Periodontal Disease: How Bad Could It Be?

FlossingWe’ve all been reminded to floss regularly and brush.  A lack of good dental home care can contribute to periodontal disease.  Periodontitis, meaning “inflammation around the teeth” is a progressive condition that is a major cause of tooth loss.  If caught in the early stages, it can be stopped from progressing. However, if allowed to continue, periodontitis leads to permanent damage. But just how bad could it get?

Why Is Flossing Important?

Flossing removes bacteria, food particles, and dead cells from between teeth. Your toothbrush simply can’t reach all the places that flossing can. If you don’t floss regularly, you may notice that your gums bleed when you do. This can indicate the presence of one or more strains of bacteria associated with periodontitis. (more…)

Gum Disease and Diabetes

Diabetics check their blood glucose level with a glucometer.

Recent research links periodontal disease (gum disease) to a number of systemic health conditions, one of which is diabetes. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and San Diego area Periodontist, Dr. Kania wants you to understand how gum disease contributes to diabetes, and how diabetics are at higher risk for gum disease.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body can’t produce enough insulin or does not use insulin properly. Insulin is required to break down sugar in the blood. Diabetics, therefore, have a high blood sugar level, and as a result, they experience a range of symptoms and side effects that can become life threatening. (For more information on diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Foundation website.)

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is infection of the gums caused by bacterial build up and an inappropriate immune response. Over time, gum disease can lead to oral health problems, like tooth looseness (mobility) and loss, gum recession, and jawbone deterioration. The disease has also been linked to systemic health problems ranging from diabetes complications, pregnancy complications, increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

How are gum disease and diabetes linked?

According to the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), managing gum disease can reduce the risk for developing diabetes. All inflammatory diseases increase the blood glucose level, or the blood sugar level. For diabetics, the increase only exacerbates the problem of insufficient insulin. Good oral healthcare and healthy gum tissue reduces the risk for developing diabetes, as well as for diabetes complications.

If you’re a diabetic, tell your dentist and hygienist. If you love a diabetic, explain to him or her the importance of regular daily dental care at home, combined with professional dental care. Dr. Kania, a periodontist, has advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of all phases of gum disease. If you need a periodontist or notice that your gums are red, swollen, or tender, call Dr. Kania in Encinitas, CA today at 760-642-0711 for an appointment. Dr. Kania offers minimally invasive laser periodontal treatment with Periolase, the no-cut, no-sew dental laser.

Ouch! My Teeth Hurt!

Toothaches have many causes, from cavities and fractures to internal infections. Tooth sensitivity is a bit different from a toothache. Sensitive teeth cause pain when they are exposed to temperature fluctuations or pressure. In some cases, thin tooth enamel creates sensitivity. Sometimes harsh bleaching or significant enamel reduction (as in preparation for a veneer) result in sensitivity. Another common cause is gum recession.

Why is gum recession a problem?
Bone, ligament and gum tissue is supposed to cover the entire root of a tooth. Unlike the crown of a tooth, the root is not covered with protective enamel. Therefore, exposed teeth roots have lost bone, ligament and gum tissue and can become prone to sensitivity.

Why do gums recede?
Gum recession, or a receding gum line, may result from years of brushing teeth too hard, from smoking tobacco, from gum disease, or simply from age.  Some people have inherited “thin tissue” and are more prone to recession.

How is gum recession corrected?
Once gums recede, the only way to build the tissue back up is with a gum graft. Gum tissue is usually taken from the roof of the patient’s mouth, but it may also come from a donor bank if necessary. Dr. Kania secures the new tissue over receding gums, and as healing progresses, the new tissue is accepted as part of the body. (more…)

Periolase No-Cut, No-Sew Laser Gum Treatment

If you’re one of the nearly 80% of Americans who have gum disease, and the condition has gotten out of control, you may be advised to undergo periodontal surgery. Dr. Kania, a San Diego periodontist practicing in Encinitas, offers the innovative no-cut, no-sew procedure.  The protocal is called LANAP (laser assisted new attachment procedure) with the Periolase.

Gum disease results in significant infection, that in turn breaks down periodontal attachment (bone, ligament and gum).  The loss of this tissue results in tooth loss. Treatment that breaks this destructive cycle will set the way for new, healthy tissue to naturally regenerate. However, cutting away tissue is not enough – the underlying infection must be treated.

If you need gum surgery, the traditional approach would involve a rather invasive procedure. Damaged gum tissue would be cut away with a surgical scalpel, the tooth roots would be cleaned – possibly bone graft material placed and then the tissue would be sutured and packed for healing. Some patients have found traditional gum surgery to be painful and traumatic. (more…)

Dental Implants San Diego

Choosing whether to replace missing teeth with a dental bridge or a dental implant is a big decision. Cost, of course, is a concern, but also the actual procedure. What does it entail? How long is recovery? Will you be uncomfortable or have to be on a special diet after the procedure? How can you find a doctor with experience, training, and a great track record, as well as one who’ll listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and make you feel confident, comfortable, and well cared for during your procedure?

As a periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania is a dental specialist who offers complete dental implant placement. Whether you need one tooth replaced or you’d like to secure a bridge, partial, or denture with implants, Dr. Kania will be happy to answer your questions and discuss treatment options with you. (more…)

Dr. Ann Kania, Periodontist for North County, San Diego, Encinitas

As a periodontist, Dr. Ann Kania provides diagnosis of and treatment for gum disease, a condition that afflicts up to 80% of Americans. In addition, Dr. Kania specializes in placing and restoring dental implants for tooth replacement, as well as denture stabilization. Cosmetic dental surgery, laser periodontal therapy (LANAP), tooth extractions and bone augmentation are just a few of the procedures Dr. Kania offers.

What Is Periodontics? Click Here to Find Out!

On this blog, you’ll have access to the latest developments in periodontal, implant, and cosmetic periodontics. Dr. Kania will keep you informed about minimally invasive treatment options, as well as preventive techniques that could save your teeth and your health.

Dr. Kania always welcomes questions. You can call the office, post a comment on this blog, or share your thoughts on the doctor’s Facebook page. More information about Dr. Kania and her practice can be found on her website, at www.DrAnnKania.com.

To speak with Dr. Kania directly, or to schedule a consultation, call 760-642-0711. Her Encinitas periodontist office serves patients from San Diego’s North County area: including those from Carlsbad, La Costa, Encinitas, Leucadia, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Carmel Valley.