Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Can Drinking Coffee Help to Prevent Gum Recession?

Gum Recession
We specialize in treating people with gum recession and are often asked questions about what they could have done to prevent gum disease in the first place.  As such, we regularly read medical studies addressing this common health issue. Some people have a genetic predisposition to getting gum disease while other people suffer from poor oral hygiene and a lack of health care.  Additionally, people with diabetes and pregnant women are at an increased risk for the condition.  

While some people are more likely to struggle with their gums than others, a recent study out of the University of Boston indicates that there may be a natural way to help your gums stay healthier.  Researchers wanted to find out if coffee had any positive or negative effect on gum health.  In order to find the answer, they turned to the Department of Veteran Affairs and data they had collected over thirty years.  During this time, the VA collected dental exam records and food intake surveys from over 1,100 men in the Boston area.  This is a significant amount of data and provided researchers with the information they needed to determine the long-term effects of coffee.

While analyzing the data, they found that men who drank a cup of coffee or more per day had fewer teeth with bone loss.  This led lead author, Raul Garcia, D.M.D. to conclude that drinking coffee is good for the health of your gums.  In order to understand why coffee could be good for your gums or prevent gum recession, it is important to understand how gum disease works. 

Gum disease typically starts because bacteria has gathered on the surface of the gums and got in between the gums and teeth.  People that have restricted blood flow to their gums are at a greater risk for the disease spreading because restricted blood flow can make gums swell.  The bacteria can also make gums swell, and this is typically the first sign of the disease.  If it is caught in these early stages, a dentist can perform a deep cleaning to remove the bacteria so that the gums can start to heal naturally.  If, however, the disease is allowed to continue, gum recession will start to occur.  When gums recede, pockets are created in the tissue and bacteria will often gather there.  Since the tooth structure is exposed, the bacteria will then attack the tooth and can lead to bone loss inside of the tooth.  In many cases, teeth fall out as a result. 

Coffee is an anti-inflammatory, so researchers concluded that the men who drank it regularly were preventing their gums from swelling.  Since this is the first sign of gum disease, by preventing or reducing swelling, they could have been preventing or reducing their risk of gum disease in general.  It stands to reason that people with less gum disease would also have fewer teeth with bone loss.  We would like to see additional research conducted but for now it appears that drinking a cup of coffee every day could reduce your risk for gum disease and gum recession

Monday, September 1, 2014

Learn How Laser Dentistry Makes Dental Procedures Easier and Painless

Laser Dentistry
We use laser dentistry to improve the oral health of our patients and to make their recovery time faster if a procedure needs to be performed.  Laser is the modern alternative to the traditional metal tools used by dentists.  These same metal tools have been used for decades with the process and results being the same.  We live in the technology world where you can access the Internet from virtually anywhere, cook food in seconds, and find information with the click of a button.  In this day and age there is no reason to visit a dentist that uses the same tools that were used on your parents. 

In our office, we leverage technology to help our patients to have a more enjoyable dental experience that is free from pain and discomfort.  Dr. Pechak likes using lasers because there is no cutting involved no stiches, and less bleeding.  This makes it easy for patients to recover from a dental procedure.

Laser dentistry can be used for a variety of procedures.  One of the ways that Dr. Pechak uses a laser light is to remove bacteria from the gum pockets.  Typically, the bacteria would need to be scraped out which can be very uncomfortable.  With lasers, the bacteria are eliminated without any discomfort or heat.  Since our procedure doesn’t use heat, there is no risk to the healthy gum tissue either.  Eliminating the bacteria is the first step in treating gum disease because it allows the body to naturally heal itself and the damage to be reversed.  If the bacteria are left alone, any other treatments will not be effective.

After the bacteria have been eliminated using laser light, an ultrasonic scaler is used.  With this device sound waves break up tartar and plaque that are on and around the teeth. This is far more comfortable than using a metal dental tool to scrape off the plaque.  This step is also important for allowing the gums to heal.  Once the plaque has been broken up, we use the laser again to finish the cleaning process.  The benefit to our clients is that we never physically touch the teeth and gums with a tool.  The laser light and ultrasonic scaler can complete the entire treatment and do so in a non-invasive way that is entirely comfortable.  The results are a healthy set of teeth and gums which will allow for new bone growth.

If you want a non-invasive, painless gum treatment – visit Dr. Pechak.  He is the only Periodontist in the area that has an FDA approved laser for gum treatment.  He has been voted as a local favorite for gum treatment and specializes in these procedures.  This increases the likelihood of you receiving the results that you want, and your gums healing faster than if you visit a less experienced dentist.  Keep in mind that when you experience laser dentistry, you can have your gum disease treated but done so in a way that doesn’t hurt, and there is no recovery time.