Mark Weiser, DDS

Mark Weiser, DDS

Two dental checkups aren’t enough. Older women may need up to four visits to the dentist or dental hygienist per year, according to research findings from the Case Western Reserve University, School of Dental Medicine in Cleveland.

Menopausal women at risk for osteoporosis are also at risk for periodontal disease, which directly affects bone that anchors teeth. Periodontal diseases are inflammatory diseases caused by a number of species of bacteria.

Dental plaque is the fuzzy bacterial material that covers the teeth when you wake up in the morning. The biofilm is a mix of bacteria, bacterial waste and food particles stuck to the teeth, which in turn provide nourishment for new bacteria.

Over time, when hard plaque is left on teeth, it will trigger the processes for gum disease.

Gum disease is an inflammatory reaction that produces the Cytokines protein reaction. Cytokines act like water runoffs on the side of the hill and erode the tooth socket that anchors a tooth in place, and also can set in motion the process that weakens bones in osteoporosis.

The dental hygienist and dentist also can offer DNA testing to exactly pinpoint the bacteria living in the mouth.

Good oral hygiene is always your first choice.

— Mark Weiser, DDS, is internationally known as an expert in aesthetic and reconstructive dentistry, and has chosen to focus a large portion of his Santa Barbara dental practice on sleep apnea dentistry.