Does Gum Disease cause Heart Disease?

columbia_dentist_question_markThe simple answer to this frequently asked question is “yes and no”! It seems like both would be related and one would cause the other. After all, they are both diseases with inflammation, both have similar and often, the same genetic markers, and both are silent but deadly.

There has never been a peer reviewed, definitive study that shows that gum disease will, by itself, cause heart disease. But there have been many studies that show that gum disease is linked to heart disease, and gum disease will make existing heart disease much, much worse. And many of the same things that cause gum disease will also cause heart disease, like smoking, alcohol intake, obesity, diabetes or bad genetics, to name just a few. So, if you have gum disease, you are more likely to develop heart disease, and vice versa.

So what should you do? If you have heart disease, your cardiologist should send you to your dentist to have your periodontal (gum) condition evaluated. And you need to stay on top of your hygiene and your periodontal condition. If you have gum disease, there are tests that your dentist can prescribe to screen you for heart disease (measuring levels of markers like C-reactive protein)

What are Face Lift Dentures?

Elderly coupleWhen a patient has lost their teeth, the gums and bones that a denture rests on shrink throughout the rest of the patient’s life. This is because the teeth stimulate bone formation and retention, but when the teeth are lost, the bone will shrink. Interestingly when an implant is placed into the bone, the bone will not shrink either, so implant supported dentures are a great way to not only have a stable denture, but also preserve the bone in your jaw.

The Face Lift denture technique uses a method called neuromuscular dentistry to change a patient’s “bite” to allow for bigger teeth and more plastic in a denture, thereby stretching the gums and face to give the allusion of a “facelift”. The neuromuscular bite technique in effect pulls the jaw joint out of the socket to a position where some of the muscles in the jaw are fatigued and “rested” (worn out). Since there are no teeth, the patient can “bite” in this position once they learn this new bite. It is an interesting technique and certainly a way to fill up someone’s face with teeth and plastic. The long term stability of the neuromuscular bite position has long been debated in dentistry, and is not the usual , traditional or scientifically based bite position advocated by most leading dental clinicians or educators.

What are Lumineers?

lumineers_porcelain_veneersRemember the old “Extreme Makeover” tv show? The dentists changed a person’s smile while the plastic surgeons and personal trainers changed the person’s appearance. It seems that after that show, many dental labs started to trademark their particular types of techniques and even their own brands of porcelain. A dental corporation called Den Mat trademarked their technique and brand of porcelain into Lumineers. It is actually a technique and type of porcelain that has been around since the late 1980’s! But the marketing that Den Mat has done is certainly impressive.

Lumineers prescribe a technique of cosmetic dentistry called “prep-less veneers”, which is basically bonding porcelain onto teeth without any prior shaping of the teeth. Generally, this technique is not the best way to perform cosmetic dentistry. Although most “advanced dentists” try to preserve as much of the teeth as possible, some reshaping  (or drilling) on the teeth is required to give the patient the best result, a natural, white smile. Unfortunately, prep-less veneers can result in the teeth looking large, bulky or even just like the dreaded “Chicklets”. Prep-less veneers can “work” on teeth that are small, or tipped backwards, but for the vast majority of patients, obtaining a natural smile with veneers does require some reshaping or “drilling” on the teeth. The good news is that when they are properly done, veneers can be some of the strongest dental restorations made (I have veneers that are about 17 years old!)

If you are considering cosmetic dentistry, look for an experienced cosmetic dentist, with many of his own cases that he can show you, of patients just like yourself that he has successfully treated. Ask about his training, does he teach, lecture or has authored any books on the subject.

NEW PATIENT OFFER
X

NEW PATIENT OFFER
$89 Exam,
X-Rays
& Consultation

Get a full oral examination, digital x-rays and a consultation. You will get an oral cancer check and your gums checked. You will be made to feel at home in our beautiful lounge with healthy drinks and snacks.

Valid for New Patients Only. (Usual value $245.) Offer excludes cleanings.