Dental Tips Blog

Jun
20

Natural Remedies for Gum Disease – Do They Work?

Posted in Gum Disease

Many of the modern methods used to treat gum disease include natural remedies. Do any of these actually work? Before giving them a try, here’s what you need to think about.

Gum Disease – The Deeper Issue

Periodontitis (gum disease) is often painless, silent, and causes unseen damage. You may or may not actually have gum disease but there’s no way to tell until you see a dentist. This is because tissue inflammation can cause deep pockets around tooth roots that shelter bacteria beyond the reach of a toothbrush and floss.

Simply swishing oils and rubbing pastes onto the surface of your gums isn’t enough to affect what’s going on deeper down. In fact, some natural remedies can be counterproductive to your oral health.

No matter which natural techniques you attempt, your gums will need the help only a professional cleaning can provide.

A Holistic Approach

Your dentist and hygienist will also recommend a holistic approach in treating your gum disease. There are scientifically-measurable methods for treating periodontitis such as:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Reducing stress
  • Cutting out tobacco use
  • Eating a healthy diet high in vitamin C

Are You Wasting Valuable Time?

You could be losing time by trying countless natural remedies. While it’s fine to use some natural gum care methods, make sure you get a professional gum assessment to help you identify what’s actually going on.

At every dental visit, update your dentist on all the medications and supplements you are taking, prescription and otherwise.

In the end, the choice to incorporate natural remedies into your health routine is a personal one. Check with your dentist for guidance in making smile-friendly choices.

Posted on behalf of:
Gordon Dental of Leawood
11401 Nall Ave #102
Leawood, KS 66211
(913) 649-5017

Jun
9

What Are Your Gums Trying to Tell You?

Posted in Gum Disease

Your eyes may be the window to the soul, but the mouth is the gateway to your body.

Did you know that there is a strong connection between your gum health and your overall health? Problems that start with the gums can quickly affect other body systems, and conditions not involving the gums can make their presence known via your mouth.

Here are a few things your gums reveal about dental health, overall health, and your oral hygiene:

Gum Recession

Recession could signal multiple problems:

  • Gum disease
  • Teeth clenching habit
  • Poor tooth alignment
  • Improper tooth brushing technique

Puffy Gums

If your gums look puffed or rolled, they’re probably irritated by excessive plaque buildup. But if they look drastically overgrown, this could be triggered by medication or some other underlying problem. Definitely get this one checked out by a dentist ASAP.

Bleeding Gums

This is typically a hallmark sign of insufficient flossing. However, gums will also bleed a lot easier because of hormone, medication, or immune system influences. Discuss these possibilities with your dentist if extra flossing doesn’t help.

Pimple On The Gums

An odd pimple on the gums near a tooth could be a dental abscess. When tooth nerves die, the infection escapes via the tooth root and out through the gums. Do not wait if you see a strange new growth! Get it looked at immediately.

Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath may not just mean that you eat a lot of garlic. It could be an indicator of gum disease, a digestive problem, or a breathing issue.

Pay attention to your gums! Regular dental visits are the best way to stay on top of your gum health and be alert to dangerous changes.

Posted on behalf of:
Pristine Dental
555 Providence Hwy #2
Walpole, MA 02081
(508) 734-7056

Jun
4

Kissing Gives You Gum Disease!

Posted in Gum Disease

We’ve all heard about how a nice smooch boosts our levels of feel-good hormones. You likely also know how easy it is to catch your significant other’s cold via kissing. But did you know that the activity of kissing can also affect your gum health?

The True Cause Of Gum Disease

In the early stages, gum inflammation is known as gingivitis. Let that rage go unchecked, and you’ll have a case of periodontitis on your hands which will likely require periodontal therapy.

Or gums, rather.

Periodontitis happens when the ligaments and bone around tooth roots start to break down from chronic inflammation. Those structures don’t easily grow back on their own, so this infection results in tooth loss if it’s not treated.

Infection? Yes, a bacterial one. Gum disease is caused by a large population of bacteria found in dental plaque.

What does kissing have to do with any of this?

What’s In A Kiss

A single kiss can transmit some 80 million bacteria, by one estimate.

That’s a lot of germs. Not all of which are good ones.

Among these are the bacteria that trigger gum inflammation. These germs are found naturally in virtually everyone’s mouths. We pick them up over the years after we’re born when we kiss loved ones, share eating utensils, and so forth.

But not everyone has the same amount of germs. Some people have more than others. Your partner could be sharing with you an extra large load of bacteria with each kiss.

With proper preventive measures, you can keep your gums healthy . . . and enjoy each and every kiss!

Ask your dentist for more tips on lowering your risk for gum disease.

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

Apr
17

What You Should Know About the Color of Your Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

We tend to think a little more about the color and health of our teeth. But your gums are just as important to pay attention to.

Is This Normal?

Gum color is determined in the same way your skin color is: genetics and melanin.

Gingival tissues range in hues from light pink to coral pink to tan to dark brown. Your gum color is probably similar to that of your parents’ since it’s hereditary. It’s not uncommon for some individuals to have a mix of colors. Yes, some people even have freckles on their gums!

Just because your gums don’t look exactly like the bright pink ones on the toothpaste package doesn’t mean that they aren’t healthy and beautiful, too.

The Color You DON’T Want to See

A strong hint of red in your gum tissue is usually a bad sign. It indicates that your gums are irritated and inflamed with bacteria. You may have gingivitis or gum disease that requires gum treatment.  When plaque builds up in one area for too long, your gums react by causing their blood vessels to swell. This results in puffy red gums that are prone to bleeding. Blue or purple tissue is even worse!

How to Change the Color of Your Gums

If your gums are naturally dark-hued, it’s possible to get them lightened. Some dentists and gum specialists offer gum-bleaching procedures. A few people choose to lighten their gums simply because they prefer the look of white teeth against pink gums.

What can you do about gum inflammation? Visit your local dentist for a gum health assessment. A professional dental cleaning and some flossing tips will have your gum color back to normal again.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

Apr
15

What is a Gum Disease Specialist?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s very common for adults to be referred to a gum disease specialist. As you probably concluded, certain gum therapies and procedures require skills your general dentist may not have acquired.

Should you plan a visit to your local gum specialist?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Periodontist!

A gum specialist is widely recognized by the term ‘periodontist.’

Periodontists are dentists who received two to three additional years of training in gum health. He or she now practices exclusively in the field of diagnosing, treating, and preventing gum diseases. They are experts on causes of inflammation in the gums and often provide dental implant placement services.

Most dentists can provide the same periodontal therapy a periodontist can. But complex cases require more time and detail that only a specialist can provide.

When to See a Gum Specialist

Patients need to visit a periodontist because of reasons such as:

  • Complex health problems that make normal dental care challenging
  • Having gum reconstruction after illness or injury
  • Cosmetic smile enhancement via gum reshaping
  • Severe cases of gum disease in which teeth need to be stabilized
  • Needing some other form of gum surgery

You might choose to schedule an appointment with your local periodontist based on the recommendation of a good friend. This is especially true if you’re interested in a specific cosmetic or advanced procedure offered only by the gum specialist.

It’s usually best to consult your general dentist first. He or she will let you know whether a trip to another dental care provider is really necessary for you. You might be surprised to learn about just how many periodontal procedures can be done right there in your own office.

If you need to see a specialist, your dentist can give you the best recommendation.

Posted on behalf of:
Clearwater Dentistry
3006 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33759
727-608-4361

Feb
9

4 Reasons Why Your Gums Are Receding

Do your teeth look longer than they used to? Do you suffer from sensitive teeth when you eat or drink something hot or cold? These are common symptoms of gum recession. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue wears away and exposes more of your teeth. Since your gums are the foundational support for your teeth, neglecting to treat receding gums can eventually lead to tooth instability and even tooth loss. Before treating your receding gums, it is important to determine the cause.

Here are some common culprits to gum recession:

Gum Disease: The most serious cause of gum recession is periodontal disease, which involves an infection in the gum tissues, causing them to recede or pull away from the tooth root. You will likely notice bleeding and swelling in the gums as well if you have gum disease.

Tobacco Products: Long-term use of cigarettes and chewing tobacco are known to cause receding gums.

Heredity: Some patients can blame their parents for their receding gums. As many as one third of Americans will suffer from dental problems that they inherited. Always discuss your family’s dental history with your dentist.

Brushing Too Hard: If you are overzealous in your brushing efforts, you may be doing more harm than good. Removing plaque, stains and bacteria doesn’t require vigorous brushing habits. Make sure you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush and ease up on your strokes to protect your gums.

If you notice that your gums are receding, which typically develops on the front lower teeth, tell your dentist as soon as possible. Early and mild cases of gum recession can often be effectively treated with a deep cleaning. This removes any plaque and tartar along the gum line and tooth root and encourages the gums to reattach. Severe cases of gum recession may require a soft tissue graft.

Posted on behalf of:
Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

Feb
6

Can Mouthwash Cure Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

If a rinse could eliminate gum disease, then why are 80% of adults in the U.S. still suffering from some form of it?

Simply the fact that dentists, hygienists, and gum specialists aren’t yet out of work shows that a mouthwash doesn’t make it that easy.

What’s Behind Gum Disease?

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of soft tissue disease. It happens when your gums react to plaque on the teeth. They get inflamed, puffy, sensitive, and bleed if they’re bothered.

Go a little deeper, however, and your in for a lot more trouble.

Gum disease usually refers to periodontitis – inflammation of the tissues supporting the roots of teeth. This includes bone and ligaments. Periodontitis sets in when gingivitis isn’t cleared up for good.

Once bacteria colonize inside of the shallow pockets around gums, it is almost impossible to reach them. The longer they thrive in your mouth, the deeper they’ll go as they break down the structures that hold your teeth in place.

Your Best Solution for Gum Disease

To access these germs, you’ll need the help of specialized tools. Your dental hygienist is your first line of defense. He or she has instruments that can disrupt bacteria, removed infected tissue, and cleanse the roots of affected teeth.

What Does Mouthwash Do?

An antimicrobial rinse will help you control bacteria levels in your mouth before they cause problems. It’s a great idea to supplement your brushing and flossing with a mouthwash. But it isn’t enough to reach the deep pockets of bacteria involved in established gum disease.

Visit your dentist to learn more about your risk for gum disease and what you can do to prevent it.

Posted on behalf of:
Columbine Creek Dentistry
4760 W Mineral Ave #60
Littleton, CO 80128

Jan
25

Gum Treatment Without Going Under the Knife

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease has been treated with surgery and mechanical cleanings for decades. A recent turn in tides of dentistry have more dental professionals investigating the possibility of laser technology for treating gum problems.

How does the laser method work?

Using Lasers to Treat Gums

Lasers are generally used for gums in two ways:

  1. To perform surgery or remove dead tissue around tooth roots
  2. To cleanse pockets infected with gum disease

What the laser is used for determines the strength of the energy beam. Lasers help reduce bacteria and bleeding which promotes gum healing. They are far more conservative than traditional scalpels. They also do a better job at removing dead tissue while leaving the healthy gum intact.

A Few Considerations

Laser periodontal therapy has not yet been accepted by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) as an acceptable standard of care for gum disease.

This doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. In the hands of an experienced gum expert, laser therapy won’t harm you. It’s just that as an up-and-coming technique, it needs more clinical data to back it up. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work!

One key fact to keep in mind is that gum disease itself still requires the mechanical removal of rough deposits on tooth roots below the gum line. A laser can help remove gum tissue, but isn’t enough on it’s own to help you beat gum disease.

Is laser gum therapy available and regulated in the area where you live?

The only way to find out if it’s safe for you is to visit a professional like your local dentist. Get a gum evaluation to establish your dental health needs. Ask whether laser therapy is a treatment option.

Posted on behalf of:
Atencio Family Dentistry
3773 Baker Ln #3
Reno, NV 89509
(775) 829-8684

Jan
21

Prevent Gum Recession with 3 Methods

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums recede for a number of reasons. A lot of these have to do with your current oral health and genetic background, which can be impossible to prevent. Some causes, however, are things you do have control over.

  1. Practice Gentle Brushing

A life-long habit of aggressive brushing takes a definite toll on gums. Gums are very sensitive to pressure and will pull away from the tooth if they are scrubbed too hard.

Try swapping your toothbrush to your non-dominant hand. It will feel awkward, but this will force you to “think” about how to brush instead of just doing it by habit. Using a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles is also a good idea.

  1. Cut Out the Tobacco

If you use tobacco in any form, you can bet that it’s contributing to your receding gums.

Ingredients inside of and smoke associated with tobacco products are irritating to gum tissue and contribute to the development of gum disease. When you quit the habit, you’ll halt the advancing gum-loss.

  1. Get a Mouthguard

Your gums respond to pressure on your teeth. As teeth bite together, they put stress on the ligaments around them. This is normal, but if you clench your teeth too often, you’ll strain the gums around your teeth. A habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep can manifest itself in gum recession.

A dentist can set you up with a specialized mouthguard that will prevent your teeth from closing together all the way.

When your gums shrink away, your teeth look longer, yellower, and older. They’ll also probably become more sensitive and prone to decay. Besides all this, gum recession means less support keeping your teeth in place.

To get more help in combating recession, contact your local dentist.

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

Jan
21

What’s the Connection Between Your Gums and Your Heart?

Posted in Gum Disease

You may have heard that heart and gum health are closely related. Why are so many doctors and dentists talking about this link?

Emerging research strongly supports a direct connection between oral health and other problems in the body. In other words, your dental visits could be more essential than you think.

What the Research Shows

A specific cause-and-effect relationship between gum disease and heart disease has not yet been discovered. “Yet” is worth emphasizing because studies do show that there is definitely some type of a connection. People with gum disease (periodontitis) are at greater risk for developing heart problems.

Bacteria and inflammation seem to be the key players in the connection. Germs responsible for gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and cause a dangerous infection in the heart.

It seems that gum infection can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. When arteries become inflamed, they can build up the plaque responsible for forming blood clots.

Your gums are loaded with blood vessels, making them a gateway to your cardiovascular system. Thus, the connection between heart health and gum health is a strong one.

How to Promote Heart and Gum Health

Reduce harmful bacteria populations and inflammation in your mouth by:

  • Daily flossing and brushing
  • Visiting your dentist regularly
  • Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash
  • Giving up tobacco

Encourage heart and gum health through exercise, a nutritious diet, and plenty of rest. A preventative approach is far more cost-effective than treating heart and gum disease later on.

Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in adults in the United States.

Can you lower your risk? Improving your oral health could be the key. Visit your dentist for a personalized consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Memorial Park Dental Spa
6010 Washington Ave Suite D
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 336-8478

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