Periodontal Disease in the Family

Both my parents lost all of their teeth to gum disease, does that mean I will lose my teeth too?


Periodontist Austin TX - Periodontal Disease

Periodontist Austin TX – Periodontal Disease


Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused when bacteria in plaque (a sticky, colorless film that forms in the mouth) builds up between the gums and teeth. When the bacteria begin to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become inflamed.

If left untreated, this inflammation can cause the gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession or even tooth loss.

Despite meticulous oral hygiene, some patients are at a higher risk of developing gum disease due to genetics. Other risk factors including age, smoking, stress, diet, other systemic diseases such as diabetes.

Follow this link for a gum disease risk assessment test

Adding these habits and minimizing risks you can control can help reduce your risk.

Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to include your tongue, bacteria loves to hide there.

Floss. Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.

Swish with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.

Stop smoking

Reduce stress

Make a healthy diet and exercise part of your daily routhine

Control your diabetes

Know your risk. Age, smoking, diet, and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.

See a periodontist. Get an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation from a dental professional. See your dentist and /or periodontist on regular intervals. Patients with periodontal disease often need to get a professional cleaning 3-4 time per year.

What is the Link Between Heart Disease and Gum Disease?


What is the link between heart disease and gum disease?

I suffered a heart attack a few months ago and fortunately am recovering nicely. My

cardiologist recently suggested I see my dentist for an evaluation of my gums.




I am so glad you are recovering well.

Several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart

disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has

indicated that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have

coronary artery disease (also called heart disease).


Experts know that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream through

the gums. These same bacteria have been found clumped in artery plaques. So one

theory is that these bacteria stick to the fatty plaques in the bloodstream, directly

contributing to blockages.


Research also blames the body’s own defense mechanisms against bacteria. One of

the body’s natural responses to infection is inflammation, which could be the root

of the problem. Research indicates a link between inflammation and many diseases

including periodontal disease, heart disease, diabetes and arthritis.


Everyone should make a special effort to prevent oral health problems, especially

those with a history of heart disease. If you already have periodontal disease, you

certainly shouldn’t ignore it. A visit to your dentist or periodontist is your next step.


Contact the office of Dr. Robert L. Machen DDS MS, Periodontist in Austin Texas.

(512) 912-9750

2500 W William Cannon Drive #103

Austin, TX 78745

What Can Be Done To Improve The Fit Of My Dentures

What can be done to improve the fit of my dentures?

I have been wearing dentures for 10 years now.  At first they fit well and stayed in.  Over time they have become loose and I have a hard time eating.  What can be done to make my dentures fit better?




It is not unusual for dentures to fit well initially.  As time goes by, the bone supporting your dentures dissolves away. This occurs because the original purpose of that bone is to support teeth.  Once the teeth are gone, the bone recedes.  Fortunately, you have several options.

  1. Dentures that snap onto implants (Implant-supported overdentures)

In this procedure, 2-4 implants are placed in the upper or lower jaw.  The implants have attachments that clip into the denture. Your denture still needs to be removed at night like a traditional denture.

  1. Fixed denture (all-on-4).

In this procedure 4-6 implants are placed in the upper or lower jaw and a fixed prosthesis is attached.  This denture is not removable.  It stays in and functions much like natural teeth.


The great thing about both of these options is the implants will prevent the bone from dissolving away. They will hold the bone in place as well as holding your teeth in place.