Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quick Look At A Tooth Loss Leader: Periodontal 'Gum' Disease

As a doctor of dentistry, Nashville dentist Dr. Kent E. White, is extensively trained in oral health enhancement. Improving and maintaining overall health is the foundation of our approach. And, gum disease is a critical area where dental and overall health converge.

Gum (periodontal) disease is the LEADING cause of adult tooth loss. The destructive power of this gum tissue infection is considerable. For example, TOTAL tooth loss occurs in over 22 percent of the US population by the time a persons turns the age of 65.

REVIEW a Continuing Education Course, focused on (gum) soft tissue management, Dr. Kent White recently attended ~ click here.

As for Tennessee, sadly, we are near the top for tooth loss – at just over 32% - or 3rd out of 52 states and territories. Therefore, by the time a Tennessean turns 65, one out of every three will not have any teeth versus less than one out of four generally and the lowest tooth loss states
it is only about one out of every ten. (

So Time To Take Back Our Oral Health!
 > What Should You Do?

  • First: Take a deep breath, and..
    • Realize the potential for making a hchange in YOUR situation have very few limits!
  • Second, Be proactive about your overall health.
  • Third, Prevent health complications caused by gum disease.
  • Fourth, Start Brushing and flossing regularly
  • Fifth, Know the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease (first List below)

Schedule Your Consultation or Appointment
Call the Center for Advanced Dentistry
(615) 208-9687

Some Common Symptoms:
  • Gums Bleed after brushing
  • Teeth become loose 
  • Gums redden
  • Gums swell up
  • Sore gums
  • Bad breath/halitosis
  • Dentures become loose/fit is changes 
  • Teeth become sensitive
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth 
  • Your bite will change/how you bite down when eating 
AFTER - Dentistry By Dr. White
NOTE: Some symptoms are very early, others later in the disease progression.
Periodontal disease is a managed or controlled and not a one time cure. Gum disease is always trying to takes more advantage of your teeth and mouth, establishing a beachhead to overwhelm your dental health. A place where the build up of dental plaque (generated by natural always present (microorganisms) can create an environment for oral/tooth decay. Some people will have less trouble than others because of genetic differences, but with few exceptions the damage will occur without some professionally administered treatments and therapies.
Once dental plaque becomes calculus/tartar (mineralized plaque) most generally used home care methods are unlikely to be effective in reversing the direction of the deterioration.

While losing teeth is a devastating experience, many people are likely to have other serious health complications before gum disease seriously affects their smile. According to recent medical studies, illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and pneumonia can be caused by the infectious buildup in the periodontal pockets around your teeth, and plaque on them.

Because periodontal disease is a blood infection, it has the potential to put serious stress on your immune system. Just like almost any infection can become serious – oral infections left untreated can be destructive as well.

Recent evidence suggests that poor dental hygiene results in substantial plaque buildup makes possible the development of oral ‘respiratory’ bacteria. The research points toward unhealthy organisms finding their way from the periodontal pockets to the lower airway, causing lung infection.

Those with a destructive form of periodontal disease are most affected by pneumonia, which causes 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. While not as obvious missing teeth, this infection – at whatever stage it has progressed – should not be ignored.

From a positive perspective, one study showed a simple preventative dental care treatment was able to reduce pneumonia rates by 65% in patients in the clinical trial noted on the CDC website.

In addition to respiratory diseases, periodontal infections are also linked to various other ailments noted below.

Healthy Mouth. Healthy Patient. Healthy Practice.

The bacteria that causes periodontal disease can reach far beyond the oral cavity and are associated with other health issues such as:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Strokes
  • Respiratory infections
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Kidney disease
  • Oral cancer
Terminology & Other Oral Health Information

Our Hygienist with Patient

Gingivitis is characterized by localized inflammation, swelling, and bleeding gums without a loss of the bone that supports the teeth. Daily removal of dental plaque from the teeth is extremely important to prevent gingivitis.

Pregnancy gingivitis is a form of periodontal disease, which if left untreated may lead to a more severe form of periodontal disease, known as periodontitis, commonly called gum disease. Brushing and flossing every day can reverse gingivitis, the body’s response to the sticky, bacterial plaque that constantly forms on teeth that can lead to severe periodontal disease.

(SourceCDC, oral health)

Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory disease caused by infection of the supporting tissues around the teeth. Periodontitis starts with dental plaque. This clear, sticky film builds up on your teeth from starches and sugars interact with naturally forming bacteria in your mouth. It is necessary to remove plaque every day with brushing and flossing because it quickly build up again in about 24 hours.

(SourceCDC, oral health)

When plaque stays on your teeth longer than two or three days, it can harden under your gumline into tartar/calculus. This stubborn white buildup makes plaque harder to remove, creating a pool for bacteria to play out its damaging affects. And, brushing and flossing can't eliminate tartar — only a dental visit style professional cleaning will do the job to get rid of it. (source: Wikipedia/dental)

Oral Health for Adults (Source: CDC, oral health)

Tobacco. Smokers have 4 times the risk of developing gum disease compared to non-smokers. Tobacco use in any form—cigarette, pipes, and smokeless (spit) tobacco—increases the risk for gum disease, oral and throat cancers, and oral fungal infection (candidiasis). Sugar in spit tobacco increases tooth decay risks.

Alcohol. Heavy use of alcohol is also a risk factor for oral and throat cancers. When used alone, alcohol and tobacco are risk factors for oral cancers, but when used in combination the effects of alcohol and tobacco are even greater.

Diabetes. Diabetic patients should work as hard as possible control their disease. This helps prevent diabetic complications like an increased risk of gum disease.

Medications. Do any of your medicines produce dry mouth? If so, ask your doctor if there is a substitute drug. If the dry mouth can’t be avoided, drink enough water, chew sugarless gum, and avoid tobacco and alcohol to avoid gum disease.

MORE Oral Health Facts (source: CDC)

AFTER - OUR Patient

Bone Loss & Gum Pockets/Disease Formation
Periodontitis destroys the bone that support your teeth. This causes the loose teeth problem, which is noticeable after many years of missed dental visits for ongoing periodontal treatment. Many studies have shown that non-surgical scaling and root planing is often successful when pockets are shallower than 4–5 millimeters.

Pockets in the 5-6 millimeter range and larger which remain after initial treatments, and still bleeding after probing, usually mean ongoing disease, leading often to more bone loss in the future. It is more likely with molar teeth where there are ‘defective areas’ around the tooth roots can be seen.


Gentle Gum Check By Hygienist Causes Bleeding (source: UMN Div. of Periodontology)
It means there is inflammation when bleeding occurs during gentle probing. Bleeding can be seen almost instantly when a site is probed or not for 10 seconds or so after a site is probed.

The clinical periodontal evaluation is used by the Center For Advanced Dentistry team to gather information about your gum, bone and teeth health. Dr. White wants to have the whole picture of your periodontal health status. Many facts gathered during the periodontal assessment involves the use of a periodontal probe.

Another Good Article 

REVIEW a Continuing Education Course, focused on (gum) soft tissue managementLVI trained restorative and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kent White recently attended ~ click here.


Nashville Dentist,
Kent White
Transformed Smiles Movie ONE

Transformed Smiles Movie TWO

All Smiles By Nashville Dentist Dr. Kent E. White

Dr. Kent White and our Nashville Team at the Center for Advanced Dentistry. •

CALL (615) 208.9687

2300 21st Avenue South, Suite 103 • Nashville, TN 37212 

Posted by Niche Dental

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Advanced Periodontal (Gum) Treatment: Soft Tissue Health~Local to Systemic

Dr. Kent E. White of Nashville recently attended a vital continuing education course covering periodontal (gum) disease management and tooth loss prevention.
With about 80% U.S. adults having some form of gum disease, the need for more extensive training and education to help patients here in the Nashville area and around the country is obvious. Dr. White and his team are dedicated to providing the highest level of treatment to combat the effects of this all too common and very aggressive gum, enamel, root, bone, teeth and smile appearance ravaging disease.

Fortunately, Dr. Kent White and his team at the Center for Advanced Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee are able to help patients no matter what the condition of their smile is. While ongoing prevention and early intervention are better than later in the disease progression, patients should never worry their condition is untreatable.

Even if significant tooth loss has occurred, Dr. White can develop a treatment plan to restore oral health and smile confidence. From replacing one or two teeth with dental implants to a complete smile makeover, there are wide range of therapies he can employ. His expertise in cosmetic dentistry and restorative dental care is something many patients have seen give them the youthful and healthy smile they deserve.

One of the most vital elements of effective periodontal disease management is Dr. White’s ability to use many non-surgical techniques to maintain the health of your teeth and even to bring a smile back from the brink. At the Center for Advanced Dentistry the focus is optimal dental health along with maintaining a youthful appearance to your smile. Totally healthy smiles are great looking smiles.

Dr. White uses state of the art periodontal technologies in treatment and for accurate diagnosis. Getting away for the surgical aspects of treating periodontal disease as much as possible insures more people will seek out care.

Some of the ‘comfort technology’ Dr. Kent White of Nashville utilizes is a piezoelectric ultrasonic scaler and irrigator that requires less pressure when removing the build up on teeth and the jaw bone. In many cases, we are able to eliminate the need for local anesthesia during the procedure. The handpiece he uses is designed to improve the his field of vision without causing an increase in heat from the instrument.

The dentistry continuing education course Dr. Kent E. White attended was developed and sponsored by Zila, Inc.

> It offers comprehensive oral care and cancer screening products.

Healthy Mouth. Healthy Patient. Healthy Practice.

Soft Tissue Management® (STM)® is a program unique to Zila. With more than 20 years of proven results, STM® incorporates the use of Zila dental products for treating patients at all stages of oral health – from healthy to advanced periodontitis.

STM® is:
  • An organized system for early detection, diagnosis, treatment and maintenance of periodontal disease, and for the early detection of oral cancer.
  • A non-surgical approach to diagnose, prevent, treat and manage the progression of early to moderate stages of periodontal disease in a general practice.
  • A program that provides comprehensive and structured practice management tools for early to moderate disease with ongoing support.

Advanced Periodontal Treatment: Soft Tissue Health: Local to Systemic 
Learn More about Periodontal Disease.

Dr. Kent E. White
Transformed Smiles Movie ONE
Transformed Smiles Movie TWO
All Smiles By Nashville Dentist Dr. Kent E. White

Dr. Kent White and our Nashville Team at the Center for Advanced Dentistry. •

CALL (615) 208.9687

2300 21st Avenue South, Suite 103
Nashville, TN 37212 

Posted by Niche Dental