Dental Tips Blog

Dec
6

How Your Medication Affects Oral Health

Medication easily becomes a part of our daily life. As we age, we need it more and more to encourage healthy bodily function and ward off sickness.

Side-effects are something you may simply have to put up with. Even if you can’t prevent these problems, you can keep them from doing damage to your smile!

Here’s what you need to know about three common oral side-effects of medication.

Dry Mouth

Allergy medications commonly cause dry mouth (xerostomia.)

This is more serious than it may sound. Dry mouth is not only uncomfortable, but it elevates your cavity risk because there isn’t saliva there to wash away acidic bacteria.

Make sure to stay hydrated. Chew a sugar-free gum with xylitol to stimulate salivation. Your dentist might also recommend saliva substitutes in severe situations.

Consider using an at-home fluoride rinse to keep your enamel strong.

Excessive Bleeding

Blood thinners make it easier for your gums to bleed.

When the thin skin of gums is disturbed, it may bleed more easily. Be careful to not blame all bleeding on your medication. If you have infections like gingivitis or periodontal disease, your gums are likely to bleed until it’s corrected.

A professional gum assessment will help you determine the real cause.

Gingival Hyperplasia

Say what?

That’s the term for excessive tissue growth.

Anti-seizure and immunosuppressant medications are commonly connected to this. Research indicates that if you keep gums very clean throughout the course of your medication, then you can keep the gum growth to a minimum. Excess gum tissue can be surgically removed later if necessary.

Let your dentist know about your current list of medications to get more specific recommendations for oral care.

Posted on behalf of:
Sycamore Hills Dentistry
10082 Illinois Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46804
(260) 213-4400

Sep
19

The Serious Dangers of Gum Disease

When it comes to oral health, many patients are focused solely on keeping their teeth free of cavities. While this is highly important, you have a responsibility to the health of your gums too. In fact, gum disease is one of the most serious oral health conditions. If not treated, gum disease can produce significant consequences within your mouth and your body.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease refers to inflammation or infection within the gum tissues. This is caused when bacteria and plaque are allowed to accumulate at the gum line and around the tooth root. Gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the tooth, resulting in deep pockets that accumulate even more bacteria. The infection can spread to the surrounding bone and teeth.

What’s At Stake?

When it comes to gum disease, your smile and your overall health are at risk. While the first stage (gingivitis) can be relatively mild with swollen or red gums, more advanced stages of gum disease (periodontitis) can result in tooth instability and even tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.

The dangers of gum disease aren’t restricted to your mouth. Gum disease has also been linked to several health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and premature birth. In addition, your risk for arthritis, respiratory disease and certain cancers are said to be greater.

Who’s At Risk?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to learn your risk and modify your habits accordingly. Proper oral hygiene and seeing the dentist twice a year is most important. This ensures that mild gingivitis is treated and reversed before serious consequences occur. Factors such as diabetes, age, tobacco use, poor nutrition and heredity also play a role in determining you risk for gum disease.

Want to learn your risk for gum disease? Schedule an appointment with Farhan Qureshi, DDS. There are specific treatments available for gum disease, including scaling and root planing and other advanced periodontal therapies to restore the health of your smile.

Posted on behalf of:

Farhan Qureshi, DDS

5206 Dawes Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

 

Jan
25

3 Reasons Why Your Gums Bleed

Posted in Gum Disease

Some people think that it is normal to have gums that bleed.  What they don’t realize is that it is not normal or healthy!  When gums bleed after brushing or flossing, it is usually a result of a condition called gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).  Thankfully, gingivitis can be reversed with professional cleanings and proper, daily oral hygiene techniques.

Why do your gums bleed?

Here are three common causes:

Brushing & Flossing Aggressively– When brushing and flossing properly, healthy gums should not bleed.  Some things to watch out for include:

  • Using a stiff toothbrush
  • Applying too much pressure with your toothbrush or dental floss
  • Not adapting the floss around the tooth properly

Gum Disease– Bleeding is a sign of an active infection in your mouth caused from bacteria.  When bacteria gets under your gums, the bacteria feeds on the sugars in your food, and then produces a slimy film that irritates your gums which causes them to bleed.

Periodontal disease is the advanced form of gum disease. Sure, it starts out as simple gingivitis – but when left untreated, it will cause you to lose your teeth.

Poor Dental Hygiene– If plaque biofilm is not removed from your teeth and gums on a regular basis, your body will respond with an inflammation, which results in redness, swelling and bleeding.

If your gums bleed on a regular basis, see your dentist to examine your gums and to diagnose the underlying cause of your bleeding. Your hygienist will also give you advice on the proper brushing and flossing techniques that can eliminate your bleeding. Regular cleanings with your hygienist will help remove the bacteria that are impossible to reach through regular home care. Schedule yours about every 6 months.

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

Sep
8

3 Reasons Why Your Gums Bleed

Posted in Gum Disease

Are you perhaps a little alarmed at the sight of blood on your toothbrush, dental floss, or on gauze at dental cleanings? Bleeding gums is certainly not a matter to ignore. Let me share with you a just a few of the major culprits of bleeding gums.

1.- Hormones

High levels of certain hormones can cause the gums to have an exaggerated response to bacteria in the mouth. For example, progesterone is a hormone that runs high in women during pregnancy. This hormone dilates microscopic blood vessels in gum tissue, making them more sensitive to bacterial toxins. Gums are often more sensitive during pregnancy and bleed with very little provocation.

2.- Medications

There are many blood-thinning drugs (including warfarin, aspirin, and ibuprofen) which lead to an increased likelihood of bleeding from the gums. Trauma to the gums can result in bleeding that is heavier than usual. It is very important to use gentle oral hygiene techniques and to communicate with your primary care physician about the side-effects of medications.

3.- Gum Disease

Bleeding gums is a trademark of any stage of gum disease. Bacteria found in dental plaque, when not frequently removed, will irritate the gum tissue, eliciting an immune response. This immune response includes the dilation of blood vessels in the gum tissue, making the gums prone to bleeding.

Your dentist will want to help you maintain the highest standard of oral health care possible. If you are experiencing bleeding from the gums while brushing or flossing, be sure to discuss it at your next dental appointment so that any potential causes can be identified and addressed.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Oct
23

The Deadly Truth About Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease isn’t just something that dentists use as a marketing ploy to convince you to come in and get your teeth cleaned – it’s a serious condition that can destroy your smile as well as affect your overall health.

Active Gum Disease Can Impact the Rest of Your Body

When gum disease is present, it affects the way your immune system responds to other condition. It also allows bacteria to travel through your mouth into your cardiovascular system, lodging in areas like your heart, brain, and blood vessels. Studies show that active gum disease can cause premature labor, increased rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and even erectile dysfunction.  

Unmanaged Periodontal Disease Causes You to Lose Your Teeth

As tissues around the tooth become destroyed by the disease process, supporting gum and bone structures recede and resorb, causing the tooth stability to become compromised. Gradually, the tooth becomes loose and will even fall out if treatment isn’t accessed quickly.  

It’s Not a Quick Fix

Unfortunately it takes a lot of dedication and professional therapy to eliminate or reverse gum disease. Your dentist will begin therapy with a series of deep cleanings to remove disease-causing bacteria. If severe disease is present, some medication may be needed as well as gum grafting to add stability to the area. Home care that includes dedicated flossing is a daily priority to prevent bacteria from building back up and contributing to the condition. People that use tobacco products like cigarettes may not see progress at all, so a tobacco cessation program may also be needed.

Are you experiencing symptoms of gum disease like bleeding gums, swelling, or visible tartar buildup? It’s time to see your dentist today!

Posted of the behalf of Justin Scott

Google

Aug
12

Chronic Bleeding Gums – What Should You Do?

Posted in Gum Disease

Bleeding gums can occur during brushing, flossing, or even randomly throughout the day. It can be confusing if your dentist or hygienist tells you to brush or floss them even more, because that just seems to make the bleeding worse. When gums are swollen and sore, cleaning them is uncomfortable to do and may seem impossible because of how much it hurts.

Gums will usually only bleed if some type of gingivitis, gum disease or systemic health condition exists. For instance, people with anemia will usually have bleeding gums in some areas of their mouth when they floss, even if they generally pay close attention to their oral health. Iron supplements, cooking with a cast iron skillet, a diet rich in green leafy vegetables and an appropriate amount of red meat can help the anemia.

The majority of the time, gums will only bleed when plaque biofilm or tartar deposits exist under the gumlines. This bacteria causes an immune response by the body in an attempt to destroy the area of infection. As a result, chronic bleeding, swelling and painful gums develop until the bacteria is removed. Brushing along the gumlines, cleaning between the teeth and under the gums on a daily basis are the only way to remove loose bacteria and help reverse the bleeding. It can take several days or weeks for symptoms to diminish.

When bacteria is calcified, even dedicated oral hygiene will not improve the condition. This leads to bone loss, periodontal disease (gum disease) and potentially tooth loss. Routine professional cleanings and deep cleanings are the only way to remove these deep, hardened bacteria and get you on the road to recovery.  See your Alpharetta periodontist or dentist if you have chronic bleeding or sensitive gums.

Posted on behalf of North Point Periodontics

Google

Jun
6

Do Your Gums Bleed When You Floss?

Posted in Gum Disease

One of the most common explanations that dental patients give for not flossing their teeth is that their gums hurt or bleed when they floss. Many people interpret this symptom as a red flag that they are doing something wrong, or causing more harm than good to the area. After all, you shouldn’t do something that makes yourself bleed, right?

The truth is that if your gums are healthy, they will not bleed when you floss them. However, gums with gingivitis or gum disease will bleed when you floss them. This is due to the body’s immune system sending antibodies into an area infected with plaque bacteria. When something such as floss disturbs the plaque, the blood supply to the infection becomes evident. Sometimes even brushing along the gumlines where gingivitis exists will produce bleeding or gum irritation. Irregular removal of the plaque bacteria allows the infection to continue, and the cycle repeats itself. Gradually over time, the area of gingivitis will worsen into gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss.

By flossing the area again and again, you can expect to remove the infection-causing bacterial plaque. When cleaned thoroughly each day, the infection goes away, and the immune system stops sending antibodies to the area. The result: no more bleeding when you floss. It typically takes effective flossing at least once a day for two weeks before symptoms go away.

To floss correctly, wrap the floss snuggly around each tooth in a “C” shape, then slide the floss up and down below the gums several times before coming up and moving over to the next tooth. Never go straight up and down or simply side-to-side, as this can damage the delicate gum tissue.

Posted on the behalf of Sarah Roberts

Google

Jan
28

Causes of Bleeding Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

Bleeding in your mouth and gums can be alarming and disturbing.  There are many different causes of gum bleeding and some steps you can take to help prevent your gums from bleeding.

Most commonly, bleeding from the gums, as well as sore gums, is a result of gingivitis.  Gingivitis is an early form of periodontal disease, also called gum disease.  The good news is that gingivitis can be reversed when caught soon enough.  Gum disease can be prevented by brushing and flossing regularly.  If gum disease develops, see your dentist for periodontal disease treatment.  Other signs of gum disease include chronic bad breath, loose teeth, and a receding gum line.

If you are a smoker, and your gums are bleeding, you should consider stopping smoking and make an appointment to see your dentist. It is possible that you have an oral cancer causing your gums to bleed, and it is also now known that smoking increases the risk for developing gum disease.  In either case, smoking is not good for your mouth or health, and stopping smoking is the best thing you could do.

Other causes of bleeding gums can be very simple:  perhaps you are brushing too hard, or have just started flossing.  If this is the case, try changing to a softer bristled tooth brush, and being a bit more gentle during your brushing.  If you are new to flossing, give your gums a few days to ‘adjust’ before becoming too concerned about your gums bleeding.

If your gums are sore or bleeding, make an appointment to see your local dentist.  He or she can best advise you to the cause of your gum bleeding and soreness, and give you some recommendations and treatment for the issue.

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