Posts for: February, 2016
Is there a link between periodontal (gum) disease and cardiovascular disease? Medical researchers are endeavoring to answer this intriguing question, but early findings seem to say yes. If it bears true, the findings could advance treatment for both diseases.
There is one thing that can be said for certain: inflammation is a factor in both diseases’ progression. Gum disease begins as an infection caused by bacteria growing in plaque, which is made up of bacteria and a thin film of food remnant that adheres to tooth surfaces. The body responds to this infection through tissue inflammation, an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading. Likewise, inflammation appears to be a similar response to changes in blood vessels afflicted by cardiovascular disease.
While inflammation is part of the body’s mechanism to heal traumatized tissue, if it becomes chronic it can actually have a damaging effect on the tissues intended to benefit. For patients with gum disease, chronic inflammation causes connective tissues to detach from teeth, leading eventually to tooth and bone loss. Similarly, inflammation damages the linings of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients.
Researchers want to know what role bacteria may also play in the progression of cardiovascular disease. Initial studies seem to indicate that proactively treating the gum disease by removing all plaque from oral surfaces in patients with both conditions does appear to improve the health of diseased blood vessel linings. Whether this could ultimately reduce the occurrence of heart attack or stroke still needs to be ascertained.
As we learn more about the possible connections between these two diseases, there’s hope it will lead to new advancements that could improve health outcomes for both. It may prove to be the case, then, that maintaining a healthy mouth promotes a healthy heart, and vice-versa.
If you would like more information on the connection between gum disease and heart disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Inflammation and Heart Disease.”
What you need to know about dental recommendations for children.
You love that little baby in your arms. Your child is perfect, happy and smiling. And all of a sudden, you notice a little white tooth showing through your baby’s gums. You wonder if you need to take your child to see the dentist. The short answer is yes! Dr. Jason Dyson of Parmer Oaks Dental Care, your family dentist in Cedar Park, TX, wants you to know all about dental care for your child.
Current pediatric dental recommendations are to bring your child for a first visit within 6 months of a tooth erupting, because decay can happen early and quickly. You should at the very least bring your child in for a visit by the time your child is one year old, as you want them to feel comfortable coming to their Cedar Park family dentist. The earlier you start a positive relationship between your child and Dr. Dyson, the easier dental appointments will be for your child.
There are established eruption patterns and times for children’s teeth. You can expect to see lower front teeth erupt at 6 to 10 months, and upper front teeth follow shortly after at 8 to 12 months. Typically, lower teeth erupt before their opposing upper tooth. Your child may or may not fit the pattern, and that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong. Dr. Dyson can assess your child and reassure you about your child’s teeth.
You also want to bring your child in to see Dr. Dyson and his dental hygienist so that your child can begin to get comfortable with cleaning their own mouth. Dr. Dyson and his dental team can help you instill the benefits and value of good oral hygiene early. Your child is more likely to continue good habits as an adult by starting early.
You love your baby, and want to do the best for your child, which is why you need to seek out the best dental care. You can be assured of the best when you and your child visit with Dr. Jason Dyson of Parmer Oaks Dental Care, your family dentist in Cedar Park, TX. Start early and call today!
So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?
Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!
Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.
If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.
If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.
A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.
Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”