I. Stephen Brown, DDS
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Vaping and Periodontal Disease

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Vaping has grown in popularity over the last few years. It is seen by many as an alternative to smoking cigarettes, offering a healthier option for smokers. By using e-cigarettes, it’s believed that individuals will avoid many of the health complications associated with traditional tobacco cigarettes. As a result, you’d expect dentists to be over the moon at the prospect of something that reduces the consumption of cigarettes. It’s well known that cigarettes cause a lot of oral health problems – most notably staining and periodontal disease.

However, while vaping might be ‘healthier’ than smoking, it’s certainly not healthy. In fact, research suggests there is a strong link between vaping and periodontal disease. This is down to the chemicals present in e-cigarettes and how they interact with your mouth. Some dentists argue that they might be worse for your oral health than traditional cigarettes.

What is vaping?

Vaping is a term used to describe the act of using e-cigarettes. For all intents and purposes, an e-cigarette is an electronic version of a typical tobacco cigarette. Of course, it is built out of entirely different things and uses technology. The science behind vaping is pretty straightforward: a liquid is heated to generate vapor, which is then inhaled by the user.

A typical e-cigarette will have a few key components:

  • A replaceable inhaler cartridge – this contains the e-liquid that is heated. You can buy many different cartridges of liquids in loads of various flavors. Most e-liquids are made of vegetable glycerin, polyethylene glycol, flavoring, and nicotine/THC.
  • A heating chamber – this is known as the ‘vaporizer’ as it produces the heat that turns the liquid into a gas. It is usually either built into the inhaler cartridge or the main body of the e-cigarette.
  • Rechargeable battery – all vape pens/e-cigarettes will have a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Obviously, this is required to heat the heating chamber. It is connected to a circuit board that’s often linked to an LED light telling the user when heating is occurring.

Many people choose to vape as it is seen as the best way to stop smoking. The nicotine concentration is far lower – and some e-liquids are completely nicotine-free. The feeling of having an e-cigarette in your hand makes your body associate it with the feeling of smoking, so it’s easier to adapt and slowly decrease your nicotine consumption. However, some of the ingredients in these devices are bad for your oral health.

How does vaping damage your oral health?

Primarily, the concerns stem from the three main ingredients in e-liquids:

  • Propylene glycol (PG)
  • Vegetable glycerin (VG) & flavorings
  • Nicotine

The sole purpose of PG is to act as a carrier for the e-liquid. You can’t taste it, it doesn’t smell, and it is used in many different products throughout the food industry. The problem is that it is directly ingested through the mouth when vaping. As this happens, PG will break down into propionaldehyde, lactic acid, and acetic acid. These things all have a direct impact on your oral health! Specifically, they’re shown to break down enamel and soft tissues in the mouth. Thus, PG can cause gum issues and potentially pave the way for cavity formation. It’s also found that it can cause dry mouth, which is a very bad condition as it makes it easier for cavities to form.

VG isn’t that dangerous when used on its own. While it is a sugary liquid, it will not cause cavities. The issue is that VG is used alongside other flavorings to make the vape liquid taste better. Here, the combination of VG and flavorings leads to a massive increase in both microbial adhesions to enamel and biofilm formation. This was discovered by a study in 2018, and it also found that enamel hardness decreased by 27%. In essence, this combination leads to more bacteria in the mouth, weaker enamel, and the perfect breeding ground for cavities.

Lastly, you have nicotine – a product that’s also found in traditional cigarettes. The effects of nicotine on oral health are known by many. Essentially, it can stem the flow of blood to the gum tissue, which can cause gum disease. Excessive nicotine use has been linked to tooth loss due to severe periodontitis. Granted, the concentration of nicotine is far less in e-cigarettes, but there’s still enough to cause problems.

To summarize, the ingredients in e-liquids will increase the likelihood of tooth decay forming, causing cavities in the mouth. There are also very strong links that suggest periodontal disease is more likely with regular vaping. Nicotine is still a prime culprit, but the VG and PG are also at fault. Ultimately, using these chemicals in your mouth is not a good idea as it can cause gums to recede and bleed, which causes teeth to fall out.

Additional concerns about vaping

As well as the ingredients, vaping devices present another serious threat. The lithium-ion battery has been known to explode when being used. Seeing as this product is used in your mouth, the likelihood of oral health complications is very high. While this doesn’t have a direct impact on periodontal disease, it’s still worth thinking about.

The dangers of periodontal disease

Clearly, all oral health issues are serious. However, periodontal disease is one of the biggest challenges as it often goes untreated. The main danger is that your gums will slowly start to fade away. They recede further and further until they expose the roots of your teeth. This weakens the supporting structures of your teeth and makes you more prone to tooth loss.

Thankfully, periodontal disease can be treated, and the effects can be reversed. It’s a simple case of cutting out bad habits and following a strict oral hygiene routine. You will also benefit from some periodontal disease treatment by a qualified periodontist.

If you’re in need of periodontal treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us today. Schedule an appointment with Dr. I. Stephen Brown for a full consultation. This will identify your main problems and allow Dr. Brown to formulate the perfect treatment plan to repair your gums.

Cracked Teeth Due to Grinding During COVID-19

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

History will remember 2020 for its many stress-inducing challenges. The world has undergone drastic changes, increasing the tension that most people feel. As a result, Dr. I. Stephen Brown and his team have seen more patients with cracked teeth than ever before. This problem seems to stem from excessive grinding due to mass amounts of stress. It led to Dr. Brown dubbing this problem the ‘COVID-clench.’

The good news is that the technology exists to treat this problem. Dr. Brown can craft custom appliances that fit in your mouth, preventing excessive grinding at night. If you suffer from the COVID-clench, this could be the perfect treatment to make your night easier.

How does grinding cause cracked teeth?

Teeth grinding – or bruxism – is a condition that affects millions of patients across the US. It’s a relatively serious condition in that it can lead to severe tooth damage. To make matters worse, most people with bruxism don’t realize they have it. Teeth grinding is a subconscious act that manifests itself due to stress or other conditions. It happens without thinking about it, usually when you’re in bed at night.

Naturally, your teeth are very hard – after all, they’re designed to break through food and chew things for years on end. In fact, one study revealed that tooth enamel is harder than steel, but breaks much easier. Therefore, teeth grinding presents a serious problem as you have two hard surfaces moving against one another. When this happens day after day, your teeth wear down, and the enamel starts to chip away.

As you may already know, enamel’s primary purpose is to protect your teeth. It’s essentially a protective layer that stops the rest of the tooth from being damaged. When it begins to wear down, what do you think will happen? A lack of enamel means the tooth is exposed, making it more prone to severe issues. As the grinding continues, your unprotected teeth move against one another, causing cracks to form.

What is COVID-clench?

COVID-clench is a term coined by Dr. Brown that relates to a common issue seen by dentists across the country. While the world entered lockdown, dental practices were busier than ever. Dentists saw more patients with cracked teeth than ever before – was this a coincidence? Or is it directly linked to the effects of COVID-19.

The exact causes of teeth grinding are hard to pinpoint as anyone can fall into this bad habit. Nevertheless, studies point to a link between emotional stability and bruxism. To summarize, individuals with high levels of stress are found to grind their teeth more often. Therefore, Dr. Brown believes that the stress of COVID-19 is causing more people to grind their teeth. You may stay up late every night worrying about your job, health, or financial future. All of these things are significant concerns during a pandemic. As a result, you could start grinding your teeth as an impulsive reaction to this stress. Hence, the COVID-clench is born. It is simply no coincidence that there has been an increase in cracked and fractured teeth alongside an ongoing pandemic.

What happens when cracked teeth are left untreated?

Some patients will have cracked teeth that can be left alone. These are surface cracks that provide no pain and present no further issues. There’s no need to have them treated, but you can if you want.

However, deeper cracks need to be treated as soon as possible. When they’re not, they will gradually get worse. Consider what a crack does on the surface of a rock. It weakens the entire structure, making the rock more prone to breaking apart. The same happens with your teeth; if cracks are deep enough to cause pain, they will eventually lead to fractures or chips of your teeth coming out.

Ultimately, this can leave you with a very painful tooth that needs to be extracted. Or, the entire tooth falls out of its own accord. Either way, it’s recommended that you consult with a dentist if you notice any pain or cracks in your teeth.

How are cracked teeth and bruxism treated?

Cracked teeth can be treated in numerous ways depending on the severity of the crack. Some cracks are dealt with using composite bonding to fill in space. This restores the look and function of the teeth. For more severe cracks, a crown may need to be placed on the tooth, protecting it from further damage. It’s not uncommon for the deepest cracks to require root canal treatment if the pulp is exposed. Extractions are also common if the tooth is damaged beyond repair, paving the way for tooth-replacement treatments.

Moreover, all of these treatments are pointless if the cause isn’t addressed. You can restore your teeth, but the cracks will come back if the grinding persists. This is why you must treat bruxism alongside the cracks. Dr. Brown and his team can provide you with the best treatment for this problem. His office contains the best scanning technology to craft custom-made oral appliances that fit in your mouth. This will protect your teeth from grinding and can be worn at night to prevent the COVID-clench from doing its damage.

Naturally, you should also work on dealing with the issues that cause you to grind your teeth. During a pandemic, it’s hard to reduce stress and feel less tense. So, some protective oral appliances work best to ensure your teeth don’t suffer from excessive grinding. Over time, your grinding may subside, so you can stop wearing your mouthpiece to bed.

Contact Dr. Brown for a Zoom consultation

Do you suffer from cracked teeth due to excessive grinding? If so, contact us to schedule a consultation. Appointments are available in the office, but you can begin with a virtual consultation on Zoom. This ensures that your problem is assessed and treatment is deemed necessary. The consultation is entirely free, and you can schedule your in-office appointment at the same time. Here, you will undergo a thorough exam and assessment before being scanned for your custom-made oral appliance.

Tips for Finding The Best Periodontist

Thursday, July 30th, 2020

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that needs to be diagnosed by a specialist. Many patients reach out to a periodontist at different stages of gum disease discomfort. We have worked with patients who periodically experience several symptoms associated with periodontal disease, such as swollen gums, bleeding gums when brushing, receding gums, bad breath, deep pockets between the gums and the teeth, loss of jawbone and gums support for the teeth, etc.

But, periodontal care is only one of the reasons you may want to schedule an appointment with a periodontist. A periodontist can also provide permanent solutions for tooth replacement, as their extensive knowledge of gum and jawbone health can be associated with dental implant services. A gum specialist can also offer cosmetic procedures focused on the gum area.

These are some of the reasons why you would be looking for a periodontist. However, finding the best periodontist in Philadelphia for your needs can be tricky. If you are unfamiliar with periodontics, these are the factors you need to consider to find a periodontist you can trust in Philadelphia.

A periodontist is a specialized dentist

Periodontists are dentists who have specialized in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum diseases and the secured placement of dental implants. Therefore, the first thing you want to consider when looking for the best periodontist is their education.

Periodontists graduate from an accredited dental school with a DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery, or a DMD, Doctor of Medical Dentistry, degree. After their degree, they pursue their education with specialist periodontal training in an ADA-accredited (American Dental Association) periodontology residency program. The training period can last between 3 and 7 years, after which they pass the relevant written and oral examinations to receive their national board certification by the American Board of Periodontology (ABP). Periodontists need to demonstrate updated knowledge and competence in their area of expertise and pursue further education and activities in periodontistry to be regularly recertified by the ABP. Therefore, the first check you may want to perform to find a periodontist in your area is to review their certification on the ABP website. Certified periodontists become Diplomates of the ABP.

At The Perio Group, we are proud to say that Dr. I. Stephen Brown has a DDS degree and is a Diplomate of the ABP. He is also a respected Fellow of the American and International Colleges of Dentist, the Academy of Osseointegration, and a Fellow and Diplomate of the Internal Congress of Oral Implantologists. Dr. Brown was the first doctor in the country to add adult orthodontics training to his periodontist specialization.

Different types of periodontal procedures

Depending on your mouth health, medical history, and periodontal requirements, you may find that periodontists can provide a variety of gum-related procedures.

Periodontists provide non-surgical gum treatment, such as deep cleanings, tartar and plaque removal, bacterial toxins removal, etc. Non-surgical treatments are sometimes referred to as scaling and root planing. In the early stages of periodontal disease, gum treatments can be followed by medicated therapy to manage periodontal health.

If your periodontal disease is more advanced, you will be looking for a specialist who has a history of performing effective gum surgery procedures, such as removing infected gum tissue and encouraging the body’s natural ability to regenerate gum tissue and bone.

Periodontists can also provide services that protect or restore your teeth, including reshaping excess gum and bone tissues and osseointegration – the process of binding an artificial tooth root into the jaw. Dental implants are associated with osseointegration.

Pain and healing management

No procedure is likely to be entirely pain-free. Nevertheless, if your pain threshold is low or prevents you from seeking treatment, you want to look for a periodontist committed to reducing patients’ discomfort and stress. We are proud to offer minimally invasive procedures that speed up recovery time. Dr. Brown can perform Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure (LANAP) to eliminate infection and regenerate lost tissue. The Perio Group was also the first periodontics office to offer non-invasive gum-receding treatment in Philadelphia, with the Pinhole Surgical Technique.

We also appreciate that some of our patients may be nervous about periodontal procedures. We offer sedation dentistry to ensure our patients can feel as comfortable as possible during treatments.

A respected periodontist in their field

Finding a periodontist you trust takes time. But once you’ve considered their credentials and the types of treatment they offer, you can already get a better sense of their competences. A business that has been operated for several years is a sign that they are experienced, which can be an essential trust factor for patients who are worried about complex procedures. Reading online reviews about the business can provide sufficient insights into the quality of the treatments they offer and the level of satisfaction of other patients. Third-party reviews, such as Google Ratings, are an objective description of a periodontal business. We recommend that patients focus their attention on businesses that have 4 or more stars. Our periodontist, Dr. Brown, has been elected Top Dentist for the 11th time in Philadelphia Magazine 2020.

Additionally, you can also check the website for testimonials. If you prefer to judge the competence of a periodontist via visual clues, video or photo testimonials are the best source of information to find someone you trust.

Ease of making an appointment

You can’t afford to delay seeing a periodontist as it could aggravate your gum health issues. Therefore, it’s essential to consider an accessible location with suitable business hours.

At The Perio Group, we are dedicated to making appointment scheduling as stress-free and straightforward as possible. You can obtain an appointment via your doctor referral or directly get in touch with our team, (267) 828-1656. Alternatively, you can use the contact form on the website to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brown. We are committed to our patients’ health, which is why we also provide virtual consultations whenever possible during Covid-19.

Who Should Treat My Periodontal Disease?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Your gum health is crucial to maintaining your mouth structure. As such, any health issue related to your gum needs to be treated in priority. Gum disease, or periodontal disease, refers to the bacterial infection of the gum. While it is a health condition typically diagnosed by your dentist, or directly by a periodontist, there are tell-tale signs that you can’t miss. The Perio Group has extensive experience dealing with gum disease, which is why we are adamant that you should seek treatment from us for any of the following conditions:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Deep pockets between your teeth and your gums
  • Receding gums
  • Swollen gums

While there may be more than one reason why you would experience the above-mentioned symptoms, combined, they could be the sign of gum disease. You need a specialist to provide the appropriate periodontal disease treatment, such as Dr. I. Stephen Brown, who uses laser and non-surgical alternatives to treat the condition.

Periodontal disease could turn into a recurring condition

It’s important to understand that your gums require the same maintenance and check up routine as your teeth to manage their health. While a dentist can perform essential routines, they are not specialized in gum health. Without appropriate treatment, gum discomfort could become a recurring health condition, which is how periodontal disease develops. Most patients are not aware that a periodontist can provide in-depth cleaning and maintenance to keep periodontal disease at bay. If you are at risk for gum disease, it is essential to schedule regular checkup appointments with Dr. Brown to:

  • Deep clean the area and keep your gums free of infection
  • Check plaque and tartar development
  • Provide gum health maintenance and prevent further risks

If your dentist suspects you may be developing periodontal disease, you are likely to be referred to a periodontist who will assess your dental and gum health. Alternatively, you can also reach out to a specialist and book your first appointment with a periodontist without any medical referral if you are worried about your gum health.

Before recommending the most appropriate periodontal disease treatment, periodontists need to review your dental and medical history. They will also ensure they understand your lifestyle and are aware of habits that could aggravate gum disease, such as smoking, for instance. Additionally, some medications can interfere with periodontal treatment. Oral contraceptives, for example, can affect the treatment.

Patients can expect a periodontist to perform a full examination of the teeth and gums, but also the whole mouth, the throat, head, neck, and jaw joints, along with X-rays of the mouth. These are important steps for recommending periodontal disease treatment options for your unique situation.

A periodontist is specifically trained

A periodontist is a specialist in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease. Your general dentist has extensive knowledge of your unique dental and medical history, which can help recognize early signs of gum disease. But when it comes to treating periodontal disease, your dentist will most likely refer you to a professional who is specially trained in gum health management. At The Perio Group, we recommend that our patients maintain a close relationship with their dentist and periodontist to protect their full mouth health.

Your dentist can provide some level of care for periodontal needs, such as cleaning your gums or treating mild gum conditions. However, a periodontist is better suited to provide periodontal disease treatment for patients with severe gum disease or complex medical history.

When can a dentist treat periodontal disease?

Your general dentist can provide maintenance and preventive care for both your teeth and gums. If you don’t experience any severe gum health issues, your dentist can safely perform essential cleaning and diagnosis.

However, your general dentist is not trained to handle gum disease treatment for patients who have aggravating medical conditions and medical history, such as:

  • Immune problems
  • Smoking
  • History of diabetes
  • Senior patients

Additionally, a periodontist is the best contact for periodontal disease treatment if you experience the following gum health issues:

  • Deep pockets of 6mm or over
  • Loose teeth
  • Bone loss between the roots of the teeth
  • Exposed roots of teeth through receding gum
  • No firm gum tissue around the teeth
  • Recessing risk factor

If your dentist can’t treat your periodontal disease safely, you will be referred to a gums specialist.

What difference does a periodontist make?

A periodontist makes the same difference as any specialist doctor makes compared to a generalist physician. A periodontist’s extensive training includes advanced knowledge and techniques to provide the most suitable periodontal disease treatment for each unique patient, including patients who may require more complex treatment options. Additionally, a periodontist is also trained in cosmetic gum-related procedures to achieve the best possible outcome.

At The Perio Group, Dr. Brown is committed to the comfort of his patients. Therefore, he is a pioneer in using less invasive and more precise laser technology, LANAP, for gum surgery. LANAP can play a significant role in the recovery process, especially for patients whose medical history makes them ineligible for surgery. The laser gum treatment offers an alternative to periodontal surgery that can gently and safely remove infected gum tissue.

We are proud to say that Dr. Brown is the first periodontist in Philadelphia to use the non-invasive pinhole surgical technique for receding gums. The pinhole surgical technique presents an alternative to the gum grafting surgery procedure that can lead to increased discomfort and prolonged recovery time for patients.

Should you go to a periodontist without a referral?

Periodontists are specialists in gum health, including periodontal disease treatment. However, if you have concerns about your gum health, we recommend reaching out to your general dentist to discuss your worries. Indeed, your dentist can help confirm a gum disease diagnosis or find another cause for your symptoms.

If your dentist confirms the periodontal symptoms or you are already familiar with periodontal disease, our team at The Perio Group will be happy to help. You do not need a medical referral. You can seek support from our own periodontist, Dr. Brown, by scheduling your appointment online. We also provide virtual consultations to keep on top of your gum health during Covid-19. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Causes and Effects of Dry Mouth

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

 

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be an uncomfortable condition. It is something that you may want to seek assistance for if you experience it, something that Dr. I. Stephen Brown can treat you for. But first, you may want to know more about dry mouth, including the causes and effects. Let’s take a look.

What Is Dry Mouth?

As you may know, we all need saliva. It’s important to keep the mouth hydrated and to help with the digestion of food. Another of its functions is to control bacteria in the mouth. However, when your body isn’t making enough saliva, it can be uncomfortable. So it’s important to identify what’s going on and seek dry mouth treatment from an experienced periodontist such as Dr. I. Stephen Brown.

What Causes Dry Mouth?

When you suspect that you have dry mouth, you may also be interested in what could have caused it. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a side effect from some of the medication that you’re taking, such as muscle relaxants, anxiety medication, and antihistamines, among others.

Dry mouth can also be a side effect of some diseases or infections, like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and stroke, among others. And finally, you may find that it can be caused by medical treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy damaging the saliva glands.

The Effects Of Dry Mouth

It’s knowing that dry mouth can affect your thirst levels, but that’s not all. You’ll find that you have a dry, tight feeling to the mouth and it can make your lips sore and cracked. It can also be uncomfortable to talk and swallow. As food isn’t being washed away by the saliva, you may find that you get bad breath easily. And if you’re wearing lipstick, it can stick to your teeth with no saliva to wash that away either.

Treatment Options

It’s important to speak to a periodontist such as Dr I. Stephen Brown for treatment if you suspect that you have dry mouth. If you suspect it is due to the medication you’re taking, you will want to consult your doctor. You may also be prescribed an oral rinse that will help you to bring back moisture into the mouth.

However, an important part of dry mouth treatment is for you to drink lots of water to keep the mouth hydrated, breath through your nose as much as you can, and to brush and rinse your teeth regularly.

Ways To Relieve It

If you want to be able to relieve dry mouth there are things you can do to help. Sucking on a sugar-free candy or gum can hydrate the mouth and circulate more salvia, particularly those with xylitol. Caffeine and tobacco can make the problem worse so avoid them as much as you can.

If you are concerned about dry mouth, please contact us for treatment today.

Dr. Brown Awarded Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentists 2020

Monday, March 30th, 2020

At The Perio Group, we are proud to provide some of the most acclaimed and respected dental practitioners in the country. There are so many things people need to think about when they are choosing a periodontist, and we understand the need to feel comfortable with the choices you make. This is one of the key reasons why you should certainly be checking us out, and Dr. I. Stephen Brown is the leading reason you should be looking to get in touch with us today.

Dr. Brown is a leading periodontist who has the distinction of being awarded Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentist for 11 years in a row! This goes to show how talented and well-respected the man is, and will help you to feel at ease about choosing The Perio Group as a way of taking care of your dental health. Let’s look a little closer at this prestigious award and the man who continues to win it.

Top Dentist Award

Every year Philadelphia Magazine compiles a list of the leading dentists and dental professionals in the area. Those who have made an outstanding contribution to the community, and have proven to offer a reliable, dependable, and professional service to their patients. Dr. Brown was named by the magazine as being Top Dentist in the Field of Periodontics, claiming the award for a staggering 11th year running! This prestigious accolade is used to determine excellence in the field and is a great reference to use when looking to find the right dental practice for you.

What Makes Dr. Brown Stand Out?

These are not the sorts of awards that are won by just anybody, and it is important to make sure you understand what it takes to secure an award like this. So, what is it that makes Dr. Brown stand out and receive this acclaimed accolade on such a frequent basis? Well, one of the key things is his skill set, combined with his status as a leading educator in the dental field. This is what has led to him being nominated by his fellow dentists so many times. His contributions to the field, including sponsorship of several educational programs, have elevated his status, and he is held in high regard by so many in and out of the dental field.

The Team Behind the Man

Behind every great dentist, there is a wonderful team of friendly, knowledgeable, helpful professionals on hand to help make patients feel at home. At The Perio Group, we pride ourselves on having a strong and talented team backing up and supporting Dr. Brown. We believe that every patient is entitled to receive the absolute best dental care they possibly can. And our dedicated team can work with you to determine exactly what you want to achieve, as well as focusing on the best ways for Dr. Brown to help treat you.

There are a lot of factors that play a role in winning such an award which shows what a talented periodontist Dr. Brown is. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

Common Causes of Bad Breath

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

Bad breath is an exceedingly common problem, however that does not make it any less embarrassing or upsetting.

Have you noticed that people tend to turn away from you when you’re talking or place their hand near to their nose? This could be a sign that your breath isn’t as ‘fresh’ as it could be. Or perhaps someone has mentioned that your breath sometimes has a ‘smell’ to it. If you – or someone you know – suffers from chronic bad breath, then you might be wondering what causes it.

Diet can cause bad breath

It is a well-known fact that certain foods cause bad breath, such as coffee, onions and garlic, for instance. However, it’s not just strong smelling foods that can lead to bad breath, because bad breath tends to consist of Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC’s). These are generated by bacteria in your mouth and particularly on the posterior boarder of the tongue. These bacteria are also associated with periodontal (gum) disease.

For instance, eating a cheeseburger could cause bad breath to occur. Anything that offers protein that oral bacteria can use allowing this to be converted into sulfur gas can cause bad breath. It is for this reason that people on high protein diets, such as Keto, often suffer from bad breath.

Smoking and tobacco products

Anyone who smokes or chews tobacco is at risk of developing bad breath. It is a well accepted fact that tobacco products have a direct effect on oral health, and in particular, gum disease. The bacteria which are associated with gingivitis, bleeding gums and other oral diseases are directly related to breath malodor and halitosis.

It’s also worth noting that using tobacco products can also cause damage to the soft tissues within your mouth, which in turn creates an environment that is ideal for bacterial growth, increasing the likelihood of bad breath.

Poor dental hygiene

If you fail to take dental care seriously and brush, floss and use mouthwash on a daily basis, you will end up with bacterial overgrowth, signs of gum problems which, in turn produce the gasses that are directly associated with breath malodor.

By simply practicing good levels of oral hygiene and regular dental care can minimize your chances of halitosis. Eliminate the bacteria, eliminate the gases they produce, clean the tongue (especially in the back towards the throat) and you will greatly reduce the gases that cause bad breath.

Dental problems

When teeth become damaged or decayed it is most often associated with bacteria. These same bacteria produce VSC’s (gases) which are directly responsible for unpleasant mouth odor. That is why it is so important, that you see a periodontist as soon as possible, address the problem directly and minimize the potential for bad breath.

Bad breath can be upsetting and embarrassing, however it can usually be easily identified and successfully treated. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a breath malodor assessment and effective treatment today.

Link Between Periodontitis and Chronic Inflammation

Monday, December 30th, 2019

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential if you want to strengthen your oral hygiene. So, when you spot inflammation and other warning signs, it’s crucial to understand how they affect your well-being. To do this, we recommend reading the information below that relates to gum disease treatments and how you can maintain your oral length in the long-term.

What Is Periodontitis?

Periodontitis is an industry term that a periodontist uses to describe patients that suffer from gum disease. We see lots of signs, but the main one is inflammation, as it’s the body’s instinctive reaction to fight off the problem. If you suffer from inflammation, it is essential to speak to a professional such as Dr. I. Stephen Brown at The Perio Group as the disease impacts the gums and jaw bone.

How Does Inflammation Occur?

It starts when you miss areas of your mouth during brushing. Leaving plaque untouched will result in the bacteria from the plaque wearing away at the inside of your tooth or teeth. Unfortunately for lots of patients, they can’t tell when there is a build-up as it’s a colorless film.

The great news is that our team is trained in spotting plaque build-ups and will advise you on how to ensure it doesn’t cause inflammation and other gum disease-related issues in the future.

What Are The Other Symptoms?

Inflammation isn’t the only symptom. You should also be wary of:

  • Swollen, bleeding gums
  • Recession around the gum line
  • Loss of the bone around the jawline
  • Infection

What Is The Link Between Periodontitis and Chronic Inflammation?

Although all the warning signs are essential factors, inflammation is the main one for periodontists as it’s the link between periodontitis and the other symptoms. Researchers believe that, as the body’s natural response to fighting off infections and shielding against injury, inflammation occurs organically.

And, it’s not only the fact that the inflammation process leads to swollen or receding gums. Because inflammation happens with other non-oral-related diseases, it’s believed that an infection could be a sign of further disorders. For example, the majority of the problems associated with periodontitis are linked with heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

Therefore, you might be at risk of other diseases if you have to deal with gum disease regularly.

What Can You Do To Help?

The great news is that we offer some of the best treatment solutions on the market. Our patients can benefit from everything from laser gum treatment to the pinhole surgical technique. With Dr. Brown in charge, there is no need to worry about your oral hygiene or overall well-being as he’s committed to dental excellence.

Of course, you might want peace of mind if you’ve been suffering from inflammation. In that case, you can contact our dedicated team and request an appointment.

 

The Importance of Maintaining Proper Oral Health

Saturday, November 30th, 2019

A good oral hygiene regimen will maintain healthy teeth and gums, but it can also have an impact on your overall health. Studies have shown that poor oral health is associated with other conditions, including pneumonia and endocarditis. Due to this, it’s vital to establish a comprehensive oral hygiene routine.

What conditions are associated with poor oral health?

There are a variety of health problems that are associated with oral hygiene, many of which are serious and even life-threatening. Some of the conditions which may arise as a result of limited oral hygiene may include:

Cardiovascular disease

It is believed that the infections and inflammation caused by bacteria in the mouth can contribute to clogged arteries, stroke, and heart disease. By regularly brushing your teeth, flossing, and having regular dental cleanings every 6 months, you can minimize the number of bacteria present and, therefore, potentially reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Pneumonia

If the bacteria in your mouth makes its way to your lungs, it can cause a range of respiratory problems. Pneumonia is a serious infection, which can be life-threatening in many cases. An excess of bacteria, usually associated with poor oral health, may increase the risk of developing this type of illness.

Endocarditis

When the valves or inner lining of the chambers of your heart become infected, it is known as endocarditis. Any infection this close to your heart is deemed to be a serious health issue and could cause a number of complications. One of the ways endocarditis can occur is if bacteria from your mouth enters the bloodstream and attaches to the endocardium.

Pregnancy

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis has been linked to low birth weights and premature births. Due to this, it’s essential that our patients who become pregnant come in for a visit with Dr. I. Stephen Brown at the beginning of their pregnancy. In addition, new mothers should continue to consult with him on a regular basis as they may continue to be at high risk of developing periodontitis following labor.

While your oral health can contribute to other conditions, seemingly unrelated health problems can also have an impact on your teeth and gums.

What health conditions can affect your teeth and gums?

Although your oral health can impact your overall health, there are a number of conditions that can have an effect on your oral health too. Diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s Disease, and HIV/AIDS have all been linked to reduced oral health, for example, so patients who have been diagnosed with these conditions will need to take extra care to protect their teeth and gums.

Protecting your health

Visiting us on a regular basis will help to ensure good oral health but it could ensure your entire body stays healthy too. While regular cleanings will minimize the number of bacteria present, routine check-ups will also identify potential oral health issues before they become more serious.

To find out more about the link between oral health and other medical conditions or to arrange a periodontal appointment now, contact us today.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

(Video of bacteria found in gum disease)

Periodontitis is a collective term for a family of severe bacterial gum infections. Periodontal literally means ‘around the tooth,’ and diseases here manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Gums coming away from teeth
  • Bleeding while brushing
  • Bad breath
  • Tooth loss

Given that unchecked periodontal disease has an outcome of tooth loss, individuals should take action if they notice any of the above symptoms. If you’re uncertain whether you should be worried about potential periodontal disease, keep reading to fully understand the issue and its risks.

The different stages of periodontal disease

While we use periodontal disease as an umbrella term, there are many different stages to this problem, and each requires different treatments and approaches. The different stages your dentist may mention during a check-up include the following.

Gingivitis

This is the earliest stage of periodontal disease, which manifests in gum swelling and bleeding. By tackling problems at this stage, patients should be able to reverse damage with dental oversight and impeccable oral hygiene at home.

Periodontal disease

  • Chronic periodontitis
    This most common form of periodontal disease manifests in deterioration caused by plaque build-up. Symptoms include the destruction of gums and bone, and eventual loss of teeth.
  • Aggressive periodontitis
    A relatively rare issue that begins in childhood and early adolescence who are otherwise clinically healthy. Typically running in families, this disease involves rapid gum attachment loss and bone destruction leading to tooth loss.
  • Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases
    This issue can be found in patients with heart or respiratory disease, diabetes, and more.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease
    An infection generally found in individuals with suppressed immune systems, this condition involves the death of gum tissue, ligaments, and supporting bone.

The oral-systemic connection

Underlying health conditions can contribute to the progression of periodontal disease, but it’s also vital to note that this connection works both ways. While health impacts gum condition, the oral-systemic connection means that the condition of your gums can also impact overall health. Effective treatment of gum disease and continued dental hygiene has been proven to help prevent everything from memory loss to heart disease. As such, proper oral hygiene is vital for ongoing health across the board, and addressing periodontal disease the moment you spot the signs is an absolute must.

Periodontal disease treatment

With the risks and broader implications of periodontal disease in mind, patients must seek professional attention the moment they begin to experience symptoms of these issues. Treatments typically involve regular cleaning of plaque around the gums and developing an understanding of improved dental hygiene. In extreme cases, further treatments are necessary, including:

Each can improve gum health in even extreme cases of periodontal disease, and our resident periodontist Dr. I. Stephen Brown has experience in each of these treatments. If you’re worried about your gums or suspect that you might be experiencing problems, then don’t hesitate to contact us for an appointment.