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All Posts in Category: Periodontal Disease 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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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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Do Mouthwashes Work?

Do Mouthwashes Work?

Not all mouthwashes are created equal. And most mouthwashes are placed into two categories: cosmetic mouthwash and therapeutic mouthwash. Therapeutic mouthwashes are available both in the aisle at the grocery store and by prescription. Therapeutic mouthwashes help to combat bad breath, fight gingivitis, and even control plaque. But how?

The condition of having bad breath, called halitosis, is caused by several things including: food breakdown and oral disease (pervasive plaque and bacteria). Now, for a mouthwash to fight these problems, it needs to have antimicrobial ingredients. These ingredients have long names like, chlorhexidine (chlorhexidine is an active ingredient in mouthwashes given out by prescription), chlorine dioxide, and, the less chemically-sounding, essential oils (usually therapeutic mouthwashes with essential oils are found in the aisle at the grocery).

These antimicrobials have proven effective at combating halitosis. But, mouthwashes are only effective at removing plaque and bacteria from the mouth when they’re used in conjunction with brushing and flossing. It all comes back to a good quality everyday oral care routine.

Now, there are certain rules to using mouthwash. Don’t swallow it, and don’t give it to young children, even if they understand how to spit the mouthwash back out of their mouths properly. A child who swallows large amounts of mouthwash may suffer the consequences of diarrhea, vomiting, and (it’s possible in higher doses) intoxication—if your child has ingested enough mouthwash to be intoxicated, call poison control.

Now, there’s no best way to incorporate mouthwash into your daily oral care routine. If you brush first, you may want to swish out your mouth with water before you use mouthwash. Other than that, it’s personal preference. It’s most important that you are brushing at least twice every day, and flossing at least once.

If you are concerned about halitosis and what’s possibly causing it, make an appointment with Dr. Manhart. He can check for signs of oral disease—remember, it’s best to catch gum disease in its earliest stages, when it’s easily treatable—and develop an action plan to get it fixed.

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Periodontal Disease Linked to Marijuana Use

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, The AAP, there is a link between periodontal disease and frequent marijuana use. This is an interesting find given that legal use of marijuana is proving to be ever-more topical, and with several states now decriminalizing the drug, Montana is not one of these states; here it is still very much illegal to possess or use marijuana for personal, non-medical, use.

According to the journal article, which you can find here:  https://www.perio.org/consumer/marijuana-use , frequent use of marijuana, hashish, and has oil contributed to the increased chance of periodontal disease. The study compared those who used these dugs heavily and a second group which combined subjects who didn’t use heavily and who didn’t use at all.

The indicators used to determine possible periodontal disease are the pocket gaps between the tooth and the gum tissue. Teeth should be adhered to the gums, and the gums shouldn’t easily separate away from the teeth. Unhealthy mouths, i.e. mouths with gum disease and periodontal disease, have much larger pockets between the tooth and the gum tissue. The deeper the pocket the more severe the case of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria infiltrating these pockets below the gum line, pockets that run deep and, for the most part, are unclean-able by the average person using just a toothbrush and a strand of floss. However, Periodontal disease is still treatable, and the potential treatment depends mostly on the severity of the disease. Periodontal disease that is left unchecked for long periods of time is going to have progressed to a severe state than if the disease was treated immediately.

If you think that you have the symptoms of some form of periodontal disease, speak with your periodontist. According to the AAP, nearly one half of all adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, so it’s not something to be ashamed of. But, an untreated case of periodontal disease could develop into something very severe. Consider the old adage: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

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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Systemic Disease and Periodontal Disease​

Periodontal disease has been shown to be linked to other systemic disease.  Diabetes, Heart Disease, even Osteoporosis, Kidney Disease, and some forms of Cancer all have some causal link to Periodontal Disease.  The reasons for this are varied, and for some of these diseases periodontal disease is thought to be a contributing factor, whereas with others it’s thought to be a complication of systemic disease.


Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes has been shown to be linked to Periodontal disease.  People who are diagnosed with diabetes, are considerably more at risk to contract periodontal disease.  The link between periodontal disease and diabetes is due to high blood sugar interfering with the ability to fight infection.  However, periodontal disease interferes with the body’s sugar metabolism making it more difficult to keep diabetes under control.  If you are diabetic, management of periodontal disease is an essential part of successful disease management.


Heart/Cardiovascular Disease has been linked to periodontal disease in many studies.  The degree of this effect remains an area of research.  Inflammation caused by periodontal bacteria that get into the bloodstream is the most likely cause for this.   Scarring of blood vessel walls make heart attacks more likely. Stroke risk is also increased for people with periodontal disease for the same reason.  The immune system fighting bacteria in the blood stream can create blockages and weaken artery walls leading to the restriction of blood flow to the brain.


Respiratory Disease

Periodontal Disease has long been linked to Respiratory disease.   Bacteria from the mouth have direct access to the airway and lungs.  In healthy patients the immune system keeps this movement of bacteria in check.  However, in patients with lung disease or impaired immune systems, periodontal bacteria can breach these defenses increasing the severity pre-existing respiratory problems


The link between periodontal disease and certain cancers are varied, however it’s known statistically that men with gum disease had a significantly higher chance of developing oral, kidney, pancreatic, and certain blood cancers.  While no one seems to be able to point to an exact reason for this, again inflammation resulting from the immune system fighting periodontal bacteria is thought to be the culprit.  Regardless, it is a relationship that should not be ignored.


While this is not good news, neither is it all doom-and-gloom.   Fortunately control of
periodontal infection is not difficult.  For most patients, modest professional therapy coupled with good oral hygiene at home goes far in controlling periodontal disease and reduce the risks for these serious systemic diseases.  Discussing the causal links for disease in the body just shows that the entire body works as one system, and should be taken care of accordingly.

Contact Healthy Gums Montana for all of your periodontal needs!

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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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