Put Some Bite into your Oral Care

Put Some Bite into Your Oral Care

Control and Eliminate the Buildup of Plaque and Tartar
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria. Plaque is always forming on teeth. Bacteria release acids that attack tooth enamel. Cavities are a result of the enamel on teeth breaking down. Daily flossing will remove plaque and disrupt the formation of harmful bacteria before the cavity can develop.

Tartar is accumulated and hardened plaque. It takes as little as 24 hours for plaque to calcify into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by professional cleaning.

Prevent Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease.1 It is the most significant dental disease affecting adults. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. In its early stages, called gingivitis, it is characterized by swelling and bleeding of the gums. If untreated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis. Bacterial toxins and the body's enzymes actually break down the bone and tissues which hold teeth in place. Teeth often become loose and must be removed as a result of this process. Your attention to daily oral hygiene and regular professional cleanings will help reduce the likelihood of your developing gum disease.

Reduce the Rate of Tooth Decay

Bacteria in your mouth produce acid that is responsible for tooth decay. Bacteria that are not disrupted by brushing and flossing can colonize and produce acid, which then causes the tooth's enamel to break down. If the enamel breaks down, your teeth are more susceptible to cavities, and eventually tooth loss may occur. You can help reduce the risks for tooth decay by eating a well-balanced diet, limiting between-meal snacks, brushing teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and seeing a dentist regularly.

Decrease Your Risk for Heart Disease

Coronary artery disease is one of the most common forms of heart disease. In coronary artery disease, the lining of coronary artery walls becomes narrowed when thick, sticky lumps called plaque build up on the inside of the artery. Patients with untreated moderate to advanced periodontitis may be up to 200 percent more likely to exhibit this kind of heart disease.2 Studies have shown that oral bacteria appear to be present in many of the plaques in major arteries.

Help Control Your Diabetes

Periodontal disease is often linked to the control of diabetes. Patients who inadequately control their blood sugar appear to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely than people with good control of their diabetes.3 Improvement in a person's oral health may lead to a decrease in the amount of insulin or oral medication a diabetic must take.4

Additionally, better control of the diabetic condition can lead to a decrease in oral inflammation and periodontal disease.

Have Healthier Pregnancies and Births

Did you know that women who have a higher incidence of periodontal disease may also have a higher incidence of a premature birth? When periodontal disease is treated, the likelihood of a preterm delivery may also be reduced. According to a study in the Journal of the American Dental Association, patients with generalized periodontal disease may be up to seven times more likely to have a baby born prematurely.5

Treatment of peridodontal disease may reduce this by up to 84 percent.6 It is important to realize that if the control of periodontal disease may lead to a risk of preterm birth, the reduction of preterm birth will also help to reduce complications to the baby from this event. Documentation suggests that premature births are associated with increased rates of cerebral palsy, asthma, poor motor skills, and other medical conditions.7

1 ADA News Release, American Dental Association, Sept 2001.
2 Paquette DW, "The periodontal infection—systemic disease link: A review of the truth or myth." The Journal of the International Academy of Periodontology. 2002 Jul; 4(3): 101-109.
3 Mealey, 107-113.
4 Grossi SG. "Treatment of periodontal disease and control of diabetes: An assessment of the evidence and need for future research." Annals of Periodontology. 2001; 6 (1): 138-145.
5 Jeffcoat MK, Geurs NC, Reddy MS, Cliver SP, Goldenerg RL, Hauth JC. "Periodontal infection and preterm birth: results of a prospective study." J Am Dent Assoc. 2001 Jul; 132(7):875-80.
6 Jeffcoat, MK, Hauth JC, Geurs NC, Reddy MS, Cliver SP, Hodgkins PM, Goldenberg RL. "Periodontal disease and preterm birth: Results of a pilot interventional study." J Periodontol. 2003 Aug;74(8): 1214-1218.
7 Hack M, et al., "Rates of adverse infant outcomes among extremely low birth weight infants compared to normal birth weight infants." JAMA, 2005; 294: 318-325.