Peggy A. Richardson, D.D.S., M.S.
7060 Centennial Drive  h Tinley Park, IL. 60477
Ph: 708-532-6868 
h  Fax: 708-633-0952

 

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Oral Hygiene Information

Healthy Gums and Bone Gingivitis

 

We are on the same team!

Dental health begins with good oral hygiene. This requires professional care and guidance provided by us, combined with proper care at home by you. When you follow our recommended home care routine and have regular professional care, you will be able to maintain healthier teeth and gums.  When you do your part at home for 365 days a year, it makes the few visits to our office that much more enjoyable. 

 

Why do I need a prophylaxis (professional cleaning)?

Professional cleaning removes plaque, calculus (tartar), and stain from your teeth. The cleaning is done by a dental professional in the dental office and we provide education in proper care of the teeth and gums.

 

What is plaque?

Plaque is a soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria constantly forming on your teeth. It combines with sugar and other carbohydrates to form acids, which attack tooth enamel that can cause cavities.

 

Plaque can also cause inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which can result in swollen and bleeding gums. If not treated early, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious condition that causes gums to recede and bone to deteriorate. As a result, the supporting structures are weakened and teeth become loose.  Itís easy to see why brushing and flossing to remove plaque is essential to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

 

What is calculus (tartar)?

Minerals in saliva combine with plaque at the tooth surface and harden into a rough, unsightly deposit called calculus (tartar). Calculus, which is mostly mineral, provides a rough surface to which more plaque can attach, and makes thorough plaque removal more difficult. Your toothbrush and floss canít remove calculus once it has formed and it can only be removed during a regular dental prophylaxis.

 

What does a professional cleaning do that I canít do for myself?

A prophylaxis is a professional cleaning procedure that can be done only by a dentist or hygienist. The prophylaxis not only helps prevent gum disease, but also improves the appearance of your teeth by making them look clean and bright. A prophylaxis is usually performed in two steps. Instruments called scalers are used to remove calculus from teeth above and below the gum line. Then polishing with a special paste, by means of a motorized instrument, removes the remaining plaque and surface stains caused by various foods, beverages, tobacco, etc. A polished tooth surface makes it more difficult for plaque and debris to accumulate.
 

You can help improve your oral hygiene by making plaque control part of your daily routine. Proper brushing helps remove plaque from the outer, inner and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Flossing     thoroughly helps remove plaque and debris form between the teeth, especially in hard-to-reach areas at and slightly under the gum line.

 

Periodontitis Advanced Periodontitis


Links between Gum Disease, Heart Disease and Stroke


Heart Disease

DiagramSeveral theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and heart disease. One theory is that oral bacteria can affect the heart when they enter the blood stream, attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries (heart blood vessels) and contributing to clot formation. Coronary artery disease is characterized by a thickening of the walls of the coronary arteries due to the buildup of fatty proteins. Blood clots can obstruct normal blood flow, restricting the amount of nutrients and oxygen required for the heart to function properly. This may lead to heart attacks.

Another possibility is that the inflammation caused by periodontal disease increases plaque build up, which may contribute to swelling of the arteries.

Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease as those without periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.

Stroke

Additional studies have pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke. In one study that looked at the causal relationship of oral infection as a risk factor for stroke, people diagnosed with acute cerebrovascular ischemia were found more likely to have an oral infection when compared to those in the control group.








 

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