Posts for: June, 2015
Periodontitis and Heart Disease
There have been several recent industry studies that have shown a connection between the presence of periodontal disease and heart diseases such as endocarditis, coronary artery problems, and stroke. It is believed that the dangerous bacteria that builds up on your teeth can make its way into the bloodstream, carrying it to the arteries and contributing to arterial plaque and blood clot formation. Research showed that people with periodontal disease were twice as likely to have coronary artery disease as well. The amount of other risk factors that go into heart disease make this relationship an ongoing study.
Periodontitis and Diabetes
Because diabetics are more susceptible to a variety of infections, their association with periodontitis is no surprise for your Naples dentist. More people with diabetes also have periodontal disease than those who do not; diabetics are also more prone to losing teeth. It is believed that periodontal disease can have a negative effect on the regulation of sugar and insulin for the diabetic, and thus these patients should seek treatment at Linden Dental in Naples, Florida at the first sign of periodontal problems.
Did you see the move Cast Away starring Tom Hanks? If so, you probably remember the scene where Hanks, stranded on a remote island, knocks out his own abscessed tooth — with an ice skate, no less — to stop the pain. Recently, Dear Doctor TV interviewed Gary Archer, the dental technician who created that special effect and many others.
“They wanted to have an abscess above the tooth with all sorts of gunk and pus and stuff coming out of it,” Archer explained. “I met with Tom and I took impressions [of his mouth] and we came up with this wonderful little piece. It just slipped over his own natural teeth.” The actor could flick it out with his lower tooth when the time was right during the scene. It ended up looking so real that, as Archer said, “it was not for the easily squeamish!”
That’s for sure. But neither is a real abscess, which is an infection that becomes sealed off beneath the gum line. An abscess may result from a trapped piece of food, uncontrolled periodontal (gum) disease, or even an infection deep inside a tooth that has spread to adjacent periodontal tissues. In any case, the condition can cause intense pain due to the pressure that builds up in the pus-filled sac. Prompt treatment is required to relieve the pain, keep the infection from spreading to other areas of the face (or even elsewhere in the body), and prevent tooth loss.
Treatment involves draining the abscess, which usually stops the pain immediately, and then controlling the infection and removing its cause. This may require antibiotics and any of several in-office dental procedures, including gum surgery, a root canal, or a tooth extraction. But if you do have a tooth that can’t be saved, we promise we won’t remove it with an ice skate!
The best way to prevent an abscess from forming in the first place is to practice conscientious oral hygiene. By brushing your teeth twice each day for two minutes, and flossing at least once a day, you will go a long way towards keeping harmful oral bacteria from thriving in your mouth.
If you have any questions about gum disease or abscesses, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses” and “Confusing Tooth Pain.”