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Cardiovascular Disease

WHAT IS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE?

Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Tampa, Florida, a dentist at Gentle Dentistry can educate patients on how an unhealthy smile can impact cardiovascular disease. This condition, sometimes referred to as heart disease, is caused by atherosclerosis. This is the buildup of plaque along the artery walls that narrows the arteries and makes it more difficult for blood to flow. Blood clots can form, which stop the blood flow and result in a stroke or heart attack. This blockage can cause a specific part of the heart muscle to die. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of disability and death in the United States and many European countries, killing more Americans each year than cancer.

HOW IS HEART DISEASE RELATED TO YOUR MOUTH?

Several theories help confirm the link between heart disease and periodontal disease. The bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream, allowing them to migrate to other organs, including the heart, specifically the coronary arteries. This contributes to the formation of clots and fatty proteins, thickening the artery walls and restricting blood flow that is necessary to ensure nutrients and oxygen reach the heart. Without it, heart attacks and strokes can occur. An alternative possibility is an inflammation caused by periodontal disease that can result in swelling of the arteries. People with periodontal disease are twice more likely to have coronary artery disease.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Cerebrovascular disease
  • Cerebrovascular accident (stroke)
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Angina
  • Aneurysm

TREATMENT OPTIONS

Cardiovascular disease is a condition that is reversible and treatable, even for those with a long history of coronary artery disease. Patients with periodontal disease will want to treat this condition with the help of their dentist to reduce the risk of heart problems. Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, work with patients to help them diagnose and control oral health conditions such as periodontal disease to bring their smile—and overall body—back to health.

Call (813) 734-7102 to request an appointment with our team at 3500 East Fletcher Avenue, Suite #221.

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STROKE

WHAT IS A STROKE?

A stroke occurs when the blood vessel feeding the brain is blocked due to a blood clot. When this happens, brain cells can die, resulting in the inability to perform normal functions needed for walking, talking, and other everyday activities. Approximately 85% of strokes are found to be ischemic strokes. Read on to learn more about strokes, how to prevent them, and the treatments recommended by the team at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida.

HOW A STROKE RELATES TO YOUR MOUTH

Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry educate Tampa, Florida area patients on the various ways in which strokes and oral health are related. Research continues to indicate that there is a significant relationship between periodontal disease and strokes. Studies have examined how oral infections can increase the potential for strokes, and vice versa, with those who have had strokes being more at risk of developing periodontal disease. Understanding how these two are connected can help in minimizing both these health problems.

STROKE PREVENTION RECOMMENDATIONS FROM GENTLE DENTISTRY

  • Avoid illicit drugs
  • Control diabetes
  • Control high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • Exercise regularly
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices that promote healthy teeth and gums
  • Lower the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat in your diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Quit tobacco use
  • Seek treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, if present

LEARN MORE ABOUT REDUCING YOUR RISK OF DISEASE AND STROKES

Our team at Gentle Dentistry assists Tampa, Florida area patients with achieving and maintaining their oral health and wellness. If you are worried about your risk of developing certain medical conditions, including strokes, it may be time to have your smile evaluated for periodontal disease.

Our office is conveniently located in Suite #221 at 3500 East Fletcher Avenue and can be reached at (813) 734-7102. 

Schedule a consultation visit with Dr. Angela Rasmussen to receive a proper diagnosis of periodontal disease and discuss the suitable treatment options to restore your oral and overall health and well-being.

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ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE?

Our team at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, works with patients who may have various medical conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a unique but progressive type of neurological disease that occurs in the brain and causes the loss of intellectual and functional abilities. This includes loss of memory and reasoning abilities due to the loss of neurons. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, it can significantly impact social and occupational functioning, similar to senile dementia.

CAUSES OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE

Studies show that for many people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, the cause may be a combination of factors, including lifestyle, genetic, and environmental factors that affect the brain over time. As most of the brain cells get damaged, patients with Alzheimer’s will also experience brain shrinkage.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Difficulties with spatial orientation or attention
  • Personality changes
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Unexplainable changes in mood or difficulty with language

Fortunately, with continued research, medical providers are beginning to see similarities that make Alzheimer’s disease easy to predict in terms of its progression. While the symptoms above may fluctuate or overlap, varying in chronology and severity, people with Alzheimer’s disease often live for anywhere between 8-20 years with this condition. Alzheimer’s disease is considered a terminal disease as it cannot be reversed once the damage to the brain begins. There are several stages of Alzheimer’s disease, and monitoring progression is important to understand what can and cannot be done during these unique times in the lifespan of this disease.

HOW IS ALZHEIMER’S RELATED TO YOUR MOUTH?

The connection between Alzheimer’s disease and oral health is suggested to be inflammation exposure. Patients with chronic periodontal disease that is left untreated or unmanaged may have severe consequences, such as an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Patients with gum disease will want to work with professionals to ensure they are taking charge of their oral health to significantly reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other mental health concerns.

Call Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, FL, at (813) 734-7102 to get a proper periodontal disease diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.

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DIABETES

WHAT IS DIABETES?

Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry can help patients understand the connection between diabetes and oral care. Diabetes is a special metabolic disorder characterized by high blood sugar or glucose levels. This can impact the body’s cellular response to glucose or inadequate production of glucose, depending on the type of diabetes diagnosed. Approximately one out of ten cases of diabetes are considered Type 1 and often develop before the age of 40, while Type 2 diabetes accounts for the rest of the cases diagnosed yearly. Patients who have excess belly fat or are obese are at a significantly higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.

HOW IS DIABETES RELATED TO THE MOUTH?

Studies continue to show that severe gum disease has a link to one’s increased glucose levels, and those who have Type 2 diabetes, when left uncontrolled, are at a much higher risk of developing periodontal disease. In addition to these concerns, diabetes can also impact one’s immune system, making it harder for those with the condition to manage their overall health and wellness and fight infections. It can also increase the risk of infection and slower healing in patients who undergo dental surgeries. For those who are on diabetes medication, it is important to be aware of conditions such as dry mouth, a common side effect that can significantly reduce the saliva needed in the mouth to flush out food particles between the teeth.

FAMILY HISTORY LINK

In many cases, type 1 diabetes is often inherited through the family, though it requires both parents to have the gene to give one a predisposition to diabetes. Family history is a strong link in those with Type 2 diabetes, though there is also a genetic factor in obesity which can make it difficult to determine the exact link.

LEARN MORE ABOUT DIABETES AND YOUR ORAL HEALTH

Diabetes dental care needs to be at the forefront of your oral health and wellness.

If you have diabetes and are struggling with periodontal disease, you are not alone. Call Gentle Dentistry at (813) 734-7102 and speak to our Tampa, FL team about your needs.

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HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE

WHAT IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

Patients with high blood pressure often deal with a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is high enough that it can produce health problems, including heart disease or coronary artery disease. High blood pressure is also found to be linked to your oral health. The team at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, is here to help you understand this connection between high blood pressure and oral health.

Blood pressure levels are determined by how much blood your heart can pump and blood flow resistance through the arteries.

  • Along with injuring blood vessels, hypertension can cause damage to the brain, eyes, and kidneys
  • High blood pressure that has no identifiable cause is typically known as primary hypertension or even essential hypertension, and it typically gradually develops over time
  • Hypertension is a major cause of heart attacks and the leading cause of strokes
  • In the majority of patients who are diagnosed with high blood pressure, the cause is not identifiable
  • In the United States alone, over 30% of American adults have high blood pressure
  • Normal blood pressure levels rise steadily from approximately 90/60 at birth to around 120/80 in a healthy adult
  • Some people have high blood pressure that can result from underlying medical conditions known as secondary hypertension
  • There are several types of medication and unique medical conditions that can cause secondary hypertension

WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE?

  • Obvious symptoms sometimes do not occur until readings are at dangerously high levels, with a systolic of 180 or more OR diastolic of 110 or more
  • High blood pressure is often known as and referred to as the “silent killer” since it is typically a condition that does not have noticeable symptoms until blood pressure levels are dangerously high

With severely high blood pressure readings, an individual in a hypertensive crisis might experience:

  • Nosebleeds
  • Severe anxiety
  • Severe headaches
  • Shortness of breath

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • Avoid tobacco, including smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco
  • Comply with all medication prescriptions as ordered by your doctor(s)
  • Enjoy a better diet with a reduction in salt
  • Enjoy regular physical activities, at least 30 minutes a day
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy weight for your height and body frame
  • Manage your stress appropriately to reduce the risk of higher blood pressure

HOW IS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE RELATED TO YOUR ORAL HEALTH?

Hypertension is associated with inflammation which can be connected to periodontal disease and the inflammation present in the mouth. It is believed that this same inflammation can increase the risk of conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. Patients with high blood pressure may be at a higher risk of gum disease, and those with gum disease may be at a higher risk of high blood pressure.

To learn more about this connection, call (813) 734-7102 to schedule your consultation at Gentle Dentistry.

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OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA

WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA)? 

Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. It is a serious disorder where breathing is interrupted at night during sleep, reducing the brain’s access to necessary oxygen. It is not uncommon for sleep apnea episodes to occur hundreds of times in one night, with each episode lasting anywhere between 10-30 seconds. The dentists at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, can help you learn more about this.

Hypopneas or apneas are known to trigger the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for activating your fight or flight response. Blood pressure and heart rate increase, and your body releases cortisol. High levels of cortisol over time can increase blood sugar levels. During obstructive sleep apnea, the airways of the mouth become blocked as the throat muscles and tongue relax. Without treatment, patients with obstructive sleep apnea have an increased risk of concerns such as cancer, depression, strokes, dementia, and cognitive impairment.

OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA SYMPTOMS:

  • Depression or irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling fatigued even after naps
  • Forgetfulness
  • Headaches when waking up in the morning
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Night sweats
  • Observable episodes of breathing cessation during rest
  • Recurrent awakenings
  • Snoring
  • Waking up choking or gasping during sleep

RISK FACTORS FOR OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA:

  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Larger circumference measurements of the neck, 17” or more
  • Males have a higher risk of OSA
  • Mild to moderate obesity
  • OSA can occur at any age, even in children
  • Retrognathic chin, a chin that is “tucked in”
  • Scalloped-border tongue
  • Smoking

HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE OSA?

During your new patient examination at Gentle Dentistry, our dentists will screen you for the signs and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing, specifically obstructive sleep apnea. We will ask you specific questions regarding the quality of your sleep and talk to you about anything you regularly experience that might connect with OSA. Dr. Angela Rasmussen may recommend a sleep study with a board-certified sleep physician in the area. This will evaluate the airway while you sleep and is done in a single night in the comfort of your home. If necessary, your primary care doctor or sleep physician may also recommend an in-lab sleep test known as a polysomnography.

OSA TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat surgery
  • Oral Appliances which are used to position the lower jaw forward for a more open airway

DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?

At Gentle Dentistry of Tampa, FL, we are pleased to offer solutions for obstructive sleep apnea, including oral appliances.

Call (813) 734-7102 to request an appointment with Dr. Angela Rasmussen.

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OBESITY

WHAT IS OBESITY?

Obesity is best defined as the accumulation of excess body fat that can lead to increased medical conditions, reduced life expectancy, and other adverse impacts on one’s health. It is considered a medical condition and can be treated. Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, is well aware of the links between obesity and oral health. They can help you understand the connections and their seriousness.

STATISTICS AND FACTS ABOUT OBESITY

  • Approximately 35.7% of American adults are affected by obesity
  • Those with obesity have an increased risk of conditions and diseases, including sleep apnea, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer
  • The three leading causes of obesity are an increase in the intake of food, specifically sugars and carbohydrates, a sedentary lifestyle, and genetic factors (though it is rare for genetics to be the primary or sole cause of obesity)
  • Obesity rates are climbing in all areas, and many health experts consider it a top public health concern in our time
  • Approximately $147 billion is spent each year on the cost of medical care associated with those with obesity-related conditions
  • Obesity is also the leading preventable cause of death in the world

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN OBESITY AND ORAL DISEASES?

It has been shown with repeated research that patients who are obese have a much higher risk of developing oral diseases than those who do not. Patients with obesity are also at a higher risk of having more decay and more missing teeth and are often not getting the fillings for cavities that they need. The rate of periodontal disease is approximately 76% higher in adults aged 18-34 with obesity compared to those with a healthy weight in the same age group.

The primary connection between dental health and obesity is likely diet-related, though the entire link is relatively complex. Food particles and bacteria lead to the development of tooth decay, caused by plaque forming on the surfaces of the teeth and gums. Bacteria in the mouth feed off sugars from foods consumed and create acid that can destroy natural tooth enamel. All it takes is 20 minutes after you’ve finished eating for this process to start. When patients have repeated exposure, they will experience cavities from acid erosion.

HOW CAN YOU MINIMIZE YOUR RISK OF OBESITY?

  • Avoid sugary beverages
  • Be sure you are drinking enough water
  • Choose healthy snacks, and limit your consumption
  • Opt for a healthy diet

LEARN MORE ABOUT ORAL CONDITIONS AND OBESITY

If you reside in the Tampa, FL area and want to speak to our team of professionals at Gentle Dentistry, connect with Dr. Angela Rasmussen by calling (813) 734-7102.

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COLORECTAL CANCER

WHAT IS COLORECTAL CANCER?

Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, describes colorectal cancer as any cancer that affects the colon or rectal areas. These may be called colon cancer or rectal cancer, respectively. Typically, colon cancers can start with noncancerous, benign lumps or polyps in the colon, with some of these benign polyps becoming cancerous with time. This is why it is essential to have colorectal cancer screenings regularly as an adult to monitor and look for these indications of colorectal cancer and learn about the possible treatments.

STATISTICS ABOUT COLORECTAL CANCER

  • In the United States, approximately 136,000 people get a colorectal cancer diagnosis each year
  • Over 50,000 people are predicted to die of colorectal cancer each year
  • The third most common type of cancer in men and women is colorectal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer mortality rates and diagnosis is highest in men and women of African American descent

SYMPTOMS OF COLORECTAL CANCER:

  • Abdominal distension without weight gain
  • Abdominal pain, rare in colon cancer
  • Changing the nature or frequency of bowel movements
  • Frequent vomiting or nausea of unknown cause
  • Unexplained weight loss

TREATMENT FOR COLON CANCER:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Targeted therapy

HOW IS COLORECTAL CANCER RELATED TO YOUR MOUTH?

One of the most common types of oral bacteria, known as fusobacteria, which causes periodontal disease, is also believed to play a role in the development of colorectal cancers.

While fusobacteria begins in the oral cavity and is often associated with gum disease, it can enter the bloodstream and migrate to other parts of the intestinal tract. While this type of bacteria has not been found within cancerous tumors, it is linked to colorectal cancers.

Studies also show that the presence of this fusobacteria increases the generation and growth of tumors, specifically those in the intestines, in a mutant strain of mice. This particular microbe infection can attract myeloid cells, which are immune system responses to inflammation that can lead to cancer.

HOW DO I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LINKS BETWEEN PERIODONTAL DISEASE AND COLORECTAL CANCER?

Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Tampa, Florida, can evaluate your smile and help monitor for signs of problems—catching them early enough for successful intervention.

If you reside in the community and want to speak to our team about screening for certain conditions that can impact the smile and the body, call (813) 734-7102.

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LUNG DISEASE

WHAT IS LUNG DISEASE?

In terms of definition, any medical condition that does not allow the lungs to function healthily is considered “lung disease” in general. This disease falls into three different categories, including disease of the airway, lung tissue diseases, and lung circulation diseases. Some patients even have a combination of the three. Tens of millions of people suffer from lung disease in the United States due to genetics, infections, smoking, and periodontal diseases being responsible for most of them. The most common type of lung disease is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which includes chronic bronchitis with a long-term cough and mucus and emphysema, which causes damage to the lungs itself over time. The team at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, can help you learn more about lung disease and its possible connection to your oral health.

SYMPTOMS OF LUNG DISEASE

  • Coughing up mucus/phlegm
  • Difficult or labored breathing during physical activity or while resting
  • Higher frequency of pneumonia and lung infections
  • Persistent or chronic cough
  • Dyspnea, or shortness of breath
  • Wheezing, caused by a narrow airway in which air cannot fully flow

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • Anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Bronchodilators
  • Lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and not smoking
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs which will combine exercise, training, education, counseling, and nutrition advice
  • Supplemental oxygen

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN LUNG DISEASE AND YOUR SMILE?

Studies continue to show fair evidence that there is an association between pneumonia and oral health and that improving oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly can significantly reduce the occurrence and progression of respiratory diseases, especially for those in nursing homes and intensive care units. When patients let periodontal disease go untreated, it can also decrease their lung function, which indicates a potential association between the two conditions, chronic pulmonary disease, and periodontitis.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN LUNG DISEASES AND POOR ORAL HEALTH

If you reside in the Tampa, Florida area and are interested in learning more about the links between lung conditions and your oral health and wellness, call Gentle Dentistry today to connect with Dr. Angela Rasmussen.

The office is located at 3500 East Fletcher Avenue, Suite #221, and can be reached by calling (813) 734-7102.

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RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

WHAT IS RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS AND ITS SYMPTOMS?

Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, describes rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, as an autoimmune disease that causes inflammatory arthritis. Patients with RA will experience attacks on their systems that cause problems with natural and healthy cells in the membranes of their joints. This can result in whole-body inflammation and joint pain, contributing to periodontal disease. Patients with RA are eight times more likely to develop periodontal disease and periodontitis than those without it. Approximately 32% of these RA patients had moderate gum disease, while 18% had severe periodontitis. In contrast, only 10-15% of adults without rheumatoid arthritis have moderate to severe gum disease.

WHAT IS THE LINK BETWEEN GUM DISEASE AND RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS?

An overactive immune system causes rheumatoid arthritis, and this, along with periodontal disease, is linked to inflammation. Inflammation is caused by the body’s protective immune system responses to bacteria and viruses. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis will experience a “mistaken” trigger to inflammation that can cause the joints to become stiff, painful, and swollen.

TREATMENT FOR ORAL HEALTH IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS PATIENTS:

  • Better dental care can play a role in reducing and controlling inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Studies show that those with severe RA who have successfully treated their periodontal disease experience improvements in their joint pain and other symptoms
  • Gum disease ranges from mild to severe, and some rheumatoid arthritis patients may experience problems due to an autoimmune condition that impacts the glands to decrease saliva flow
  • Gingivitis can be reversed with regular cleanings and proper home health care, while those with more severe periodontal disease will need more extensive treatments to control their condition
  • It is not uncommon for patients with RA to find it hard to maintain oral health and wellness because of joint pain in the hands, so consider using electric toothbrushes or special flossers to take care of the smile between dental visits
  • Gum disease has also been linked to medical conditions, including strokes, diabetes, and heart disease, so taking care of the smile may improve overall health and wellness, even when RA exists

TIPS FROM THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION TO ACHIEVE BETTER ORAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS:

  • Try different flossing techniques with holders, picks, and threaders
  • Put your toothpaste in a pump to make it easier to use it all than in a squeeze tube
  • Pick a mouthwash that has added benefits, such as one with fluoride for added protection from tooth decay
  • Avoid smoking, which is a huge risk factor in the development of periodontal disease
  • Brush after every meal, if possible, to remove any acids or sugars that can contribute to tooth decay
  • Use a different toothbrush that is easier for you to grip

TALK TO THE TEAM AT GENTLE DENTISTRY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS NEAR ME

If you have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and struggle with maintaining your oral health, it is time to work with a team of professionals with experience serving RA patients.

Contact Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Tampa, FL, at Gentle Dentistry by calling (813) 734-7102 to schedule your visit.

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OSTEOPOROSIS

WHAT IS OSTEOPOROSIS?

Osteoporosis is a medical condition characterized by weak and brittle bones. An individual with osteoporosis is at a higher risk of fractures from minor falls or simple movements, including bending over or coughing. The fractures that often occur in those with osteoporosis typically happen in areas such as the hip, wrists, or spine. Because bone regenerates regularly, cells break down and form new cells in the bone. But if an individual has osteoporosis, this breakdown of bone tissue happens faster than regeneration. When patients with osteoporosis visit dentists like Dr. Angela Rasmussen at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, they may find out that the condition significantly affects their oral health due to bone resorption and weak bone tissues.

STATISTICS AND FACTS ABOUT OSTEOPOROSIS

A total of 54 million US adults aged 50 and older are affected by osteoporosis.

  • After age 50, half of the women will have a future fracture that is related to osteoporosis
  • Asian and Caucasian females, specifically those who are post-menopausal, have the greatest risk
  • Once you have a fracture, your chance of having another is much higher

HOW DOES OSTEOPOROSIS AFFECT YOUR TEETH AND MOUTH?

There have been several links between osteoporosis and oral health. Several studies show a significant relationship between bone loss and skeletal osteoporosis. Post-menopausal osteoporosis may result in dental osteopenia, which is the loss of bone density in the mandible and jaw. Osteoporosis is also associated with conditions such as severe alveolar crestal bone loss and periodontitis in post-menopausal women.

 WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF OSTEOPOROSIS?

There are a few different signs of osteoporosis that you might notice. These include:

  • Easily broken bones
  • Stooped posture
  • Height loss over time
  • Back pain from a collapsed or fractured vertebra

HOW CAN YOU MINIMIZE YOUR RISK OF OSTEOPOROSIS?

  • Consider hormone replacement therapy. Some hormones, such as estrogen, have been approved for the treatment or even prevention of osteoporosis
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D each day by eating a well-balanced diet
  • Maintain a healthy body weight for your height and body frame

To schedule your consultation visit at Gentle Dentistry, contact Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Tampa, FL, by calling (813) 734-7102.

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KIDNEY DISEASE

WHAT IS KIDNEY DISEASE?

Our team at Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, Florida, is here to help you understand the oral connection to other conditions of the body, including kidney disease. Chronic kidney failure, sometimes referred to as chronic kidney disease, is best described as a slow decline in the functionality of the kidneys. Your kidneys function as specialized filters which remove excess fluid and toxins from your blood. The waste is then excreted when you urinate. When chronic kidney disease reaches the more advanced stages, your body can accumulate extremely high levels of electrolytes, waste, and fluid.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF I HAVE KIDNEY FAILURE?

There are a couple of symptoms of possible kidney failure in its earliest stages that may be noticeable. Typically, this condition can only become evident once there is a direct and noticeable impairment in one’s kidney functionality.

  • Causes can include immune system conditions like lupus and chronic viral illnesses like HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
  • Chronic Kidney Disease, sometimes referred to by the acronym CKD, affects approximately 26 million American adults
  • Early detection is often challenging because the common signs and symptoms of both kidney disease and acute kidney failure might be easily overlooked
  • Early detection of kidney failure can significantly help in preventing the progression of the disease, which can otherwise cause kidney failure or death
  • Other common causes may include certain types of inflammation in the kidneys, which may occur after streptococcus and other common infections
  • Polycystic kidney disease, where fluid-filled cysts develop within the kidneys, is one of the most common forms of inherited kidney diseases

SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASES:

  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Small amounts of urine passing through
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent fatigue and low energy
  • Swelling, including the ankles
  • Puffiness around the eyes

TREATMENT SOLUTIONS FOR THOSE WITH CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE

  • People diagnosed with chronic kidney disease might experience hypertension or high blood pressure and may also retain fluids. This can result in swelling and an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. Medications called diuretics can be used to help maintain the proper balance of fluids in the body
  • Your primary care physician might recommend certain medications known as statins which can lower cholesterol. Patients who have been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease often have high cholesterol that can increase their risks of developing heart disease and its coexisting complications

HOW ARE CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE AND ORAL HEALTH RELATED?

There needs to be additional research to determine the link and fully understand the connection between tooth loss and gum disease with chronic kidney disease. Both are inflammatory conditions, and according to research, inflammation may be the critical link between the two diseases. If you suspect that you may have any kidney concerns or notice the signs of periodontal disease, it’s time to connect with a Tampa, Florida area dental team who can evaluate you and provide you with the treatments you need to bring your smile—and body—back to health.

Call Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry at (813) 734-7102 to discuss your needs.

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PREGNANCY

UNDERSTANDING PREGNANCY

Congratulations on your pregnancy! The Gentle Dentistry team in Tampa, Florida, finds this can be an exciting time for many women. Pregnancy is the timeline from the conception of a baby (egg fertilization) to its birth. There are three distinct phases during pregnancy, referred to as trimesters, each lasting three months. Dr. Angela Rasmussen can help you learn more about how pregnancy relates to your dental health.

SOME PREGNANCY STATISTICS FOR WOMEN

  • Over 460,000 babies are born prematurely, and over 300,000 with a low birth weight
  • Approximately 600,000 women will experience a miscarriage during their pregnancy
  • Over 750,000 women admit to drinking alcohol while pregnant
  • Approximately 820,000 women smoke cigarettes while pregnant
  • About 80% of expectant mothers are diagnosed with acid reflux, from mild to severe
  • Every year there are about two million women in the United States who experience pregnancy loss
  • In the first trimester of pregnancy, nausea in the morning, known as morning sickness, is extremely common and bothersome to most women
  • Sweet and sugar cravings that are intense are also common during this time
  • Nausea, a universal pregnancy symptom, affects up to 85% of pregnant women
  • There are about six million pregnancies every year in the United States

HOW IS YOUR PREGNANCY LINKED TO YOUR ORAL HEALTH?

Dental problems during pregnancy are common. There is a known link between pregnancy complications and periodontal disease, including preeclampsia (sudden rises in blood pressure during pregnancy) and premature labor. A study exploring the link between periodontal disease and preeclampsia found that half of the placentas of the women diagnosed with preeclampsia had oral pathogens. Another study analyzed the amniotic fluid in pregnant women, finding bacteria commonly found in the mouth and often associated with the development of gum disease or periodontitis.

Pregnancy is known to cause shifting levels of hormones which can significantly increase the chances of a woman developing periodontal disease. This, in turn, can affect the baby’s health. Bacteria that is responsible for the development of tooth decay is also passed to the baby in the uterus. Sugar consumption also makes a difference. The more often you give in to these cravings for sugary products, the higher the risk of tooth decay. Additionally, women may experience increased oral acidity during pregnancy that can erode the natural tooth enamel, eventually weakening teeth. Women who experience acid reflux related to pregnancy will be at a much greater risk of periodontal or tooth problems during their pregnancy.

VISIT THE DENTIST TO DISCUSS YOUR PREGNANCY

If you are pregnant and have not been to see the dentist in a significant period, now is the time to connect with a dental team who can evaluate your oral health and provide recommendations for maintaining a healthy smile with a healthy pregnancy!

Call Dr. Angela Rasmussen of Gentle Dentistry in Tampa, FL, at (813) 734-7102 to request a consultation visit.