Health
January 26, 2020
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
Are glasses enough? Spotting common vision problems in older adults Aging gracefully Kids who grind their teeth at night Still time to change your Medicare health plan When hard things happen New Year, new you: Practicing active aging in 2020 The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning Part II When we’re haunted by regret, we all have regrets. Halloween pirate’s gold Fall risks are sometimes simple, yet fatal Is multi-generational living for you? What family caregivers need to know about Medicare changes Natural disaster threats call for preparedness plan to protect seniors The spirit of Alzheimer’s learning  Winter sun safety: What to know about protecting yourself during colder months Tending to spiritual distress with aging and illness Blood pressure control a focus of American Heart month Home your own way March is colorectal cancer awareness month Safety at home for seniors Prepareness plan to protect seniors Conscious Sedation Dentistry– No fear! How to prevent bad breath War on opioids in California Help families make time for seniors during the holiday season Helping seniors with vision and hearing impairments Holiday stress-busters for harried caregivers It’s what’s inside that counts! Dental emergencies Don’t wait until it hurts! Does spring mean allergy season for you? Top 10 products to help seniors stay home How to take Tylenol safely The role companionship plays in aging 7 Tips to reduce the stress of incontinence caregiving Five best pet types for seniors Time for the yearly flu vaccine The state of Alzheimer’s and caregiving in the U.S. Reduce senior fall risk Improving the state of aging in America Fight flu this season by getting immunized Confirm your preparedness plans for Seniors Did you get your flu shot? If not why not? A message from the heart Using anxiety to your advantage Youth, women and dementia The long-reaching impact of dementia Children’s dental health month Ten tips for healthy aging Planning for aging at home Thirty-four years as a dentist Tooth friendly Easter tips Feeding my hungry heart How to keep older adults cool during the heat of the day Invisible braces work wonders Prosthetic joints and dentistry Avoiding spooky smiles this Halloween How to keep an aging adult’s blood pressure in the green zone Giving thanks The increasingly important role of caregivers Some good news! Senate passes Alzheimer’s and dementia research funding October’s most celebrated event Our Feelings Come From Our Beliefs Making sense of the season for seniors Cultures differ on what makes a beautiful smile! How to have a better year Falling in love is easy, but staying in love is very special A confession Women in dentistry Plan for where you want to age Three ways a senior can fund a home remodel Cannabis as medicine-Changing the face of aging May is skin cancer awareness month A brain is a reason to join the Alzheimer’s fight Recognizing and reporting elder abuse Dental technology- computers have changed our lives Create your personal Medicare account Understanding the aging brain Two ways to get your Medicare taken care of Are you stressed out? Seven ways seniors can interact with pets The joy of root canal therapy Lung cancer screening helps combat the #1 cancer killer in the nation Simple happiness hacks for caregivers Multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease Seniors and Diabetes What you need to know Let’s talk about guilt and the emotional journey of being a caregiver How to know if you are in danger of compression fractures Psychology Today The Art of Resilience: I Have I Am…I Can The advantage of dental implants Too much of a good thing for seniors and the holidays What families’ caregivers need to know about Recommendations for screen time Resolutions for your oral health Super Bowl, Joe Montana and blood pressure Open heart surgery – Thoughts from the other side Chewing gum - Helpful or harmful? Five tips for a healthy smile I will– I should– I can– I’ll try Rightsizing for seniors doesn’t have to be painful The Joy of Sadness Human Touch: The role companionship plays in aging at home Becoming who we really want to be How to fail well Back to school with healthy teeth Five ways to manage caregiver guilt Senior dating – Mom’s new relationship is heating up... Should you be concerned? Aspirin relieves mild pain Fighting osteoporosis and preventing fall-related injuries Pets and seniors make the perfect pair Turn the page Anxiety: The real reason Mom won’t leave the house My prostate and thyroid cancer Oral piercings and your teeth Understanding senior care options Staying well and safe for the holidays Health habits for the new year Un-retiring in a changing economy Coping with the unpredictable life of caregiving Double duty tools: toothbrush and floss Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Tips for living with low vision  Keep your Medicare costs down The freedom and choice to again place at home Put dementia on the agenda for 2019 Free app shows what Medicare covers The reason “Four” is the magic number? Preventing tooth decay in children Laughter is the best medicine Sports mouth guards-keeping teeth safe  Help your senior loved one avoid preventable hospitalizations Tips for keeping calm in the midst of crisis  Five cybersecurity tips for older adults Preparing kids for first dental visits Dental treatment concerns with patients taking blood thinners Home Health Care vs. In-Home Care: What you need to know Three ways to lessen negative thinking Five ways our self-talk may be hurtful Is this Summer or Fall What can you do to help dad control his blood pressure? By this time you have learned... whether you’re 14 or 84… Controlling your holidays Your Medicare costs in 2020 Mind your mind Hints for a better life Amazing results with Arestin Navigating the aging journey Smoke and stress maintenance and recovery How to lower your surgery costs Know your pharmacist… Know your medicine as drug prices will jump in 2019 Influenza activity is increasing throughout California Show your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day! New life and stormy weather Your Medicare rights and protections Summer snacking and your child’s teeth Back to basics 10 summertime activities for seniors Three ways to boost your self-esteem Increasing West Nile Virus activity in Ca. Why are seniors targets for scams? Summer’s sun damages the skin Abscess gives warning 8 tips to minimize the behaviors of “Sundowning” Keeping your relationships fresh What are dental sealants? Suicide - Are there answers? Nothing is impossible Becoming optimistic in a chaotic world Entitlements - more money Your best Christmas gift? Suicide a growing epidemic Healthy eating habits can benefit you and your teeth How does the body heal? Apply or renew Covered Ca. Health insurance by Jan. 15 Guilt from holiday eating Toothbrush tips Three reasons for a root canal Seniors: Say no to “free” genetic tests Yoga for relaxation & healing What causes sensitive teeth to hurt All of us make mistakes  Heat and older adults Five tips to cope with caregiver anger Back to school health Real decisions and moderation Three gifts you can give yourself Don’t stress, clench or grind! Gratitude and positivity can inspire caregiver self-care Medicare helps seniors use opioids safely Is it elder abuse or neglect? Dental scanning technology improves dental care Using Medicare when on foreign land I slept in last Saturday! Always being bright may not be so bright Trying to save a knocked out permanent tooth What happens to our teeth and gums as we age? Reduce wear and tear As Autumn begins, a reminder flu season can hit seniors hard Overcoming fears surrounding End-of-Life care Important: women and periodontal health Americans unaware of potentially life-threatening skin cancer Sun protection tips for young children Cannabis symposium Sept. 19th The importance of immunization Returning home is bittersweet Osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and dental health Living with Lupus Erythematosus How dentistry handles gastric reflux disease Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  A free cheek swab test Twice a victim Finding a path forward after an accident Use it or lose it- Muscle mass as you age  If it is not broken, don’t fix it! Managing your mental health with or without insurance coverage Why gardening is the most recommended exercise for seniors

Mother's gum disease linked to infant’s death

By: George Malkemus
November 15, 2019

 Expectant mothers have long been warned that gum disease can cause a baby to be born prematurely or too small. This link between gum disease and premature, low weight births in pregnant women has been well documented for many years.  

 Women who have chronic gum disease are more apt to deliver pre-term than women who do not have the disease. It is between four to seven times more likely that the delivery would occur before the 37th week of pregnancy. Women with more serious gum disease will likely deliver around 32 weeks.  When a child is born prematurely, he or she is at a greater risk for several health problems. These problems may include learning disabilities, neurological conditions, respiratory problems and infections.

 Though it has been known for some time that babies could be born pre-term as a result of gum disease, only in the past few years has there ever been a connection to stillbirths.  In 2010, for the first time, a mother’s gum infection was shown to cause the death of her stillborn full-term baby. 

 An article, published in the January 2010 Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, describes the findings by scientists from Case Western University.  A 35-year-old California woman contacted them to help investigate the death of her baby. The California woman told researchers that she had experienced heavy bleeding from her gums — a sign of gum disease — during her pregnancy. Plaque samples from the woman’s teeth were found to be positive for the exact same strain of the oral bacteria found in the dead baby’s stomach and lungs.

 Usually bacteria that travel up from the vaginal canal cause infections that are found harmful to a developing baby.  But in this case, the bacteria found in the baby were not the type that is typically found in the vaginal region, but rather one that matched the mother’s gum infection. Bacteria in the mouth can easily travel into the bloodstream from bleeding infected gums and then spread from the bloodstream to the placenta.  While the immune system of the mother fights the bacteria throughout her body, the fetus is more susceptible to bacterial infection since an immune system is not established until after birth. 

 Though this case is a major concern, women shouldn’t be overly alarmed. Research reveals that this was a rare case. Women should, however, be careful to maintain good oral health while they are pregnant because it definitely can affect the baby.

 Bleeding gums are common in pregnant women, with about 75 percent developing from pregnancy gingivitis, a condition due to normal hormonal changes. It can be treated effectively by brushing, flossing and profession cleanings by a dental hygienist. However, this study emphasizes the importance of good oral health not only for pregnant women, but also for those contemplating pregnancy.

Pregnancy gingivitis

 Gingivitis is a beginning stage of gum disease.  It will affect over 90 percent of Americans at some point in their lives.  Gingivitis is caused by an accumulation of bacterial plaque that sticks on the teeth, tongue and gums. The gums become tender, swollen and red and begin to bleed.    Gingivitis is especially common during pregnancy. Gingivitis has been reported to occur in approximately 60 to 75 percent of all pregnant women. The severity of the condition can range from mild inflammation with redness, to inflammation with edema and bleeding, to even more severe cases where periodontal surgery is necessary.   

 Pregnancy causes tremendous change in a woman’s hormonal activity. Between the time of conception and the seventh month of pregnancy, hormones will triple in quantity, and then remain at that heightened level until delivery. Estrogen and progesterone are secreted in progressively greater concentrations throughout most of pregnancy, causing a better environment for bacteria in the mouth to grow. In particular, the increased level of progesterone makes it easier for certain gingivitis-causing bacteria to grow, as well as makes gum tissue more sensitive to plaque and even exaggerates the body’s response to toxins (poisons) that are produced by bacterial plaque.

 During pregnancy water is retained in order to build blood volume to nourish the placenta. Thus, a pregnant woman has 40 percent more fluid in her body. As a result, this increases the amount of fluid in all the cells in the body, including the gum tissues, which causes them to become “puffy.”  The swelling of the gums increases the effect of pregnancy gingivitis and makes a better environment for bacterial growth.

 It is important to understand that pregnancy gingivitis can only occur if gum disease is already present. But pregnancy can make gum disease significantly worse. Remember, it is the bacteria, not the hormones, which cause the gingivitis. This condition can be almost entirely avoided with good oral hygiene habits, which include brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse.  Professional dental cleanings are particularly important during pregnancy, as well as treating any tooth decay.  Proper diet and nutrition are vital for health during pregnancy and will limit unnecessary sugar intake and help prevent bacterial plaque buildup in the mouth.

  Good health during pregnancy is important for the mom and her developing baby.  A healthy mouth, free of gum disease is vital to the general health of both the mom and the baby. If you are pregnant or are considering pregnancy, discuss any concerns you may have with your dentist. And if you are thinking about having a baby, you should consider your oral health before becoming pregnant.

 

Enjoy Life and Keep Smiling! 

 

George Malkemus has a Family and Cosmetic Dental Practice in Rohnert Park at 2 Padre Parkway, Suite 200. Call 585-8595, or email info@ malkemusdds.com.  Visit Dr. Malkemus’ Web site at http://www.malkemusdds.com