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All Posts in Category: Gum Disease Billings MT

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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Gum Disease and Increased Link to Many Cancers

Brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups appear to do much more than maintain a healthy smile. Now, a large prospective cohort study shows that postmenopausal women with a history of periodontal disease, including those who have never smoked, are at significantly increased overall risk for cancer as well as site-specific cancers, including lung, breast, esophageal, gallbladder, and melanoma skin cancers.

Read more here.


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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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Pregnancy and Gum Disease


Gum disease is common in adults, and many people will suffer from some form of it in their lifetime; the reasons for it will vary. But did you know that a pregnant woman can contract gum disease because of the hormonal changes happening in the rest of her body? It’s true. That’s one reason why it’s especially important that pregnant women practice good quality routine oral care throughout their pregnancy.

Do you treat a pregnant woman for gum disease?

The early stages of gum disease, called gingivitis, are easy to treat. At this stage, the gums are swollen and tender. Someone practicing good quality oral care may be able to fight gum disease at these initial stages naturally: brushing and flossing regularly, and doing it well, making sure to clean all areas of the tooth; Vitamin C (which can help to combat gingivitis, and could be taken naturally through certain fruits and vegetables or supplemented) and Vitamin A, which helps the teeth and bones to grow (Vitamin A does have certain drawbacks and limits and before you take on any extra Vitamin A in supplement, consult with you doctor first); also, an at-home remedy to reduce inflammation in the mouth is to gurgle with salt water twice daily. More severe cases of gum disease will be handled on a case-by-case basis between you, your doctor, and your periodontist.

More severe cases of gum disease involve sensitive teeth, teeth that move suddenly out of place, teeth that become loose altogether, and teeth that hurt when you chew food (obviously, these symptoms could also be symptoms of other oral problems, and Dr. Manhart will be able to determine which it is). And if gum disease evolves to the more severe periodontal disease, it will become more difficult to treat. That’s why early detection is very important to a swift and non-invasive treatment. Remember it is very important to the treatment of gum disease that it’s caught in its earliest stages.

If you have any questions as to how to keep a quality oral care routine during your pregnancy call Dr. Manhart’s office today, schedule an appointment.

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Recently, the routine practice of flossing has come under fire as being a nonsensical and ineffective way to clean the space between our teeth down to the gum line. Of course, the study got a ton of press, and news outlets everywhere were running ad hoc with the story as if it were revolutionary and based entirely in fact. As the story evolved through the news outlets it grew bigger, as stories tend to do, claiming that even the federal government’s health agencies also believed flossing to be a waste of everyone’s time. But that’s not true. The federal governments health agencies, as well as the ADA (American Dental Association) all claim flossing as an important, everyday practice.

Flossing is important because it helps to remove the plaque that builds up in the spaces between our teeth. Floss, or an interdental cleaner, scrapes away the plaque that builds up there. If plaque is allowed free reign to grow rampant, then you are likely to see problems such as gum disease develop, and, if the initial stages of gum disease are not dealt with appropriately (and remember, oftentimes gum disease has very little symptom in its early stages) it will progress to the more chronic stages—periodontal disease.


Flossing Refresher

It’s important to keep the practice of flossing between our teeth routine, done once daily. To floss, simply purchase a spool—it comes in a few different sizes—strand widths—and many different flavors, and pull from the spool about eight to ten inches of floss. Wrap the tag ends of the floss around opposing fingers, keeping a few inches of open space between your hands so that you may maneuver it down into the spaces between the teeth. Then use the floss to scrub the faces of the teeth with the floss, cleaning all the areas between the teeth down to the gum line. It’s a pretty standard, simple practice, although it’s often overlooked by many in their daily oral routine.

Remember to keep flossing once every day, keep brushing twice daily, that initial prevention is the best treatment for gum disease.

Make an appointment with Dr. Manhart today for all of your oral health needs.




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E-Cigarettes Can Cause Gum Disease

There’s no safe alternative for tobacco, however, there’s an opinion out there that the use of e-cigarettes or vaporizers are more health conscious—there’s even advertisements claiming that it’s just a harmless vapor, nothing dangerous. Hopefully we’re seeing through those advertisements, because e-cigarettes are far from being healthy, or even safe.


For those of you who don’t know, e-cigarettes are refillable modern-looking pipe or cigarette-looking devices, that use battery power to vaporize a nicotine-type solution, which is then inhaled.

Because e-cigarettes are relatively new, there is very little, if any, standards in place to govern the substances used. Therefore, there’s no control over what the level of contaminants are—contaminants include cancer-causing carcinogens, some of which are found in products like anti-freeze, etc. Also, because e-cigarettes are new, it is impossible to know what exactly the adverse health effects of “vaping” are. However, what we know for sure is that nicotine in any dose has adverse health effects on bodies. E-cigarette companies like to state that the levels of nicotine are much lower than that from a classic tobacco cigarette, also claim that the nicotine doesn’t have the same adverse effects on a person’s health because it’s not being burnt—understand, however, that regardless of the severity of the nicotine intake, nicotine in any amount of form has a negative effect on your body, and your oral health.

E-cigarettes and oral health

Studies have shown that nicotine causes our gum tissues to recede, and these recessed pockets can become likely sights for gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease. There’s information on the internet that vaping will benefit a person’s gum health. However, this has been shown to be false. The reasons for this myth—yes, we’re calling it a myth—are varied, but to put it simply, nicotine usage in any dosage will cause inflammation in the gum tissues. This inflammation makes the gum tissue appear healthy—vibrant pink, etc. But the problem is that the inflammation is only masking the underlying issues, and the gum tissue is, in fact, still receding from the teeth.

The signs for gum disease are the same for the person using an e-cigarette. Your gums will bleed, they will have receded from the teeth, and pockets of space will form around the base of the tooth. If you think you are suffering from gum disease, make an appointment with your periodontist immediately, as early detection is essential in a successful treatment of the disease.

If you are experiencing periodontal disease, please schedule an appointment today with your Periodontal Specialist today!






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Calming Dental Fears

There are certain procedures that sound terrible, scary even, in the world of oral care.  Terms such as “surgery”, or “gum grafting” alone can conjure up horrific images. These types of  fear prevent too many people from visiting the periodontist on a regular basis. But consider these symptoms: you are eating some ice cream and the freezing cold of the ice cream hurts your teeth or its pain can occur when drinking coffee or tea, even brushing and flossing your teeth can cause pain in the tooth or near the gum line. When there is pain, there is a problem.  These symptoms could imply any number of oral maladies, periodontal disease being one of the most prevalent. However gum recession is often the cause of such discomfort, even for people who are dedicated to maintaining their oral health.

Problems Arise

Even with the best care, gum tissue problems can arise for one inescapable reason: we get older. As we age our gum tissue thins and breaks down.   Daily wear and tear causes the gum tissue recede back from the teeth.  The problem with receding gums is that the enamel layer does not extend beneath the gum line. The covering on the tooth below the gums is called cementum, and cementum is not as hard or as protective as enamel, and because it’s not as effective protecting the tooth, the tooth becomes sensitive to food and drink

Healthy Mouth

If you can see gum tissue recession or are experiencing sensitivity you may benefit from a procedure called gum grafting.  These procedures establish new gum tissue stopping the recession and adding to the tissue covering the root.  There are many options to treat gum recession that did not exist in years past.  Many small grafts are still done with your own tissue.  When indicated processed allografts can be used for more complex situations.  The fears due to the horror stories of the past are just that: a thing of the past.

Remember, everyone’s gums recede with age.  Grafting procédures protect your teeth, and keep your mouth healthy and comfortable. If you are experiencing symptoms or believe you have problems with gum recession, call your periodontist and schedule a consultation.  Contact Healthy Gums Montana for all of your periodontal needs!

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dental implants billings mt

Do you have an indentation in your gums after a loss of a tooth?

Did you know that tooth loss can cause an indentation in the gums and jawbone where a tooth used to be. The reason that this occurs is because the jawbone recedes when it no longer is holding a tooth in place. The indention is not only unnatural looking, but it also requires that the tooth be replaced with an  implant, so that you don’t have further dental issues down the road from the loss of your tooth.

Loss of Tooth

Ridge augmentation can fill in this defect recapturing the natural contour of the gums and jaw. A new tooth (implant) can then be places that is natural looking, easy to clean and beautiful. (AAP)

For all of your tooth loss needs and for all of your dental needs, contact Healthy Gums Montana today!

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Periodontal Disease Treatment Billings MT

Periodontal Disease Is Linked to Diabetes and Heart Disease

Did you know that Periodontal Disease is more than bacteria in your mouth?  It’s true, but we don’t often think of periodontal disease when it comes to Diabetes and Heart Disease. Inflammation within the body is responsible for both oral disease and other systemic bodily diseases, which means that it is vital to your health to treat the inflammation from periodontal disease as well as inflammation from other diseases.  Here are a few reasons that periodontal disease can occur if you have one of these diseases.


Periodontal disease is common in diabetics.  The cause of periodontal disease in diabetics is the bodies inability to fight infection.  If you have diabetes, you are at greater risk for Periodontal Disease.  In order to manage periodontal disease, it is recommended that you manage your diabetes well. On the flip side, if you don’t manage your periodontal disease, it may be more difficult for you to control your blood sugars.

Heart Disease

Periodontal Disease is also common in people who have Heart Disease. If you don’t treat your gum disease, then it could increase your risk for heart disease, it’s that simple. If you have heart disease and you’re not treating your gum disease, then it can exacerbate your existing heart conditions.


In many ways, periodontitis and arthritis are very similar diseases.  Recent research is now indicates that periodontal disease may be a trigger for causing arthritis to attack other joints.   If you have family history of arthritis it is important to begin screenings for periodontal disease in your 30’s.

Other bodily conditions associated with Periodontal Disease

Open angle glaucoma has recently been associated with periodontal disease.  The bacteria that cause bone loss also cause the blood vessels on the eye to malfunction contributing to this sight robbing condition.

Osteoporosis is linked with a loss of bone in the jaw, which causes problems in your mouth.  You can lose your teeth due to osteoporosis because of bone loss; the foundation of all of the teeth in your mouth.

There are some respiratory diseases are linked to gum disease, because often bacteria in the mouth is inhaled into the lungs.  Which would make you put you at greater risk for pneumonia.

If you think that you might have periodontal disease, schedule an appointment today with your Periodontal Specialist.  As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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