Cosmetic Dentistry Can Correct Microdontia

WomanSan Francisco, CA – You know the importance of daily brushing and flossing and regular visits with a San Francisco dentist to keep your smile healthy and beautiful. But, there is one thing that is out of your control when it comes to your smile, and that is genetics.

“When people say we have our father’s eyes, or are lucky we inherited our mother’s gorgeous skin, it’s a great thing,” says cosmetic dentistry expert Dr. Greg Larson. “But sometimes, our relatives give us something we don’t love. The shape and size of your teeth, and even sometimes your oral health, can be an inherited trait, and for those who suffer from microdontia, it’s often one that isn’t welcome.”

So what is microdontia? It’s a condition in which the permanent, adult teeth are too small. And unfortunately, it tends to be hereditary. If you think it looks like you have children’s teeth when you smile, you might suffer from microdontia.

In addition to small teeth, adults with microdontia often have gaps between their teeth. This is because the teeth are too small to fill the mouth, and the smile is left looking like it is still made up of baby teeth.

You may be embarrassed by your smile, but those small teeth can also be doing harm to your overall oral health. Chances are, you may not be able to chew properly because your teeth don’t fit together the way they should. And this abnormal wear and tear from an improper bite can lead to breaking, chipping and cracked teeth over time.

But by visiting a skilled cosmetic dentist like Dr. Larson can offer you the healthy, functioning smile you’ve always wanted.

In some cases, your smile may be restored using porcelain veneers. Veneers fit right over the top of your teeth, and can conceal virtually any imperfection in your teeth. The size of the veneer can be customized to make your tooth look the right size for your mouth.

Composites are another option. This is tooth colored material typically used in fillings. It can be bonded directly on to your natural enamel to widen or lengthen your teeth to their desired sizes. This is an option for smaller restorations.

Crowns offer the most coverage and strength. A crown is essentially a cap that covers the existing tooth. It can be customized to be the exact size, color and shape to give you the most beautiful smile.

To determine which restoration is right for you, Dr. Larson will perform a thorough exam to understand exactly what level of microdontia you are facing, and to determine your smile goals. Working together, he’ll create a treatment plan that will provide you with a beautiful, functioning and mature looking smile that you’ll be proud to show off.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

I Think I Have a Cavity Under My Crown!

San Francisco, CA – There’s a common dental myth that once you receive a crown on a tooth, the tooth that was covered will never experience decay. But unfortunately, that just isn’t true.

“A crown itself cannot experience decay, that is true,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “But your natural tooth is still under that crown, and it is possible to develop a cavity in the original tooth. And when that happens, that means you’ll have to have the crown removed so the tooth can be adequately repaired, before a new crown can be fit.”

Tooth decayA crown is basically a cap that covers a tooth that has experience significant damage, either through breakage or decay. Crowns work to provide a protective covering for the tooth, strengthening it and providing a stable bite surface.

But even though the crown itself is resistant to decay, you still must care for it the same as you would a natural tooth. Patients with crowns should pay special attention to the margins, or edges of the crown, where it attaches to the natural tooth. Your natural tooth may not be visible under the crown, but decay can in fact form around the edges of the crown.

The margin of your crown will be the area you need to pay the most attention to in order to avoid decay. Food and other debris can gather here, and if not properly brushed and flossed away, a cavity can set in. If you have a poor diet, one that is rich in sugars and acids, and don’t pay close attention to your dental hygiene, you have an area just waiting for cavities.

And unfortunately, in many cases, the only way to accurately see this decay is through an X-ray. That’s just one of the many reasons why it’s important to maintain regular check-ups with your dentist. However, if your crown is made of metal, rather than porcelain, it is impossible to detect through an X-ray. To determine decay under a metal crown, the X-ray machine will need to be placed at precisely the right angle to spot the cavity.

So what will Dr. Larson do if he finds decay?

“Unfortunately, the only way to properly repair decay found under a crown is to remove the crown,” says Dr. Larson. “First, we’ll have to determine how much of the remaining tooth structure is affected by the decay. In some cases, it may have already started to penetrate the pulp, because there might not be enough natural tooth structure to separate the decay from the nerve. If this is the case, a root canal will need to be performed first.”

Repairing a previously crowned tooth that has decay enough to place a new crown can be a difficult task. If the decay has spread too far, the natural tooth may not be able to be saved. In this instance, Dr. Larson would pull the tooth, and suggest a dental implant to properly place a new crown in.

Other patients may need a crown lengthening procedure. This will remove some of the bone that supports the tooth to allow Dr. Larson to have enough space to remove the cavity, while still allowing for a crown.

If the decay is small and you are able to keep the tooth, Dr. Larson will fit you for a new crown.

“All of these procedures can be time consuming and costly,” says Dr. Larson. “That’s why I advise all of my patients to pay close attention to their crowns. Careful brushing and flossing at the gum line is imperative to keep plaque from building up and leading to decay.”

When you first receive your crown, be sure to pay close attention to all after care instructions given by Dr. Larson and his staff. If you are concerned that the margin where the crown attached to the natural tooth is too large, be sure to ask Dr. Larson for additional tips to help you avoid decay. He may be able to recommend special tools to help keep your mouth free of decay.

With proper care, your crown should last many years. Over time, as your gums naturally recede with age, the margin will become larger, meaning you’ll need to pay closer attention to proper cleaning.

If you’re concerned it may be time for a new crown, schedule an appointment with Dr. Larson today. Or, if you are concerned you may have decay hiding under a crown, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Larson for an appointment. Correcting the decay while it’s still small will offer the best chance to save the natural tooth.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Oh No – My Porcelain Veneer Cracked!

cosmetic dentistry in San Rafael San Francisco, CA – Porcelain veneers are a wonderful way to transform your smile. And as long as you properly maintain them, chips and cracks to veneers are typically very rare. However, accidents can happen and your veneer can crack. So what should you do if that happens?

“If your veneer cracks or chips, it’s important to determine what the exact issue is and save any pieces that may have broken off,” says Dr. Greg Larson, a San Francisco dentist. “When you realize the veneer is broken, try to carefully remove any parts that are loose, being careful not to damage the veneer any further. If the entire veneer has come off, it may be possible to replace. Also, if it has cracked cleanly, it may be possible to repair it without having to make an entirely new veneer.”

Inspect the portion of the veneer closely. If you think it may be the entire veneer that has simply come unbonded from your tooth, check it’s shape – a whole veneer will be rounded and symmetrical looking.

Then, check the tooth it came off of. If you have only a piece of the veneer, pay attention for broken pieces that may have remained on the tooth. These can feel sharp to the tongue and mouth, so be careful not to injure your mouth.

If you have the entire veneer, bring it with you to Dr. Larson’s office. Carefully store it until your appointment, and Dr. Larson may be able to re-attach it.

“If the veneer only has a slight chip or crack, we should be able to repair it for you without an entire replacement,” says Dr. Larson, who regularly performs restoration work. “I will use a bonding material to patch the chip or crack. While this composite bonding material won’t be as strong as the veneer, it is the best way to repair a veneer if you don’t want the hassle of getting a new one. However, you’ll need to return to my office periodically for touch ups to the bonding material to ensure the life of the veneer.”

To repair a broken veneer, it must be a clean break and must be intact to fit perfectly back together. Otherwise, it may not be possible to recreate the ideal look.

If your veneer has been damaged beyond repair, a replacement will be needed. First, Dr. Larson will remove any remaining veneer from the tooth. Then he’ll prepare the tooth structure and take an impression for the new veneer.

To protect your veneers, it’s important to remember to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist at least twice a year. Because the veneers are bonded to your teeth, it’s important to take extra care to protect them. Don’t chew on objects such as pencils or pens or use your teeth to open things. Also, be sure you wear a mouth guard if you play contact sports to protect your teeth from injury.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Updates to Treating Sleep Apnea

San Francisco, CA – Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires specialized care, and if left untreated, can lead to dangerous conditions. In the past two decades, dentists have played an increasingly larger role in treating patients with OSA through oral appliance therapy.

A dentist and a nurseThe American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine recently offered six recommendations for oral appliance therapy.

“Dentists are playing a very important role in effectively treating patients with OSA,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “But, it’s important that we continuously look at the work we are doing to make sure we are following best practices.”

The new guidelines are:

1. It is recommended that sleep physicians prescribe oral appliances for patients who request treatment for snoring, but do not present OSA.
2. Dentists use a custom, titratable appliance over non-custom oral devices.
3. For patients who are intolerant of CPAP therapy, or who request an alternate form of therapy, oral appliances should be prescribed.
4. Dentists provide oversight and follow-up or oral appliance therapy to be sure there are no dental-related side effects or occlusal changes.
5. Sleep physicians conduct follow-up sleep testing to confirm treatment efficacy and to see if any improvements can be made.
6. Patients are instructed to return to sleep physician and dentist for periodic office visits.

The guideline also stressed the importance of oral appliance treatment being provided by a qualified dentist. This means one that has the technical skills, knowledge and clinical judgement needed to determine outcomes and risks.

Dr. Larson has studied sleep apnea extensively and has the knowledge and skill needed to properly fit and treat OA patients through oral appliance therapy. He works closely with other experts, such as including ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors, pulmonologists, physical therapists, orthodontists and sleep medicine specialists to determine the right course of action for each patient. His custom dental orthotics are comfortable, and work to properly open the patient’s airway to encourage air exchange and oxygenation during sleep.

“Proper treatment using orthotic appliances takes great skill, and I’m happy to see that the AASM and AADSM are updating their treatment guidelines to ensure the best outcomes for all OSA patients,” Says Dr. Larson.

If you suffer from excessive snoring or sleep apnea, it might be time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Larson, and be on the road to better sleep, and a healthier life.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Coronary Artery Disease and Sleep Apnea

San Francisco, CA – We’ve talked extensively about obstructive sleep apnea and the serious conditions it is linked to. And a recent sleep clinic study has shown one more dangerous association – coronary artery disease and sleep apnea.

doctor putting glovesThe study, presented at the National Lipid Association Scientific Sessions, showed that CAD is associated with the presence and severity of obstructive sleep apnea, as well as shorter sleep durations. The study followed 928 patients, and severe obstructive sleep apnea was more common in the patients who suffered from CAD. Patients with CAD also experienced shorter sleep durations.

Coronary artery disease develops when the arteries that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients become damaged or diseased. Plaque builds up, narrowing the coronary arteries, which decreases the blood flow to your heart. Over time, this decreased blood flow can cause chest pain and shortness of breath, and a complete blockage can cause a heart attack.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, but you may not know you are at risk in the beginning stages,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “Sleep apnea is a good indication that something else may be wrong with your body, so if you suffer from loud snoring and stoppages in breathing during the night, you need to take it seriously.”

One in five adults suffers from a mild form of sleep apnea, so it’s actually rather common. And Dr. Larson is more than just a cosmetic dentist – he has studied sleep apnea extensively and has the skills needed to help you regulate and treat your condition.

Traditional sleep apnea treatment involves the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine. But because the machine is cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear, patients may avoid treatment, which can be dangerous. Dr. Larson treats patients with a dental orthotic that they wear at night.

The orthotic is small and comfortable, but works to keep your airway open so you can breathe properly and rest easily. Dr. Larson is on fellowship track with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and has great success treating obstructive sleep apnea patients. He knows that it is critical to work in conjunction with a patient’s other physicians, such as ear nose and throat specialists, pulmonologists and others, to ensure proper treatment.

If you suffer from CAD, and believe you may also suffer from sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Dr. Larson today.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

The Dental Assistant’s Role in Detecting Oral Cancer

Dentist working on a patientSan Francisco, CA¬ – This year alone, more than 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Of those, approximately 8,600 will die from the disease, and only 57 percent will survive beyond five years of their diagnosis. The mortality rate of oral cancer is higher than many other cancers for one reason – it’s often caught in its later stages, when it is much more difficult to treat.

“One of the most troubling issues with oral cancers is that in their early stages, they often aren’t noticed because there are no really visible signs and no pain,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “However, maintaining regular check-ups with your dentist and scheduling appointments when anything in your mouth seems amiss puts you at a much greater chance of detecting anything abnormal early, when treatment can be most effective.”

And in recent years, the number of patients diagnosed with oral cancer has risen. Researchers have discovered a link between oral cancer and human papilloma virus, which is the same virus linked to cervical and penile cancers. This is alarming because oral cancer caused by HPV is much harder to detect than tobacco-related cancers because many current detection devices cannot identify HPV related oral cancers.

HPV is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer, and white, non-smoking males agers 35-55 are most at risk. However, women are also at risk, and HPV is thought to be responsible for an alarming increase in oral cancers in non-smokers aged 25 to 50.

“This is why having excellently trained dental assistants is so important,” says Dr. Larson. “My assistants play a key role in detecting signs of oral cancer. First of all, they have the most contact with our patients and are most familiar with our patients’ medical histories, and the health of their mouths. They get to know our patients, and know if they have any lifestyle choices that may make them at greater risk for developing the disease. Only one month ago, we discovered a lump on a patient’s neck that we referred for biopsy and it turned out to be throat cancer that had spread to cervical lymph nodes. The patient was then treated with surgery and radiation and has a good prognosis for survival.”

Historically, oral cancer has been diagnosed through a physical examination, after a patient has found something that has caused them concern. The dentist would then inspect the area and send you on for a biopsy or additional testing to determine what the problem was.

But your dental team should play a key role in ensuring the health of your mouth, and an oral cancer screening should be included in every check-up. That means every dental assistant should be well-trained in being able to spot abnormalities, especially because in their early stages, many oral cancer symptoms are subtle and can be mistaken for a standard mouth problem.

If you experience any of the following, it’s important to mention it to your dental assistant:

• Any irritation in your mouth that lasts longer than two weeks
• Red or white patches that will not go away
• Numbness, pain or tenderness
• Lumps, rough spots, or crust
• Problems swallowing, chewing or speaking
• Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
• A change in the way your teeth fit together

If you notice any of these signs, you should schedule an appointment with you dentist right away, and be sure to mention your concern at your appointment.

The American Dental Assistants Association is encouraging all dental assistants to continue their study and to become well-trained in detecting abnormalities that may be oral cancers in their patients. These assistants work most closely with patients, and have the ability to pick up on lifestyle choices that may increase cancer risks, as well as notice small changes in their patient’s mouths that can be cause for concern. They can then discuss any concerns with the dentist, who will complete an examination and cancer screening to determine if there is any cause of concern.

Working together, your entire dental team can be your first line of defense against oral cancer, and ensure you have a healthy mouth, and a healthy life.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Uncovering the Link Between Sleep Apnea and High Blood Pressure

San Francisco, CA – If you suffer from sleep apnea, it probably has negative effects on your life. Your constant wakings in the middle of the night from lack of oxygen leave you tired and unable to concentrate. Your loud snoring annoys your partner. But did you know if may also have a negative effect on your blood pressure?

“Research shows the important link between sleep apnea and other serious conditions,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “And new research shows that treating sleep apnea may in fact lower high blood pressure in patients who suffer from hypertension.”

In one Spanish study, patients used continuous positive airway pressure masks, the standard in sleep apnea treatment, to see if treating the sleep apnea had any effect on their blood pressure. The participants in the study all took three or more medications to lower their blood pressure, and suffered from sleep apnea.

San Francisco dentistResearchers found that the patients who used the CPAP machine continuously for 12 weeks found their diastolic pressure lowered and their blood pressure at nighttime remained better, as well.

“This study, and others like it, offer important results for us,” says Dr. Larson. “It’s estimated that as many as three in four patients who have resistant high blood pressure also suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. If we can lower blood pressure and treat sleep apnea at the same time, we can improve a patient’s quality of life, making them happier and healthier.”

But why might the two be related? To understand how they can be linked, we need to better understand the body during sleep.

Even while we are sleeping, our bodies are hard at work. During sleep, our automatic nervous system functions by the parasympathetic system. This rest and relaxation system helps to regulate our breathing, and lower our heart rate and blood pressure while we sleep, helping us to fall into a deep sleep.

From there, we enter our REM cycle, where we dream and our body’s sympathetic system can kick into action. As we dream, our blood pressure might fluctuate, and our heart rate and breathing can become irregular.

In people with normal sleep patterns and a healthy nervous system, their resting blood pressure will drop between 10 and 20 percent while they sleep, making these fluctuations in blood pressure nothing to worry about. But for others, this natural dip in blood pressure doesn’t occur, and for others, there can actually be an increase in blood pressure by up to 20 percent during sleep. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to fall into one of these two categories.

This can be dangerous, because sudden arousals from sleep, which can occur numerous times during the night in patients who suffer from sleep apnea, can cause the blood pressure to spoke, sometimes to extremely high levels. These apneas that occur during the night cause a surge in the sympathetic system, which acts as a burst of adrenaline.

These then carry over into the waking hours. Research shows that patients with sleep apnea also have higher levels of adrenaline during the day time and that their resting blood pressure is often higher than normal.

For sleep apnea patients in San Francisco, there is hope. Dr. Larson has extensive experience treating patients who suffer from sleep apnea, and has had great success in treatment. He is
on fellowship tracks with the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and has tremendous success treating patients with custom sleep appliances.

CPAP machines are excellent for treating sleep apnea, however, the machines are cumbersome and can be difficult for patients to get used to. An orthotic appliance custom created for you by Dr. Larson works to open your upper airway, allow for proper oxygenation and airflow during sleep.

Dr. Larson works closely with your medical professionals to ensure the proper treatment for each patient he sees. You can rest easy knowing he and his team have the skill and technology to get your sleep apnea under control so you can enjoy a more restful, healthier life. Call today to schedule your appointment.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Uncovering the Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Erectile Dysfunction

San Francisco, CA – Research continues to add to the list of health problems that are associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition characterized by loud snoring and pauses in breathing that force the body awake. One in five adults is believed to suffer from at least mild OSA, and recent research has shown that erectile dysfunction is common in male sleep apnea sufferers.

Sleep apnea treatmentA study performed by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that patients with ED were more than twice as likely to also have OSA. But not only that, the likelihood of having OSA increased with the severity of ED. But why might this be?

“Sleep apnea produces alterations in hormones,” says San Francisco sleep apnea dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “These alterations can cause or contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction. Additionally, patients who suffer from OSA tend to be sleep deprived. Their constant wakings in the middle of the night leave them far from restful, and because the body produces testosterone during the night, insufficient sleep prevents its production. And that means decreased libido and poor erections.”

Additionally, OSA often leaves patients feeling sleep deprived. This can lead to fatigue and stress, which can then worsen any sexual problems that may exist.

Another problem researchers believe may contribute to the association between OSA and ED is a lack of oxygen. Oxygen is essential to healthy erections and patients who suffer from sleep apnea don’t get enough oxygen during their sleep. This oxygen deficiency then can lead to the inability to have healthy erections.

The good news, though, is that research also shows that getting treatment for OSA may help boost men’s sex lives.

Research shows that using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy can help men improve their erectile dysfunction. During treatment, a CPAP mask is worn at night. The mask is then connected to a machine that pushes air to the back of the throat to keep the airway open, thereby reducing snoring and waking. The patient is able to get more oxygen and a better night’s sleep.

Men who use a CPAP machine may experience better erections, even if they haven’t been diagnosed with ED. This is because the body is better able to rest, which leads to better testosterone production and more oxygen flowing in the body. And these two are the key components to healthy erections.

Dr. Larson knows that wearing a CPAP mask can be cumbersome, so he specializes in additional ways to help patients who suffer from OSA. For many patients, treatment can be as simple as wearing a small dental orthotic at night. This mouth guard is specially created for each patient, and works to open the upper airway during sleep to allow for correct oxygen flow.

The appliances Dr. Larson creates are comfortable and extremely effective when worn regularly. Because a CPAP mask can be cumbersome, patients who mild to moderate OSA may be discouraged from its use. But with a custom made orthotic from Dr. Larson, patients are able to drink and speak easily, and can comfortably sleep in any position.

If you are suffering from erectile dysfunction, and also believe you may suffer from OSA, now is the time to visit Dr. Larson. Dr. Larson has studied sleep apnea extensively, and as a dentist, knows that everything in your body is intricately linked. He will work to help you get a restful night’s sleep, while also improving your overall well-being. Schedule a consultation today and regain your life.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

E-Cigarettes and Your Oral Health

San Francisco, CA – In recent years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people using electronic cigarettes. Touted as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes, people everywhere are switching out their traditional cigarette habit for these new e-cigarettes. We all know the effects smoking has on oral health, but what damage, if any, do e-cigarettes do?

No SmokingAn electronic cigarette is battery powered, and contains a heating element that vaporizes a solution that contains chemicals, nicotine and other additives. Because of the vapor instead of smoke, they are frequently seen in places where smoking is no longer allowed. Their makers claim that they are alternatives to cigarettes that do not expose the user or those around to harmful levels of cancer-causing agents or other dangerous chemicals found in standard cigarettes. But is that true?

“E-cigarettes are so new that long-term effects of their use can’t be known yet,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “However, current research shows that electronic cigarettes negatively impact oral health. One of my biggest concerns is that e-cigarettes aren’t regulated by the FDA. That means we have no way of knowing if any claims an e-cigarette company makes are actually true, and instead simply have to take the marketer’s word for it. This leave consumers open to ingesting harmful chemicals that they aren’t even aware of.”

We know that the vaporizing liquid that is used in these cigarettes contains dangerous chemicals, such as formaldehyde, propylene glycol, nickel, cadmium and nitrosamines, among many others. Some of the chemicals found in e-cigarettes are known carcinogens, which increase a user’s risk of developing oral cancer.

Electronic cigarettes also contain nicotine. Continued exposure of the gums to nicotine can result in gingivitis, or gum disease. Gum disease can become serious if not treated and can lead to bone and gum loss and eventually the loss of teeth. Additionally, it is linked to higher risks of other serious disease, such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

But because nicotine use often masks the symptoms of gum disease, cigarette use of any kind can make it much harder for a dentist to diagnose.

Nicotine woks as a vasoconstrictor. This means it compromises blood flow, which can lead to the death of gum tissue. Gum recession can loosen teeth, and because the gum tissue absorbs high levels of nicotine, a user’s risk for developing other oral disease increases.

One common issue with regular cigarettes is they leave a user with bad breath after smoking. While e-cigarette companies may claim it doesn’t happen with their products, it most likely will. Nicotine dries out the mouth, meaning users won’t produce the necessary saliva to wash away bacteria and prevent it from building up in the mouth. Because of that, bad breath will result, and over time, this build-up of bacteria can lead to plaque. Plaque can then lead to cavities, periodontitis and serious tooth decay.

Continued studies need to be conducted to further study the implications of electronic cigarettes on the oral and overall health of their users. However, it is safe to say that the only safe alternative to smoking is quite simply not to smoke at all.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.

Can Gum Disease Treatment Reduce Prostate Symptoms?

San Francisco, CA – We have known for some time that gum disease is uniquely linked to many other health issues, including increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Treatment for periodontal disease can lessen your chances of developing these, but can it also lessen prostate symptoms?

“Recent research from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and the Departments of Urology and Pathology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center shows that it may do just that,” says San Francisco dentist Dr. Greg Larson. “In the study, patients who suffered from prostatitis, or inflammation of the prostate, experienced fewer symptoms when they were also undergoing treatment for gum disease.”

men in tooth painThis isn’t the first study to look into the link between the two. Previous studies proved a link between prostatitis and gum disease, but this new study shows that properly treating gum disease may help patients who also have prostatitis. The inflammation of the prostate can make urinating difficult and painful.

The study followed 27 men who had both signs of prostate inflammation and mild to moderate gum disease. After treatment for their gum disease, most showed significant improvement.

During the study, the men received no treatment for their prostate issue – they simply underwent gum disease treatment. At the conclusion of the study, 21 of the 27 men displayed decreased prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, meaning less likelihood of inflammation. The men who had the highest levels of prostate inflammation showed the most improvement following the periodontal treatment.

The lead researcher for the study is now conducting follow-up research to further support this study’s findings. If studies continue to show similar results, those who suffer from prostate symptoms can expect to have periodontal treatment included in their standard of care.

But why might the two be linked?

Gum disease occurs when bacteria in plaque and calculus isn’t properly removed from the teeth. This bacteria causes an inflammation that leads to red and swollen gums. If not treated, the inflammation can also spread to the bone, causing it to become inflamed and infected, as well.

Because the systems of the body are so intimately related, the bacteria that causes gum disease can travel to other parts of the body, causing inflammation there as well. While researchers still haven’t determined exactly why gum disease is linked to so many other issues, they believe the inflammation is the common denominator. The inflammation in the gums increases the risk of inflammation in other parts of the body, and inflammation is an underlying cause of many other health issues. Previous research at Case Western Dental School has shown links between gum inflammation and fetal deaths, rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.

The link is so prominent, that new recommendations encourage cardiologists to ask patients about any history of gum disease, and periodontists to ask patients about any family history of heart disease.

Gum disease is also linked to both diabetes and dementia. Patients who have diabetes are more likely to have gum disease, and those how do not have their diabetes under control are at an even higher risk. Gum disease may also raise the risk of developing dementia later in life, and cause mild cognitive impairment such as memory problems. One study showed that patients with the most severe gum disease scored the lowest scores on memory tests.

Patients who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis suffer inflammation and pain in their joints, and are more likely to also have periodontal disease. A 2009 study showed that people with severe RA experienced less pain and swelling in their joints after their periodontal disease was properly treated.

Studies continue to be done on the link between periodontal disease and preterm birth. During pregnancy, women are told to pay close attention to their oral health, and many studies have shown a link between preterm and low-weight births and gum disease. Studies have shown that women who had treatment for their gum disease prior to their 35th week of pregnancy were more likely to carry their babies to term.

Studies continue to be performed throughout the world on the interested link between gum disease and other serious medical conditions. But the consensus is clear – while an exact reason may not be known yet, the evidence all points to the fact that gum disease has an effect on your body as a whole, and treatment for it may very well improve your overall health.

The only way to prevent gum disease is by following a thorough oral health routine that include proper brushing and flossing, and regular check-ups with a dentist and periodontist. Because you may gum disease is often painless, you may not even know you have it. This is why regular check-ups are so important. By finding and addressing gum disease as soon as possible, your dentist or periodontist can lessen its impact on the rest of your body.

© 2015 Millionairium and Dr. Greg Larson Authorization to post is granted, with the stipulation that Millionairium and Dr. Larson are credited as sole source. Linking to other sites from this document is strictly prohibited, with the exception of herein imbedded links.