WORD OF MOUTH Oral Health Advice

larry krMy husband and I are both in our 60’s and try to stay as healthy as possible. I am more diligent with my oral hygiene than he is, but for some reason I have gum problems – WHY?

You bring up a good point. Due to many factors, some people are more susceptible to periodontal disease no matter how conscientious they may be.

Let’s discuss some of these dynamics. We now know that the presence of bacteria in the mouth starts an inflammatory process, similar to inflammation in other parts of the body which can affect the cardiovascular system or joints.

Smoking, diabetes and medications for blood pressure, heart disease and depression can produce dry mouth and lead to periodontal disease. Many people don’t realize that dry mouth can be exacerbated by more than 500 drugs commonly prescribed for many aliments. Toothpaste and rinses are available over-the-counter to treat dry mouth symptoms. The lack of saliva compromises your teeth because decay forms, and initiates gum disease because harmful bacteria is not washed away. If you think your medication is causing dry mouth, check with your physician to ask if there is an alternative drug.

New information also links obesity to periodontal disease, as excess fat cells can weaken your body’s resistance. Even the simplest of solutions, such as your diet, can help make a difference: Fatty acids – BAD! Omega 3’s – GOOD!

My dentist is going to take out a broken tooth. He is suggesting a “flipper.” This sounds kind of fishy to me. What in the world is it?

Rest assured, your dentist will not be putting a dolphin in your mouth. Quite simply, a “flipper” is a temporary appliance which “flips” in and out of your mouth at will. In other words, it is removable.

When a tooth no longer exists or it needs to be removed or has been extracted, we suggest impressions be taken for the construction of the appliance that will be worn while undergoing treatment. This will ensure that you will never be without a tooth, especially if you are having dental implant procedures.

Once the implant fixture has been properly integrated and the permanent crown is placed over the implant, you will no longer need the “flipper!”

For more information, visit <www.WeSaveSmiles.com.>

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