Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Don't let your heart break your gums...

Gum disease and cardiovascular disease are both major public health issues that impact a large number of Americans every day.

While these two diseases impact separate areas of the body, research indicates that periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease are connected; having one disease may actually increase your risk of developing the other.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

About "Gum Disease"

Did you know:

Over 70% of adult Americans have some form of periodontal disease, an infection of the gums caused by bacteria. Left untreated, the infection may gradually destroy the bone that supports teeth and result in tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is generally painless, and most people are unaware that they have it until a dental examination reveals the condition.

Periodontal disease is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. These bacteria produce toxins or poisons that can irritate the gums. Prolonged irritation may cause the gums to separate from the teeth, creating “pockets” of space between tooth and gum tissue where bacteria thrive. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen. Eventually, the disease may cause a tooth’s entire support structure to become so weak that the tooth falls out or has to be removed.

Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. It cannot be cured, but it can be controlled. Professional intervention is necessary to prevent the disease from causing ongoing deterioration.

New advancements have changed the outlook for patients with periodontal disease. Where tooth loss was once inevitable, today many patients are keeping their teeth for a lifetime. By seeking professional help in a timely manner and maintaining a good home care regimen, patients can achieve the best dental health possible.


The best way to prevent periodontal disease is with daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once the disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to control its progress.

Stages of Disease

Phase One - Gingivitis. During this stage, gums may bleed during brushing or appear red and/or swollen.

Phase Two - Early Periodontitis. Bleeding, puffiness and inflammation become more pronounced, and gums may begin to develop pockets of 3 to 4 millimeters in depth. X-rays may reveal a slight loss of bone.

Phase Three - Moderate Periodontitis. Pockets between teeth and gum may range from 4 to 6 millimeters in depth. X-rays reveal bone loss.

Phase Four - Advanced Periodontitis. Pockets are now in excess of 6 millimeters deep, and x-rays show severe bone loss. Teeth may become mobile or loose.

Risk Factors

Periodontal disease is an infection caused by certain species of bacteria. The presence of these bacteria does not automatically mean that someone will develop the disease. Other factors that contribute to disease development include:

Genetics - Heredity can be a risk factor in about 50% of patients with periodontal disease.

Smoking - Smoking is the #1 behavioral risk factor in periodontal disease.

Medical conditions - Diabetes is well known to increase susceptibility by impairing the immune system and decreasing production of collagen and bone.

Medications - Many medications can have harmful effects on oral health. These include certain heart and anti-seizure medications.

Stress - Emotional stress may increase risk by depressing the immune system, making it more likely for a bacterial infection to gain a foothold.

Others - Advancing age and poor nutrition can also contribute to periodontal disease. Changes in the levels of female hormones can make women more susceptible at various phases of their lives.

Links to Other Diseases

Research has linked periodontal disease to other illnesses. While researchers are still unravelling cause and effect, they theorize that oral bacteria enters the bloodstream and travels through the body, causing problems in other areas. Here are some of the findings thus far.

Heart Disease - Researchers found that men suffering from advanced periodontal disease were 4 1/2 times more likely to have coronary artery disease.

Stroke - A study showed that 70% of the fatty deposits found in the carotid arteries of stroke sufferers contained bacteria -- 40% of which came from the mouth.

Low birth-weight babies - Research has found that women with untreated periodontal disease had a much greater incidence of low birth-weight babies.

Diabetes - While we’ve long known that diabetics were at increased risk of periodontal disease, new studies have shown that periodontal disease makes it much harder for diabetics to control blood glucose levels.

Respiratory Disease - Dental plaque buildup creates a dangerous source of bacteria that can be inhaled into the lungs. Inhaling bacteria from the mouth and throat can lead to pneumonia.

Call Dr. Kim's specialty office at 909-860-9222 if you believe you have gum disease...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sinus Bone Grafting for Dental Implants

Dental implants are fast becoming the standard for replacement of missing teeth. Widely utilized in the U.S. since the early 1980s, this "new" modality of dental treatment has been claimed to be the most revolutionary form of dental treatment in modern years. It simply makes any other form of tooth replacement obsolete!

Removable dentures are uncomfortable, potentially embarrasing, and most importantly, they cause continuous jaw bone deterioration. Fixed "bridges," are the most common way to fix missing teeth. They rely on artificial teeth being glued to two or more adjacent teeth. However, for this to happen, the teeth need to be "prepared," many times compromising the integrity and health of these teeth.

Dental implants rely on a very simple principle of "bone-anchored" restoration. A titanium medical device is surgically placed into the remaining jaw bone, and a replacement tooth or other form of teeth are attached to these devices. Simple yet very effective way. Many times the replacement can be immaculate to the point that the new teeth are indistinguishable from the original!!!

For a successful dental implant replacement to happen, there needs to be the following winning formula:

1. abundant quantity of bone
2. abundant quality of bone
3. expert team of dental clinicians (implant surgeon and restorative dentist)

The most challenging area in the human mouth for the amount of bone is the upper back areas. As teeth are lost to gum disease and/or trauma, the amount of jaw bone deteriorate and diminish. Age adds to this process, as the maxillary sinus (large air space immediately above the upper back teeth) tends to enlarge at the expense of bone in the surrounding area.

Building bone volume to accomodate dental implants in the upper back areas has been clinical challenges. Maxillary sinus augmentation (or "sinus lift" procedures) have been used widely since the early 1980s in this country. Although very predictable, the procedure is quite involved and traumatic. There has been a surge in the interest of "internal," "crestal," or "osteotome" techniques that may afford less trauma to this technique. However, many of these techniques have not been fool proof with varying clinical outcomes.

Dr. Jin Kim, a dual board-certified implant surgeon, and faculty member at UCLA School of Dentistry, had been an integral part of the development of "MISE" - it stands for "Minimally Invasive Sinus Evevation" - technique. The technique, originally developed in south Korea, had been mastered in the US by Dr. Kim and his collaborators. He had been performing this technique since early 2008, and had presented his clinical data at prestigious dental meetings including the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (ICOI - August 2008), American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID - November 208) and the Academy of Osseointegration (AO - February 2009). The latest data presented suggest 94 successful consecutive cases with all but one surgical complication.

Utilizing specially designed medical devices, the procedure allows "lifting" of the Schneiderian membrane, which outlines the sinus cavity and surgically introduce bone graft and dental implant at the same time. Many of these procedures are undertaken under local anesthesia, in a single office visit.

For further information on this new less invasive dental implant technique, and other innovations by Dr. Jin Kim, please call his practice offices at Diamond Bar, California (909-860-9222) or at Garden Grove, California (714-898-8757).

More information can be found at:

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

To find out more on dental implants and the benefits, please click:

Prevent Tooth Loss

You think your teeth and gums are healthy?

Think again, if your gums are bleeding. They do require much more attention than most people think. You wouldn't expect any other parts of your body to bleed spontaneously. Why should gums bleed?

Please take it seriously. Most of the time teeth are lost due to gum disease, IT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED!!!

Dr. Jin Kim, a dual-boarded specialist in periodontics in Diamond Bar California limits his practice to treating gum diseases, and replacing missing teeth with dental implants.