Tag Archives: Gum Disease

Can Vaping Cause Gum Disease by San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

The popularity of e-cigarettes has increased dramatically over the last few years, primarily due to the myth that vaping is “healthier” than smoking cigarettes. While e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, they still contain nicotine and can negatively impact your overall health. Most recent news stories have focused on vaping-related lung disease—with some cases proving fatal—but the ill effects of vaping on oral health have not been publicized as much. If you indulge in vaping, here’s what you should know about its effects on your mouth, gums, and teeth.

Vaping and dental health

E-cigarettes use an aerosol, or vapor, as a delivery system for nicotine, but that does not mean it’s healthier to inhale than tobacco smoke. Nicotine has the same negative impact on your oral health regardless of how it’s consumed, with potential complications including:

How do e-cigarettes affect your teeth?

Consuming nicotine reduces saliva production in your mouth, and without enough moisture, bacteria-packed plaque and tartar can build up on the teeth and lead to cavities and, eventually, tooth decay. Because nicotine is a stimulant, consuming it can cause your jaw muscles to clench and grind your teeth. Frequent grinding and clenching can damage your teeth and surrounding mouth tissues, leading to more serious oral health problems.

How do e-cigarettes affect your gums?

Nicotine reduces blood flow to your teeth and gums, depriving them of oxygen and nutrients they need to stay healthy. As a result, the gum tissue can die and recede, increasing the risk of developing cavities. Vaping and teeth sensitivity is also a concern, as receding gums can expose areas of the teeth where the protective enamel is not as thick. However, the most significant effect of vaping on gums is the increased risk of gum disease.

Vaping and gum disease

Have you ever looked in the mirror and wondered, “What causes bleeding gums when vaping?” It’s the swelling and inflammation of gum disease that’s making your gums bleed. Using e-cigarettes causes gum inflammation and swelling as much as regular cigarettes because nicotine is the culprit. And when gums are swollen, they are more susceptible to increased bacteria levels in the mouth, especially when combined with a lack of saliva. High levels of bacteria often lead to gum disease.  And in answer to the question, “Does vaping cause bad breath?” the answer is yes. 

There’s no getting around it—vaping is detrimental to your oral health in general and your gums in particular. If you are a regular user of e-cigarettes and you notice any of the following symptoms, you most likely have gum disease:

  • Red, irritated, tender, or swollen gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn’t respond to mouthwash or breath fresheners

Cosmetic effects of vaping 

The potential for gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and other medical conditions are enough reason to give up vaping, but there are also negative cosmetic effects to consider. Vaping teeth stains from nicotine are quite common, and of course tooth loss from untreated gum disease or damage from bruxism will have a noticeable impact on your smile.

Gum disease treatment in San Diego

If you notice that vaping is making your gums bleed, it’s best to seek treatment immediately to prevent further oral health complications. The specialists at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry will explain your diagnosis and treatment plan in full, and help restore the health of your bright, healthy smile. If you need help giving up nicotine, we can offer recommendations.

Give us a call at (619) 543-0905 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Genes for Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Healthy teeth and gums are important for maintaining your overall health, and it all begins with good oral hygiene habits. But if you’re genetically predisposed to tooth decay or gum disease, you have a higher risk of developing oral health problems, regardless of how well you brush and floss. Even if you have the genetic markers for periodontal disease, though, there are still things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy and prevent existing conditions from getting worse.

A Genetic Predisposition to Tooth Decay

When bacteria collects on your teeth, it forms a sticky film called plaque, which generates acid that can break down your tooth enamel. This damage leads to cavities. If left untreated, cavities can grow to affect deeper layers of your teeth and gums.

Cavities often develop as a result of poor oral hygiene, but there are people who are more susceptible to tooth decay because of the way their bodies respond to bacteria. In a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, researchers evaluated over 300 saliva samples and found that people with a G-20A variant of the beta-defensin 1 (DEFB1) gene had a significantly higher rate of decayed teeth, fillings, and missing teeth. Scientists theorize that people with this variation of DEFB1 have a harder time fighting off plaque-causing bacteria that colonize on the teeth and form cavities.

Chronic and Aggressive Periodontal Disease Runs in Families

According to the European Federation of Periodontology, genetics is also a risk factor for developing both chronic periodontitis and aggressive periodontitis. Chronic periodontal disease is characterized by persistent inflammation of the gum tissue, usually in older adults.  Aggressive periodontal disease involves rapid deterioration of the bone around the teeth, usually at a relatively young age.

While research is ongoing to determine the exact genetic basis of gum disease, scientists have identified 38 genes associated with the increased risk of developing periodontitis. One in particular, the FAM5C gene, has been linked to aggressive periodontal disease. FAM5C has also been implicated in cardiovascular disease; the common factor connecting both conditions may be general inflammation in the body.

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums

If you suspect you may be genetically predisposed to gum disease, genetic tests are available to determine your potential risk. Learning this information can help to identify early intervention strategies that will keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come. Even if you are susceptible to oral health problems, there are some things you can do to prevent serious complications. For example:

1. Always Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing are important for everyone, but they’re particularly crucial for those with elevated risk of gum disease and tooth decay.

2. Visit Your Dentist for Regular Cleanings and Check-ups

Staying on top of your dental exams can help your care providers discover and diagnose potential problems before they get out of control.

3. Quit Smoking

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, smoking is one of the most significant risk factors for the development and progression of periodontitis

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

Research has linked obesity to periodontal disease, and a diet lacking in nutrients can make it hard for your immune system to fight off the bacteria that causes both tooth decay and gum infection.

5. Get a Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation

A periodontist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease can examine your teeth, gums, and bone structure to pinpoint areas of concern and help you establish an appropriate oral care routine.

Treat & Prevent Gum Disease at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

If You’re Experiencing the Symptoms of Gum Disease, San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry Can Give You the Treatment You Need to Improve Your Oral Health. We Treat All Periodontal Disease Stages, From the Early Phases of Gingivitis to Advanced Periodontitis. With Comprehensive Treatment and Diligent Oral Hygiene Habits, Dr. Kwok Can Help You Recover From Gum Disease and Maintain Great Dental Health for Years to Come.
To Schedule a Consultation With Dr. Kwok, Call Our Office at (619) 543-0905.

Gum Disease Treatment and Diabetes

Millions of Americans have type 2 diabetes, a chronic condition that impacts the body’s ability to process blood sugar. Since diabetes primarily affects your blood vessels, the repercussions can ripple throughout your body, causing damage to your heart and kidneys, and wreaking havoc on your oral health.

The link between diabetes and gum disease is well documented, with research showing that people with diabetes have a higher risk of developing gingivitis and periodontitis. But recently, a study in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal found that the relationship goes both ways – gum disease can also make it difficult for diabetes patients to control their blood sugar levels. The good news is that treating gum disease can help improve their symptoms.

The Link Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is a persistent infection of the gums, characterized by redness, swelling, and bleeding. Left untreated, chronic gum inflammation can impact the surrounding bone and lead to tooth loss. People with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease because their elevated blood glucose levels make it harder for the immune system to fight off the bacteria located beneath the gum line.

Studies have also shown that diabetics with poor blood sugar control experience more severe periodontal disease than those who have their conditions in check. But the presence of gum disease can also contribute to higher blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. The link between these two serious health issues goes both ways, creating a negative feedback loop that can lead to an overall decline in wellbeing.

How Treating Gum Disease Helps People With Diabetes

A recent study of 264 patients suffering from both type 2 diabetes and periodontitis showed that treating gum disease can significantly improve the symptoms of diabetes. Not only did participants see improvement in their blood glucose levels, but their kidney and blood vessel function increased as well. While there is no definitive explanation as to why this happens, researchers theorize that treating the infection related to periodontal disease reduces systemic inflammation, which is believed to be a major cause of diabetes complications.

Treatment for periodontal disease in this study included whole mouth scaling and surgical therapy. Periodontal scaling removes dental plaque and hardened tartar from below the gum line; it’s usually accompanied by root planing, which smooths the tooth root to encourage reattachment of the gum. Pocket reduction surgery, also known as osseous surgery, is a surgical treatment that can halt the spread of bacteria and save bone tissue from being destroyed.

Preventing Gum Disease in People With Diabetes

Everyone should prioritize their oral health, but it’s especially important for people who suffer from diabetes, since taking good care of your teeth and gums can also help you better manage your blood sugar. Here are a few ways that people with diabetes can minimize the risk of developing gum disease:

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Brush your teeth twice a day, for two full minutes. Be sure you gently brush teeth and gums. Also, don’t forget to floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque that brushing can’t reach.

  • Keep Your Glucose Levels Under Control

Since high blood sugar levels can encourage bacterial growth beneath your gums, make sure you’re following your doctor’s orders with regard to diabetes treatment.

  • Visit the Dentist Regularly

While some people can get away with a single biannual visit to the dentist, people with diabetes may benefit from seeing their dentist more often for cleanings, x-rays, and evaluation.

  • See a Periodontist for Serious Concerns

If you think you may have gum disease, a periodontist can give you a comprehensive exam and recommend a course of treatment. Signs of periodontal disease include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, as well as persistent bad breath or loose teeth.

Optimize Your Oral Health at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry

While periodontal disease is frustrating and destructive, it is also highly treatable. San Diego Periodontics can design a course of treatment to reduce gum inflammation and improve the health of your smile. To find out more about our state-of-the-art, minimally invasive periodontal services, call us at (619) 543-0905.

Why You Need to Make Oral Health a Priority

Brushing and flossing your teeth is an important part of your daily routine – and not just because you need to maintain a healthy mouth. Neglecting your oral health can negatively affect your mind, your body, and your budget. Skimp out on your oral hygiene habits and you could be headed for disaster. Here are just a few reasons why you should make your oral health a priority.

Oral Health is linked to overall health

Taking care of your teeth and gums is a crucial step in taking care of the rest of your body. Numerous studies have found a correlation between gum disease and an array of other health conditions, such as:

  • Cardiovascular disease

According to a statement from the American Heart Association, the chronic inflammation and infection associated with gingivitis have been linked to heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis.

  • Diabetes

Research reported by the American Diabetes Association suggests that serious gum disease can negatively impact blood glucose control, potentially leading to significant progression of the disease.

  • Memory loss

A study from the University of Central Lancashire School of Medicine and Dentistry concluded that specific gum disease bacteria can contribute to changes in the brain related to Alzheimer’s Disease, worsening symptoms such as confusion and memory loss.

  • Pregnancy

According to the March of Dimes, studies have shown that pregnant women with advanced gum disease have a higher incidence of premature birth, and their children experience lower birthweights.

Poor oral hygiene leads to low self-esteem

Gum disease has a lot of unpleasant symptoms, such as bad breath, bright red gums, and loose or missing teeth. This can impact your appearance and your willingness to interact with others, damaging your self-confidence and your overall quality of life. According to a 2017 study by the National Institute of Health, common dental disorders such as tooth decay, trauma, or tooth loss can have a profound negative effect on a person’s self-esteem, starting in adolescence. By practicing good oral hygiene and taking care of your teeth and gums, you’ll be able to show off a comfortable, confident smile – and you’ll feel better about yourself.

Treatment for oral disease can be costly

When it comes to your oral health, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Poor oral hygiene habits can lead to gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease can progress to severe infections and tooth loss, requiring expensive and extensive surgeries and treatments to repair the damage. It’s far easier – and more affordable – to prevent the destructive side effects of periodontal disease than it is to treat it after the harm is already done.

Improve your oral health with proper dental care

There are a few simple things you can do to prioritize your oral health and prevent complications from gum disease and tooth decay.

  • Practice daily dental care

The American Dental Association recommends twice-daily brushing for two minutes per session using a fluoride toothpaste, as well as daily flossing between the teeth.

  • Visit your dentist regularly

In addition to removing plaque and tartar buildup, your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth and perform visual inspections to prevent the progression of oral disease.

  • Don’t ignore the signs of gum disease

If you experience regular bleeding when you brush your teeth, have swollen or painful gums, or have bad breath that won’t go away, speak to your dentist about being treated for periodontal disease.

San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry prioritizes your oral health

Prioritizing your oral health means partnering with a care provider that understands your periodontal needs and can provide you with the best possible service. At San Diego Periodontics, we’re committed to the health and comfort of all our patients, and we offer the latest and most minimally invasive periodontal treatments in a safe and friendly environment.

For more information on how San Diego Periodontics can help you prioritize your oral health, call us at (619) 543-0905.

patient at San Diego Periodontics & Implant Dentistry suffering from periodontal disease

One thing in this constantly fractured world all people have in common is the need to take care of our teeth. No matter where you live or what language you speak, as long as you have teeth in your mouth it is necessary to brush and floss them on a regular basis. If you fail to do so, the result can be long-lasting damage to your teeth, gums, and mouth. However, the dangers of poor oral hygiene go far beyond cavities and gum disease. Everything in our body is an interconnected ecosystem, and developing gum disease can negatively affect the health of your entire body. Research has shown a strong correlation between periodontal disease and heart issues, diabetes and other health problems. Continue reading