Dental Tips Blog

Jan
10

Could There Be a Connection Between Arthritis and Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

The potential connection between gum disease and rheumatoid arthritis has been a topic of interest all around the world.

While we’ve known for some time that there must be some kind of link between the two conditions, we still don’t know exactly what it is. We do know that both are inflammatory diseases. It definitely seems that having one of the two issues puts you at risk for the other.

Does Rheumatoid Arthritis Cause Gum Disease . . . ?

Some studies suggest that people with rheumatoid arthritis are up to five times more like to develop serious gum disease than those who don’t have arthritis.

A study in Germany also found that when cases of gum disease showed up among rheumatoid arthritis sufferers, it was more severe and aggressive than usual.

Could the two conditions share an even deeper relationship?

Genetics could have something to do with it. According to one study in Israel, a genetic marker (HLA-DR4) linked to rheumatoid arthritis was also found in 80% of study subjects with gum disease.

. . . Or Does Gum Disease Cause Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Another possible theory points to the fact that gum disease can make people up to four times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. It’s widely suggested that bacteria from the gum infection travel via the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in other areas of the body. This would directly contribute to a systemic condition like rheumatoid arthritis.

Are You At Risk?

Your local dentist can help you find out what your gum disease risk is. You can lower your chances by practicing excellent oral hygiene.

Posted on behalf of:
Bear Valley Dental Care
137 Montgomery Ave, Suite 200
Boyertown, PA 19512
610-473-0717

Jan
4

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Yes and no. That’s because gum disease falls under two major categories. One is reversible. The other is not.

Gingivitis

Gum inflammation usually starts in a superficial infection called gingivitis. When the gums around teeth get irritated by dental plaque, they turn red and a bit puffy. At this level, this beginning stage of gum disease is easily reversed by removing the plaque from the teeth. The swelling goes away when oral hygiene Improves.

Periodontitis

Take things a bit further, and the situation gets more complicated. Deeper layers of gum tissue are made up of ligaments that hold your teeth in place. When these are affected by inflammation, they can start breaking down in a condition called periodontitis. These tissues don’t grow back on their own.

To make things worse, the infection can travel yet farther into the bone surrounding tooth roots. The bone that disappears from gum disease doesn’t grow back on its own. As a result, teeth can eventually fall out. Chronic periodontitis has well-researched links to inflammation and infection in the body, being implicated in problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart disease

Get Rid Of Gum Disease

If you just have a mild case of gingivitis, that can go away simply by upping your oral hygiene efforts. But to stop periodontitis in its tracks and restore the damage done, you need to see a dental professional.

Don’t be suckered in by claims of herbs, oils, and other at-home remedies for treating gum disease. You’ll just be wasting time unless it’s treated at the source with tools and medications only a dentist can recommend.

Suspect your gums may be in danger? Contact a dentist near you to get a complete gum health evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

 

Dec
31

Is Scurvy Still A Thing?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s not just pirate lingo – scurvy is a very real condition that still affects people even today. Scurvy isn’t a communicable disease like the common cold. Rather, it’s a deficiency of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. This vitamin is found in many fresh foods including:

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Citrus fruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Papaya

In times past, scurvy was common among seafarers (like pirates) who didn’t have access to such fresh foods for months at a time. Today the condition is actually very rare, but people in certain groups are at risk. The elderly, those with sensitive food allergies, anorexia sufferers, alcoholics, and people who can’t or won’t make fresh foods a part of their diet are prone to scurvy.

Symptoms of this condition include appetite loss, diarrhea, fever, irritability, odd skin markings, and puffy, bleeding gums. If allowed to progress, scurvy can result in the loss of teeth. There are even indications that a vitamin C deficiency in pregnant mothers can adversely affect brain development of the baby.

Treatment and prevention for scurvy are the same: plenty of vitamin C. Our bodies can’t make this vitamin on their own and neither can they store it for long. That’s why it’s so important to get a healthy dose of it every day via a balanced diet loaded with fresh foods.

Interestingly, vitamin C is also essential for disease prevention and healing in the gums. Talk with your dentist about increasing your intake if you have been diagnosed with any form of gum disease. A daily glass of orange juice may be all it takes to keep your gums and body healthy with sufficient vitamin C.

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

Dec
26

4 Things Your Smile Reveals About Your Sleep

Posted in Gum Disease

Did you know that many people discover they have a sleep disorder after a trip to the dentist?

The following complications are very common among American adults. By taking a good look at your mouth, you and your dentist might be able to figure out if any of these issues are a sign of a bigger problem…like obstructive sleep apnea.

  1. You Breathe With Your Mouth Open While You Sleep

This isn’t unusual if you have sinus issues. But breathing through your mouth can cause a few problems in your smile:

  • Higher risk for cavities and gum disease
  • Less healthy saliva flow
  • Gum recession

If you suffer from dry mouth and have puffy, rolled, red, or receded gums, then there’s a good chance your mouth is wide open to catch those Z’s!

  1. You Grind Your Teeth At Night

Flattened molars and biting edges are a good sign that you’re grinding your teeth together. This common habit usually happens while people are asleep and unaware of it. If you have sensitive aching teeth or are constantly damaging dental restorations, grinding/bruxism and clenching could be to blame.

  1. You’re A Restless Sleeper

Ever wake up with a headache and sore jaw? Stress could be causing you to clench them together in your sleep. This could be stress related to waking activities or the kind that accompanies vivid dreams.

  1. You Snore

Snoring is caused by tissues in the neck and throat collapsing over the airway. If you have extra tissue around your neck and often wake up with a sore throat and dry mouth, this could mean your body is struggling to breathe while you sleep.

Contact your dentist to learn more about the sleep and smile connection.

Posted on behalf of:
Dentistry of Highland Village
3651 Weslayan St. #208
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 360-7700

Dec
26

What Is a Tooth Abscess?

Posted in Gum Disease

An abscess is a pus-filled pocket that forms in gums or bone as a result of an infection. It can also occur alongside of teeth with serious periodontal disease. Most commonly, an abscess forms at the tip of a tooth root after it’s been compromised by decay or trauma.

Signs You May Have An Abscess 

An abscess can cause severe pain, but in some cases it won’t hurt at all. Other symptoms can include:

  • Pimple on the gums (where pus drains out)
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Your tooth is extremely sensitive to pressure and/or temperature
  • Swelling in your face
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Fracture or advanced decay in the tooth

Your dentist will most likely need to take an x-ray to pinpoint where the infection is originating.

Will It Go Away On Its Own?

No. This is a serious bacterial infection looking for a way out. As an abscess grows, it eats away at the tooth root and surrounding bone. There’s also a risk of the infection spreading to other parts of your body.

How To Treat An Abscessed Tooth

Get some relief by swishing lukewarm salt water to bring down inflammation and encourage the release of pressure. You can also take an over the counter medication such as ibuprofen.

These measures aren’t meant to buy you extra time. You still need to contact your dentist ASAP. If you have to wait for your appointment, these steps will help you get some relief before your scheduled visit.

Your dentist may need to drain the abscess if it’s very large. You’ll may even take some antibiotics. But to treat it thoroughly, your dentist will either need to do a root canal or extract the tooth.

The sooner your see your dentist, the sooner you’ll get relief and the better your chances of holding onto your natural tooth!

Posted on behalf of:
Riverheart Family Dentistry
8618 Mexico Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
(636) 205-4045

Dec
26

What Happened on “Gum Health Day?”

Posted in Gum Disease

Friday May 12, 2017 marked the “European Gum Health Day,” supported by 27 of the national societies making up the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP). The event drew in extensive media coverage and here in it’s fourth year shows promising signs of further growth.

So, why was this a big deal?

The EFP unites national gum health societies from all over Europe, Caucasia, North Africa, and the Middle East. Their aim? Support research and education activities that promote periodontal (gum) health.

The annual event on May 12 marks an occasion of public outreach via university courses, conferences, media broadcasts, and free periodontal screenings. It’s estimated that millions of people were reached with an important message about gum health.

Why Gum Health Awareness Matters

It might seem like a silly thing to be so concerned about something as unimportant as gums. But is it, though?

You gums play an essential role in keeping your teeth anchored to your jaw. Additionally, their health is intricately connected to other body systems. Gum disease has been linked to some very serious conditions ranging from erectile dysfunction to stroke.

Alerting the general public to the importance of taking responsibility for their gum health is one way dental professionals build a stronger and healthier community. Awareness programs help people to identify:

  • Whether they are at risk for gum disease
  • Possible signs and symptoms of disease
  • Methods for preventing oral disease
  • Adequate treatment options for controlling gum disease

Here in the United States, there’s an entire month dedicated to national gum disease awareness. Don’t wait until next February, Gum Disease Awareness Month, to schedule a gum health checkup for every family member!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. C Family Dentistry
13514 E 32nd Ave
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
(509) 591-9317

Dec
19

How Often Should You Be Brushing?

Posted in Gum Disease

What do you think?

A.) Once a day is enough

B.) As often as I can fit in one day!

C.) Right before a special event

There are mixed opinions when it comes to oral hygiene. A lot of it boils down to how much people value their teeth. We also tend to follow whatever brushing habits we were raised with.

Caring for your teeth is very important. It’s not just a matter of vanity – some folks truly don’t care about whether or not they have teeth to smile with. But the issue goes deeper than that.

Chronic tooth decay or gum disease also affects the rest of your body. Diabetes, pneumonia, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more have all been connected to some oral health problem.

Brushing your teeth may be more important than you realized.

The minimum you should be brushing is two times a day. It’s important to brush in the morning to remove breakfast and whatever germs were cooking in your mouth the night before. Cleaning your teeth before bed is important so that your teeth don’t suffer by soaking in the acids and sugars of whatever you ate that day.

If you are able to brush after each meal, that’s great. Try not to brush directly after eating, however. That will only spread around the food acids. Rinse with water or wait about a half hour after eating before you brush.

It is possible to over-brush. Excessive or rough tooth-brushing can lead to worn spots in enamel and gum recession. So brush well, but don’t go crazy! Talk with your dentist for more tips on a healthy tooth-brushing routine.

Posted on behalf of:
Definition Dental
12850 SW Canyon Rd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 644-8900

Dec
19

6 Common Causes of Gum Recession

Posted in Gum Disease

You’re not sure when you first started noticing it, but now it’s impossible to ignore: your gums are creeping away from the teeth exposing sensitive yellow roots.

What’s going on here?

Gum recession can often be blamed on genetics and aging. But if you’re experiencing recession in just a few spots, then there’s a good chance you can identify the trigger that’s causing it.

Orthodontic Appliances

Plaque that collects on fixed brackets is often to blame for irritating gums, causing them to shrink back away from the appliances and the tooth.

Oral Appliances

Do you wear a partial denture or retainer? Even a sports mouth guard could be the culprit. If your prosthesis is damaged or needs an adjustment, one of the first signs could be gum recession.

Irritating Restorations

Excessive fillings and poor crown margins are known to cause some inflammation in gum tissue, especially if they’re old. You’ll need a dentist to examine the restoration for “overhangs” and repair or replace it so that the area doesn’t stay irritated.

Bruxism

Did you know that clenching your teeth can cause gum recession? Unconsciously biting hard when you’re stressed puts a lot of tension on those poor gums.

Tooth Brushing

If you’re in the habit of scrubbing too hard, you could be literally scrubbing your gums away!

Gum Disease

Gum recession is often an indicator that there’s a serious infection.

Your dentist will help you narrow down the possibilities if you aren’t sure. He or she will also let you know what you can do to prevent further recession and provide treatment options for your gum disease.

Call your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559

Dec
12

Do You Need Gum Therapy?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum therapy isn’t exactly something you opt for, like some kind of spa treatment. But it can rejuvenate your gums in way you never knew you needed!

What Is It?

Any procedure with the aim of improving your gum health can be considered therapeutic for your mouth. Most often, the term refers to a specialized cleaning that removes calcified buildup from below the gum-line. This treatment may include minor surgery, laser therapy, cleansing rinses, or topical antibiotics to fight the disease that undermines the health and structure of the gums.

Who Needs Gum Therapy?

Virtually anyone with periodontal disease is a candidate for gum therapy.

Diseased gums range from skin-deep gingivitis to the more serious periodontitis. When gums are exposed to certain bacteria for too long, they become inflamed. Inflammation can trigger a process that breaks down tissues that anchor your teeth to the bone. The longer gums are inflamed, the more teeth and surrounding bone are at risk for permanent damage.

So how about you? Could your gums be affected by disease without your knowledge?

Do You Qualify?

Gum disease tends to set in and progress very subtly. Most people aren’t aware of the change as it’s happening. It’s usually painless and advances in places you can’t see. You may first become aware of an infection through signs such as:

  • Lots of plaque and tartar buildup
  • Bleeding while flossing or brushing
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

The only way to know for sure? Schedule a visit with your local dental hygienist. He or she will evaluate your gums with clinical tools and x-rays to determine the need for gum therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Dec
5

My Gums Are Peeling!

Posted in Gum Disease

Your mouth is a very important and sensitive part of your body. Just think of all the jobs our mouths do: eating, talking, breathing, laughing, kissing, and more.

When something goes wrong with your mouth, you have every right to be concerned. Maybe even a little freaked out!

A prime example of freaky mouth problems is that of peeling gums.

Why does it happen? Should you see a dentist?

Here are a few common causes of peeling in the mouth.

Burns

When you burn a spot of soft tissue in your mouth, the dead “cooked” stuff eventually sloughs off as it heals. This will make it look like your cheeks, lips, or gums are peeling.

Allergic Reaction

Did you know that you could be allergic to your toothpaste? Some ingredients in toothpaste cause a painless but unsettling production of flaky white skin peeling off your gums. Try switching brands if this happens to you.

Sores

Healing sores like canker sores or some other kind of ulcer may cause mouth tissues to peel around the area. If your wound doesn’t appear to be resolving on its own, you should contact your dentist.

Gum Disease

Irritated, inflamed, or rotting gums could all exhibit signs of peeling. Advancing periodontal disease can cause gums to actually shrink away from tooth roots. See your dentist ASAP to rule out any possibility of gum disease that can cause your teeth to lose gum support.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Fortunately, this condition is so rare that you can probably rule it out. Especially since it only causes peeling gums well after other symptoms arrive.

Who knows? Your peeling gums may not be anything serious at all. But just to play it safe, visit your dentist for an examination.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

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