Medical researchers have investigated links between oral health and heart health for several years. Now researchers at UC San Francisco are investigating possible links between oral health and kidney disease. According to Dr. Vanessa Grubbs, “This is a very new and emerging area, and there have only been a few studies.” She continued “If we at least start to show that treating periodontal disease can slow the progression of kidney disease, the long-term ramifications for dental policy and how we manage patients with chronic kidney disease are huge.”

Dr. Grubbs is a kidney specialist researching this subject as part of her commitment to preventing the chronic health problems associated with kidney disease. She notes that both kidney disease and gum disease affect lower income individuals more often and hopes that routine dental care could become a priority as a way to prevent kidney disease. She feels that the cost savings could be significant, “It’s certainly cheaper to pay for preventative dental care than dialysis.”

This research is just getting started and it will be some time before the results of this pilot study are known. In the meantime, anyone who suffers from red, puffy or swollen gums is most likely suffering from gum disease and needs to seek treatment. Many patients ignore their gum disease because they cannot see the infection inside their mouths and because the early stages are usually painless. Untreated gum disease eventually leads to tooth loss and the bacteria from gum disease can travel throughout the body.

Treating gum disease today is much easier than in the past. Using topical antibiotics or laser periodontal treatment makes treatment comfortable and effective. Find out more information about treating gum disease today by contacting Medford, OR family dentist Rothfus Family Dental today at 541-858-7994.

What do you think about a filling that actually regenerates tooth structure? A cavity in your tooth happens when the mineral content of the tooth has been dissolved. The oral bacteria living in the plaque on your tooth surface secrete acids which eat away at the tooth.  Even when a dentist removes the decay from the tooth there are still some bacteria left behind. A new filling material may change that.

Scientists at the University of Maryland are working on a new material that may change filling cavities in the future. The new fillings are designed with special antibacterial agents that kill harmful bacteria remaining in the tooth and regenerate tooth structure lost to decay. This new dental filling at the University of Maryland is still in the research stage and will be a huge leap in caring for dental decay.

Dental fillings have come a long way since the  mercury based silver amalgam of yesteryear. The tooth colored composite fillings we use today not only look nicer but are far superior to those old silver fillings. Composite filling materials avoid mercury exposure for both dentist and patient, they are long lasting and don’t expand and contract when exposed to hot or cold substances like old style fillings did. This expansion and contraction often led to cracked fillings or even broken teeth.

Prevention is the key to a healthy smile but cavities can happen. When they do remember to contact Rothfus Family Dental in Medford, OR at 541-858-7994 to schedule your appointment.