Pregnancy Gingivitis and Your Baby

You’ve just learned you’re pregnant – CONGRATULATIONS!  But how does pregnancy affect your gums?

Pregnant women experience increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.  These increased levels of hormones change the way your gums react to oral bacteria, often causing a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis.  Pregnancy gingivitis exhibits as swollen, red and bleeding gums (especially when you brush your teeth).

Is my baby’s health at risk if I have pregnancy gingivitis?

Photo courtesy of answers.com
Photo courtesy of answers.com

Increased bacteria (which causes gingivitis) can enter the bloodstream through your bleeding gums.  This can trigger the production of chemicals called “prostaglandins” which are believed to induce premature labor (which can result in pre-term, low birth weight babies).

Thus, good oral health care is vital during your pregnancy.  Brushing and flossing several times daily, as well as dental cleanings and exams are recommended to avoid oral infections that can affect the fetus.  Your dentist or hygienist may even recommend that you have more frequent cleanings to protect the health of your baby if you have been diagnosed with pregnancy gingivitis. Between 60-75% of pregnant women get pregnancy gingivitis. Read more »

Timbercrest Recognizes Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral and Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month

Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month we wanted to stress once again how important it is to get periodic routine dental exams.

Dental exams every six months really can save lives. At Timbercrest Dental Center, Dr. Luther looks at more than just your teeth. He’ll do a visual and tactical external and oral screening which encompasses your teeth, gums, tongue, cheek, palate, floor of the mouth, lips, lymph nodes, throat and jaw joint.  Periodically, a Panoramic radiograph  (x-ray) will be recommended  to allow him to see the entire jaw bone, tips of the roots of all the teeth, the jaw joint condyles and sinuses, and to check for cysts, tumors, abscesses, bone loss, faulty restorations, etc.

The sad fact is, oral cancer takes the life of one American every hour; because of this, your dental office often serves as a first line of defense against oral cancer.

Oral Cancer cells in pink - courtesy of cancernetwork.com
Oral Cancer cells in pink – courtesy of cancernetwork.com

At your initial and each periodic exam, Dr. Luther and staff will perform a visual screening to determine if there are any changes to your oral health.   While most oral “sores” or “lesions” are harmless, there are some that may require additional testing to rule out a dangerous change. Dr. Luther will determine if further testing is needed. Read more »

A History of Dentistry

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Sometimes people think us dentists aren’t aware about where we fall on their “stuff I’d like to spend my time doing” lists…

Oh we know, even if we had a great soundtrack the most soothing voices and a professional masseuse on staff (two out of three ain’t bad, though), there is still a huge list of places you’d rather be. Read more »

The Diabetes-Gum Disease Connection

diabetes gum disease connection
Gum Disease and Diabetes Image courtesy of WDA

I was told the bacteria in my mouth is linked to my diabetes.  How is this possible?

Diabetes and Gum Disease – Related?

Gum disease begins when plaque (that soft sticky substance that forms on the teeth) doesn’t get removed, either by brushing or flossing.   If not removed it will eventually harden into calculus, or what you may call tartar.

Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal, or gum disease. Periodontal diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers that support bone and hold your teeth firmly in your mouth.  When this happens, your gums separate from your teeth and create pockets that hold more bacteria which create more plaque, thus starting a vicious cycle.  The more advanced the periodontal disease, the more advanced the infection and the deeper the pockets.

Read more »

Natural Teeth Whitening: Investigating 10 Common Options

By this point, you know that your teeth are our bread and butter.

Oh and hey, speaking of bread and butter…

DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN EASILY WHITEN TEETH BY RUBBING THEM WITH BREAD AND BUTTER?

Okay that’s not true, but chances are you’ve seen headlines like this on Facebook or Pinterest. “You mean to tell me that I can save money and use up that jar of pickle seeds, while other doofuses are paying out their nose for Hollywood smiles?” Read more »

Health Risks of Poor Oral Hygiene

Question? What is one of our favorite things to write about on this blog?

If you answered oral hygiene, then you’re right! Other acceptable answers include general dentistry, animals, and Broadway musicals (though I’ve a sneaking suspicion the latter are being snuffed out by our editing team).

Usually when we discuss oral hygiene it’s within the context of dental health, but we’re going to zoom out a bit today and talk about the big picture. The truth is that your oral hygiene has many health implications that go beyond just your mouth. Read more »