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All Posts in Category: Dentistry Billings MT

Periodontal Disease Billings MT

Periodontal Comprehensive Exam

It’s important to get an annual dental exam; important to get your teeth cleaned but also important to check on the status of the teeth and gums. But did you also know that it’s important to get a routine periodontal examination? The American Academy of Periodontology believes that all adults should receive a regular yearly periodontal exam.

What is a Comprehensive Periodontal Exam?

A Comprehensive Periodontal Exam (CPE) assesses your periodontal health by examining the teeth, plaque, gums, bite, bone structure, any risk factors—life factors as well as possible genetic factors—for evidence or potential indications of impending Periodontal disease. During a CPE, Dr. Manhart will assess your periodontal health in relation to these factors. Periodontal disease is prevalent in the United States, and unfortunately most people don’t realize that they have the disease. Consider the CPE to be an evaluation of the health of the entire mouth. No, you may not have periodontal disease—and hopefully you never get periodontal disease—but finding periodontal disease early is the key to a quick and successful treatment.

The Link of Periodontal Disease to Other Systemic Disease

There is evidence that some types of systemic disease are linked to periodontal diseases. No, this does not mean that if you have periodontal disease you will contract diabetes or heart disease, but it’s possible that the periodontal disease could be a trigger for other disease, especially since some types of systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and diabetes are known to be linked to inflammation within the body.

You can also do a number of things at home to help prevent periodontal disease (remember, however, that periodontal disease is linked to certain genetic factors, and it’s possible to contract the disease even with the best oral care regimen). Make sure that you’re brushing your teeth twice daily, for two minutes, and that you’re brushing all the brushable parts within your mouth such as the teeth, gums, and tongue (remember the tongue is home to lots and lots of bacteria!). Make sure to floss once daily, cleaning the teeth all the way to the gum line. And pay attention to the life factors that can contribute to periodontal disease, and remember to pay a regular visit to your periodontist, Dr. Manhart, at least once every year for a CPE.

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gum diesease treatment billings mt

Alcohol And Dental Health

Did you know that alcohol consumption can be bad for your oral health? It’s true. Alcohol consumption, especially in high doses, can be very, very detrimental to long term oral health. Here’s a few of the reasons why.

Obviously, when we binge drink alcohol it is bad for our bodily health. It is bad for both the circulatory system and the cardiovascular system. It can lead to problems such as high blood pressure and stroke, and it can even cause certain brain problems; and, alcohol, in large doses—heavy, every day binge drinking—is even linked to certain systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. But, while those things are bad and you may not need another reason not to overuse alcohol, know that alcohol is a detriment to oral health. Alcohol, in any dose, contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. Also, alcohol can contribute to the prevalence of mouth sores, and it’s the second most cause of oral cancer—second only to tobacco use.

Teeth are especially impacted by heavy alcohol consumption. People who over-consume—for the purposes of statistics these people have an alcohol use disorder, and there are no definitive, conclusive links, at least so far, to moderate drinking and overall tooth health—tend to have high levels of plaque, and they also tend to lose their teeth. (People who abuse alcohol are also several times more likely to experience permanent tooth loss!)

Alcohol also dehydrates the body, and when alcohol is consumed for long periods—say, throughout an evening—than the teeth are going to undergo both an attack from bacteria, because of the sugars in the drinks—some drinks, especially mixed drinks, have a considerably higher sugar content than others—but also, because alcohol dries out the mouth, we might have less saliva to combat the sugar problem naturally.

In moderate doses, alcohol has been shown to be good for our health—for instance, moderate doses of alcohol are good for blood pressure but too much alcohol is a terrible for blood pressure—but there is a clear and dividing line between moderate alcohol use and overuse.

Have a terrific holiday season.

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Periodontal Disease Billings MT

Diabetes And Dental Health

The month of November is National Diabetes Month. Did you know that over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes? It’s true. And it’s predicted that the total number of people who have diabetes, but have yet to be diagnosed, is somewhere between eight and nine million people. That’s a lot of people. But why are we talking about diabetes, here, on Dr. Manhart’s blog? Because, while diabetes can be such a detrimental disease to the body, it can also put a person at a higher risk for dental disease.

High Blood Sugar and Other Complications

Gum disease is an inherent problem for someone with diabetes. High blood sugars can contribute to gingivitis or the more severe, and considerably more detrimental, Periodontal Disease. Early signs of gum disease are bleeding gums and bad breath. Early stage gum disease can be reversed with a regular routine of brushing and flossing, and a change in diet. But it’s best, especially when a person suffers from diabetes, to visit Dr. Manhart when gum disease is apparent. If gum disease isn’t immediately dealt with, and the complications of diabetes cause the symptoms to be more severe, to progress at a faster pace, a person’s teeth could fall out, and damage could be done to the bone surrounding the teeth.

Dry mouth is a common symptom for a diabetic. That’s why it’s important to keep hydrated—and that tip applies to everyone—because saliva helps to wash away the food debris. If bacteria are allowed to thrive in the mouth, then so, too, could gum disease flare up.

Because Diabetes has such a detrimental effect on your body’s immune system, infections within the mouth can occur. One such condition, called thrush, is common for diabetics. Thrush is a yeast infection caused when yeast thrives on the higher amounts of sugar in a person’s saliva. It manifests in the mouth as a white coating on the tongue and cheeks.

Diabetes has become a chronic problem—the sheer number, in millions, of people both diagnosed and undiagnosed is staggering. If you suffer complications from the disease then make an appointment to see Dr. Manhart. Remember, it’s easier to manage oral health than to treat a chronic problem.

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Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD, TMJ)

Bad Breath

Bad breath is common. Everyone, at some point or other, will suffer from it. Coffee, onions, and garlic are all likely culprits. But what happens when the problem of bad breath isn’t easily solved? What happens when you brush and floss, stick to a quality dental routine, and you still have bad breath? The term for this extended, and sometimes chronic, condition is halitosis. Here are a few of the causes of halitosis, and the possible treatments.

Halitosis may be a sign of a chronic and severe condition; think of it as being a possible canary in the coal mine type of problem. Halitosis may be a sign of gum disease—gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease—or even a cavity.

Halitosis may also be caused by an infection in the sinuses. Sinus infections, especially those infections accompanied by a post nasal drip, can trigger the condition of halitosis. This is because the bacteria in your mouth feed on the mucous secreted from the sinus membranes. Usually, if a sinus infection is the cause of bad breath, the condition will lessen or go away altogether, when the sinus infection is treated.

The condition of dry mouth may cause halitosis. Saliva clears the food debris from your mouth, and, if the mouth is unable to clear away food debris, bacteria are allowed to thrive, feed on the sugars in your mouth. The waste product produced by these bacteria is, unfortunately, stinky-smelling. The condition of dry mouth itself, may be the cause of any one of numerous things, including medication. Dry mouth is a very common side-effect for many medications.

If you think you suffer from bad breath then first consider your daily oral care routine. Make sure you’re brushing at least twice daily—for two minutes at least! Remember to brush your tongue as well as your teeth and gums (it’s kind of gross, but bacteria can thrive on your tongue!). Make sure you’re flossing or using interdental cleaners to clean the area between the teeth and around the gum line. Remember to stick to your regular dental visits, and visit your periodontist, Dr. Manhart, for treatment of gum disease.

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Restorative Dentistry Billings MT

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a breathing condition that affects our sleep. It happens when the muscles in the throat relax to the point that they block the airway. When the airway is blocked, there is a twenty-to-thirty second duration in which the person is no longer breathing. And when a person stops breathing, the brain sends panicked messages to the rest of the body to breathe. This panic comes as a jolt to the system, briefly awakening the person. These brief awakenings, most which are so brief that a person will not remember them the next morning, can happen up to thirty times an hour, even maybe more, and last all through the night.

What does Sleep Apnea have to do with Dental Health?

Sleep Apnea is a condition involving the muscles and tissues in the throat and mouth. It could be the product of enlarged tonsils (this is a common condition especially in children with tonsils, and, usually, the removal of tonsils is enough to treat it), a small jaw, or even a higher-than-normal palate. You may be able to treat the condition with an oral appliance that provides support to the structures in the mouth, preventing them from collapsing when your body relaxes during sleep. If a dental appliance doesn’t work, other treatments could include the recommended use of a CPAP machine; a machine that regulates your breathing while you sleep.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are many symptoms of the condition including: an inability to focus, to remain alert throughout the day, waking up in the night feeling short of breath, you may have a dry mouth or a sore throat in the morning (also the cause of excessive snoring), or you may even get headaches throughout the morning. While the symptoms of sleep apnea may not sound severe, the pervasiveness of these symptoms can lead to much worse conditions such as: hypertension, stroke, depression, ADHD, diabetes, and even heart attack.

If you believe that you’re suffering the condition of sleep apnea, it may be time to get help. Remember, this is a chronic condition that could lead to more intensive problems. But there is treatment.

Call today to schedule an appointment today with your Periodontal Specialist!

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Periodontal Disease Treatment Billings MT

Diabetes and Daily Oral Care

Diabetes can take its toll on dental health. The main reason is that diabetes is a systemic disease involving high blood sugar. The higher a person’s blood sugar, the higher risk for dental diseases and tooth decay.

Cavities and High Blood Sugar

Cavities happen when bacteria within our mouths produce acids that eat away at the enamel (enamel is the hard protective outer-coating on a tooth). These acids come from plaque, which is a sticky film produced when mouth bacteria interact with the starches and sugars from our foods and drinks. If you are diabetic and dealing with a high blood sugar level, there will be a greater supply of starches and sugars within our bodies—you will also have different requirements for diet.

The Early Stages of Gum Disease

When someone has diabetes, their bodies have a reduced ability to fight back against bacteria. When things like plaque are not removed by brushing and flossing (remember the importance of brushing twice daily and flossing once!) that plaque hardens at the gum line. This harder substance, called tartar, forms around the base of the teeth, causing the gums to swell and begin to form pockets—pockets where bacteria can creep in below the gum line and cause problems! Over time, swollen gums can begin to bleed. These initial stages, called gingivitis, are usually easy and non-invasive to treat.

Advanced Gum Disease and Diabetes

Gingivitis that is left untreated can progress to the much more severe, and much more invasive and difficult to treat, Periodontal Disease. Periodontal Disease is an infection that can destroy the soft tissues and bones within the mouth. Obviously, this is bad, because the bones and soft tissues support everything in the mouth. Overtime this breaking down causes the gums and teeth to pull away from the bone—inevitably the teeth will become loose and, possibly, fall out. Why is Periodontal Disease worse for those with diabetes? It’s because diabetes hinders a body’s ability to resist infection. Diabetes, and all systemic disease for that matter, can also hinder the body’s ability to heal. It’s so important to keep up a regular routine of oral care that includes a regular checkup with your periodontist, Dr. Manhart.

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Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

During pregnancy, there’s a whole host of changes that occur within a woman’s body. Hormone’s shift and the body’s immune system goes through little quirks. Did you also know that during pregnancy a woman’s periodontal health can change, even if they keep to the strict routine of brushing twice daily and flossing once.

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

It’s true! there are links between periodontal disease and pregnancy (For those of you not immediately familiar, periodontal disease is a chronic condition caused by bacteria—the most severe condition of gum disease—and, if left untreated, can cause tooth loss, damage to the tissue in the mouth, and it’s even been linked to systemic diseases such as heart disease). Many woman experience what is called pregnancy gingivitis somewhere between the second and eighth months. Remember that any progression of gum disease is bad and needs to be treated.

Gum disease is progressive, and to not treat the disease could mean a progression to full-blown periodontal disease. Studies show that periodontal disease can cause premature birth, or cause an infant to be born at a dangerously low birth weight. A baby born underweight is susceptible to other bodily conditions, such as respiratory problems, and growth issues—both social and physical.

Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy

This makes it imperative during pregnancy to keep to a strict routine of oral health—remember, brush twice and floss at least once, and it may also be beneficial to use certain mouthwashes during pregnancy to ensure a clean mouth. And this oral care routine includes dental checkups with your periodontist to ensure that your mouth is staying healthy. Oftentimes gum disease can begin without a patient knowing. If a person has already been diagnosed with having periodontal disease, and is currently pregnant, that patient will need to keep up regular appointments and treatments.

Make an appointment with Dr. Manhart today, if you are pregnant, and would like a comprehensive periodontal exam. Remember it’s much easier to treat gum disease in its early stages. And remember to keep up a quality oral care routine, whether you are pregnant or not.


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A Cracked Tooth

A cracked tooth can present symptoms similar to other dental emergencies, and, in almost all cases, a cracked tooth will be painful. A common presentation of symptoms would include: it hurt while chewing, but the pain feel localized to a tooth, to a localized position on the jaw; when the chewing stops, the pain subsides or goes away completely.

Now, say you have these symptoms, and you’ve looked in the mirror to check for a line down the tooth, a fracture or crack, something noticeable, but there’s nothing there? What should you do? Obviously, if you have pain in your teeth, or localized on the jaw near your teeth, you should consult your periodontist. Not always will you see a fracture or crack on a tooth. Oftentimes, a cracked tooth could have a hairline fracture, something so small it may not even show on the X-Ray.

Causes of a cracked tooth vary, however chewing hard foods such as nuts, ice, hard candy, etc., are likely culprits. You can also damage a tooth playing sports, or maybe you’re someone who grinds their teeth; it’s possible even, when a set of teeth are not properly aligned to have bite problems that cause a cracked tooth.

You might be wondering now, just how will your cracked tooth be fixed, knowing now that even an X-Ray may not show the exact location of a fracture. There’s a few options, and they differ depending on the severity of the crack.
The simplest methods are bonding the tooth back together, sealing the crack, and, or, a root canal treatment to seal the tooth back up again. It is possible, however, that a crack be too great and the tooth should be removed, however your periodontist, Dr. Manhart, will be able to determine the best course of treatment when you visit. And if you are suffering from tooth pain, don’t let it persist, call the office immediately.
A cracked tooth is a common dental emergency, and, often, it is easily fixable, so you shouldn’t have to suffer through the tooth pain.

If you have a cracked tooth, please schedule an appointment today with your Periodontal Specialist today!


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Dentures vs Dental Implants Billings MT

Dentures vs Dental Implant

There are a multitude of reasons why people need dentures and dental implants.  Age, oral disease, injury, etc. all play a part.  Thanks to modern technology, there are more choices for people today.

Typically, conventional dentures are used after all teeth are removed from the mouth.  When the teeth are removed there can be significant scarring to the gums, so an immediate denture will be put into place until these areas are healed.

When the conventional denture can be worn it may take weeks or months before the patient has any comfort, because the muscles in the mouth are learning to participate with the new set of teeth.  An obvious drawback to this is that the conventional denture comes loose. They are made to be removed from the mouth, so they may come loose or shift in the mouth.

The dental implant feels more permanent in the mouth, like a new set of permanent teeth. Dental implants look and function like real teeth.  A dental implant is also much more stable, because the implant doesn’t rely on a messy adhesives to stick to the gums.

Dentures vs Dental Implant Billings MT

Dental implants  look like screws or cylinders.  They are placed into  the jaw bone that used to hold the roots of the missing natural teeth.   The implants over time will bond with the bone and form stable anchors for crowns or bridges

While these implants bond with the bones in the jaw, a patient is provided a temporary restoration to go over the implant sites.  When the sites have healed and are making a strong anchor in the jaw, a final restoration can be screwed onto the implants.

With the implants in place, your smile will be restored, you will have the confidence to do the things that may hold back someone who wears a conventional denture.  It’s literally like a new set of teeth in your mouth.  Needing dentures doesn’t have to be the end of your confident smile.

If you have any interest in the dental implant be sure to speak with your periodontist specialist at Healthy Gums Montana about the procedure and how it would work for y

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dental implants billings mt

A Bright White Smile is A Confident Smile

When most people view the Best Celebrity Smile List and see Vanessa Hudgens with her delightful demeanor, they think white, straight teeth. A bright-white healthy smile is a confident smile.  Cosmetically the white smile is important in our society. There is a good reason for that, a bright smile is a sign of good oral health.

According to WebMD.com, tooth enamel changes as we get older. Our teeth get fine lines and cracks as we age and what we eat can get into the crevices and stain our smile.

Research from Melbourne University’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre states that sugary drinks and sweets are harmful to teeth because of their chemical composition. Sugar can destroy teeth when its fermented by bacteria that produces acid that leads to decay.

Snacking throughout the day makes it difficult for our mouth to be rid of food debris. When food debris builds on the teeth and in the mouth, plaque spreads.

Plaque isn’t the only thing that we need to worry about when it comes too discoloration of our teeth. Simple everyday drinks like coffee, tea and wine can stain our teeth.
Coffee, tea and wine have pigments that attach to the enamel of the tooth.  Tea causes more discoloration than coffee. Red wine may be great for your health, but not so much for your teeth. Red wine is acidic and its color can stain your teeth. As we age, discoloration of our teeth increases.

The enamel on our teeth thins with age and it reveals the softer inner layer beneath called Dentin.  Dentin naturally yellows as we age. The added discoloration from what we eat and drink only compounds the issue.

So what can you do to keep your teeth whiter as you age?

  • Brush your teeth right after you have any food that may discolor your teeth.
  • If you can’t brush your teeth, at least rinse your mouth with water after drinking coffee, tea or wine.
  • Use a straw so that the discoloring liquids bypass your teeth.
  • Some tooth discoloration can be removed with regular dental cleanings. Schedule regular teeth cleaning appointments with your dentist.

If you’re infectious smile is no longer white, contact Periodontal Specialists of Montana today!

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