New Guidelines for Periodontitis Care

Periodontitis is defined as “inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth.” It is a serious gum infection that actually destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It is serious but also something that is unfortunately very common. It can all be prevented with good oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, mouth rinse and regular dental checkups are essential. The ADA has now issued new guidelines for treating periodontitis.
The July 2015 issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association features new ADA clinical practice guidelines and a supporting systematic review regarding the nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis by scaling and root planing (SRP) with or without adjuncts. 
The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs convened a panel of experts to conduct a systemic review of evidence, resulting in the guidelines.
“Practitioners are confronted with many options for treatment interventions in caring for their patients,” said Dr. Chris Smiley, lead author of the panel. “These guidelines allow clinicians to contrast anticipated outcomes in making care choices that most benefit patients.”
The panel concluded that conventional scaling and root planing should be considered for the initial treatment for patients with chronic periodontitis.
Furthermore, the new guidelines and review reiterate that the value of providing adjunctive therapies in conjunction with SRP must be carefully considered in tailoring individual care recommendations for patients, as few may enhance results beyond what is achieved through SRP alone, Dr. Smiley said.
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To Keep Your Heart Healthy, Brush and Floss!

It has been drilled into our heads (and for good reason) that regular brushing and flossing leads to a healthier mouth but new evidence shows that a healthy mouth also means a healthy heart. In case there wasn’t already enough reason to have good oral hygiene, more and more studies are showing that having a healthy mouth is good for your whole body.

After two months of boarding, my dogs were released from jail to join our family. The fire had left us without the ability to manage animals in our tiny temporary hotel. Really, I should not refer to their boarding facility as a jail. They enjoyed two acres and a bone-shaped wading pool. My husband paid extra for the daily doggie-ice cream treats. But there were consequences. We did not pay extra for the dogs’ standard daily tooth brushing and now their teeth look terrible. I immediately resumed their daily brushing routine.

Many years ago, a veterinarian’s wife emphasized the connection between heart and dental health. She expressed her frustration that many pet owners don’t care for their animals’ teeth and gums. Our conversation propelled me to more regularly engage patients about their dental health and to start better caring for my own animals.

A stickler for tooth brushing (ask my teens), I am surprised that many people do not brush or floss regularly. At a child’s physical exam, we regularly encourage twice daily brushing. Although I might be stretching my luck, older children also are advised to pull out the dental floss and start using it daily.

Poor health hygiene can result in loss of gum health and structural bone support. The World Health Organization reports 10-20 percent of people worldwide have severe dental disease and nearly 40 percent has moderate disease. One study found that people who brushed their teeth less often had a 70 percent increased risk of heart disease compared to those with strict oral hygiene habits.

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12 Reasons to Drink More Water!

With humans being comprised mostly of water, it is crazy to think about how much water is needed to stay hydrated. Not many people are truly aware of just how much being hydrated affects your health and wellbeing. Check out these twelve reasons to start drinking more water now!

It doesn’t take much to become dehydrated. Lose just 1.5% of the water in your body (the human body is usually about 60% H2O), and you’ve reached the tipping point of mild dehydration. It can be brought on by many things-and it can do much more to your body than just make you feel thirsty. Dehydration also brings on health effects ranging from fatigue and smelly breath to more dangerous consequences like distracted driving.

It gives you bad breath

It’s easy to forget to drink water during a busy workday, but at the end of the day you may find people standing unusually far from you when you open your mouth. “Dehydration can give you bad breath,” says Marshall Young, DDS, a dentist in Newport Beach, Calif. “Saliva has important antibacterial properties. When dehydrated, the decreased saliva in the mouth allows bacteria to thrive, resulting in bad breath.” So drink up for your own sake, and for those around you as well.

It makes you crave sugar

Dehydration can mask itself as hunger, particularly sugar cravings. This may happen particularly if you’ve been exercising, says Amy Goodson, RD, sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys. “When you exercise in a dehydrated state, you use glycogen (stored carbohydrate) at a faster rate, thus diminishing your stores more quickly.” So once you finish exercising, you will likely crave carbs to help you replenish those glycogen levels and get you ready for your next exercise bout.

It wrecks your workout

Even being slightly dehydrated affects your ability to put effort into your workout. “A 2% dehydration level in your body causes a 10% decrease in athletic performance,” says Goodson. “And the more dehydrated you become, the worse performance gets.” Measured by “perceived exertion,” how hard you feel you’re exercising, you might be working at a 6 but you feel like you are working at an 8, says Goodson.