Ocean, NJ Dentist | Periodontal Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Dentist in Ocean

Periodontal disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) share a complex relationship with one another. Both of these chronic conditions cause increased inflammation in the body. Both can lead to serious damage, especially if a patient does not seek prompt, effective treatment. However, the connection between these potentially destructive illnesses does not end with similarity of symptoms. If you have either periodontal disease or RA, you may benefit from learning more about the links between the two.

Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gum tissue in the mouth. Patients with periodontal disease most often experience swelling, redness, sensitivity, and/or painful, bleeding gums. They will develop pockets where the gums begin to pull away from the teeth. These pockets are more difficult to properly clean, so are more prone to infection and bacteria that cause tooth decay. If not treated regularly, periodontal disease will worsen over time and can lead to tooth and bone loss.

RA is a chronic autoimmune disease where the protective immune response is triggered when no harmful viruses or bacteria are present. With no pathogens to attack, the white blood cells instead attack the joints, leading to pain, swelling, stiffness, and eventually deterioration of the joints. Since RA often affects the small joints of the hands and wrists, many patients have difficulty maintaining proper brushing and flossing habits. With less effective dental hygiene, patients with RA are at increased risk of developing, or worsening, periodontal disease.

Moreover, in a recent study, scientists looked at the effects of the bacterium porphyromonas gingivalis, which causes periodontal disease. They found that this bacterium can lead to earlier onset, more rapid progression of symptoms, and increased severity of RA. Fortunately, it was also discovered that successful treatment for periodontal disease can reduce RA pain and other symptoms.

If you have RA and are having difficulty maintaining your oral hygiene due to stiff, painful joints, consider these simple ideas:

  • Add a tennis ball or bicycle handlebar grip to make your toothbrush easier to hold.
  • Try replacing ordinary string floss with a water flosser that may be easier to hold and manipulate.
  • Use a pump-style toothpaste dispenser to avoid the need to squeeze and roll a small tube.
  • Have professional cleanings at least 2-3 times each year.
  • Schedule a periodontal screening annually.
  • Ask your dental hygienist for more ideas on making your daily regimen work for you.

For more information regarding periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

804 West Park Avenue, Ste 1L., in Ocean Township, N.J.

(732) 493.8030

07712 Dentist | 6 Facts You Didn’t Know About Your Toothbrush

Dentist Near Me

Do you ever think about your toothbrush? You use it twice a day, but how much do you know about it? We’ve compiled a list of interesting toothbrush facts. The next time you brush, consider these bits of trivia.

  1. Toothbrushes may be less common than mobile devices

It is believed that more people own and use a mobile device than those who own and use a toothbrush. With nearly 8 billion mobile devices, the world has more mobile phones, tablets, and other gear than people. However, only 3.5 billion people are estimated to use a toothbrush.

  1. Origin story

It is believed that the first modern toothbrush was invented by a prisoner in England. Sometime around 1780, William Addis created a toothbrush from bone and used swine bristle for the brush.

  1. A long history

Long before Mr. Addis invented what we know as the toothbrush, ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Chinese crafted tools for cleaning their teeth. The ancient Chinese used “chewing sticks” to freshen breath as early as 1600 BCE.

  1. What are the bristles?

Originally, toothbrush bristles were primarily made from cow hairs or boar hair. Today, nylon is the material of choice, and has been since the 1930s.

  1. What color is your toothbrush?

Blue is the most common toothbrush color. The second most common color is red.

  1. A home for bacteria

More than 100 million bacteria call your toothbrush home. You don’t get sick regularly because, like your toothbrush, your mouth is home to hundreds of millions of bacteria. Your body is quite effective at fighting off these germs, but if you don’t change your toothbrush regularly or share with someone else, you might catch an illness.

Now that you are a toothbrush expert, spread the word about the importance of regular brushing. Be sure to brush for two minutes twice each day. The American Dental Association recommends that you change your toothbrush every three to four months. If you have a weakened immune system or have been sick recently, you should replace your toothbrush.

For more dental care tips, or to schedule your next visit to our office, please contact us.

804 West Park Avenue, Ste 1L.
Ocean Township, N.J.

(732) 493.8030

Dentist in Ocean, NJ | Oh, Sugar! Cavity Myths Dispelled

Not only are those little holes that wreak havoc on your teeth a detriment to your smile, but they can be quite mysterious, too. Here are some “facts” you may have heard about the notorious cavity—along with what’s really the case.

Myth: Cavities in baby teeth are no big deal.

Truth: While it’s true that baby teeth are only there temporarily, you still want to have these cavities filled. Otherwise, a child could experience pain and infection, which has the potential to spread.

Myth: Only kids get cavities.

Truth: While it may seem like kids are more susceptible to cavities, adults are at risk, too. Cavities can easily develop around old fillings that have become weakened over time, and receding gums can expose more of the tooth to possible decay.

Myth: You’ll always see or feel a cavity.

Truth: Small cavities aren’t painful—but they can turn into bigger cavities that infect the nerve inside your tooth, causing pain, expensive treatment, or tooth loss! That’s why it’s important to visit the dentist regularly, so that you can fill any cavity- or deal with any other small problem- before it becomes a big problem.

 Myth: Fillings always need to be replaced.

Truth: You can significantly extend the life of your filling—maybe even forever—by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly to keep your fillings intact as long as possible. The less they need to be replaced, the better for your wallet.

Myth: If your tooth hurts, you definitely have a cavity.

Truth: If you feel pain, it could be due to a cavity, but it’s also possible that you have a cracked tooth, an exposed root or just sensitive teeth. Since the pain could signal something serious, you should have it checked out.

Myth: I have soft teeth.

Truth: Enamel- the outer part of the tooth- is the hardest substance in the human body; it’s even harder than bones! The truth is that some people have bacteria and acid in their mouths that cause teeth to decay.

In our office, we are working together for wellness. That’s why we’ve introduced the CAMBRA program. CAMBRA stands for CAries (cavity) Management BY Risk Assessment. We now have the ability to test for your risk of cavities. If your risk is high, we can even put you on a mouth rinse program that’s proven to dramatically reduce your risk of getting cavities.

No one person is identical to anyone else. Your risk of cavities is unique. Let us help you in your goal to be as healthy as you want to be! Because when we say “working together for wellness”, we mean it!