Thursday, May 2, 2019

Periodontal Disease = Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissues and bone that hold the teeth in place.  It is caused by the bacteria in plaque, a sticky and colorless film that forms on the teeth. The early stages of gum disease can often be reversed and maintained with proper brushing, flossing and regular dental cleaning & check up with the dentist.  Gum disease that is left untreated would lead to tooth loss and other periodontal complications and problems.
This is the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) classification of Periodontal Disease:
Type I  Gingivitis
·       Earliest stage of gum disease
·       No loss of attachment, no bone loss
·       Bleeding on probing may be present
·       At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be reversible since there is no bone loss.
·       Proper brushing, floss and regular dental cleaning help to remove plaque
Type II  Early Periodontitis
·       Pocket depths or attachment loss: 3-4mm.  Bone loss is present.
·       Periodontal pockets are formed as the dental tissues (gums and supportive ligaments) begin to pull away from the tooth.  These pockets trap bacteria and causes gum infection
·       Localized area of gingival recession; gums pull away and exposes the root
·       Bleeding on probing may be present
·       Damages caused by gum disease is irreversible
Type III  Moderate Periodontitis
·       Pocket depths or attachment loss: 4-6mm.   Bone loss is present.
·       Bleeding on probing
·       Furcation involvement
·       Teeth show mobility (loose)
·       Damages cause by gum disease is irreversible
Type IV  Advanced Periodontitis
·       Pocket depths or attachment loss: greater than 6mm.   Bone loss is present.
·       Supporting tissues and bone are destroyed. 
·       Bleeding on probing
·       Furcation involvement
·       Teeth show increased mobility (loose).  Some teeth are so loose that they may need to be extracted.
·       Damages caused by gum disease is irreversible

Signs of Periodontal Disease
·       Gums are red, swollen or tender
·       Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
·       Teeth that look longer due to gum recessions
·       Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
·       Loose or shifting teeth
·       Persistent  bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
·       Changes of the teeth fit together when biting (occlusion)
·       Changes of the fit of the partial denture
Gum disease can occur at any age.  If gum disease is detected and treated at early stages, it can be reversed and maintained.  Currently, there is no cure for gum disease. 
If you notice any signs of periodontal disease, please contact Glendora Dentist, Dr. Anna Lee for a dental checkup.  You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease.  Dr. Anna Lee can help to save your teeth. Call and schedule a free consultation at 626-335-5114 or visit us at

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Aerophagia & reflux symptoms associate with lip and tongue tied babies

One of the complaints from breastfeeding mothers is that babies have difficulty in achieving a good latch at the breasts during breastfeeding. Dr. Ghaheri and Kotlow write blogs and articles on both the lip and/or tongue ties that restrict the movement of the lip and tongue and cause problems for the baby to latch on the mothers’ breasts incorrectly during breastfeeding. Some moms describe the latching as weak or shallow.  How does weak or shallow latching at the breasts affect the breastfeeding babies?  Some babies swallow an excessive amount of air, which reaches the stomach and causes abdominal distension, gassiness, and pain.  Some parents describe their babies having symptoms of reflux; difficulty sleeping when lying down, problems swallowing, spitting up, and constant crying among other symptoms.
What is aerophagia?
Aerophagia originates from the Greek word aerophagein, which means to “eat air,” is the excessive swallowing air (Chitkara et al., 2005; Courtiol, 2100; Fernando, 1998: Loening-Baucke, 2000).        Babies with lip tie attempt to latch the mother’s breasts; the upper lip frenum restricts the upper lip to flange outward and the baby will either pop off the breast completely or briefly relax and latch off the breast.  Tongue tie babies have a difficult time lifting the tongue; the frenum restricts the movement of the tongue and causes problems for the baby to latch onto the mother’s breast during breastfeeding. Tongue and/or lip ties may cause incorrect latching.  The consequences of an incorrect latch at the breast during breast feeding may include poor suck, poor seal around the breast, loud clicking noises, extended feeding times, poor infant weight gain, infant fussiness, and irritability during and after breastfeeding.
An inadequate seal around the breasts during breastfeeding may cause the baby to experience aerophagia, swallowing or sucking air into the stomach.  The babies may experience these symptoms:
·       abdominal distension
·       gassiness (flatulence)
·       belching (burping-swallow excessive air)
What is reflux?
*Reflux or GER (gastroesophageal reflux) in a baby may show up as irritability and pain, sometimes with constant or sudden crying, or colic-like symptoms.  Babies can be inconsolable, especially when laid down flat.
Signs & symptoms:
·       Difficulty sleeping when lying down
·       Arching their necks and back during or after feeding
·       Problems swallowing, gagging, coughing
·       Hiccupping and drooling
·       Feeding refusal or constant feeding
*Normal movement of the tongue is difficult or impossible if the tongue is tethered to the floor of the mouth     *Clinical Lactation 2011, Vol.2-4
Aerophagia and reflux symptoms are experienced in lip and tongue tied babies and can be misdiagnosed as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).   Unfortunately, some babies are treated with prescription medications, such as Zantac or Prevacid to reduce the reflux symptoms.
* Dr. Larry Kotlow’s article, Infant Reflux and Aerophagia Associated with Maxillary Lip-tie and Ankyloglossia (Tongue-tie), suggests that a maxillary lip and/or tongue ties may be a contributing factor of babies’ inability to create an adequate seal for correct latching at the breasts during breastfeeding.
**There is a lack of literature and research looking at a potential causal relationship with aerophagia and reflux in breastfeeding infants.  More studies and researches are needed.
*Clinical Lactation 2100, Vol.2-4
**Int J Clin Pediatr.2016; 5(1):6-8
How to treat lip and tongue tied babies?
Both lip and tongue ties can be treated in quick procedure that is nearly painless, it usually may not require anesthesia.  The procedure is called frenectomy; the removal of frenum that connects to the lip or tongue.  Frenectomy can be performed with the following instruments:
·       Scissors-bleeding
·       Scalpel or sharp surgical knife-bleeding
·       Laser-minimal bleeding, faster surgical time, decreased postoperative pain, quick healing
Dr. Anna Lee is a general & cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.  Dr. Anna Lee is an experienced provider for Laser lip and tongue tied frenectomy (releases).  If you have any questions about lip and tongue tied frenectomy, please visit us at or call for a consultation at                  626-335-5114. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Periodontal Disease Bacteria Linked to Alzheimer’s disease

A recent study published in the journal Science Advances found evidence linking bacteria associated with periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.  Researchers analyzed brain tissue, spinal fluid and saliva from Alzheimer’s patients; both living and deceased and found the bacteria, P. gingivalis may play a role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s.  However, Alzheimer’s experts not involved in the research caution that not enough research has been done to prove the association between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.
Research studies: possible link of Periodontal Disease and Alzheimer’s
·       *In January 2019, a new study published in the journal Science Advances, found a potential link between P. gingivalis, the bacteria associated with periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.  **The co-founder of Cortexyme Inc., Dr. Dominy and his team found P. gingivalis in the brain tissue, spinal fluid and saliva from Alzheimer’s patients, both living and deceased.  The Cortexyme team did a mice study.  The team swabbed the gums of healthy mice with P. gingivalis every other day for 6 weeks to cause gum infection.  The team later detected P. gingivalis in the mice’s brain tissues along with dying neurons and higher than normal level of proteins that cause Alzheimer’s.
*American Academy of Periodontology.   Article January 28, 2019                                                                      **Science Magazine January 23, 2019
·       *Researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry performed a study on wild mice.  The mice received 22 weeks of repeated oral application of the periodontal bacteria.  The researchers found that the mice had more brain inflammation and fewer intact neurons due to degeneration than those mice without oral application of periodontal bacteria.                  Keiko Watanabe, D.D.S., Professor of periodontics at UIC said, “Our data not only demonstrate the movement of bacteria from the mouth the brain, but also that chronic infection leads to neural effects similar to Alzheimer’s.  Periodontal bacteria may kick start the development of the Alzheimer’s.”
*Dentistry Today  October 4, 2018
·       *Mark I. Ryder, DMD, Professor of Periodontology at the University of California, San Francisco noted that the presence of P. gingivalis increased the production of amyloid beta (plaque buildup in the brain) which contributes to Alzeimer’s.  Dr. Ryder confirmed the mice study that P. gingvalis can travel from the mouth to the brain and can destroy brain neurons.
*American Academy of Periodontology.  Article January 28, 2019
Gum Disease is a common condition for older adults
Richard Kao, DDS, PhD, president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), encourages older adults to maintain diligent oral care and treat periodontal disease to help mitigate Alzheimer’s risks.  Dr. Kao said, “Periodontal disease increases to 68 percent for people age 65 and older…visiting a periodontist can help identify any disease and treated as needed, potentially diminishing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.”  

More research is needed
P. gingivalis is likely to be one of a variety of pathogens that contributes to the amyloid beta (plaque buildup in the brain) that causes Alzheimer’s.  More studies are needed to support the link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.  An upcoming FDA phase II clinical trial will assess and add further insight to the link between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s.
Dr. Anna Lee is a General & Cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.   Periodontal disease can occur at any age. If you notice any signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, please call for a consultation.  You can visit us at or call to schedule for an appointment at 626-335-5114. 
*Visit our website to read about periodontal disease on Dr. Lee’s blog.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Laser Dentistry-A New Way to Manage Gum Disease

Laser Dentistry-Enjoy a More Gentle Dental Experience
What is Gum Disease?
Inflamed, bleeding gums, bad breath, and gum recession are common signs of gingivitis and gum disease.  Gum disease is caused by bacteria in periodontal pockets, deep in the gum tissue down to the tooth roots.  Routine hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, helps to get rid of plaque, but if the plaque solidifies and forms tartar, brushing and flossing will not remove it.  The professional skills of dentists or dental hygienists are required to regularly perform cleaning treatments to remove this tartar.
Here are some warning signs of Gum Disease:
·       Gums that bleed easily
·       Red, swollen, tender gums
·       Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
·       Persistent bad breath or bad taste
·       Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
·       Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
·       Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Gum Disease risk factors:
·       Poor oral hygiene
·       Smoking or chewing tobacco
·       Genetics
·       Crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
·       Pregnancy/hormonal changes
·       Diabetes
·       Medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
It’s Not Just Gum Disease. It’s your Health.
If you have been told that you have gum disease, you are not alone.  Nearly 70% of adults have some form of gum disease.  The most important thing to know about gum disease is that you shouldn’t ignore it.
Left untreated, gum disease will result in receding gums, bone loss, and ultimately may cost you your teeth.  Additionally, studies show that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer.  So, if you have gum disease, it’s very important for your overall health that you get treatment.
Finally, a New Way to Manage Gum Disease
Now, with Laser Dentistry, we can control the bacteria in your mouth to prevent the progression of gum disease and bring your gums back to health.  Laser Dentistry may be recommended as part of your treatment plan during the early stages of gum disease to prevent the progression of this disease.
Laser Dentistry offers significant advantages including:
·       Eliminates bleeding gums
·       Reduces discomfort associated with red, swollen, tender gums
·       Promotes more rapid healing
Dr. Anna Lee is a General & Cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.  If you experience any of the warning signs and symptoms of gum disease, call our office for a dental checkup. Ask Dr. Lee or one of our staff if you are a candidate for Laser Periodontal Therapy, and help us take better care of you and your oral health.  Please visit us at or call for a dental checkup at 626-335-5114.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Laser Dentistry-Teeth Whitening

Epic Laser Dentistry-Enjoy a More Gentle Dental Experience
Get a More Confident Smile
Your smile says more about you than any other physical feature; it is the first thing other people notice.  Imagine the difference a whiter smile could make for you.
Epic Laser Whitening is a revolutionary tooth whitening procedure.  It’s safe, effective and fast.  In just 20 minutes, your teeth will be dramatically whiter.
Epic Laser Whitening is ideal for anyone looking for immediate results.  The convenience of Epic Laser Whitening in comparison to days of wearing trays and gradual whitening makes it the perfect choice for the busy individual.
The Benefits of Epic Laser Dentistry
A hydrogen peroxide-based whitening gel is applied to the teeth and activated by the laser.  The Epic treatment process lightens dark, yellowed, or discolored enamel caused by tobacco, food, and beverages such as tea, coffee, and red wine.  Results are noticeable immediately after the procedure.
Convenient for your Time and Schedule
Epic is an affordable investment in the beauty of your teeth and overall sense of welling-being.  For those with time constraints, Epic is the ideal option.  The laser whitening procedure is so short, only 20 minutes, which means less time is spent driving back and forth to the dentist’s office.  It also means that less time will be spent away from work and less time will be spent sitting in the dental chair resulting in a more comfortable experience.  No longer is there a need to squeeze a lengthy appointment into your schedule or deal with the hassle of inconvenient, time-consuming nightly trays to achieve results.  What is your time worth?
Epic Laser Teeth Whitening
·       Fast
Yellowed and stained teeth can now be whitened in as little as 20 minutes, right here in our office, enabling you to get back to your daily routine that much faster.
·       Effective
Years of stain build-up can be effectively erased with the Epic laser treatment.  Patients will be able to notice results immediately after the procedure.
·       Easy
We proudly offer Epic laser teeth whitening system.  It provides a less-sensitive experience than other whitening systems, making Epic an easy choice for you to brighten your smile.
Dr. Anna Lee is a General  & Cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA.  If you would like to enjoy the benefits of a whiter, healthier looking smile, let’s talk.  We invite you to make an appointment with our office to learn more about the Epic Laser Whitening and the beautiful results you can expect. Please visit us at or call for a FREE consultation at 626-335-5114.