

Recreational use of cannabis is permissible in some states, including California. Anecdotal and observational reports have pointed to Cannabis use being involved with receding gums and gum disease. An analysis of the data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination (NHANES) indicated the following:

Periodontal (gum) disease, one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, is a major cause of tooth loss among adults. Although periodontitis has a genetic component, factors such as increased age, gender, chronic conditions such as diabetes, exposure to tobacco, and oral hygiene may also increase the risk or severity of the disease. Researchers examined data from the 2011-2012 cycle of the National Health and Nutritional Examination survey to evaluate whether cannabis use (i.e., marijuana or hashish) may also be a risk factor for periodontitis prevalence and severity.

NHANES is designed to be representative of the noninstitutionalized civilian population of the United States aged 30 years or older and includes both a demographic and behavioral questionnaire, as well as a full-mouth periodontal examination conducted at 6 sites per tooth.

This analysis was restricted to the 1,938 adults who received a complete periodontal examination and answered questions on substance use. Those who reported they used marijuana or hashish once or more every month for the last 12 months were categorized as frequent cannabis users, while those who reported using marijuana or hashish less than once per month were categorized as non-frequent cannabis users. Frequent cannabis users had significantly greater clinical attachment loss than non-frequent, and significantly higher mean number of sites with pocket depths of 4 mm or more and attachment loss of 3 mm or more.

Confounding factors for age, gender, race/ethnicity, family income, diabetes, alcohol and smoking, and treatment for gum disease within the past year were accounted for in the study. The odds of severe periodontitis were 1.4 higher for frequent cannabis users than those who never or rarely used cannabis.

This analysis demonstrates the effect of cannabis as a potential risk factor for periodontal disease. Check with your dentist about the possible effect of cannabis use on your dental health. (Portions of this article was excerpted from ADA News.)

If you would like more information about gum disease, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

2019-08-16T23:18:19+00:00May 9th, 2019|Periodontal|

Denture Problems: Instant Cure with Affordable Dental Implants | Alhambra Dentist

Denture wearers most often have problems with looseness of the fit. In the vast majority of cases this is because, while dentures do not change dimensions, bone and gum do. This soft and hard tissue shrinkage is further accelerated by the forces of mastication and bruxism (common habit of grinding and clenching the teeth). Over time, the gap between the denture and the underlying gum and bone increases. Some patients have the ability to adapt to this looseness, sometimes with the help of denture adhesives. Others develop “denture sores” that persist and simply limit their diet to soft, nutritionally deficient foods. Poor nutrition can lead to a cascade of common health problems, such as obesity, high blood sugar and diabetes, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disorders. Emotional and self-esteem issues are often the result. On the other hand it is amazing how new; well-fitting dentures can elevate the mood and sense of well-being in the patient who had been suffering with ill-fitting dentures.

Recent advances in implantology have allowed denture patients to have existing, functional dentures to be attached to “one-stage, immediate loading implants” in one visit. The best news is that these “mini-permanent implants” are substantially less costly than conventional two-stage implants.

Through a procedure, called “minimally invasive micro-surgery,” your dentist can place an implant that measures 1.8 mm (less than one tenth of an inch) in diameter and one-half inch in length at appropriate locations in the jaw. No incision or stitching is needed. Generally four implants are required for the lower denture and six for the upper denture. Discomfort is minimal and patients generally can eat immediately afterwards.

Where the current dentures are serviceable, there is no need to make new dentures. If necessary it is possible to “reline” the denture when the implants are being done.

There is also welcome news for gaggers or anyone who prefers not to have anything covering the roof of the mouth. With upper implants holding the denture in place, the roof of the denture is no longer necessary, and can be removed.

Discuss your denture needs with your dentist and see whether you are a good candidate for mini-implants. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy this can be done.

If you would like more information about dental implants, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

2019-08-16T23:42:01+00:00February 7th, 2019|Periodontal|