the right smile

Educating Patients on their Oral Health Options


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Dentist Sandy Springs | Oral Bacteria and Global Health

Hygiene exam

Oral Examinations are important to your global health.

Two new studies, published in the Journal of Periodontology have explored the potential link between periodontal bacteria and pre-eclampsia, as well as coronary artery disease. As small as it is and as far from your hearth as possible, this oral bacteria may have a huge impact on coronary artery disease and pre-eclampsia.  More research is needed to fully understand how periodontal bacteria travels from the mouth to other parts of the body as well as the exact role it has in the development of these systemic diseases, but in the meantime it’s important to maintain your oral health until more is known.  Physicians, dentists and patients alike need to monitor the research in this area as it continues to grow so they can better work together to achieve the highest levels of overall health.

These studies found that periodontal bacteria, often invisible to the unaided eye, may account for big effects on general health conditions. This bacterium has often been thought to play a role in many of the potential connections between overall health and oral health.  According to the article, one study identified periodontal pathogens in the coronary and internal mammary arteries in nine out of 15 of the patients examined. The second study looked at women who had suffered from pre-eclampsia during pregnancy and found that 50 percent of the placentas from women with pre-eclampsia were positive for one or more periodontal pathogens. This was compared to just 4.3 percent in the control group. Both of these studies support the concept that periodontal organisms might be associated with the development of other systemic conditions such as coronary artery disease and pre-eclampsia.

That’s why in our Sandy Springs office we recommend seeing us at least twice a year and additionally if necessary regardless of what your insurance covers.  It’s in your best interest.  If you need to see us for consideration of your oral health, please contact us.

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta, GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

Related Articles:

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Dentist Sandy Springs – Older patients have special dental needs

A dental hygienist demonstrates scaling.

Examining Oral Health

Mouths, like people, are affected by years as well as by genes. If you’re over 60, your oral chemistry is changing—and thorough examinations of gums and salivary glands can be a lifesaving early detector of oral cancer or other disease.  Older Americans are becoming the largest segment of our population and suffer disproportionately from oral diseases, with the problem being particularly acute for individuals in long term care facilities.  They generally require multiple medications, and common side effects of the more than 500 medications used to treat their overall health issues usually reduce salivary flow.[1]   Usually the reduction in saliva can adversely affect their quality of life, the ability to chew, and lead to significant problems of the teeth and their supporting structures.

The elderly may also have difficulty performing routine oral hygiene procedures because of physical limitations, such as Parkinson’s or rheumatoid arthritis.   In addition,oral infection is now recognized as a risk factor for a number of systemic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cerebrovascular diseases,diabetes, mellitus, and respiratory disorders.  Also,it is important to note that once people have lost their teeth and are using complete dentures, their oral health needs do not decrease.   Our jaws are not static and may continue to resorb over time.  Besides the continued resorption of bone, improperly fitted dentures can adversely affect chewing, leading to poor nutrition.  In addition, those without teeth remain susceptible to oral cancer, mucosal diseases, and alterations in salivary gland function.

As early as 55 patients are developing twice as many cavities as children do. All these health issues and their medications that create reduced saliva and cause dry mouth have become an open invitation for tooth decay and periodontal disease.  Does the patient have to make a choice between his or her general health verses their oral hygiene?  They shouldn’t have to.

What should you expect from a visit to your dental hygienist?  Along with your dental cleaning you may need professional scaling and root planing to remove harmful plaque and calculus deposits.  Your hygienist should also record the depths of your periodontal pockets (that space between your teeth and gums where decay and periodontal disease flourish).

Keeping track of you is a key part of the hygienist’s job. It includes keeping your dental chart and health history current, making preliminary oral inspections, and creating tooth impressions.

Our hygienist is also an educator—someone who can teach you preventive dentistry skills—brushing and flossing techniques that make for healthy, trouble-free gums and teeth, regardless your age or your onset of other health issues. Together, you two can make an unbeatable team!

Specializing in Geriatric Patients, Dr. Scheinfeld was trained in prosthodontics at Emory University School of Dentistry.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

 


[1] Fox PC, Eversole LR. Diseases of the salivary glands. In: Silverman S, Eversole LR, Truelove EL, eds. Essentials of Oral Medicine. Ontario, Canada: BC Decker; 2002:260–276.


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More than Just Teeth – Oral Health Care | Sandy Springs Dentist

Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Examination

The hygienist plays an intricate role in your oral health care.  Discoveries in the last decade have uncovered the correlation between periodontal disease and other health related issues such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy related problems that assigns new priorities to the role of the hygienist and your dental visits.

These correlations have caused a new focus on evaluating a dental patient and new signals related to their overall health.   According to the American Academy of Periodontology, infections in the mouth can play havoc elsewhere in the body. Research has shown there is an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.” [1]

The U.S. Surgeon General agrees that oral health is a strong indicator of one’s overall health and well-being.[2]  Without consistent care and monitoring, several oral health problems can result.  Immediate risks include gingivitis, cavities, tooth decay, and other gum diseases which can eventually result in various types oral cancer.  There is a “silent epidemic”[3] that can be avoided by regular treatment at home and dental visits at least twice each year.  The average person can easily overlook conditions that could greatly complicate or even end one’s life.  Thus, visiting your dentist for regular checkups is vital to a healthier smile.

“Routine dental exams uncover problems that can be easily treated in the early stages, when damage is minimal”.[4] By treating conditions early in our Sandy Springs office, we hopefully can prevent oral diseases and ultimately create a better quality of life.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DMD

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

www.rightsmilecenter.com

info@rightsmilecenter.com

 

Serving residents in East Cobb, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, Buckhead and surrounding communities.

Related Articles

[1] (www.perio.org).

[2] (CDC, 2006).

[3] (U.S. Surgeon General).

[4] (American Dental Association [ADA], 2008).


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Healthy smile, healthy you! | Sandy Springs Dentist

mature woman

Health smile, healthy you!

Regular dental visits can tell a dentist a lot about your overall health.  Recent research indicates that your oral health is a reflection of your global health.  Meaning, if your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is also healthy.  Those with poor oral health, this may be sending signals of other health issues.

Additionally, a healthy smile may actually prevent certain diseases from occurring, such as gum precipitated heart infections.  As of late, a lot of orthopedic surgeons are requesting a blessing from your dentist before they operate.  According to the American Academy of Periodontology, there is a relationship between gum disease and health complications such as a stroke and heart disease.[1]   Women, in particular with gum disease  show higher incidences of pre-term, low birth-weight babies.

Recent studies have shown that there are microbiologic and immunological findings that  support the association.  These studies indicate that periodontal infection can lead to placental-fetal exposure and, when coupled with a fetal inflammatory response, can lead to preterm delivery.[2]

Further research shows that more than 80 percent of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth and/or excessive gum problems. Such systemic diseases include:

  • diabetes
  • leukemia
  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • kidney disease

Since most people have regular oral examinations their dentist may be the first line of defense to diagnose a health problem in its early stages.

Failing to take care of your teeth and can actually lead to other health problems, including:

  • Oral and facial pain. According to the Office of the Surgeon General, this pain may be largely due to infections of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease, and advanced gum disease affect more than 75 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Problems with the heart and other major organs. Mouth infections can affect major organs. For example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue.
  • Oral cancer. Poor oral care can contribute to oral cancer, which now takes more lives annually than cervical or skin cancer.
  • Digestion problems. Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth, and problems here can lead to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestion disorders.

Seeing a dentist regularly keeps your mouth healthy and allows your dentist opportunities to examine developments that may point to other health issues.  As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our office in Sandy Springs for a consultation.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD

Hanna Orland, DME

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com

Related articles

[1]  “Gum Disease Links to Heart Disease and Stroke.” American Academy of Periodontology, May 8, 2008. www.perio.org/consumer/mbc.heart.htm

[2] JADA, 2006, Exploring the relationship between periodontal disease and pregnancy complications

Yiorgos A. Bobetsis, DDS, PhD, Silvana P. Barros, DDS, PhD and Steven Offenbacher, DDS, PhD, MMSc


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Dentist Roswell: Dental Plaque Means Higher Cancer?

New research suggests that people who have more plaque on their teeth and gums are more likely to die prematurely from cancer.  The June 11 edition of BMJ Open findings show only an association between plaque and a raised risk of early cancer death, and not a cause-and-effect relationship.

In the study, nearly 1,400 Swedish adults were followed for 24 years.  During this time, 58 of the subjects died, 35 from cancer.[1]  Specifically, people with high amounts of dental plaque were 79 percent more likely to die prematurely.  That said, the absolute risk of any person with dental plaque dying early of cancer was low.[2]

Although the study did not examine the causal connection, underlying inflammation may be the common denominator.  Calling the new findings “interesting,” Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, said they raise more questions than they answer.

 “This study does not answer the question of whether or not dental plaque leads to cancer death,” he said. “We only know how many people died, so we don’t know if there is an increase in the incidence of cancer among people with plaque, or if, perhaps, it renders them more susceptible to treatment-associated infection.”[3]

While insurance companies only pay for two visits, we think the growing evidence of how your oral health care relates to your global health indicates that you should have your teeth cleaned at least 3, if not 4 times per year.  As long as I have been practicing, I have been ethically driven to inform you of your needs.  Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t take an oath of professionalism.  Learn more about healthy teeth and gums at the American Dental Association.  If we can be of service or answer any of your oral health questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or schedule a complementary consultations.

Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC

290 Carpenter Drive, 200A

Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328

404-256-3620

info@rightsmilecenter.com

www.rightsmilecenter.com


[1] June 11, 2012, BMJ Open

[3] Len Lichtenfeld, M.D., deputy chief medical officer, American Cancer Society, Atlanta