Dental Tips Blog

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
12

What is the Difference Between Periodontitis and Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when plaque builds up and this bacteria invades the gums.  Gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.  There are different stages of gum disease, from mild to more advanced gum disease.

Mild gum disease is also known as gingivitis.  Common symptoms of gingivitis are gums that are red, a little swollen, and often bleed when brushing or flossing.  The good news about gingivitis is that it is easily reversed, and good oral care and professional cleanings will almost always take care of the problem.  Brushing and flossing twice a day, and semi-annual trips to the dentist, almost always resolve these early stages of gum disease.

More advanced gum disease is called periodontitis.  Signs of periodontitis include having a ‘loose’ tooth as an adult, or having the feeling that your teeth are ‘moving around’ in your mouth.  Other common symptoms of periodontitis is having a tooth fall out, or having the feeling that when you bite down on something your teeth do not line up quite right.  Over time, this advanced gum disease or periodontitis will cause the tissue surrounding your teeth to erode.  This gum erosion will expose the roots of the tooth, and also destroy the supporting bone.  Left untreated, periodontitis will progress and become worse over time.  If you have had a stroke, or have diabetes, you are more likely to develop periodontitis and should be screened regularly by a dentist for gum disease.

If you have any of the warning signs of early or late stage gum disease, make an appointment to see your dentist right away.  Gum disease, if caught early, can be reversed.  Later stages of periodontitis can also be treated; impacted teeth can still be saved in many cases.  The best thing you can do on a regular basis is to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day to keep periodontal disease away.

Mar
12

Medications and Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is a common, but almost always preventable, problem that occurs in adults.  Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is the number one reason why adults lose their teeth as they age.  Unfortunately, as we age, we also may begin to take some medications that may increase our risks of developing gum disease.  This article will discuss some common medications that are associated with gum disease, and steps you can take to help limit your gum disease risk.

One of the most common drugs associated with development of gum disease is Dilantin (phenytoin). Dilantin, and other anti-seizure / anti-epileptic medications can cause gum hyperplasia.  Gum hyperplasia is a term that refers to developing excessive and tender gum tissue.  This tender gum tissue is more likely to allow plaque to thrive, and be more susceptible to bleeding and wounds.  If you, or a family member, take any medications to control seizures, be sure to let your dentist know.  Your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination, and may recommend that you have your teeth cleaned more frequently.  Additionally, your dentist can talk to your provider about any side-effects noticed during your oral examinations.

Another common medication that may lead to or increase the risk of gum disease includes steroids.  Many individuals take steroids such as prednisone for arthritis, asthma, or after an organ transplant.  Prednisone is an important medication, but it can cause gum hyperplasia. Just as you would with Dilantin, make sure your dentist is aware that you take prednisone or other steroids, and follow his or her advice on appointments, cleanings, and special cleaning devices to help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Sometimes certain heart medications, especially calcium channel blockers, may also cause gum disease.  If you are taking a calcium channel blocker, such as Cardizem (diltiazam), make sure your dentist is aware of this and follow his or her instructions carefully to help keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible.

In no case should you ever suddenly stop a prescribed medication. Always consult with the provider who ordered the medication, and have your health care team work together to find the best possible fit for you.  Working with all members of your health care team, all parts of you will remain healthy!

Mar
12

Risk Factors for Developing Periodontal Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is the number one reason a person may suffer tooth loss as an adult.  Common early signs of gum disease include gums that bleed or are swollen and tender. Certain factors increase the risk of someone developing gum disease.  This article will discuss some of the risk factors associated with gum disease, and ways to help limit your risk of tooth loss.

One of the most common reasons people develop periodontal disease is from poor oral hygiene.  Every child and adult should brush their teeth at least twice a day, and floss at least once a day.  It is not normal for gums to bleed during brushing or flossing, and if this occurs when you brush or floss, you should contact your dentist for an examination.

Other risk factors include smoking or chewing tobacco (chewing snuff).  The products in tobacco, including nicotines, tars, and by-products not only cause cancer, but also cause gum disease, increase tooth decay, and decrease the ability of the mouth to fight off infection.  If you are a smoker, or use chewing tobacco products of any sort, you should make sure you visit your dentist on a regular basis.  If possible, consider quitting your smoking habit.  Talk to your dentist or health care provider about strategies to help you stop smoking.  It is important to note that chewing tobacco or chewing snuff is not safer in anyway, and should not be used as a substitute for smoking cigarettes.

A final common risk factor for gum disease is diabetes.  If you have diabetes, include your dentist and dental hygienist in your treatment team.  Your dentist may recommend more frequent dental examinations. Controlling your blood sugar readings will help limit the risk of developing gum disease from diabetes.

If you have any of these risk factors, make an appointment as soon as possible to see your dentist for a check-up. Working together, you and your dentist can develop a plan to help limit your risks of developing periodontal disease. Keeping gum disease away will help you keep your natural teeth for your entire lifetime!

May
23

Gingivitis Causes and Treatment

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is a type of gum disease (or periodontal disease) caused by the normal bacteria found in the mouth.  Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and also the most easily treated.  However, if left untreated, gingivitis can develop into much more serious gum disease that can ultimately result in the loss of the patient’s teeth.

The mouth is full of naturally occurring bacteria.  These bacteria collect on our teeth and form a sticky substance called plaque.  Brushing our teeth and flossing helps to remove plaque, but any plaque that is not removed will harden into tartar that cannot be removed by brushing.  Tartar can be removed only by a professional dental cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.

The bacteria in plaque and tartar can irritate the gums, especially if the tartar and plaque are below the gum line, causing the gums to be sore, red, and inflamed.  This inflammation is called gingivitis.  The classic symptoms of gingivitis include red, irritated gums that may bleed easily during brushing.  Bad breath is sometimes associated with gingivitis.

Although anyone can get gingivitis, smokers are more likely to develop the disease.  Other factors that increase the risk of gingivitis include diabetes and diseases or medications that compromise or suppress the immune system.

Gingivitis can usually be treated by a professional dental cleaning.  Gingivitis that is not treated promptly will often develop into much more serious gum disease.  Gingivitis can be prevented by following good oral health habits including regular dental cleanings and checkups, brushing and flossing, and avoiding tobacco products.

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