Are you at risk for Periodontal Disease?

Tobacco Use:

Tobacco use is the MOST significant factor for gum disease.
Do you now or have you ever used the following:
Cigarette's, Cigar's, Pipe smoked, Chewed tobacco? If so amounts per day, for how many years, have you quit?

Diabetes:

Gum disease is a common complication of diabetes. Untreated gum disease makes it harder for patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Is your diabetes under control? Are you prone to diabetic complicatons? If you monitor your blood sugar - How do you do it and how often? Are you under a physician's care for diabetes?
If you experience: frequent urination, excessive thirst, excessive hunger, experience weakness and fatigue easily, slow to heal cuts, and unexplained weight loss. See your physician.

Heart Attack/Stroke:

Untreated gum disease may increase your risk for heart attak or stroke.
Do you have risk factors for heart disease or stroke? Is there a family history? Tobacco use? Obesity? High cholestrol? High blood pressure?
If you have any of these risk factors it is especially important for you to always keep your gums as healthy as possible.

Medications:

A side effect of some medications can cause changes in your gums.
Have you ever or are you taking the following medication: Antiseizure medications such as Dilantin, Tegretol, Phenobarbital, etc.? Are you taking calcium channel blockers for blood pressure such as Procardia, Cardizem, Norvasc, Verapamil? What about immunosuppressant therapy such as Prednisone, Azathioprine, Cyclosporins, Corticosteriods, Asthma-inhalers etc.? All the medications listed above have been known to cause changes in the gums.

Family History/Genetics:

The tendency for gum disease to develop can be inherited.

Heart Murmur/Artificial Joint Prosthesis:

If you have even the slightest amount of gum inflammation, bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream and may cause infection of the heart or joints.
If you have a heart murmur and/or artificaial joint prosthesis has your physician recommended antibiotics prior to dental visits?
If you have answered yes, it is especially important to always keep your gums as healthy as possible and inflammation-free as possible to reduce the chance of bcterial infection originating from the mouth.

Females:

Females can be at increase risk for gum disease at different points in their lives, such as puberty, during pregnancy, nursing, taking birth control pills, infrequent care during previous pregnancies, and menopause. Also women with osetoporosis have a greater risk for periodontal bone loss.
If you are on Estrogen Replacement Therapy/Hormone Replacement Therapy such as Prempro, Premarin, Premphase, Fosamax, Actonel, Evista, Forteo. We have seen changes in the gum tissues with these medication.

Stress:

High levels of stress can reduce your body's immune system.

Nutrition:

Your diet has the potential to affect your periodontal health.
Other signs of Periodontal Disease:
Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing. Red, swollen, or tender gums. Gums that pull away from the teeth. Persistent bad or foul breath. Pus between the teeth and gums. Loose or seperating teeth. Change in the way your teeth fit together. Food collection between teeth.
It IS very important to KEEP your teeth for as long as possible. If you have missing teeth it is inparitve to replace them for optimal oral health. We at Dr.Shaw's will do our best to make sure you like your smile to the best of our abilities.
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Ashland Family & Cosmetic Dentistry