Prescriptions - May 2016

Keep Your Gums Healthy


How does the health of your gums contribute to bad breath?
Bath breath, medically known as halitosis, is something most of us try to avoid because of its negative impact on one’s social life and health.  While certain foods we eat can impact one’s breath, a major contributor to foul odor is bacteria. Bacteria use sugars from leftover food particles, not cleaned from the oral cavity, to multiply and produce waste products and acid that breakdown tooth enamel, damage gums and cause a horrible odor.  It is impossible to remove all bacteria from the mouth but with consistent cleaning of the teeth, gums and tongue, the overall bacteria count can be kept at a lower level and prevent bacteria from sticking to the teeth and gums for long periods of time.

Bad Breath Level 2: If bacteria are not cleaned off the teeth and gums, plaque (soft tarter) and calculus (hard tarter) will develop. These types of build up will lead to gingivitis and the more serious gum disease, periodontitis. Periodontitis is a disease where the gums and underlying bone are being destroyed, which leads to dead tissue being in the mouth. Dead tissue in a warm environment, like your mouth, will produce a strong and foul smell. This is why it is so important to have healthy teeth and gums.
Jessica M. Gower, DMD is a practicing dentist at Palmetto Dental Arts in Bluffton where the focus is on comprehensive oral health. She believes that a healthy, strong, beautiful mouth and teeth can change a person’s life—giving them a smile that shows confidence and health.

Why are my gums receding?
As we age, the cumulative effects of various oral stressors add up and often result in receding gums. The primary cause is periodontal disease, which is caused by the presence of bacteria around the teeth and under the gums, causing chronic inflammation in the area around the tooth and resulting in bone loss over time.
Some people experience gum recession even with excellent dental hygiene. In this case, the culprit is often how the teeth come together on the top and bottom. If certain teeth use too much force as they occlude with others as we eat or grind our teeth, the bone supporting the front tooth disappears due to the constant trauma and leads to gum recession.
Lastly, some patients simply have very thin gum tissue that does not hold up to vigorous brushing, orthodontic movement of the teeth or trauma. Some people are more prone to this condition than others and it can usually be corrected with periodontal surgery.
Dr. Adam Squicquero grew up in a family with medicine at its core and he follows three generations of doctors and dentists. He is currently accepting new patients at Howard Family Dental in Bluffton, SC.

At least 47.2% of the population has periodontitis, and because it is often not painful, until a very advanced stage, many people are unaware that this is happening in their mouth.


There’s a connection between healthy gums and a healthy heart!
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States.  Many fail to realize the crucial link between oral health and cardiovascular health. Systemic inflammation levels in the body are a major risk factor for heart disease and periodontal disease (gum disease.)  Periodontal disease has been linked to increased inflammation levels throughout the body.  This chronic inflammation is a constant burden to the heart.

Simple steps to decrease your risk of gum disease:
> Brush and floss at least twice daily.  We have all heard this but there is no better way to combat gum disease.
> See your dentist two times a year for cleanings. Your dental professional should evaluate your gums at each cleaning and provide recommendations to maintain the best oral health.
> Exercise and develop healthy eating habits.
Patients with heart disease or a history of cardiac issues in their family should pay special attention to their oral health care and be monitored closely by their dentist and physician.


Dr. Camp is a graduate of West Virginia University School of Dentistry.  He is a member of the American Dental Association, the South Carolina Dental Association, the Chicago Dental Society and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.  At Heritage Dental Spa and Salon, Dr camp offers all dental services, as well as numerous cosmetic procedures.