Q: Can thyroid disease cause pale gums and gum disease?
A: Certain thyroid conditions can affect the gum tissues because of the changes in hormones levels. Color changes are sometimes seen, as is more aggressive bone loss. These are rare cases and seeing your endocrinologist and Periodontist on a regular basis is suggested.
Q: My gums are sore. I have a burning pain throughout my mouth. I’ve heard that old fillings may have some kind toxin in them. Could this be the problem? If so, what should be done?
A: All fillings should be evaluated periodically for marginal integrity, decay, potential open margins, leakage, and biologically correct fit and contour. These All are factors to consider whether a new filling is necessary. This is best discussed with a restorative dentist. The second issue is your burning gums. A consult with the Periodontist would also be advisable.
Q: I am a female, age 63. I traveled this week, drank lots of coffee and orange juice each morning, slept less than normal. The inside of my mouth, cheeks and gums are raw and sore. It’s hard to eat. Can you suggest a remedy to alleviate the pain?
A: It sounds like you are run down and might have something systemic brewing. Avoid citrus products, spices, and mouthwashes with alcohol. I suggest a visit to the Periodontist to confirm a diagnosis. In the meantime, you can use a combination of milk of magnesia and liquid Benadryl in equal amounts in a bottle, mix and shake, and then swish/rinse your mouth with about 5cc several times a day. However, do not swallow! If you have allergies to any of these ingredients please don’t use this home regimen. A pharmacist can also prepare this mixture for you. This rinse regimen will help alleviate the pain. This is not a cure. I want to emphasize that a visit to the Periodontist is mandatory as soon as possible.
Q: Is there anything a tobacco user can do, other than quitting smoking, to prevent gum disease?
A: Quit, quit, quit! We recognize human nature, but nothing can replace quitting smoking. If you can’t quit, cutting back is helpful. Numerous studies have shown a direct correlation between tobacco use and periodontal disease. Clinically, we see it all the time. Chewing tobacco is even worse. There are documented reports of baseball players who chew tobacco and have pre-cancerous or oral cancer lesions removed.
Q: Are some people genetically predisposed for gum disease?
A: Yes, and we have actually seen patterns in entire families. We can’t necessarily test for this and predict it, but we have seen it clinically.
Q: Are HIV patients especially susceptible to periodontal disease?
A: Absolutely. Very severe. Their resistance is compromised, so their ability to fight off the bacteria in the mouth is greatly reduced and they suffer the consequences of that.