Dental Tips Blog

Oct
8

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is one of those conditions that can be considered a “silent killer” for your smile.

Gum disease is not likely to be deadly in the way that heart disease or cancer can be. But it is connected to serious ailments such as pneumonia and stroke. That’s because the gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. A chronic infection in your mouth can negatively impact other areas.

How do you know if you’re susceptible to this underestimated yet common disease?

Your Gums Easily Bleed

Contrary to popular belief, your gums don’t bleed because your hygienist “stabs” them. Neither is it normal for gums to bleed when you floss. Inflamed gum tissue is loaded with blood vessels that are easily damaged. So, if you notice pink in the sink, that could be a sign of infection.

Your Bad Breath Just Won’t Go Away

Not all kinds of halitosis can be masked with a breath mint. Chronic gum disease can leave a frustrating odor on your breath that causes people to keep their distance.

Gum Recession Is Driving Your Crazy

Do your teeth look a little long? Gums will shrink away from teeth as a result of inflammation from periodontitis. If you notice that more of your tooth roots are exposed, then it’s worth seeing a dentist to find out whether gum disease is to blame.

Don’t wait much longer if any of these signs are plaguing your smile! Taking quick action to treat or prevent gum disease could save not just your teeth but possibly lower your risk for other serious health problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Moores Chapel Dentistry
9115 Samlen Lane #105
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 389-9299

Sep
22

It’s Just Gingivitis – What’s the Big Deal?

Posted in Gum Disease

Discolored teeth and gingivitis can’t do that much harm, right?

“Dirty” teeth aren’t just stained. They also host lots of bacterial species, both good and bad. Leave those bacteria on your teeth long enough, however, and some will start to cause trouble.

Some germs, for example, cause cavities. Others, when left in contact with the gums for more than a day, will trigger a case of gingivitis.

What Is Gingivitis?

Your gums react to bacteria the way your skin reacts to a splinter.

Irritants trigger an automatic immune response. Gum tissues swell to allow more pathogen-fighting agents to get to the site of infection. As a result, your gums will start to look puffy and redder than usual.

This is gingivitis – the first stage in the process of gum inflammation.

Why Gingivitis Means Trouble

If those germs that caused the inflammation don’t go away, neither will the swelling.

More plaque bacteria can sneak into the tight space between tooth and gum as the gums swell and pull back from the teeth. Over time, this space can widen and allow more debris to slip in and aggravate the infection.

Your body will step up its disease-fighting game, but this process also damages gum tissues and bone. You could be left with a vicious cycle in which the bacteria multiply and your gums continue to break down. The end result is a destructive condition called periodontitis.

Periodontitis causes bad breath and gum recession and can lead to tooth-loss and other health issues.

So don’t brush off a mild case of gingivitis as nothing. Ask your dentist for periodontal treatment options to reverse the inflammation while you still can!

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505

Sep
19

Nearly 1 Out of 2 People Have This Disease – Are You At Risk?

Posted in Gum Disease

According to a CDC study, some 47% of Americans have this disease…

…It’s bacterial in origin.

…It’s contagious.

…It’s connected to other diseases like stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

…Untreated, it will lead to tooth loss.

Can you guess what it is?

Also called periodontal disease or periodontitis, we’re talking about none other than simple gum disease.

The Ever-Present Threat Of Gum Disease

You might have been surprised to learn that periodontitis is so prevalent. Gum disease occurs in varying stages and affects people differently depending on their oral hygiene, health, and even genetics. Still, it may be closer to home than you may realize.

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis – uncomplicated gum inflammation. But inflamed gums pull away from teeth and create pockets which shelter greater numbers of harmful bacteria. The more bacteria show up, the more your body has to fight against.

Gingivitis left untreated will advance to a more complex infection. Your gums and the ligament and bone underneath can break down. This is how teeth lose support and eventually fall out.

The bacteria that trigger gum inflammation are so common that everyone picks them up over the course of their lifetime. Given the opportunity to flourish, those germs will do so.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

While there’s no practical way to eliminate the germs from your mouth altogether, you can still keep them from accumulating.

How?

Efficient, daily tooth brushing and flossing.

A solid daily regimen of oral hygiene, coupled with routine cleanings, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices is the most important way to keep gum disease at bay.

Consult your dentist for a gum health evaluation to find out your risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

Aug
30

No Bugs In Your Hair or Bed . . . But Have You Checked Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

Okay, so this isn’t one of those urban myths about finding cockroaches in fast food. But sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Our society is paranoid of buggy infestations. We check our kids’ head for lice, we check hotel rooms for signs of pests before we sleep there, and we wash our hands like crazy during flu season.

Your gums are also prone to infection by tiny enemies. But because you don’t feel or see them, it’s easy to underestimate the damage they’re capable of.

What “Bugs” In The Gums?

“Bugs” is an oversimplification for bacteria. Their action is just as creepy, though!

Human mouths contain hundreds of species of bacteria. Some are perfectly harmless. But some individuals have high levels of dangerous germs. These bacteria trigger serious gum inflammation.

If those germs aren’t removed, your swelling gums will provide more hideouts for the bacteria to multiply in and will eventually result in gum disease.

As this process continues, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth forming “pockets.” These pockets, naturally, harbor more harmful bacteria in addition to plaque and tartar.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) a vicious cycle. In an effort to fight the infection, your gums will produce high levels of chemicals. Unfortunately, these substances only cause further breakdown of your gums. These chemicals and bacterial toxins can reach the bone, and next thing you know, your teeth are losing support fast.

Fight Gum Inflammation

Happily, you’ve got this! Your best defense starts simply with daily brushing and flossing to keep those germs from building up. A professional gum health assessment will give you an idea of what you’re up against so call your dentist to schedule.

Posted on behalf of:
Timber Springs Dental
5444 Atascocita Road Suite 100
Humble, TX 77346
(713) 244-8929

Aug
29

How Gum Inflammation Affects Your Body

Posted in Gum Disease

Inflammation is a normal reaction and usually one of your body’s best friends.

It’s how your immune system gets rid of unwanted guests. Everything from viruses to bad foods to a little wooden splinter in your finger can trigger an inflammatory reaction.

What Happens During Inflammation?

Your body will flood the compromised site with tons of white blood cells and proteins to kill the invader. Tissues swell with the increased blood flow, making them warm and tender.

This is the same thing that happens to your gums in the case of gum disease.

How Gum Inflammation Happens

Periodontitis, also call periodontal disease or gum disease, is chronic inflammation in response to bacteria living deep in gum pockets around teeth. Because most people don’t feel or notice anything different when they have this disease, they conclude nothing is wrong.

Whether you’re bothered by gum inflammation or not, you have good reason to get your gums checked out. Periodontal disease doesn’t just jeopardize your gums and teeth. The chronic inflammation can tax your system in other ways.

Mouth-Body Connection

Growing research shows that there is some connection between inflamed gums and health problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

One reason for this could be that inflammatory chemicals released in your gums to fight bacteria trigger the buildup of plaque in arteries. This puts you at risk for blood clots.

If you already have a condition like diabetes, then it’s even more important that you keep your gums healthy. Don’t let gum inflammation rage unchecked!

Talk with your dentist for more information on how to treat and prevent gum disease. Your body will thank you!

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

Aug
7

Does Bad Breath Mean You’re At Risk for Heart Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Bad breath and heart disease? That escalated quickly.

Let’s clarify one thing: when we say “bad breath,” we’re not referring to the garlic bread you had at lunch today.

The odor you need to be concerned about is connected to something far more serious.

Your Heart And Your Gums

Gum disease starts out small, usually in the form of gingivitis.

Gingivitis is reversible gum inflammation triggered by plaque bacteria. If it chronically persists, then it can worsen into periodontitis, a much deeper infection affecting ligaments and bone beneath the gums.

Growing research indicates that there is a strong connection between your gum and heart health. High levels of gum inflammation are associated with arterial plaque deposits and inflammation that can lead to blood clots. These clots, in turn, put you at risk for heart attack and stroke.

Periodontal Disease – Do You Know The Signs?

Periodontal disease is a common but silent disease. Most adults are affected by it at some point in their lives but don’t realize it. This is because your teeth and gums don’t usually feel any different, at first.

Look out for these classic tell-tale signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding on brushing and flossing
  • Gum recession
  • Teeth feeling loose
  • Swollen gum line
  • Bad breath

Yes, bad breath could indicate that you have a chronic gum infection going on. Periodontitis can cause a powerfully offensive odor because of the raging inflammation and dying gum tissues going on around your teeth.

If you (or others close to you) have complaints of bad breath despite your best efforts to mask it, there could be something very serious to blame. Call your local dentist to plan a gum evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Aug
3

Fight Gum Disease with Mouthwash? Here’s How

Posted in Gum Disease

First of all, let’s get one thing straight: there is no mouthwash that can cure gum disease…no matter how great the commercial looks!

But with the help of the right kind of rinse, you can be successful in preventing bacterial buildup that contributes to gum infections.

Your Local Drugstore

Generic over-the-counter rinses that boast anti-microbial properties are very effective in limiting plaque buildup.

Look for something like Listerine that states it’s “anti-plaque” or “anti-gingivitis.” You need more than a minty fresh rinse, here. These formulations contain essential oils which prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and gums.

Using use a mouthwash like this once or twice a day, in addition to brushing and flossing to keep your gums in great shape.

Prescription-Strength Mouthwash

If you are battling ongoing infection or have just had periodontal therapy, your dentist may prescribe a medicated rinse called chlorhexidine gluconate. As a powerful antibacterial rinse, it helps you avoid plaque development, giving your gums a jump-start toward healing.

The Most Reliable Way To Beat Gum Disease

Periodontitis is a very tricky infection. It’s often chronic and rages below the gum line where toothbrush, floss, and even a rinse can’t access. Inflamed gum tissues and pieces of tartar shelter bacteria that produce the irritating toxins.

Physical mechanical removal is still the best way to get rid of the culprits. This means a professional deep cleaning to scoop out tartar, plaque, and germs from pockets around teeth. Afterwards, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic and/or an anti-bacterial rinse to wrap things up.

There are plenty of herbal and other natural supplements out there which may claim to fight gum disease. Just make sure to check these with your dentist to make sure you get the fullest benefit.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Jul
31

Should You See a Periodontist?

Posted in Gum Disease

A periodontist is a dentist with extra training and experience in gum health issues.

There’s a lot more to your gums than meets the eye. What you might not realize is there are layers of complex ligaments beneath the pinkish skin you can see on your gums. These tissues make up what’s called the “periodontium.”

The ligaments strengthen and nourish teeth, anchor them in their sockets, and act like shock absorbers to cushion your teeth when you bite. Your periodontium is so important that there are dental specialists who focus on that alone!

Why Your Gums Need Attention

Your periodontium can start to break down if it gets inflamed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t simply grow back. What starts as gingivitis on the surface of the gums can progress to gum disease and eventually cause the periodontal ligaments to pull away from the tooth, creating pockets.

As the pockets fill with bacteria or tartar and don’t get cleaned, they’ll get deeper and deeper. Ultimately, the bone can break down, too. Teeth will thus lose support and start to loosen. What’s more, your gums are a portal between your mouth and the rest of your body. So, an infection there can trigger inflammation or even another infection elsewhere.

Time To Take Action

Your dentist and hygienists will do their best to treat your case. But if your situation goes beyond what their office is equipped to handle, they will likely refer you to a gum specialist.

A periodontist will give you more varied and thorough treatment options for stopping gum disease and repairing the damage.

To start with, consult your dentist for a periodontal assessment. Charting and x-rays will help determine the seriousness of your case and what the next step is.

Posted on behalf of:
Edward Gardner, DDS
8133 Forest Hill Ave, Suite 201
Richmond, VA 23235
(804) 409-7963

Jul
31

Diabetes and Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? You probably know that this condition increases your risk of things like heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke.

But how about your risk for gum disease?

There’s more research emerging every year that highlights the link between oral disease and diabetes. If you haven’t already, now is the time to familiarize yourself with the way diabetes affects your smile.

Gum Disease

Interestingly, studies show that gum disease and diabetes go both ways in affecting one another. Uncontrolled diabetes causes oral infection to quickly advance, and the presence of gum inflammation makes it harder to control blood sugar.

Infections

Diabetes lowers your body’s ability to fight off infection. This leads to a greater chance of oral health problems such as:

  • Fungal infection
  • Viral infections
  • Sores
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease

Dry Mouth

Diabetics are prone to xerostomia, or dry mouth. A very uncomfortable condition, dry mouth leads to a faster accumulation of food debris and bacteria.

This lack of saliva quickly leads to yet another oral health issue linked to diabetes. 

Cavities

High blood sugar, little saliva to wash bacteria away, and poor resistance to infection add up to make a recipe for decay.

What You Should Do

Proper medication and lifestyle changes are crucial to helping you stay master over diabetes – instead of the other way around. Keeping your mouth clean is another key way to stay healthy.

It may be best to post-pone unnecessary procedures if your blood sugar is not under control. See your dentist for regular cleanings, exams, and x-rays. Let your dental team know about any changes in your medications. Trust them to know how diabetes affects your dental health and treatment!

Posted on behalf of:
Chester Road Family Dental
11701 Chester Rd.
Chester, VA 23831
804-748-5105

Jul
25

How to Reverse Gingivitis

Posted in Gum Disease

The good news here is that you CAN reverse gingivitis. You can’t say that of too many other dental diseases.

But “gingivitis” simply means gum inflammation. It’s not too serious in it’s early stages, so with a little extra effort, you can send it packing. But leave it be, and it could cause tooth loss!

Here are five ways you can nix the problem:

  1. Anti-Gingivitis Toothpaste

Most toothpastes that claim to fight gingivitis do just that with an ingredient called triclosan. This agent keeps germs from accumulating on teeth.

  1. Anti-Microbial Mouthwash

Swish twice a day with Listerine or some other antibacterial rinse. This will help to slow down the development of bacteria throughout the day between brushings.

  1. Boost Your Vitamin C Intake

Your gums often reflect the health of the rest of your body. In fact, they’re one of the first to suffer from a weakened immune system. Load up on vitamin C to beef up your gums’ germ-fighting power.

  1. Brush and Floss More

Yes, it’s that simple!

Regular, mechanical plaque removal is probably the best way you can keep your gums healthy at home and fight the signs of gingivitis.

  1. Visit Your Dentist For A Cleaning

A buildup of tartar, stain, and plaque will irritate your gums. If you’re overdue for a cleaning, then your gums will appreciate it if you make an appointment.

Gingivitis is reversible, but if you don’t stop it, it can progress to a much more serious disease: periodontitis. This advanced gum disease is not reversible and can be hard to stop. See your dentist at the first signs of bleeding or inflamed gums to stay on top of your periodontal health!

Posted on behalf of:
Lakewood Dental Trails
10252 W Adams Ave
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 434-4035

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