Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes and Effects

Hi, this is Dr. Robert Antolak from theGentleDentist.com from Macomb County, Michigan. Our phone number is 586-247-3500. The Gentle Dentist is our name of our website, thegentledentist.com.

What I like to do is discuss something that affects over 50% of the adult population. And that is what’s called periodontal disease or gum disease. Periodontal disease is an infection that develops from bacteria. Certain bacteria that gets below the gum line. It’s an irritant, and it causes our bodies to product enzymes that start dissolving the bone that’s around the teeth.

Periodontal disease is the number one reason why adults lose their teeth and it’s something that is preventable. It’s prevented by getting into your dentist on a regular basis.

Periodontal disease, because it is a bacterial infection, it is something that is actually transmissible. So you can give it to somebody, if they have not been diagnosed with it and share silverware, and things like that. Periodontal disease, because of the bone loss that’s developed, it requires o come into the dentist not only once every 6 months, but sometimes once every 3 months, or every 4 months to take care of the problem.

Periodontal disease, also known as pyorrhea loosens the teeth up. Because as people over time, they lose bone around the teeth. It loses the support of the teeth. So we are basically talking about a bacterial infection that affects the body’s immune system and it affects the bone around the teeth. Bone teeth can loosen up and you can lose teeth from it.

One thing I find so much in literature and the scientific community really shows a link between periodontal / gum disease, and heart disease and diabetes. And how it is, these bacteria that I’m talking about, they’re under the gums and they have quick access to the blood stream. When it gets into the blood it can actually build up on the, the arteries of the heart and start forming calcifications. Which can affect the blood flow and eventually possibly stroke and or heart attack that can develop from that.

We also know what periodontal disease affects diabetes and vice versa. Because diabetes affects our immune systems in our bodies for those who are diagnosed with diabetes. Our bodies don’t have the ability to fight off the infection like we would like to see. And so we find that there are many, many diabetics who are prone to periodontal disease. The good news is that when somebody gets the, the gum disease or periodontal disease treated is that sometimes the insulin levels are reduced and something called your Beta A-1, C levels are reduced which also means that your blood sugar levels are more stabilized because of it.

Also another thing that I find significant is that those people who are smokers have a much higher risk for developing gum disease. It seems like when I get somebody into my office and I start looking at their x-rays and I see that there’s bone loss around teeth, and I start inquiring, 90-95% of the time, they are smokers. Unfortunately, nicotine reduces the amount of circulation to the teeth and the gums that surround the teeth. Therefore, it reduces the levels of the disease fighting cells in our blood to that area.

So what I want to do is to encourage you if you’re not a smoker, surely don’t start. Not only because the health of our bodies but also because of our teeth and in how it support of it. But also the people you effect around you. If you are a smoker, I would encourage you to quit. Quitting is difficult, I know that nicotine is more addictive than heroin. I’ve never smoked but know people who have and how difficult it is. But there are people if there’s a reason big enough to stop, they will stop.

We’ve helped to encourage a number of patients in our office to be smoke free and it’s a blessing to be able to so. And they’ve been around for years and they’re so happy that they did quit because it helps with their ability to taste food. They can breathe easier. They also don’t have no issues with the family and the social stigma that comes along with it. And standing out in the winter months to smoke that cigarette because of the anxiety that it brings. So smoking is bad as we all know and we encourage you to quit. Just think about it. Would you want your son or daughter to smoke because of something that you influenced them to do?

Not only does smoking cause periodontal disease, it causes heart disease and all the issues that go along with that. And people know all about that. So my encouragement to you is to go smoke-free. Set a date for that time. If you’d like to have some help with that either go to your physician. We also have the ability to prescribe certain medications to help you with that process. And just make a decision and go with it. Not only do that, and then be disease-free in your mouth too, at the same time.

Thank you and have a blessed day.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Causes and Effects

If you have questions on periodontal (gum) disease or give Shelby Township Dental Office a call today.

Hi, my name is Margie, I am a dental hygienist here for Dr. Robert Antolak, the Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, Michigan and I briefly wanted to talk to you today about periodontal disease. Most people have no idea how a problem it is, the percentage is about 70 to 80 percent of all Americans have some form of it. It could be something as simple as just going to the dentist and having yourself checked each and every time you come in to have a simple screening done which consists of measuring the depth of how far underneath the gum you can go around every individual tooth. It’s something very simple, relatively painless and this can be done actually every 6 months you come in and if you do that you can prevent a major difference in the protocol that would have to be done if you had something that was more extreme, if you let it go for years. It could be something as simple just as a routine scaling, something a little bit more.

Step 2 would be a root planning scale, which is a more in depth scaling that we numb you up, so I can get all the way down to the pocket, remove all the debris, and when you heal, hopefully, those pockets will tighten up to the, closer to the tooth and have better results that way. Or, you’ve got something that’s more extreme and has to have, you have to have surgery. So, to prevent that, all you have to do is come to the dentist regularly, and it can be, noted on your chart and you, you have the charting done. We mark it, we check it each and every time. Just, again, to prevent anything from getting any worse.

So if you come in on a regular basis, things can be so much more bearable than to have to go through surgery. So come visit us in our office in Shelby Township, Michigan. Our number is (586) 247-3500, and we are thegentledentist.com.

Periodontal Disease Discussed at The Gentle Dentist in Shelby Township, Michigan

What is periodontal disease? It is the inflammation of the surrounding structures of the teeth, including bone and soft tissues. It can be as simple as gum inflammation or more serious involving the surrounding tissues and the bone. When there is a surmountable amount of bone loss, the teeth loosen and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

If you have been told you have periodontal disease (or periodontitis), it does not mean you will automatically lose your teeth.  It also does not necessarily mean you need surgery.  There are non-surgical procedures that can be performed by your dentist or dental hygienist that have remarkable results.  A lot depends on you and your homecare. If these procedures do not produce the wanted results, you may eventually  have to submit to surgery.

We all have bacteria in our mouth that combines with our saliva to produce what is called plaque. This plaque is sticky and needs to be removed by flossing and brushing.  The plaque releases toxins that irritate the gums (which make them inflamed). Since plaque is produced continuously,  the need to remove the plaque daily is necessary. If it is not, the inflammation of gum tissues will occur and you will have bleeding when you do finally brush and floss. This stage of the disease is called “gingivitis” and is reversible.  But,If you do not seek treatment it may proceed to “periodontitis“.

In periodontitis, there are many stages.  The number of appointments depends on the severity of the case.   Root planing and scaling is one very common  procedure that involves removing plaque and tartar under the gums and smoothing of the root surface. Tartar is the plaque that was not removed when it was sticky and newly formed . After time it hardens and cannot be removed with flossing and brushing. After removing the plaque and tartar the tissues will have a chance to heal to a healthy condition. But it does not stop here. You have to do your homecare to help the healing process and to keep the tissues in this healthy state. You may need to use multiple tools such as a waterpik, sonicare toothbrush, very small brushes to reach difficult areas. There are many other additional aids that your dentist or dental hygienist can recommend.  Your home care also includes your overall health.  There are studies showing that smokers have a greater risk of developing periodontal disease and that smoking impairs the healing process. Smoking and periodontal or gum disease also go hand and hand with heart disease.  So periodontal disease can impair your overall health. Remember a lot depends on you!

If you think you may have periodontal disease give Dr. Antolak a call at 586.247.3500.  Our dental office is located in Shelby Township, Michigan and provides dental services to patients throughout southeast Michigan.

Do you have bad breath, bleeding gums when brushing or flossing, loose teeth or history of tooth loss?  If you answer yes to any of these questions, then you may have periodontal disease. Gum disease is very common. Unfortunately most people don’t even know that they have periodontal (gum) disease.  It isn’t until it is too late when their teeth start getting loose that they want to do something about it and many times it is too late and they have to have their teeth removed or need extensive treatment.  In fact, with recent research linking the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and low birth weight babies with periodontal disease and bleeding gums it is critical to have your mouth assessed for this infective disease. The bacteria in the gums leach out in the blood stream requiring the body’s immune system to constantly fight off these invaders.

This constant and chronic immune response is not a good thing because it causes chronic inflammation. Over the past 3-4 years research has been showing that chronic systemic inflammatory diseases such as periodontal disease can increase the level of a substance called c-Reactive protein. The liver releases this substance in response to systemic inflammation.  As the level of c-reactive protein increases so does the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, heart attack, and diabetes according to multiple clinical studies. In fact, testing for C-reactive protein in a blood test may be an effective early warning test for asymptomatic, or presymptomatic heart disease.

Listed are chronic systemic diseases that can increase the c-Reactive protein levels in the blood.

  • acne allergies and sensitivities
  • Alzheimer’ss disease
  • arthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
  • asthma
  • atherosclerosis
  • bronchitis
  • cancer
  • carditis
  • celiac disease
  • chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • cirrhosis
  • colitis
  • dementia
  • dermatitis
  • diabetes
  • edema
  • emphysema
  • eczema
  • fibromyalgia
  • gastroenteritis
  • gingivitis
  • heart disease
  • hepatitis
  • high blood pressure
  • interstitial cystitis
  • myositis
  • nephritis
  • obesity
  • osteopenia
  • osteoporosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • periodontal disease
  • polyarteritis
  • polychondritis
  • psoriasis
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • scleroderma
  • sinusitis
  • spastic colon
  • syndrome X
  • systemic candidiasis
  • tendonitis
  • UTI
  • vaginitis

We find that the c-reactive protein levels can significantly fall once the periodontal disease is treated which in effect can reduce their risk for heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and low weight preterm babies. In addition to the treatment in our office, we work to boost the body/s immune system by using anti-oxidants. For smokers, we highly suggest to them that they become part of a smoking cessation program. If you are in a high risk category and don’t know your status of periodontal disease then have it evaluated.  The c-reactive protein levels are evaluated by blood tests and since this is important indicator your periodontal status should also be tested.  This is to protect you and your heart.  If you don’t have a dentist you can contact our office at (586) 247-3500.  Our Dental Office is located in Shelby Township, Michigan — Southeast Michigan in Macomb County.
About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

I asked Helen, a patient of mine in her late 70’s who regularly reads my “Ask The Gentle Dentist” column what she would like to see in my June Ask the Dentist column.  She thought it would be a good idea for me to write an article on the Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease.  This was inspired because a friend of hers was recently diagnosed with adult onset diabetes and Periodontal and Gum Disease.  I posted an article some time ago on the co-relationship between Periodontal and Gum Disease and other systemic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.  Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease all create inflammation in the body and are potential agents that can cause heart disease.

There is accumulating evidence and data that shows that the bacteria that causes Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease gets into the blood system creating chronic inflammation.  This chronic inflammation activates a protein called C-Reactive Protein into the blood eventually creating a higher risk of stroke, heart attacks by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) in coronary (heart) and carotid arteries.

Diabetes is a growing problem that now affects over 7% of Americans and is still on the rise.  In fact, in the 1980s there were 5 million people diagnosed and now there are over 23 million. About 30% of diabetics are not even diagnosed. The most common reason why there is such a rapid rise in the incidence is because of the sedentary lifestyle that Americans are living.  Fast foods, high sugar drinks, lack of exercise has created an obese population. In fact the CDC states that over 26% of Americans are obese (120% of normal body weight)!!   Obviously watching diet and exercise can go a long way to a better, healthier body.

What is diabetes?  Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone made naturally in the body.  When carbohydrates are eaten the body rapidly breaks it down to simple sugars which are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream.  Insulin is then released in response to the high levels of blood sugar.  Insulin allows the sugars to penetrate into the cells of the body when it is needed.  Diabetes is therefore the inability of the cells to absorb the blood sugar due to a lack of this insulin

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 is where the body’s immune system actually destroys the cells that make insulin.  This is genetic in nature and is usually diagnosed at an early age. It is also the most severe form of diabetes.
  • Type 2 is also known as adult onset diabetes.  In this situation the body doesn’t create enough insulin.  90-95% of diabetics are type 2, but this number is rising at an alarming rate.
  • Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, but after birth the body rebounds back to health.

Diabetics are at risk for blindness, Stroke, amputation of toes and legs, Heart attack, numbness, kidney failure, early death, and Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease. A well controlled diabetic who exercises and eats properly has the same risk of these problems as a healthy individual.  It is therefore important to take medicines along with diet and exercise to live a somewhat normal life.

Periodontal (gum) disease is described as a bacterial infection and inflammation of the bone and soft tissues that hold the teeth into the jaw.  This infection usually is not painful or sometimes not easily seen without a proper diagnosis by your dentist.  The bone around you teeth that is dissolved from the disease will never come back but with proper treatments the bone level can stabilize.

You know you have Periodontal Disease / Gum Diseaseif you have bad breath, your gums bleed when brushing or flossing and/or your teeth are loose and shift around.    Since it is usually not painful (like most chronic diseases) you may have Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease and not even know about it.

Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease is considered to have a bidirectional relationship with diabetes.  In other words diabetes affects the severity and complications of Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease and the periodontal disease affects diabetes and the ability to control blood sugar levels.  The National Diabetic Association states this and research supports this claim.

The bottom line is that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes you are at risk for Periodontal Disease / Gum Disease.  If you have a difficult time in regulating your blood sugar then a periodontal evaluation is critical so that you not only can save your teeth, but potentially save your life.

Do me a favor and mention this article to your physician so that they can also be informed and team up with dentist’s to combat this serious problem.

For more information on this please visit the American Heart Association www.AmericanHeart.org website.

If you have questions or comments you can email me at DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com or phone us at (586)247-3500

If you have diabetes and desire a free dental consultation please give us a call.  Our dental office is located in Shelby Township, Michigan (Macomb County) at 22 Mile and Hayes.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

The effects of cancer treatment on the mouth can be quite severe!

Most people realize the side effects of radiation and chemotherapy which are hair loss and nausea, but 1 out of 3 people develop problems with the mouth during and even after treatment.  These complications such as dry mouth or life threatening infections may interfere with cancer treatment or diminish the quality of living and eating. It is therefore important to have a qualified dentist as part of the oncology team who can manage and prep the patient’s mouth in anticipation of these complications.  This preoperative care for the cancer treatment is a vital part in a comprehensive approach to overall patient comfort and satisfaction.

Cancer treatment kills fast growing cells and saliva producing cells are one of the fast growing types.  As a result, cancer patients can have extremely dry mouths eliminating the lubrication, re-mineralization, and healing enzyme properties of saliva.

Dental cavities, infection of the soft tissues, periodontal disease and other dental diseases are exacerbated and made worse when saliva is either reduced or eliminated.  Therefore it is critical to involve your qualified dentist to treat decay with fillings, treat periodontal disease, extract hopeless teeth and either remake or reline poorly fitting dentures.

If at all possible your first dental visit should be at least 1 month before cancer treatment begins to give the treating dentist enough time to complete treatment.  Once the cancer treatment begins it is too late to have the dental work done because the bodies healing capacity and ability to fight off infections is greatly reduced if not stopped.

Since the mouth is full of disease causing bacteria any potential dental problem that can be foreseen should be treated immediately with enough time to heal completely (around 14 days) before cancer treatment is started.  Open wounds, infected teeth and the like can be seeds to serious problems.  Any elective oral surgery such as implant placement should be postponed until after cancer treatment is completed.  Soft plastic trays can be used to hold fluoride to prevent tooth decay.  These are to be used during the night to re-mineralize the teeth.

The diagnosis of cancer is devastating for everyone involved and there are both emotional and physical aspects that must be dealt with right away.  Involving the dentist as part of your care isn’t usually considered, but is critical.  Since time is of the essence, being told to wait a week for a dental appointment isn’t acceptable to me.  If your dentist isn’t willing to either alter his/her schedule or come in on their day off you may want to contact our office for an immediate appointment.  For more information on what a patient should do before, during and after cancer treatment you can call our office at (586) 247-3500 for a free reprinted brochure from the National Institute of Health.  You can also visit their website at Http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/cancertreatment

Even if you have questions about this topic or if you or a loved one is to be starting cancer therapy you can call me or visit the office to discuss your questions.

If you are involved with a cancer support group and would like to have me speak to them about oral care before, during and after cancer therapy you can email me at DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com.

I am also available to talk with support groups or even patients who are about to begin cancer treatment.

The gum tissues around teeth play an important role in the health of the mouth and teeth.  The teeth are supported into the jaw bone and are connected by very small elastic fibers that connect the teeth to the bone.  This gives the teeth ability to move slightly when loaded and also gives the nerves the ability to sense position and pressure.  The gum tissues that wrap around the bone and forms a sleeve that surrounds the neck of the tooth.  This sleeve creates an impermeable seal to keep bacteria out.  When the sleeve shrinks from recession it leaves the tooth at risk for an

  • infection
  • food impaction
  • periodontal disease
  • sensitivity to cold and hot

In this video Dr. Antolak performs a gingival graft on his mother to cover the root surface of a lower tooth that is at risk for potential problems. Similar to this photo the tissue is harvested from the hard palate and sutured to cover up the root surface and giving her a more predictable safety net for many years of service.

If you have recession, sensitivity and root exposure then this gingival surgery may be for you.  This procedure is actually safe because the graft comes directly from the patient.  There is a little discomfort on the palate, but we fabricate a very thin cover that protects the roof of the mouth where the graft is taken.  People say is feels like burning your mouth on hot cheese from pizza.  The graft usually takes around 6 weeks to heal so it is necessary to be very careful during the healing phase especially on the gum area where the graft is sutured in place.  If you have questions then give Dr. Antolak a call at (586)247-3500 or visit the web site at www.TheGentleDentist.com.

Dr. Antolak serves patients in the Shelby Twp, Macomb Twp, Rochester Hills and Sterling Heights area in a very relaxing high-tech dental office.

Diabetes-A growing epidemic!! Did you know your gum tissue affects the ability to monitor and regulate your blood sugar?

Diabetes is a growing problem that now affects over 7% of Americans and is still on the rise.  In fact, in the 1980s there were 5 million people diagnosed and now there are over 23 million. About 30% of diabetics are not even diagnosed. The most common reason why there is such a rapid rise in the incidence is because of the sedentary lifestyle that Americans are living.  Fast foods, high sugar drinks, lack of exercise has created an obese population. In fact the CDC states that over 26% of Americans are obese (120% of normal body weight)!!   Obviously watching diet and exercise can go a long way to a better, healthier body.

What is diabetes?  Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone made naturally in the body.  When carbohydrates are eaten the body rapidly breaks it down to simple sugars which are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream.  Insulin is then released in response to the high levels of blood sugar.  Insulin allows the sugars to penetrate into the cells of the body when it is needed.  Diabetes is therefore the inability of the cells to absorb the blood sugar due to a lack of this insulin

There are three types of diabetes:

  1. Type 1 is where the body’s immune system actually destroys the cells that make insulin.  This is genetic in nature and is usually diagnosed at an early age. It is also the most severe form of diabetes.
  2. Type 2 is also known as adult onset diabetes.  In this situation the body doesn’t create enough insulin.  90-95% of diabetics are type 2, but this number is rising at an alarming rate.
  3. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, but after birth the body rebounds back to health.

Diabetics are at risk for blindness, Stroke, amputation of toes and legs, Heart attack, numbness, kidney failure, early death, and periodontal disease.  A well controlled diabetic who exercises and eats properly has the same risk of these problems as a healthy individual.  It is therefore important to take medicines along with diet and exercise to live a somewhat normal life.

Periodontal (gum) disease is described as a bacterial infection and inflammation of the bone and soft tissues that hold the teeth into the jaw.

Periodontal disease is considered to have a bidirectional relationship with diabetes.  In other words diabetes affects the severity and complications of periodontal disease and the periodontal disease affects diabetes and the ability to control blood sugar levels.  The national diabetic Association states this and research supports this claim.

The bottom line is that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes you are at risk for periodontal disease.  If you have a difficult time in regulating your blood sugar then a periodontal evaluation is critical so that you not only can save your teeth, but potentially save your life.

Do me a favor and mention this article to your physician so that they can also be informed and team up with dentist’s to combat this serious problem.

If you have questions or comments you can email me at DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com or phone us at (586)247-3500

If you have diabetes and desire a free consultation please give us a call.  We are located in Shelby Township, Michigan at 22 Mile and Hayes in Macomb County.


During Dr. Antolak’s recent Mission trip with his church Faith Lutheran Church in Troy Michigan he encountered a lady who had a tumor that grew over her teeth. This has been developing for over a few months and has prevented her from eating. Dr. Antolak www.TheGentleDentist has been providing dentistry in third world countries for over 12 years as he spreads the love that only comes from Jesus Christ.

So the holidays are upon us and if you are like me the access to rich and high caloric foods are plenty.  The trick is to limit food intake and closely monitor the quantities eaten.  I want to give suggestions to help so that the New Years Resolutions will not seem to be so monumental.  Obesity is a growing concern in the United States. Half of the U.S. adult population is overweight or obese. Factors contributing to weight gain include increased stress, hunger, reduced activity, and smoking habits.  The problem is that the mean weight of adults increases significantly during the holiday period. . Thats why its important to maintain a balanced weight, because even a very small imbalance can greatly affect weight gain.  Many health issues develop from over eating such as

  • Osteoarthritis (a degeneration of cartilage and its underlying bone within a joint)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Sleep apnea and respiratory problems.

The following are some suggestions on how to reduce the temptations of holiday eating:

  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a major source of calories, plus it leads to the munchies.
  • Limit soda and other sweetened beverages. These are loaded with sugar and citric acid and add extra calories.
  • Schedule holiday food celebrations at normal meal times. Celebrations outside the normal eating hour can unbalance natural hunger and alter eating habits.
  • Use smaller plates. Larger plates hold more food and increase the likelihood of overeating.
  • Eat a healthy snack or drink a full glass of water before a holiday party. Your hunger will be satisfied and youll be less likely to overeat.
  • Brush your teeth when youre finished eating. Besides practicing good oral hygiene, youre less likely to munch throughout the remainder of the day

Remember that making intelligent decisions about your diet now will give you a better chance of success in 2009.

Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home.  His motto is to relax while we take care of your smile. He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb County, Michigan.

Give us a call at (586)247-3500 or email DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com for more information.

Dental Hygiene is a critical aspect of keeping your teeth and entire body healthy for a lifetime. This video shows that it is important to brush your teeth at least twice per day and for about 90 seconds each time. An automatic toothbrush and manual toothbrush are used in similar way except that an automatic toothbrush is more efficient and can penetrate better than a manual brush. Flossing is also very important as it helps keep your gums healthy which can ultimately help save your teeth and prevent dentures and tooth loss. flossing breaks up the growth of damaging bacteria.

Using a shower floss or waterpick irrigator introduces oxygen in the deep dental pockets. When this is done the anerobic (without oxygen) bacteria that causes periodontal disease are killed. Simply by getting water in the depths of the infected pockets on a regular basis will give you a much longer and healtier gums and teeth. Of course it is vital to get into our Southeast Michigan dental office for a complete diagnosis and treatment. Once the gum infection is taken care of and treated this technique controls the bacterial invasion.

Using fluoride, having regular dental visits, watching your diet, proper flossing and brushing, taking antioxidants are all critical to both your overall health and the health of your smile. For more information give us a call at 586.247.3500 or email Dr. Antolak at DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com

Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home.  His motto is to “relax while we take care of your smile”. He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb county Michigan

This article is from the Academy of General Dentistry newsletter that I get and thought it was valuable for men.

Now to answer the question—-Men are less likely than women to take care of their physical health and, according to surveys and studies, their oral health is equally ignored. Good oral health recently has been linked with longevity. Yet, one of the most common factors associated with infrequent dental checkups is just being male. Men are less likely than women to seek preventive dental care and often neglect their oral health for years, visiting a dentist only when a problem arises. When it comes to oral health, statistics show that the average man brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day and will lose 5.4 teeth by age 72. If he smokes, he can plan on losing 12 teeth by age 72. Men are also more likely to develop oral and throat cancer and periodontal (gum) disease 

Why is periodontal disease a problem?

 

Periodontal disease is a result of plaque, which hardens into a rough, porous substance called tartar. The acids produced and released by bacteria found in tartar irritate gums. These acids cause the breakdown of fibers that anchor the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets that fill with even more bacteria. Researchers have found a connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, which can place people at risk for heart attacks and strokes. See your dentist if you have any of these symptoms:

 

  • Bleeding gums during brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose or separating teeth

 

Do you take medications?

 

Since men are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, they also are more likely to be on medications that can cause dry mouth. If you take medication for the heart or blood pressure, or if you take antidepressants, your salivary flow could be inhibited, increasing the risk for cavities. Saliva helps to reduce the cavity-causing bacteria found in your mouth.

 

Do you use tobacco?

 

If you smoke or chew, you have a greater risk for gum disease and oral cancer. Men are affected twice as often as women, and 95 percent of oral cancers occur in those over 40 years of age.

 

The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft palate tissues in back of the tongue, lips and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death. More than 8,000 people die each year from oral and pharyngeal diseases. If you use tobacco, it is important to see a dentist frequently for cleanings and to ensure your mouth remains healthy. Your general dentist can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer.

 

Do you play sports?

 

If you participate in sports, you have a greater potential for trauma to your mouth and teeth. If you play contact sports, such as football, soccer, basketball and even baseball, it is important to use a mouthguard, which is a flexible appliance made of plastic that protects teeth from trauma. If you ride bicycles or motorcycles, wear a helmet.

 

Taking care of your teeth

 

To take better care of your oral health, it is important to floss daily, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings. Here are some tips to better dental health:

 

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to reach every surface of each tooth. If the bristles on your toothbrush are bent or frayed, buy a new one.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three months or after you’ve been sick.
  • Choose a toothpaste with fluoride. This can reduce tooth decay by as much as 40 percent.
  • Brush properly. To clean the outside surfaces of your teeth, position the brush at a 45-degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. Gently move the brush in a circular motion using short, gentle strokes. To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle strokes over each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue. Spend at least three minutes brushing.
  • Floss properly. Gently insert floss between teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or snap it into place. Curve the floss into a C-shape against one tooth and then the other.

Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home.  His motto is to “relax while we take care of your smile”. He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 21 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb county Michigan

 

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