Dental Tips Blog

Aug
7

Does Bad Breath Mean You’re At Risk for Heart Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Bad breath and heart disease? That escalated quickly.

Let’s clarify one thing: when we say “bad breath,” we’re not referring to the garlic bread you had at lunch today.

The odor you need to be concerned about is connected to something far more serious.

Your Heart And Your Gums

Gum disease starts out small, usually in the form of gingivitis.

Gingivitis is reversible gum inflammation triggered by plaque bacteria. If it chronically persists, then it can worsen into periodontitis, a much deeper infection affecting ligaments and bone beneath the gums.

Growing research indicates that there is a strong connection between your gum and heart health. High levels of gum inflammation are associated with arterial plaque deposits and inflammation that can lead to blood clots. These clots, in turn, put you at risk for heart attack and stroke.

Periodontal Disease – Do You Know The Signs?

Periodontal disease is a common but silent disease. Most adults are affected by it at some point in their lives but don’t realize it. This is because your teeth and gums don’t usually feel any different, at first.

Look out for these classic tell-tale signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding on brushing and flossing
  • Gum recession
  • Teeth feeling loose
  • Swollen gum line
  • Bad breath

Yes, bad breath could indicate that you have a chronic gum infection going on. Periodontitis can cause a powerfully offensive odor because of the raging inflammation and dying gum tissues going on around your teeth.

If you (or others close to you) have complaints of bad breath despite your best efforts to mask it, there could be something very serious to blame. Call your local dentist to plan a gum evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

Aug
3

Fight Gum Disease with Mouthwash? Here’s How

Posted in Gum Disease

First of all, let’s get one thing straight: there is no mouthwash that can cure gum disease…no matter how great the commercial looks!

But with the help of the right kind of rinse, you can be successful in preventing bacterial buildup that contributes to gum infections.

Your Local Drugstore

Generic over-the-counter rinses that boast anti-microbial properties are very effective in limiting plaque buildup.

Look for something like Listerine that states it’s “anti-plaque” or “anti-gingivitis.” You need more than a minty fresh rinse, here. These formulations contain essential oils which prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and gums.

Using use a mouthwash like this once or twice a day, in addition to brushing and flossing to keep your gums in great shape.

Prescription-Strength Mouthwash

If you are battling ongoing infection or have just had periodontal therapy, your dentist may prescribe a medicated rinse called chlorhexidine gluconate. As a powerful antibacterial rinse, it helps you avoid plaque development, giving your gums a jump-start toward healing.

The Most Reliable Way To Beat Gum Disease

Periodontitis is a very tricky infection. It’s often chronic and rages below the gum line where toothbrush, floss, and even a rinse can’t access. Inflamed gum tissues and pieces of tartar shelter bacteria that produce the irritating toxins.

Physical mechanical removal is still the best way to get rid of the culprits. This means a professional deep cleaning to scoop out tartar, plaque, and germs from pockets around teeth. Afterwards, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic and/or an anti-bacterial rinse to wrap things up.

There are plenty of herbal and other natural supplements out there which may claim to fight gum disease. Just make sure to check these with your dentist to make sure you get the fullest benefit.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Jul
31

Should You See a Periodontist?

Posted in Gum Disease

A periodontist is a dentist with extra training and experience in gum health issues.

There’s a lot more to your gums than meets the eye. What you might not realize is there are layers of complex ligaments beneath the pinkish skin you can see on your gums. These tissues make up what’s called the “periodontium.”

The ligaments strengthen and nourish teeth, anchor them in their sockets, and act like shock absorbers to cushion your teeth when you bite. Your periodontium is so important that there are dental specialists who focus on that alone!

Why Your Gums Need Attention

Your periodontium can start to break down if it gets inflamed. Unfortunately, it doesn’t simply grow back. What starts as gingivitis on the surface of the gums can progress to gum disease and eventually cause the periodontal ligaments to pull away from the tooth, creating pockets.

As the pockets fill with bacteria or tartar and don’t get cleaned, they’ll get deeper and deeper. Ultimately, the bone can break down, too. Teeth will thus lose support and start to loosen. What’s more, your gums are a portal between your mouth and the rest of your body. So, an infection there can trigger inflammation or even another infection elsewhere.

Time To Take Action

Your dentist and hygienists will do their best to treat your case. But if your situation goes beyond what their office is equipped to handle, they will likely refer you to a gum specialist.

A periodontist will give you more varied and thorough treatment options for stopping gum disease and repairing the damage.

To start with, consult your dentist for a periodontal assessment. Charting and x-rays will help determine the seriousness of your case and what the next step is.

Posted on behalf of:
Edward Gardner, DDS
8133 Forest Hill Ave, Suite 201
Richmond, VA 23235
(804) 409-7963

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

Jul
18

4 Most Common Risk Factors For Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did a study which found that 50% of Americans over the age of 30 had some form of gum disease. That statistic jumped to over 70% among those aged 65 and up.

Are you prone to periodontitis (gum disease)?

  1. Poor Oral Hygiene

Periodontal disease ultimately comes down to how your gums react to bacteria. If you aren’t regularly removing those plaque germs, then your chances of developing gingivitis are very high. Left untreated, the early infection can turn into periodontitis.

  1. Tobacco Use

Research shows that tobacco use is one of the biggest contributing factors to developing or worsening gum disease. This is largely due to the fact that the habit cuts off circulation in the gums, thereby reducing the tissue’s natural immune response.

  1. Genetics

Do you have a history of gum disease in your family? This could put you at greater risk despite your efforts to avoid it. Early intervention is key to keeping the problem from getting out of hand.

  1. Health Problems

Gum disease can be worsened by issues such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Heart disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

These and other health complications limit your gums’ ability to fight off bacterial infection. They also prevent your gums from healing.

Why is periodontal disease such a big deal?

As your gums break down from the infection, the bone surrounding your teeth does, as well. This results in loss of adult teeth. Not only that, but your gums are closely connected to your overall health. Letting gum disease rage unchecked could make it harder for your body to fight off other diseases.

Check with your dentist to learn more about your risk for periodontal disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Ora Dentistry
2733 Elk Grove Blvd #180
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 975-1000

Jul
17

Will My Periodontal Cleaning Hurt?

Posted in Gum Disease

Have you been told that you need a periodontal cleaning?    You probably have a million questions zipping through your head!

Periodontal cleaning is a type of gum disease therapy that removes plaque and bacteria below the gums and provides a smooth surface for the gums to heal up against. This deep cleaning (also called root planing) is your first line of defense in preventing periodontal pockets from getting any deeper.

But will it hurt?

What Root Planing Feels Like

During regular dental cleanings, your hygienist scales tartar off the crown of the tooth (above your gumlines.)

Go a little deeper, and the tooth root (which has no enamel) might to be carefully smoothed to get rid of rough tartar deposits. Below the gum line, teeth can pick up heavy layers of tartar which irritates the gums, harbors bacteria, and only makes the pockets deeper. The germs are usually embedded in the surface of the tooth root.

Your hygienist will use a variety of slim tools to carefully plane the roots of your teeth. You may feel a rough sensation, a slight pressure on your tooth, and a little sensitivity in the gums.

Most patients report very little or no discomfort during or after the procedure. To help you feel better, a numbing jelly or anesthetic shot is available on request. If needed, you can even break up your cleaning over the course of separate appointments.

Rest assured that a periodontal cleaning does not hurt as badly as you think it might. Any discomfort you do experience is worth getting your healthy gums back!

Ask you dentist about what else can be done to make your cleaning session as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Enamel Dentistry
2717 S Lamar Blvd #1086
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 717-5315

Jul
12

How Long Does it Take for Gum Disease to Affect My Smile?

Posted in Gum Disease

Maybe you’ve heard time and again that gum disease leads to tooth-loss. After all, it’s a lack of brushing and flossing is what leads to gum disease. But did anyone ever tell you how much time you have?

Periodontitis – Why Dangerous?

Known medically as “periodontitis,” gum disease attacks silently. As a chronic infection, this condition is connected to other health problems such as diabetes. It’s even linked to heart disease and stroke.

At the end of the day, the issue isn’t about how long you have until your teeth fall out. The danger is in letting a bacterial infection rage unchecked in your gums.

Are You Speeding Up The Damage?

Once inflammation starts in the form of gingivitis, a few factors determine whether or not it becomes anything serious.

These include:

– Age

– Oral hygiene

– Lifestyle

– Genetic predisposition

Some of these things you can’t help, but others you can. For example, smoking and other tobacco use are known to speed up the effects of gum disease. If you don’t cut back, you’ll likely lose teeth quicker than a non-smoker.

Why You Should Treat Gum Disease NOW

Gum disease doesn’t usually go away on its own. The longer you let it go on, the faster harmful debris will build up and the quicker your gums will go downhill. Some people can live with mild chronic periodontitis for years without losing teeth.

If you are diagnosed with or suspect you have gum disease, why take the gamble? Don’t wait for it to worsen. Damage done now may be repairable, if caught early enough.

Talk with your dentist about setting a pattern of smile-healthy habits to maintain your teeth and gums.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Jun
20

Natural Remedies for Gum Disease – Do They Work?

Posted in Gum Disease

Many of the modern methods used to treat gum disease include natural remedies. Do any of these actually work? Before giving them a try, here’s what you need to think about.

Gum Disease – The Deeper Issue

Periodontitis (gum disease) is often painless, silent, and causes unseen damage. You may or may not actually have gum disease but there’s no way to tell until you see a dentist. This is because tissue inflammation can cause deep pockets around tooth roots that shelter bacteria beyond the reach of a toothbrush and floss.

Simply swishing oils and rubbing pastes onto the surface of your gums isn’t enough to affect what’s going on deeper down. In fact, some natural remedies can be counterproductive to your oral health.

No matter which natural techniques you attempt, your gums will need the help only a professional cleaning can provide.

A Holistic Approach

Your dentist and hygienist will also recommend a holistic approach in treating your gum disease. There are scientifically-measurable methods for treating periodontitis such as:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Reducing stress
  • Cutting out tobacco use
  • Eating a healthy diet high in vitamin C

Are You Wasting Valuable Time?

You could be losing time by trying countless natural remedies. While it’s fine to use some natural gum care methods, make sure you get a professional gum assessment to help you identify what’s actually going on.

At every dental visit, update your dentist on all the medications and supplements you are taking, prescription and otherwise.

In the end, the choice to incorporate natural remedies into your health routine is a personal one. Check with your dentist for guidance in making smile-friendly choices.

Posted on behalf of:
Gordon Dental of Leawood
11401 Nall Ave #102
Leawood, KS 66211
(913) 649-5017

Jun
9

What Are Your Gums Trying to Tell You?

Posted in Gum Disease

Your eyes may be the window to the soul, but the mouth is the gateway to your body.

Did you know that there is a strong connection between your gum health and your overall health? Problems that start with the gums can quickly affect other body systems, and conditions not involving the gums can make their presence known via your mouth.

Here are a few things your gums reveal about dental health, overall health, and your oral hygiene:

Gum Recession

Recession could signal multiple problems:

  • Gum disease
  • Teeth clenching habit
  • Poor tooth alignment
  • Improper tooth brushing technique

Puffy Gums

If your gums look puffed or rolled, they’re probably irritated by excessive plaque buildup. But if they look drastically overgrown, this could be triggered by medication or some other underlying problem. Definitely get this one checked out by a dentist ASAP.

Bleeding Gums

This is typically a hallmark sign of insufficient flossing. However, gums will also bleed a lot easier because of hormone, medication, or immune system influences. Discuss these possibilities with your dentist if extra flossing doesn’t help.

Pimple On The Gums

An odd pimple on the gums near a tooth could be a dental abscess. When tooth nerves die, the infection escapes via the tooth root and out through the gums. Do not wait if you see a strange new growth! Get it looked at immediately.

Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath may not just mean that you eat a lot of garlic. It could be an indicator of gum disease, a digestive problem, or a breathing issue.

Pay attention to your gums! Regular dental visits are the best way to stay on top of your gum health and be alert to dangerous changes.

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

May
3

After Periodontal Treatment: 3 Tools You Can’t Live Without

Posted in Periodontics

Have you recently undergone gum treatment or periodontal therapy?

If so, then you’ve probably been told that the process is far from over. To maintain the progress you’ve made, it’s important that you do your part in keeping your gums clean and healthy.

It’s absolutely essential that you keep the following three items a regular part of your oral hygiene routine.

Here are 3 tools you can’t afford to leave out:

  1. Floss

After periodontal treatment, it’s especially important that you use an interdental cleaner that fits the needs of your teeth and gums.

Depending on the size of the space between your teeth, you may need to access such areas with one or more of the following:

– Ribbon or tape floss

– Inter-dental brush

– Yarn

– Water flosser

  1. Soft-Bristled Toothbrush

Brushing two to three times a day is the key to controlling plaque formation. But doing so gently is more effective than vigorous scrubbing. If you brush too hard, you can just irritate your gums and cause more gum recession.

Encourage gentle brushing by using a toothbrush with soft or, if available, extra-soft bristles.

  1. Fluoride-Based Products

Whether a result of gum recession or periodontal surgery, you likely have more tooth root surfaces exposed than you normally would. These surfaces are not protected with enamel like the tops of your teeth are. You need to reinforce them with extra fluoride to prevent cavities from settling in.

Choose a fluoride-rich toothpaste to use at least twice a day and ask your dentist whether a fluoride rinse or supplementary treatment is right for you.

Regularly visit your dental office to make sure that you’re staying on top of your gum health.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

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