Dental Tips Blog

Aug
30

No Bugs In Your Hair or Bed . . . But Have You Checked Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

Okay, so this isn’t one of those urban myths about finding cockroaches in fast food. But sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Our society is paranoid of buggy infestations. We check our kids’ head for lice, we check hotel rooms for signs of pests before we sleep there, and we wash our hands like crazy during flu season.

Your gums are also prone to infection by tiny enemies. But because you don’t feel or see them, it’s easy to underestimate the damage they’re capable of.

What “Bugs” In The Gums?

“Bugs” is an oversimplification for bacteria. Their action is just as creepy, though!

Human mouths contain hundreds of species of bacteria. Some are perfectly harmless. But some individuals have high levels of dangerous germs. These bacteria trigger serious gum inflammation.

If those germs aren’t removed, your swelling gums will provide more hideouts for the bacteria to multiply in and will eventually result in gum disease.

As this process continues, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth forming “pockets.” These pockets, naturally, harbor more harmful bacteria in addition to plaque and tartar.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) a vicious cycle. In an effort to fight the infection, your gums will produce high levels of chemicals. Unfortunately, these substances only cause further breakdown of your gums. These chemicals and bacterial toxins can reach the bone, and next thing you know, your teeth are losing support fast.

Fight Gum Inflammation

Happily, you’ve got this! Your best defense starts simply with daily brushing and flossing to keep those germs from building up. A professional gum health assessment will give you an idea of what you’re up against so call your dentist to schedule.

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

Jul
25

How to Reverse Gingivitis

Posted in Gum Disease

The good news here is that you CAN reverse gingivitis. You can’t say that of too many other dental diseases.

But “gingivitis” simply means gum inflammation. It’s not too serious in it’s early stages, so with a little extra effort, you can send it packing. But leave it be, and it could cause tooth loss!

Here are five ways you can nix the problem:

  1. Anti-Gingivitis Toothpaste

Most toothpastes that claim to fight gingivitis do just that with an ingredient called triclosan. This agent keeps germs from accumulating on teeth.

  1. Anti-Microbial Mouthwash

Swish twice a day with Listerine or some other antibacterial rinse. This will help to slow down the development of bacteria throughout the day between brushings.

  1. Boost Your Vitamin C Intake

Your gums often reflect the health of the rest of your body. In fact, they’re one of the first to suffer from a weakened immune system. Load up on vitamin C to beef up your gums’ germ-fighting power.

  1. Brush and Floss More

Yes, it’s that simple!

Regular, mechanical plaque removal is probably the best way you can keep your gums healthy at home and fight the signs of gingivitis.

  1. Visit Your Dentist For A Cleaning

A buildup of tartar, stain, and plaque will irritate your gums. If you’re overdue for a cleaning, then your gums will appreciate it if you make an appointment.

Gingivitis is reversible, but if you don’t stop it, it can progress to a much more serious disease: periodontitis. This advanced gum disease is not reversible and can be hard to stop. See your dentist at the first signs of bleeding or inflamed gums to stay on top of your periodontal health!

Posted on behalf of:
Lakewood Dental Trails
10252 W Adams Ave
Temple, TX 76502
(254) 434-4035

May
25

How Braces Affect Your Gums: The Good and the Bad

Posted in Braces

What should you do to keep your gums healthy while wearing braces?

Brush, Brush, Brush!

Your dentist and orthodontist can’t stress enough how important it is to brush your teeth frequently! Brackets are quick to collect plaque and food debris. You need to brush from all angles to make sure your orthodontia stays bacteria-free.

Some patients love to use a powered toothbrush or water flosser to blast away gum-irritating debris. It’s recommended to brush after each meal when wearing braces.

If you don’t brush (and floss and rinse) properly with braces, your gums will quickly react. All that gunk will cause them to get puffy and red. You might notice your gums swelling to the point that they start growing over the brackets. That’s a sign you need a dental checkup.

Braces and Gum Recession

Yes, braces have been known to cause a little gum recession, in some areas. It could be the result of tension on the teeth as they move into proper position. Or it could be your gums’ response to the presence of a bracket and dental plaque.

Your dentist or orthodontist can help you fight and slow down gum recession by giving you some helpful tips.

How Braces Help Your Gums

Crooked teeth are notorious for trapping gum disease-causing germs. It’s very hard to properly clean out those areas between overlapping teeth. By straightening out your teeth, you make it easier to remove plaque and tartar buildup. This reduces your chances for developing periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that results in tooth loss.

How are your gums handling braces? Visit your local dentist for a gum evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
East Cobb Orthodontics
2810 Lassiter Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
(770) 993-7118

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
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

Jan
9

Do You Really Need a Deep Cleaning?

Posted in Gum Disease

You could say that a normal dental cleaning is the car wash and a deep cleaning is the detailing procedure. However, when your dental health is involved, it’s a little more complicated than that.

What is a Deep Cleaning?

Medically-known as “scaling and root planing” or SRP, this treatment does more than simply get your teeth “extra clean.”

Scaling is the removal of tartar from teeth. Root planing means smoothing out the surface of tooth roots that are roughened with bacteria and tartar. These techniques are combined in a “deep cleaning” procedure. This treatment requires specialized dental tools and is often broken up into multiple appointments due to complexity.

Contrary to how it may sound, SRP is more of a medical treatment instead of a superficial, cosmetic one.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, which is gum inflammation in response to bacteria. As the bacteria spread, the inflammation worsens. Combine this with tartar buildup at and below the gum line, and you’ve got a problem on your hands.

Without medical intervention, gum disease will lead to tooth-loss. A deep cleaning is the medical standard for stopping the infection right in its tracks.

A Regular Cleaning Won’t Cut It!

To really nip the problem in the bud, you need a deep cleaning. Gum disease creates deep pockets of infected and damaged tissue around teeth. You can’t access these pockets with a toothbrush and floss, alone.

A deep cleaning might sound like a luxury dental treatment. But it’s actually a procedure that’s essential for anyone suffering from gum disease. Contact your dentist to schedule a gum health assessment to find out whether a deep cleaning is right for you.

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

Jan
8

Flossing and Gum Disease: The Connection

Posted in Gum Disease

Have you ever been told that you have gum disease?

Many Americans have been affected by gum disease at some point in their lives. So if you’ve had a run-in with gingivitis, you’ve got plenty of company!

Fortunately, this isn’t the end of the story for your teeth. With a routine of diligent flossing, you can keep your gums disease-free and happy. 

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque.

Usually starting out as gingivitis, gum disease can progress to a serious form known specifically as periodontitis. Gingivitis is inflammation limited to the outer layer of gum tissue and is easily reversed. Periodontitis, on the other hand, affects deeper layers of ligaments and bone around the tooth roots. The damage caused by periodontitis cannot reverse itself.

How Flossing Helps

The spaces between your teeth are impossible to directly access with a toothbrush, alone. The problem is that those spots are where gum disease is likely to settle in first.

Here’s where flossing helps out.

A thin piece of floss or or even a water flosser can slip between teeth and break up the clusters of bacteria along the gum line. You need to physically remove the germs daily to keep them from triggering inflammation.

Because it’s the best way to prevent gum disease from developing between teeth, flossing is a pretty big deal! Cleaning your teeth doesn’t just help them look nice – it also helps you avoid expensive treatments or surgery later on.

To find out more about preventing gum disease, schedule your regular checkup every six months!

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

Jan
6

The Role of Vitamin C in Gum Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Ever thought about why people typically recommend orange juice in times of sickness?

You probably know that all of that vitamin C empowers your immune system to fight whatever it is that’s weakening your body.

As early as the 18th century, a naval captain experimented with various techniques for preventing “scurvy” among his crew. It was gradually understood that lemons could help prevent “scurvy,” a potentially deadly disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.

We now know that lemons are very high in vitamin C…so, what does this mean for our gum health today?

Vitamin C is found in plants like strawberries, citrus fruits, and pineapple. It’s actually contained in many fresh fruits and vegetables. This vitamin has properties that help boost the immune system, strengthening the body to fight off diseases and pathogens.

Being a part of your body, your gums are no exception. Gums are prone to infection caused by bad bacteria found in most people’s mouth. These bacteria will irritate and inflame the gums if they are allowed to accumulate.

The best way to keep your gums healthy and avoid gum disease is by making sure they are clean! Daily brushing and flossing will keep harmful dental plaque at bay. But a healthy dose of vitamin C will also give your body a competitive edge over a potential infection.

Severe gum inflammation and poor healing in the mouth can actually be signs of poor nutrition, including a deficiency of vitamin C.

Talk with your doctor first if you think you may need a vitamin C supplement. Then, stay on top of your gum health by scheduling regular exams with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Jan
5

Use the Floss that Suits Your Smile

Floss should be used by everyone, but it isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all item!

The goal of flossing is to physically disrupt bacterial colonies that form in the plaque on your teeth…especially in areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Here are a few guidelines for effective flossing. Floss should:

  • Have direct contact with the side of the tooth
  • Reach below the gum line
  • Not harm the gums

Not all teeth are spaced out the same way. People’s mouths vary, and even your own teeth may be positioned and spaced differently. This means that different areas will have unique needs for cleaning them.

Take into consideration the shape of the tooth. The crowns of teeth have mostly outward curves, but if roots are exposed, they could have concavities (inward curves), where plaque can hide.

When you look at the space between two teeth, how much gum tissue is there? Healthy gums are shaped like a triangle of pink that prevent you from seeing between teeth. These areas benefit from traditional floss. If teeth are crowded, a tape or ribbon-style floss that stretches out will be more comfortable.

Where there are large gaps between teeth, a wider material will be gentler and easier to control. Some types of floss have fluffy fibers on them, making them look like yarn. This makes them absorbent and easier to wrap around teeth that don’t have contact with their neighbors.

What about teeth with exposed roots? A wedge-shaped wooden stick or “Proxa Brush” is usually gentle on sensitive roots and lets you access all of the tricky curves.

Water flossers can be helpful in hard-to-reach areas around bridges or the back teeth.

At your next dental cleaning and check up, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about the most effective way to floss your unique smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

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

 

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