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How are Heart Health and Dental Infection Connected?

how are heart health and dental infection connected

Heart health and dental infection have been shown to have a very strong connection.  At Northstar Dental, we feel it’s important to share the facts. So here’s what we’ll cover:

Heart Health and Dental Infection: Are you at an increased risk of heart attack?

Risk Factors: See if you might be at a higher risk for stroke or heart attack.

Can Oral Health Warn Us About Heart Disease: Learn about the warning signs.

Commonly Asked Questions: Heart health and dental infection connection.


Heart disease will claim approximately 600,000 lives this year according to information provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Thus, making heart disease the number one cause of death in America. The truth is, there is a connection between heart health and dental infection.

While it may seem bizarre or even impossible to some, oral health and heart disease are indeed linked. Studies have indicated that individuals who have moderate or advanced gum disease (periodontal disease), are more susceptible to having heart disease as opposed to those who have healthy gums.

A person’s mouth and oral health can hold significant clues to a person’s overall health. Studies do show that a person’s oral health can provide useful warning signs for other conditions or diseases; heart disease is one of them.

happy young adult on heart health and dental infection

Link #1

How can heart health and dental infection or gum disease increase the risk of a heart attack?

Because our mouth is a gateway to our entire body, those who have a chronic illness such as gum disease, are at a higher risk for suffering a heart attack according to the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry). Gum disease, which is called gingivitis in its early stages and periodontal disease in the later stages, is caused by the buildup of plaque.

Some researchers have suggested that gum disease may also contribute to heart disease or that heart health and dental infection are related. Oral inflammation due to bacteria may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that harmful bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may serve as a base for the development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke

diabetes supplies

What are the risk factors?

  • Diabetes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Male gender
heart health and dental infection

Link #2

How can oral health warn us about heart disease?

How can heart health and dental infection be a warning sign of what is to come?

Research does suggest that more than 90 percent of systemic diseases — including heart disease, do have an oral connection. Therefore, dentists can significantly benefit patients who do have a history of heart disease by carefully examining them for signs of infection, inflammation, and or oral disease. The ADA states that the proper diagnosis and treatment of both gum and tooth infections in patients with certain conditions have reduced the need for blood pressure medications. There has also been a notable improvement in overall health in such patients.

periodontal disease and overall health on the topic heart health and dental infection

Gum Disease Warning Signs

According to the AGD (Academy of General Dentistry), gum disease is something that affects roughly 80 percent of adults in America. Warning signs, which may indicate you have gum disease are:

  • Swollen, tender, or red gums.
  • Gums that bleed when flossing or brushing.
  • Gums that pull away from your teeth or receding gums.
  • Bad taste in your mouth or chronic bad breath.
  • Teeth that are separating from each other or teeth that are loose.
  • The number one form of medication is prevention and early detection.

Although it is true that gum disease does seem to be associated with heart disease, more studies are needed before we can say with 100% certainty, the exact relationship. There has been no research that shows that treatment for one disease will help control and manage the other. We can say with certainty, however, that professional cleanings, regular dental checkups, and good home care and oral hygiene practices can improve oral health tremendously. We can also say with certainty that good oral health does indeed contribute to good overall health.

brushing and smiling person

Long story short, bad teeth and heart disease have a strong connection. Bad teeth and heart disease can be a clear picture as to what might be going on in the the rest of your body. Regular dental cleanings and exams are vital and will help remove bacteria, tartar, and plaque. They are also necessary to help detect early signs of gingivitis or gum disease. Our dentist would be more than happy to provide your with the knowledge you need to help you play a significant role in preventing and keeping gum disease in remission (not active.) Here’s how:

  1. Make a habit of brushing two times a day, for 2-3 minutes, and be sure to brush the gum line.
  2. Be sure to floss daily to help remove plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach.
  3. Also, use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque by up to 20 percent.
  4. Although it can be hard, try to eat a healthy diet. This will provide you with essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C, in particular.
  5. Avoid smoking or using e-cigarettes.
  6. Take supplements, such as Vitamin D and Omega 3.
  7. Take a good probiotic if you do not get enough probiotic foods in your diet.

Here are some more commonly asked questions about how heart health and dental infection could be connected…

Can mouth bacteria cause heart problems?

Your Lincoln Dentist answers…

Oral inflammation due to bacteria may play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. It appears that harmful bacteria in the mouth may cause inflammation throughout the body, including the arteries. This inflammation may serve as a base for the development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries, possibly increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Can a gum infection cause heart problems?

Your Lincoln Dentist answers…

A study from 2014 shows that researchers examined people who had both heart disease and gum disease – the results? Gum disease might increase the risk of developing heart disease. In short, inflammation found within the gums and bacteria combined could eventually lead the narrowing of major arteries.

How do dental problems affect the heart?

Your Lincoln Dentist answers…

Poor oral health does put a person at higher risk for heart disease. Inflamed gums caused by the same bacteria that responsible for periodontal disease can be responsible for the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can harden.

Can an abscessed tooth cause heart problems?

Your Lincoln Dentist answers…

In Finland at the University of Helsinki, new research has shown that just like gum disease a tooth infection that goes untreated might increase your chances for developing CAD as well as many other conditions that fall under the collective term acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Can gingivitis cause heart problems?

Your Lincoln Dentist answers…

It is vital to have healthy gums. Gingivitis is a reversible gum condition, and the bleeding gums associated with gingivitis can easily be treated by:

  • Completing a cleaning at your dentist
  • Flossing and brushing daily at home
  • Taking Vitamin D

If gingivitis is not reversed, it can put you at the risk of affecting your cardiovascular health.

Is tooth discomfort related to heart problems?

Your Lincoln Dentist answers…

Heart/chest discomfort can also sometimes be noted in the teeth and jaw. Generally, it is more common for heart-related discomfort to affect the bottom or lower jaw versus the upper jaw. Anyone who feels discomfort in this region should seek emergency medical attention either through an emergency dentist or your local emergency room.

If you have heart disease, flossing and brushing regularly and seeing your dentist on schedule can prove extremely beneficial. It is also imperative that you make your dentist aware of your heart problem. Share your complete medical history and be sure to include any medications you are currently taking. You must be meticulous in following your dentist’s and physician’s instructions regarding health care. Included are prescription medications, such as using antibiotics, as directed, and for the amount of time indicated. So know that we know risk factors and warning signs, and that heart health and dental infection are linked – do your part and keep your mouth healthy!

Dr burbach picture

Dr. Michael Burbach

The information on this page was written by Dr. Michael Burbach.

This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I am committed to providing my patients with the ultimate in dental health care, by using the latest techniques and equipment that will allow comfort during dental procedures. My team and I at Northstar Dental are dedicated to providing you with a comfortable and safe environment for both adults and children. My goal as a dentist is to provide you and your family with high quality and gentle dental care so you can have a healthy mouth for a healthy life.”

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or his partners, online 24/7 at his North Lincoln Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Northstar Dental in Waverly, Davey, Raymond, Garland, Ceresco, Greenwood, and Malcom.

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Nebraska Family Dentistry has Lincoln Dental clinics in all parts of Lincoln!

Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.

Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.

 

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How to Stop Snoring – Better Sleep Month

snoring do anything about it lincoln ne for Sleep and Dental Health

Snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem. Here we’ll cover what we thin you should know about sleep apnea:

 


Snoring can be a sign of a more serious problem. In our article we’ll cover what we think you should know, including:

-How Sleep and Dental Health are Related

-Other Medical Issues Besides Sleep Apnea That Can Cause Snoring

-Discussion About How Oral Appliance Therapy Really Works For Sleep Apnea


Sleep and dental health is crucial and is considered a very critical component in maintaining optimum health. However, when you or someone you live with snores, that can make getting a good night’s sleep extremely difficult. While snoring can be extremely annoying to listen to, many times it can be indicative of a much larger problem. One example could be obstructive sleep apnea. Many people suffer from this chronic disorder. Those with obstructive sleep apnea often experience pauses in their breathing that occurs while they sleep. The pause in breathing generally is caused by a collapse of the airway or blockage of the airway from within the nose or the mouth, for example. When an airway blockage occurs, this will not only lead to snoring but can also cause many other issues. Some more common problems are irregular heartbeats, an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and even heart failure.


Listen to your body and rest if that is what it is telling you to do. Remember getting plenty of sleep is critical and will help maintain a healthy you.


The month of May is known as Better Sleep Month-so, if you or someone you love snores, there is no better time to address it than now. Treatment is based upon the needs of each individual and can vary depending upon the severity and seriousness of the underlying problem. Treating the problem may range from something as simple as lifestyle changes like losing weight or sleeping in a new and different position to help keep the airway open. There are more invasive surgical options that can be done such as procedures on the nasal passage, soft palate, or tongue.

For severe cases, an individual may be required to wear a medical device called a CPAP. This machine provides continuous positive airway pressure (hence the term CPAP) and forces the airway to stay open allowing for a much better night’s sleep. While wearing a CPAP does take some getting used to, it is incredibly beneficial. Not only will it help you sleep better, but the rest of your body will also benefit. While the previous examples were for more severe cases, those individuals that have mild sleep apnea may be able to find relief with a trip to their dentist.

sleeping and woman waking up happy

How are sleep and dental health related?

There may be many contributing factors to OSA, but speaking from a dental standpoint, we can confidently say that a malocclusion and a low-lying soft palate may be adding to your reasons for OSA. Even if you are experiencing other symptoms such as snoring, airway crowding, or you have a deviated septum, there is still a chance that an oral appliance may help. An oral appliance can be useful for both sleep and dental health. Oral appliances can benefit those with mild OSA and even those who have a more severe form of OSA but are unable to tolerate CPAP. It could also be that an oral appliance is the better form of treatment if a person is not a suitable candidate for surgery or has previously failed surgical treatment.

Reading about medical conditions can often be confusing leaving your with more questions than even though possible. Generally speaking, medicine is difficult to understand and that’s why our blog is here. We want to give you the jist, without being too technical. For this reason, let’s tie it together; sleep and dental health. How are sleep apnea, snoring, and the dentist connected? Often, dentists will work together along with other physicians to help address sleep apnea or sleep-related breathing disorders with treatment known as oral appliance therapy. There is a small process to follow, however, to make sure that the problem is adequately addressed.

Here’s how oral appliance therapy typically works:

  • First, the patient will undergo a sleep study at a sleep center accredited by the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine.
  • After the test is complete, it will be determined at that point if the patient has sleep apnea. If so, at that point, a physician may recommend wearing an oral appliance during sleep.

This device is similar to that of an orthodontic retainer or mouth guard worn during sports. It helps prevent the airway from closing by either holding the tongue down or supporting the jaw in a forward position. The dentist will then monitor the patient’s progress and provide adjustments as well as follow-up and long-term care.

happy woman

In short, this is how we can connect sleep and dental health. While it doesn’t include all of the technical jargon and long medical terms, it provides a brief synopsis of how this puzzle fits together.

In most cases of mild and moderate sleep apnea or even a case of slight snoring, oral appliance therapy can provide a great deal of relief as it helps increases airway space. Reuters (4/26, Carroll) reported that investigators who studied nearly 2000 patients who came to a sleep center lab for a formal sleep study, found that almost 40 percent of women who categorized themselves as someone who didn’t snore, actually had levels of moderate to severe snoring at varying intensities. Findings of these studies were then published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. While an oral appliance may seem like a device that is far too simple to help OSA, there have been many proven benefits on how an oral appliance can promote sleep and dental health. Some such benefits include a significant decrease in the number of apneas for back and stomach sleepers, improved overall amount and quality of sleep, reduction in loudness and frequency of snoring, and a higher CPAP compliance rate. Also, since this device is custom made to fit the individual specifically, it is comfortable and effortless to wear. While most over-the-counter appliances that address sleep apnea are seemingly straightforward, be aware that they do pose limitations.

moldable mouth guards for Sleep and Dental Health

There are many drug stores and sports equipment retailers that sell mold-able mouth guards. Typically, these are ones that can be softened in boiling water and shaped to the mouth. Be cautious; the Center for Sleep Medicine warns that unsupervised use of these over-the-counter devices can lead to dental damage as well as jaw problems. They do not recommend these particular devices to help promote sleep and dental health as this type of device is not a true form of treatment for snoring or sleep apnea.

Talk to your dentist, or any of our dentists at Northstar Dental, and ask questions, so that you can learn more about the potential benefits of oral appliance therapy. Statistics show that approximately 30 to 50 percent of Americans snore at some point in their lives and it’s not always a result of sleep apnea. It could be a simple, quick fix with a trip to your dentist, but do be sure to get them involved. While it may seem cheaper to try over-the-counter fixes for sleep and dental health, it could end up costing more in the long run. Still thinking that sleep apnea may not be what you have?

sleep therapy woman bettering Sleep and Dental Health

What else can cause snoring?

Besides sleep apnea, there are a few other common causes, such as:

  • Being overly tired
  • Stuffy nose or clogged sinuses
  • Consuming alcohol or sedatives before bed
  • Dehydration
  • Allergens such as dust that build up in your bedroom, pillows, and mattress
  • Sleeping on your back
  • Excess body weight

While this is not a complete list, we picked some of the more prevalent causes aside from sleep apnea, that may be leaving you or your loved one snoring. The first step is to always visit with your doctor or dentist. He or she can then guide you in the right direction so that you get the appropriate treatment. There are also websites that contain great information for patients such as, MouthHealthy.org where they have additional and important information about sleep apnea. The ADA Catalog also offers the brochure, Do You Have Sleep Apnea? Talk to your Lincoln, NE dentist about snoring. Ultimately, the end result that everyone is going for is better sleep and dental health. We all want a happier, healthier, more rested you.

So, while we do have our niche at Nebraska Family Dentistry, which is dentistry of all kinds and catering to anxious patients, know that we may be able to help those of you who suffer from OSA, too. As previously mentioned, an oral appliance should be prescribed by a trained medical professional. Any of your dental concerns can also be addressed during a routine cleaning. If you are showing dental signs of sleep apnea, and we do find this to be the correct method of treatment for you, be compliant and be sure to have frequent check-ups. Doing so will ensure its long-term benefits and your overall health. Sweet dreams!


The information on this page was written by Dr. Kimberly Polley.

This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I believe that everyone is entitled to a healthy life. I am happy to work with my patients’ concerns and help them overcome their fears. Consequently, once they overcome their fears, they can routinely receive the dental care that they need, resulting in a healthy, beautiful smile.”

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or her partners, online 24/7 at her North Lincoln Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Northstar Dental in Waverly, Davey, Raymond, Garland, Ceresco, Greenwood, and Malcom.


NFD partners northstar dental

Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple Lincoln Dental Clinics

Nebraska Family Dentistry has Lincoln Dental clinics in all parts of Lincoln. Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.

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Mercury-Free Dental fillings – Biological Dentistry Near Me

Should I replace mercury fillings? Northstar Dental Banner

Many people today still have mercury fillings. The question is should you replace them or not? All of us at Northstar Dental think you should be educated on the benefits of removing amalgam fillings and we’ll explain why here. The removal of mercury fillings are just one of the many dental services we offer. In our article, we’ll cover the following topics:

-Biological dentistry and how it could benefit you

Reasons why you should consider replacing your Mercury fillings


Many of us have cavities and know what the experience is all about. Maybe it was caused from dry mouth related to medications, perhaps life is hectic, and you have had a hard time getting into a good oral home care routine, maybe you like sugar, maybe you were not able to get dental care because you couldn’t afford it and didn’t have insurance. The list of “maybes,” is truly endless. The truth is that there are thousands of reasons as to why a person may or may not have a cavity. Having one cavity or multiple cavities doesn’t make someone a bad person. Having a cavity means that for whatever reason they had the perfect combination of things occurring within their mouth and a cavity developed. Ultimately, leading to a filling being placed. Depending upon when and where the cavity was placed, you may not have mercury-free dental fillings. Maybe you are looking for “Biological Dentistry Near me,” in search of answers. Either way, we will answer some of the most common questions regarding Silver/ Amalgam fillings below.

Image of a beautiful woman who is smiling after finding biological dentistry near me in Lincoln, NE.

Times have changed, and so has medicine. Sometimes, it seems as though everything is hard. But, finding “biological dentistry near me” doesn’t have to be. So, if you guessed that this blog is talking about dentistry and or biological dentistry, in particular, you are correct. It’s not just the technology used in dentistry, but the materials as well. You may be asking yourself, what materials? There are many materials. But, one that many people are familiar with would be related to fillings. In the past, dentists used amalgam (silver) fillings. Now, it is common practice for a dentist to use tooth-colored, mercury-free dental fillings. Not only do the mercury-free dental fillings look better but they are much safer for a person’s overall health.

Image of old and broken amalgam fillings that can be safely removed by biological dentist, Dr. Kathryn Alderman.
Image of Old Broken Amalgam Fillings with Cracks and Holes

How so? Aside from the obvious which would be that tooth-colored mercury-free dental fillings are more aesthetically pleasing possibly enhancing self-esteem, the other benefits are much more profound. Our body is made up of many different types of genes. That number is somewhere between 20,000 and 25,000. Are you saying wow, that’s a lot? You are right, it is a lot! We, however, will be talking about only one of those genes. Specifically, the APOE4 gene. This gene can be related explicitly to causing mercury toxicity. Also, it has been known to cause other health-related issues. How? In short, the APOE4 gene is considered to be a poor excretor of mercury. Ultimately, there is a greater chance of becoming ill when exposed to heavy metals. This exposure can be to metals such as mercury. This same gene also has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. That’s pretty wild, who would’ve thought that mercury-free dental fillings could be such a big deal!

Because many of us may not be concerned about what color our filling is as long as the problem is fixed, most don’t realize that choosing not to get tooth-colored, mercury-free dental fillings could be detrimental to our health.

Patients are always asking whether or not they should replace mercury-amalgam dental fillings: composite fillings vs amalgam? The answer…yes do replace them! If you have teeth with large failing mercury-amalgam dental fillings, they need to be replaced. The next form of treatment would be to protect it with a dental crown. While this can be done by any dentist, some would prefer to have the removal of old amalgam fillings done by a biological dentist. However, if you prefer biological dentistry, and you live in the Lincoln, NE area, you are in luck.

Image of a happy young man after learning about biologcial dentistry near me in Lincoln, NE.

Here are some of the reasons why you should replace old, failing Mercury dental fillings with new Mercury-free dental fillings. Look for Biological Dentistry Near Me…

  1. Amalgam or mercury-amalgam dental fillings can lead to a cracked tooth or teeth.
  2. Amalgam dental fillings seal out decay for a very short period. Typically, only one to six years. Decay is sealed out with a corrosive layer that forms. Over time, the filling expands and contracts. Eventually, this causes the filling to wear, chip, and break down. The continuous expansion and contraction end up leaving a gap between the amalgam filling and the tooth. The gap that is then created makes the perfect home for bacteria. Ultimately, this will then allow the start of cavities. Once the space between the mercury-amalgam dental filling and tooth are created, the cavity may grow without causing any symptoms. Once a cavity reaches the nerve of the tooth, it can cause an excruciating toothache.
  3. Any mercury fillings that are “watched,” and not replaced as soon as decay has been found, are a significant contributor to cracked and broken teeth. Patients may end up needing more extensive treatment. For example, some treatments that may be needed are root canals, crowns, bridges, implants, partials, or even dentures. Teeth that have extensive and cracked mercury-amalgam dental fillings should have full crown coverage. This will help prevent a cracked tooth. Possibly, eliminating the need for a root canal or even an extraction. At our office, we exclusively place silver and mercury-free dental fillings and crowns.
An image of a silver filling from Northstar Dental in Lincoln, NE. This image was before seeing a biological dentist in Lincoln, NE.

Before

After image of a new white tooth-colored filling that was done by a biologial dentist in Lincoln, NE, Dr. Kathryn Alderman. This tooth-colored filling is one of the many mercury-free dental fillings done at Northstar Dental.

After

 

Also at Nebraska Family Dentistry, you will find that the removal of mercury fillings are done following a set of guidelines and strict safety procedures. In addition, when searching for “biological dentistry near me,” you will find that we offer “clean air.” What is “clean air?” It is an air filtration systems that captures extremely fine particles. Thus, ensuring the health of anyone, and everyone who enters our office. Without a doubt, we all win with clean air!

Image of a poster explaining the clean air project at Nebraska Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE.

Unfortunately, amalgam fillings can still be used in the United States. So, to avoid encountering a menagerie of symptoms and or life-long chronic diseases, it’s always a good idea to avoid amalgam fillings. Indeed, stick with what the dental world knows is safe. Mercury-free dental fillings. Do your research or search for “biological dentistry near me.” Think of getting a filling much the same as buying a new car. Generally speaking, you will most likely want a car that combines functionality and safety. Without a doubt, the same thing goes for fillings. By choosing mercury-free dental fillings, you will be getting the “newest model” that incorporates function, safety, and style. Really, what’s not to love about a mercury-free, “all white” smile? So, if you’re wondering where you can find all of these great benefits, Nebraska Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE does in fact have a biological dentist. Dr. Kathryn Alderman provides a great approach to dentistry for those who love and embrace the benefits that biological dentistry has to offer. Clearly, however you choose to do it, amalgam-free is the way to go!


The information on this page was written by Dr. Kathryn Alderman.

This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “Dental anxiety or dental phobia, affects millions of people across the United States. If you’re one of them, you should know that you aren’t alone. There’s no need to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid when you’re with us. We’ve helped several patients in the past through their dental anxiety, and we’re happy to help you, too. Dr. Kathryn Alderman, dentist for dental anxiety in Lincoln, NE, has worked with thousands of patients suffering from dental anxiety in Lincoln and surrounding communities. Throughout the process, she’s helped patients overcome their fears.”

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or her partners, online 24/7 at her North Lincoln Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Northstar Dental in Waverly, Davey, Raymond, Garland, Ceresco, Greenwood, and Malcom.


cred northstar dental lincoln ne

Nebraska Family Dentistry has dental clinics in all parts of Lincoln

Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.

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Probiotics and Periodontal Disease

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-Do probiotics help gum disease? You might be surprised!

-Are probiotics good for halitosis? Learn which probiotics can help.

-Can I take a probiotic everyday? We’ll discuss beneficial sources of probiotics.


Recent studies have shown a correlative link between an imbalance of gut biome and the presence of chronic inflammatory conditions including periodontal disease. Seventy percent of the immune system resides in the GI tract. Those who have a microbiome with a higher population of harmful bacterial pathogens and less bacterial diversity are more predisposed to developing systemic health conditions as well as dental diseases. Patients who have active periodontal disease are then at an even greater risk of developing or having difficulty controlling other inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions.

beautiful woman smile at nsd

Probiotics and Periodontal Disease: How can probiotics be used to treat gum disease?

Probiotics have successfully been used to reduce plaque accumulation, treat halitosis, improve pocket depths and alter the colonization of anaerobic bacteria.

Probiotics and Periodontal Disease: What’s the Connection?

Probiotics have been proven to work to improve immunity when delivered systemically and locally. So probiotics and periodontal disease – will taking probiotics have any impact on gum disease?

Should I take oral probiotics for gum disease? Probiotics can inhibit the growth of harmful bacterial pathogens in the way they interact with the host as well as other bacteria in the mouth. By competition for space as well as the creation of natural byproducts, probiotics can inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria while creating an anti-inflammatory effect. Many of the processes by which probiotics interact with pathogenic bacteria cause the inhibition of chemical mediators that are normally involved in the host inflammatory response. These chemical mediators are often related to tissue destruction as a result of chronic inflammation.

Dr. Polley with Patient

Probiotics and Periodontal Therapy

Streptococcus oralis and Streptococcus uberis are two strains of probiotics which are associated with periodontal health. These have been shown to inhibit pathogenic growth in the lab. Patients who do not have these strains of beneficial bacteria present are more likely to experience symptoms of periodontal disease.

Lactobacillus reuteri has been studied in a parallel double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled study of 59 subjects with moderate to severe gingivitis.

In this study, patients were given strains of  Lactobacillus reuteri via chewing gum twice a day for two weeks (concentration was 1×108 CFU) in addition to traditional scaling and root planing. After two weeks, the subjects who used probiotic chewing gum showed improvement.

Weissella cibaria CMS1 has been shown to reduce plaque scores in a study using a mouth rinse with the strains four times a day. Plaque scores reduced by 20% in patients using the rinse.

Lactobacillus helveticus was shown to stimulate bone formation and may be useful for patients being treated for periodontitis.

Patients treated with a periodontal dressing containing the probiotic Lactobacillus casei experienced prolonged remission following treatment.

There have been multiple studies performed on many other strains of probiotics for the treatment and management of periodontal disease. Many of these studies show improvements to the periodontal condition of the patient in conjunction with traditional therapies.

catering dental team for Probiotics and Periodontal disease

Probiotics for Halitosis Treatment

Fusobacterium nucleatum, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Prevotella intermedia, and Treponema denticola are bacterial species responsible for creating volatile sulfur compounds which are associated with halitosis.

Weissella cibaria is a probiotic strain that has been shown to inhibit the growth of volatile sulfur compounds by creating hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide reduces sulfuric gases and protecting against pathogens by creating an inhospitable environment for their survival. Other strains of probiotics including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Streptococcus salivaris have been shown to decrease volatile sulfur compounds in patients with halitosis.

yogurt probiotic picture for Probiotics and Periodontal disease

Sources of Probiotics

There are several modes of delivering probiotics. Attenuation of an infectious pathogen is the alteration of the pathogen to make it less virulent or harmful. This type of vaccine differs from traditional vaccines which are created by inactivating the virus. Attenuated pathogen vaccines use live probiotic strains and deliver direct application of immunogenic proteins from certain pathogens. Genetically altered “designer probiotics” are made to mimic naturally occurring structures within the gut. Some of these modalities have been used to help treat HIV.

Bacteriotherapy is a method in which certain strains of probiotics are applied directly to an infected area. This type of therapy results in long-term colonization of the probiotic into the natural microbiome of the patient which will help prevent or halt the pathogen from colonizing.

Traditional probiotics are usually taken as a daily oral supplement, which does not have long-term effects on the patient’s natural flora.

There are many natural foods that contain probiotics which have been shown to be beneficial and effective against pathogenic bacteria. Sources such as sourkraut, kefir, kombucha, other fermented vegetables, and dairy products.

happy male patient after learning Probiotics and Periodontal disease

Conclusion

Research is showing the significant impacts probiotics can have on the oral and overall health of patients, and providers should consider using them in conjunction with traditional treatment and prevention of many health problems. For example, probiotics and periodontal disease; probiotics can have an impact on gum disease. Probiotics have been shown to be beneficial in a variety of applications. They have been effective in helping to treat many systemic and oral infections, allergies, chronic inflammatory conditions, and even cancers.

Unlike antibiotics, probiotics eliminate concerns about the development of resistance because of the fact that they naturally reside in the human body’s microbial flora and adapt to protect the body. Modern probiotic technology creates the opportunity to help treat a variety of medical and dental conditions with virtually no ill side-effects. Care should be taken when prescribing or recommending specific probiotics to immune-compromised individuals as there have been rare cases of bacteraeima associated with certain strains. At Northstar Dental, your oral health is our top priority, so if you have questions regarding your oral health and the use of probiotics, our team of gentle family dentists can help.


The information on this page was written by Dr. Kimberly Polley.

This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “I believe that everyone is entitled to a healthy life. I am happy to work with my patients’ concerns and help them overcome their fears. Consequently, once they overcome their fears, they can routinely receive the dental care that they need, resulting in a healthy, beautiful smile.”

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or her partners, online 24/7 at her North Lincoln Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Northstar Dental in Waverly, Davey, Raymond, Garland, Ceresco, Greenwood, and Malcom.


Nebraska Family Dentistry has multiple locations!

Nebraska Family Dentistry has Lincoln Dental clinics in all parts of Lincoln. Choose a “dentist near me” location that is convenient for you.

 

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Teeth Reshaping

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Surprisingly, there are many people who dislike their smile. What can be done to fix it. Here at Northstar Dental, we have solutions for you. In our article we’ll cover these important topics:

  • Learn About the Benefits of Teeth Reshaping and Recontouring 

  • Find Out when Recontouring might Work Best for You

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Reshaping


Teeth Reshaping: Love Your Smile Again

In the past, many patients have told us they feel like their teeth are too long. It isn’t uncommon for a tooth to be slightly longer than its neighbors, but if you aren’t comfortable with it, we can help. We want to help you love your smile again, and luckily, we have all the tools you need to do so. Read on to learn more about teeth reshaping and how it can help you feel comfortable.

Teeth reshaping is a rather simple and minimally-invasive process. Our dentists will simply use a small drill to remove tooth enamel. Then, the dentist can trim any areas, shaping the tooth to look as you wish. Overall, it’s one of the easiest procedures to perform, and it only takes a single appointment.

If you’re ready for teeth reshaping now, our dentists would be happy to tell you more about it. You can start by scheduling a consultation with us using the form at the bottom or by calling 402-742-0000.


teeth reshaping example


Teeth Reshaping Treatment: Recontouring

While it isn’t abnormal for a tooth to be a different shape than its neighbors, this too can be changed. With our recontouring procedure, our skilled dentists can reshape your tooth to match the rest of your teeth. After the procedure, the tooth will blend in perfectly.


Recontouring is an excellent way to get rid of minor imperfections like teeth that seem too long, uneven teeth, and even small chips and cracks. It can also smooth out any bulges in or pits in a tooth’s enamel. This type of teeth reshaping is minimally-invasive, and easy for us to perform.


Dentist explaining the process of teeth reshaping to patient


When is recontouring appropriate?

Recontouring is good for a handful of dental needs. As we mentioned before, it’s especially helpful in smiles which need teeth reshaping. This can include long teeth, uneven teeth, small chips, cracks, bulges in a person’s enamel, and pits in a person’s tooth. The versatility of this treatment makes it one of a kind.


It’s important to note, however, that recontouring is not the solution for every occasion. Rather, it shouldn’t be used as a replacement treatment for dental veneers or dental bonding. Similarly, recontouring is not a great option for anyone with major imperfections in their teeth. These include deep chips, fractures, and other detrimental problems within a person’s mouth. If you have these but are interested in teeth reshaping, be sure to address the other problems with your dentist first. If you see us, our dentists will help you address these at your consultation.

frequently Asked Questions about teeth reshaping

Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Reshaping

One of our major goals here at Northstar – and throughout Nebraska Family Dentistry – is educating our community. We strive to answer every question we hear, so patients know what’s going on. In this way, we’re able to help our patients understand their own health. And because the dentist isn’t always a place people love to be, we want to make it a great experience every single time. We believe that a great experience includes a comprehensive understanding of dental procedures you undergo.

In particular, many of our patients don’t understand teeth reshaping at first. For that reason, we’ve answered our most frequently asked questions about teeth reshaping below.

Where can I find a dentist who does teeth reshaping near me?

Dr. Kathryn Alderman can perform teeth reshaping on anyone near or in Lincoln, Nebraska. She serves patients right here at Northstar. However, did you know that we have sister locations throughout Lincoln? Because Northstar Dental is a member of Nebraska Family Dentistry, Dr. Alderman serves at multiple offices in Lincoln. That means you can have excellent teeth reshaping done at your convenience. Fortunately, other Northstar dentists can also perform teeth reshaping, if need be.


affordable teeth reshaping


How much does teeth reshaping cost?

Depending on how many teeth need reshaping, procedures can cost between $50 and $300 for each tooth. This makes teeth reshaping a fairly inexpensive cosmetic option. However, we also take all forms of payment for your convenience. This includes all major credit cards, cash, and check. We’ll also work with most insurance companies, and we’ll even submit to them for you. At Northstar, we want to make things as comfortable and convenient for you as possible.


Where can I find information on laser gum recontouring?

In most cases, we use laser gum recontouring for “gummy smiles.” People often call their smiles “gummy smiles” when they feel that their teeth are too short, or that their smiles are mostly their gums. This is different than the recontouring we use for teeth reshaping. However, Dr. Alderman and her team can do both, which are just two of the many services they offer. You can also find more information on laser gum recontouring here.


hygienist showing how teeth reshaping works


How do dentists reshape teeth?

Dentists use a very small drill with a polisher when reshaping teeth. This minimally-invasive equipment removes small amounts of enamel, giving the tooth the shape and appearance a patient desires.


Can I have teeth reshaping done if I don’t have dental insurance?

Yes! Teeth reshaping is a very inexpensive procedure, usually ranging from $50 to $300. So, for those who need dental care and are without dental insurance, teeth reshaping is a good option.

To sum things up, teeth reshaping is an excellent option for those who’d like to fix minor flaws in their smile.

Ready to schedule your consultation?
Do so using the form below, or by calling us at 402-472-0000.

 The information on this page was written by Dr. Kathryn Alderman.

This gentle Lincoln, NE dentists says: “Dental anxiety or dental phobia, affects millions of people across the United States. If you’re one of them, you should know that you aren’t alone. There’s no need to feel embarrassed, ashamed, or afraid when you’re with us. We’ve helped several patients in the past through their dental anxiety, and we’re happy to help you, too. Dr. Kathryn Alderman, dentist for dental anxiety in Lincoln, NE, has worked with thousands of patients suffering from dental anxiety in Lincoln and surrounding communities. Throughout the process, she’s helped patients overcome their fears.”

You can schedule with this Lincoln, NE dentist, or her partners, online 24/7 at her North Lincoln Location of Nebraska Family Dentistry. This “dentist near me” serves the local communities close to Northstar Dental in Waverly, Davey, Raymond, Garland, Ceresco, Greenwood, and Malcom.



Make easy, affordable payments for your procedure with payment plans we offer.

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