Category Archives: Gum Disease

Is this affordable dentist the reason I still have gum disease?

After a lengthy 2 month search, I finally found an affordable dentist. After 3 years of going to this dentist I expected better results. She has been treating me for gum disease for more than a year and a half and I really don’t think my teeth or gums look better. Would I have seen improvement faster if I had chosen a dentist with higher fees? I get a deep teeth cleaning every 3 months and my teeth are almost as loose as they were a year and a half ago. Does getting an affordable dentist mean that I won’t get quality care, or am I being impatient? How long does it take to get gum disease under control? Thanks. Liz

Liz – Your frequent visits to the dentist for scaling and root planing to treat your periodontal disease means that you have a severe case that is beyond the expertise of your affordable dentist.

Bleeding, sore, and inflamed gums, along with infections are signs of gum disease. If gum tissue and teeth continue to separate, your teeth can completely loosen and fall out. After almost two years, if your periodontal disease is about the same, it might be time for you to see a specialist—a periodontist—with two years of post-graduate training in diagnosing and treating issues with your gums.

Do All Affordable Dentists Provide Sub-Standard Care?

The length of time that you’ve been treated isn’t necessarily because you have found an affordable dentist. A dentist with higher fees might also assume that he or she knows how to successfully treat a particular case of periodontal disease when a specialist is really needed. It’s your oral health, so you can ask to be referred to a specialist for a second opinion, or if your insurance allows it, schedule the appointment yourself.

The appearance of your teeth at this point is probably related to the health of your gums. After your gum disease is under control, a cosmetic dentist can work with you to improve the appearance of your smile. It’s crucial to get a specialist to accurately determine why your periodontal disease isn’t improving. He or she will establish a treatment plan that will help you keep as many natural teeth as possible and get back on the path of good oral health.

In the future, you can find an affordable dentist who has good experience and training in general and cosmetic dentistry, and who recognizes when you should be referred to a specialist.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.



Missing Teeth and Your Heart

Research published in a December 2015 article of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology shows that the risk of death in patients with coronary heart disease (plaque buildup inside the coronary arteries) who are missing all of their teeth. The 3.7-year study included more than 15,000 patients from 39 countries. About 16 percent of patients in the study had no teeth at all, and another 40 percent were missing half their teeth.

Compared with patients who had all of their teeth, those in the study who were completely endentulous (all teeth are missing) had a series of increased risks that included: 27 percent for a major cardiovascular event, 85 percent for cardiovascular death, 81 percent of all-cause death, and 67 percent for stroke.

During the study, 746 patients had heart attacks. During follow up, 1,543 of the patients surveyed had major cardiovascular events; 705 experienced cardiovascular death; 1,120 died from other causes; and 301 patients had a stroke. In the follow-up events, an increase in tooth loss was associated with an increase in the risk a cardiovascular event, death by other causes, and stroke. Results were not as conclusive with patients who had heart attacks during the study.

Who were the most at-risk patients?

  • Women, who were also:
  • smokers;
  • less active;
  • and more likely to have diabetes;
  • higher blood pressure;
  • higher body-mass index;
  • and lower education

Why Are Coronary Heart Disease and Missing Teeth Related?

The most common cause of missing teeth is gum disease. Inflammation from gum disease affects the heart, and it increases the risk of heart trauma in people who have heart disease, or who are at risk for it. Poor dental hygiene contributes to gum disease.

The study emphasizes the importance of daily brushing your teeth and flossing between them. Brushing alone isn’t enough. Flossing removes bacteria-producing debris that causes inflammation and gum disease. Regularl dental exams and cleanings remove plaque and tartar from your teeth, and greatly reduce the risk of gum disease. Examinations from your dental hygienist and dentist provide early detection of gum disease.

The conclusion? Good oral hygiene habits keep your teeth clean and can contribute to a healthier heart.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.