Dental Tips Blog

Feb
14

Understanding Periodontal Pockets

Posted in Periodontics

Ever heard of “pocketing” in the gums?

Whenever your dentist or hygienist measures your gums with a little dental probe and calls out numbers, they’re looking for periodontal pockets.

What Makes it a Pocket?

Your gums are not empty sockets around your teeth. They actually have tiny fibers that connect into the tooth. These fibers not only protect tooth roots, but they provide cushioning and support when you bite. All those ligaments and fibers make up the “periodontium” of your smile.

The empty space or shallow valley between a tooth and the gum tissue should not be very deep. A periodontal pocket happens when that trough of unattached gum tissue extends into the area where it should be attached.

The presence of a pocket also indicates that the bone supporting your tooth in that area is now gone. That’s even more bad news for your tooth.

Periodontal Pockets – Why They’re Dangerous

Why is a healthy periodontium so important?

As suggested earlier, the bone and ligaments around the roots of your teeth are critical for support. Once that support is lost, you risk losing the tooth. Not only that, but your gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. Periodontal disease in your gums can gradually affect your health in other ways.

How To Avoid Pockets

Your dentist will keep track of your gum health by taking measurements at least once a year. This will alert you to any areas of concern that need some more attention.

Keeping your teeth and gums clean is essential to avoiding an infection that triggers periodontal breakdown. Ask your dentist for suggestions on keeping your gums in top shape.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

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

Jun
25

3 Reasons You Should Take Care of Your Gums

Posted in Periodontics

Your teeth aren’t the only things you should be worried about – your gums also need attention. Here are three reasons you should show your gums a little appreciation!

1. Gums Protect Teeth

Your gums keep harmful bacteria from infiltrating the sensitive roots of teeth. Beneath the outer layer of gum tissue is a network of ligaments that help secure your teeth in their sockets. You have these ligaments to thank for giving your teeth some shock absorbency!

2. Diseased Gums Ruin Your Smile

Many people feel that a smile full of decayed and dirty teeth is not an attractive one. Diseased gums can be just as unattractive! Gum disease results in puffy and reddened gums, recession around teeth, and even an offensive smell.

3. Gum Health is Linked to Overall Health

Did you know that the health of your gums could affect the rest of your body?

Your gums reflect the state of your immune system. If you struggle with a condition or illness that weakens your immune defenses (such as diabetes), chances are that you will have to put a little more effort into keeping your teeth and gums clean. Otherwise, your gums could quickly succumb to infection.

Gums that are constantly fighting bacteria will put a toll on your immune system. Neglecting you gum health could increase the risk of developing other health complications such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Take Action Now to Save Your Gums

Your dental hygienist at your local dental office will explain some of the best ways you can maintain healthy gums. Visit your dentist regularly for professional examinations and cleanings. A healthier smile starts today!

Posted on behalf of:
Mundo Dentistry
3463 US-21 #101
Fort Mill, SC 29715
(704) 825-2018

Mar
27

How Smoking Can Cover Up Gum Disease

Posted in Periodontics

Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss in adults. You may already know that traditional symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease include problems like bleeding gums and swelling – but most of the top warning signs can be hidden in people who smoke.

If you smoke, you could be experiencing gum disease without even knowing it. Your teeth and gums may look fine – but deep below the gumlines, your gum tissues could be detaching and bone may be deteriorating.

How to Know if You Have Gum Disease 

Smokers owe it to themselves to get routine dental check-ups at least twice a year. Even if symptoms of gum disease aren’t present, ask your dentist or hygienist to conduct a “periodontal screening.” The screening process will measure the actual attachment levels of your gums and bone around each tooth. Then you can pinpoint specific areas of infection, even if symptoms aren’t present.

Why Do Smokers with Gum Disease Have “Healthy” Looking Smiles? 

Inhaling smoke and tobacco fumes causes the small blood vessels in the gum tissues to atrophy. That is, they can’t deliver the blood flow and necessary nutrients to the gum tissues, even if disease is present. When most people would have swelling or bleeding, smokers get gum tissues that are pale or smooth. This can mimic “healthy” tissue, and delay appropriate response for care.

Once gum disease is noted, smokers have an even more difficult time battling the infection. Their body isn’t able to deliver appropriate blood flow to areas of infection, and recovery takes much longer.

If you’re a smoker who is experiencing other symptoms of periodontal disease, such as gum recession, tooth mobility or bad breath – call your dentist right away.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Mar
13

The Connection Between Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Posted in Periodontics

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes are both chronic inflammatory diseases that not only affect you, but also complicate and impact each other.  The good news is that when periodontal disease is successfully treated, it can also have a positive impact on your overall health and inflammation system.  You might be wondering how diabetes and periodontal disease are related and how they influence one another.

It Starts With Plaque

Plaque is a sticky film, full of bacteria that collects between your teeth and along your gums.  If you’re diabetic and your blood sugar isn’t well controlled, it’s difficult for you body to combat plaque, even when brushing your teeth and flossing regularly.

From Gingivitis To Periodontitis

While most people without good oral hygiene habits are likely to develop gingivitis, those who have diabetes are 3 to 4 more times likely to suffer from gum disease, if left untreated.

Plaque and tartar build up, collecting along the gumlines and causing tender, swollen or red gums that bleed easily.  This condition is known as gingivitis, and it is a precursor to gum disease (periodontal disease.) Without intervention, advanced gum disease will lead to gum recession and tooth loss.

A Vicious Cycle

Diabetes can dramatically affect your body’s immune system response, compromising your ability to combat infection and inflammation.  As an inflammatory disease, periodontitis is greatly impacted by this. In turn, the infection caused by gum disease can affect blood sugar levels, creating a vicious cycle without intervention by your dentist. Likewise, improving one condition will make it easier for your body to combat the other.

Help Is Available!

With your dentist’s expert care, periodontitis can be successfully treated!  Monitor your blood sugar levels and speak with your dentist today about treatments available to improve your overall health.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park
Google
Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Jan
6

Healthy Food for Healthy Gums

Posted in Periodontics

It is no secret that “you are what you eat.”  If you want to have a healthy body, you have to take care of your body.  One way to live healthier is to make healthier food choices.  More specifically, what are some healthier food choices to have healthier gums?

1)      Green Tea- If you drink a daily cup of green tea, you can reduce the risk of developing gum disease.  Green tea has anti-oxidants that help to reduce inflammation which promotes healthy gums.

2)      Whole Grains- Whole grains are digested more slowly which avoids spikes in blood sugar.  This also lowers the body’s production of inflammatory proteins and as a result, lowers the risk of heart disease and gum disease.

3)      Raisins- Raisins contain anti-oxidants that fight the growth of a type of bacteria that causes inflammation and gum disease.

4)      Leafy Greens- The vegetables found in salads are beneficial for keeping your mouth clean because they are full of fiber, which require a lot of chewing to break the food down.  The extra chewing produces more saliva to help neutralize the bacteria in your mouth, which promotes healthier teeth and gums.  In addition, the vitamins and anti-oxidants in the vegetables promote good overall health.

5)      Strawberries and Kiwis- You need Vitamin C to promote good overall health and gum health is no different.  Strawberries and Kiwis contain high concentrations of vitamin C which help to fight gum disease.

Consider the above healthy food choices, if you want to promote healthier gums.  This was not an inclusive food list.   Rather, it will hopefully give you some suggestions to get started choosing snacks that can encourage healthier gums.

Posted on behalf of:
Alan Horlick DDS
6572 Hwy 92 #120
Acworth, GA 30102
(770) 591-8446

Nov
23

Pregnancy Induced Gingivitis

Posted in Periodontics

You know you’re expecting a happy addition to your family within several brief months. But what you may not be expecting are the sudden changes in your gum health. Is pregnancy gingivitis really that bad?

The Fun with Hormones

As you likely know, a developing baby causes all sorts of hyped-up hormone action. You’re noticing changes in energy, mood, and appetite, to name a few. How about your gums? They are (unfortunately) no exception. The increased flow of hormones can make your gums incredibly more sensitive to the presence of bacteria in your mouth.

While gums are typically more sensitive around the second to ninth month of pregnancy, the hormones themselves don’t cause the increase in bleeding and inflammation. These are triggered by the presence of bacteria. Your gums will probably just overreact now more than before. In fact, shortly before or just after your baby is born you may notice this hypersensitivity completely disappear.

Can You Do Anything?

Yes: keep your teeth and gums clean! The fewer bacteria near your gums, the less inflammation there will be. Stick to a regular routine of brushing and flossing. Your dentist and hygienist may even recommend that you come in for an extra cleaning before the baby is born just to make sure that your gums stay as healthy as possible.

The Risks Involved

Dismissing pregnancy induced gingivitis as a mere passing phase could have a major negative impact on your pregnancy. If you have a history of gum disease that continues on during pregnancy, this could result in an increased risk of premature birth or having a baby with a low birth weight. Contact your local dental office to schedule a prenatal gum evaluation to ensure the best health for you and your baby.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050 

Nov
23

What is a Periodontal Screening?

Posted in Periodontics

“Periodontal” refers to the tissue and ligaments that support teeth in their sockets. These tissues are attached to teeth to protect and anchor the roots. There is more to your gums than meets your eye! Because periodontal disease is so common and easily unnoticed by the sufferers, your dental examinations should include a periodontal screening on a regular basis to ensure that these structures are healthy.

How Your Gums Are Screened

Your gum line should have a free margin of space around and in-between your teeth. This space generally should not exceed more than three millimeters in depth before it attaches to the tooth. This healthy three-millimeter depth is easy to keep clean with flossing and brushing.

If your gums become inflamed from bacteria, the gum line will swell and create a depth of around four millimeters as the tissue puffs away from your tooth. If the infection advances, the swelling can involve the ligaments deeper below your gum line. This causes an increase in gum depth, creating a “pocket.”

During a periodontal screening, your gums are measured for questionable depths, which indicate the presence of gum disease. Bleeding, gum recession, and pocket depths of four millimeters or more are all evaluated.

Why Screenings are Essential

By monitoring your periodontal health, your dentist or hygienist can make recommendations for specialized cleanings. Prevention is essential to preventing periodontal disease from spreading and resulting in tooth-loss. There is no replacement quite like your natural teeth!

Besides this, periodontal disease has been linked to other health problems such as diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, erectile dysfunction, and heart disease. Lower your risk for such health complications and save your teeth by having regular periodontal screenings at your local dentist’s office!

Posted on behalf of:
Georgia Denture and Implant Specialists
203 Woodpark Pl #102
Woodstock, GA 30188

Nov
22

What Is Arestin? How Does It Help You Combat Gum Disease?

Posted in Periodontics

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease happens when some particularly aggressive bacteria infect gum tissue around teeth and result in the breakdown of supporting bone and ligament structures. This action causes pockets to form around teeth. If allowed to progress untreated, these pockets can grow to the point that teeth become loose.

How does Arestin, a locally-applied antibiotic, help you in your fight against gum disease?

Micro Molecules Are a Mega Medicine

Arestin is made up of microscopic extended-release capsules of the antibiotic minocycline. This antibiotic looks like a tiny dose of powder. The Arestin dose is placed right at the base of a periodontal pocket immediately following a scaling and root planing procedure. The medication is prescription-strength and is administered by one of our qualified dental professionals.

Arestin Gives You an Edge Over Gum Disease

Gum disease is a bacterial infection. When the disease-causing bacteria create and populate a periodontal pocket, they need to be removed to prevent more damage. Scaling and root planing removes much of the bacteria that is embedded in the tooth root and in tartar stuck on the tooth root. Placing some antibiotic right after scaling will prevent bacteria from growing back as quickly and treats the bacteria that hides out in gum tissue or floats around in pockets.

Because Arestin is slow-release, it can have an effect on the numbers of bacteria in a periodontal pocket for up to three weeks. This is great news for you because Arestin promotes long-term healing and attacks gum disease at its source. Have your gums regularly examined  by your dentist for signs of disease.  Talk your dentist to learn more about the effective therapies we use to battle gum disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Park South Dentistry
30 Central Park S #13C
New York, NY 10019
(212) 355-2000

Nov
20

Can Diabetes Be Destroying Your Smile?

Posted in Periodontics

More and more research is showing the direct connection between diabetes and oral disease. Diabetes is a systemic condition, meaning that other parts of your body can suffer as a result. Your teeth are no exception. Diabetes can adversely affect the health of both your teeth and your gums, so it is important to understand the connection and take preventative action before your smile suffers.

The Mouth-Body Connection

Diabetes prevents the body’s ability to process glucose in the blood due to a lack of insulin. The elevated blood sugar levels can cause damage to your gum tissues around the teeth. It also weakens your immune system in general. Increased levels of glucose in the blood increase your risk for oral disease, and the weakened immune system makes it more difficult for your mouth to avoid the effects of an accumulation of harmful bacteria.

Cavity Risk

The increase in blood sugar means that you’ll have a greater amount of sugar in your saliva for cavity-causing bacteria to feed upon. Uncontrolled diabetes goes hand-in-hand with extensive tooth decay.

Periodontal Disease

The connection goes both ways between periodontal disease and diabetes. High glucose levels also support the bacteria that cause gum disease. Diabetes slows down circulation, which prevents the gums from healing. Recent studies show that the reverse is true: raging periodontal disease can make diabetes more difficult to control. You may start to notice problems like gum recession, bleeding, and loose teeth.

Flossing and brushing won’t be enough to protect your smile if you have diabetes. Professional dental care is necessity. Talk with your doctor about how to properly manage your diabetes with medication or diet and exercise. When your diabetes is under control and you practice excellent oral hygiene, it is possible to enjoy a healthy smile.

Visit your dentist for assistance in designing the ideal plan for keeping your smile healthy and safe from the effects of diabetes.

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Ridge Dentistry
7510 Ramble Way #101
Raleigh, NC 27616
(919) 809-7192

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…