Dental Tips Blog

Apr
17

What You Should Know About the Color of Your Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

We tend to think a little more about the color and health of our teeth. But your gums are just as important to pay attention to.

Is This Normal?

Gum color is determined in the same way your skin color is: genetics and melanin.

Gingival tissues range in hues from light pink to coral pink to tan to dark brown. Your gum color is probably similar to that of your parents’ since it’s hereditary. It’s not uncommon for some individuals to have a mix of colors. Yes, some people even have freckles on their gums!

Just because your gums don’t look exactly like the bright pink ones on the toothpaste package doesn’t mean that they aren’t healthy and beautiful, too.

The Color You DON’T Want to See

A strong hint of red in your gum tissue is usually a bad sign. It indicates that your gums are irritated and inflamed with bacteria. You may have gingivitis or gum disease that requires gum treatment.  When plaque builds up in one area for too long, your gums react by causing their blood vessels to swell. This results in puffy red gums that are prone to bleeding. Blue or purple tissue is even worse!

How to Change the Color of Your Gums

If your gums are naturally dark-hued, it’s possible to get them lightened. Some dentists and gum specialists offer gum-bleaching procedures. A few people choose to lighten their gums simply because they prefer the look of white teeth against pink gums.

What can you do about gum inflammation? Visit your local dentist for a gum health assessment. A professional dental cleaning and some flossing tips will have your gum color back to normal again.

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

Apr
15

What is a Gum Disease Specialist?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s very common for adults to be referred to a gum disease specialist. As you probably concluded, certain gum therapies and procedures require skills your general dentist may not have acquired.

Should you plan a visit to your local gum specialist?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Periodontist!

A gum specialist is widely recognized by the term ‘periodontist.’

Periodontists are dentists who received two to three additional years of training in gum health. He or she now practices exclusively in the field of diagnosing, treating, and preventing gum diseases. They are experts on causes of inflammation in the gums and often provide dental implant placement services.

Most dentists can provide the same periodontal therapy a periodontist can. But complex cases require more time and detail that only a specialist can provide.

When to See a Gum Specialist

Patients need to visit a periodontist because of reasons such as:

  • Complex health problems that make normal dental care challenging
  • Having gum reconstruction after illness or injury
  • Cosmetic smile enhancement via gum reshaping
  • Severe cases of gum disease in which teeth need to be stabilized
  • Needing some other form of gum surgery

You might choose to schedule an appointment with your local periodontist based on the recommendation of a good friend. This is especially true if you’re interested in a specific cosmetic or advanced procedure offered only by the gum specialist.

It’s usually best to consult your general dentist first. He or she will let you know whether a trip to another dental care provider is really necessary for you. You might be surprised to learn about just how many periodontal procedures can be done right there in your own office.

If you need to see a specialist, your dentist can give you the best recommendation.

Posted on behalf of:
Clearwater Dentistry
3006 Gulf to Bay Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33759
727-608-4361

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
25

Gum Treatment Without Going Under the Knife

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease has been treated with surgery and mechanical cleanings for decades. A recent turn in tides of dentistry have more dental professionals investigating the possibility of laser technology for treating gum problems.

How does the laser method work?

Using Lasers to Treat Gums

Lasers are generally used for gums in two ways:

  1. To perform surgery or remove dead tissue around tooth roots
  2. To cleanse pockets infected with gum disease

What the laser is used for determines the strength of the energy beam. Lasers help reduce bacteria and bleeding which promotes gum healing. They are far more conservative than traditional scalpels. They also do a better job at removing dead tissue while leaving the healthy gum intact.

A Few Considerations

Laser periodontal therapy has not yet been accepted by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) as an acceptable standard of care for gum disease.

This doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. In the hands of an experienced gum expert, laser therapy won’t harm you. It’s just that as an up-and-coming technique, it needs more clinical data to back it up. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t work!

One key fact to keep in mind is that gum disease itself still requires the mechanical removal of rough deposits on tooth roots below the gum line. A laser can help remove gum tissue, but isn’t enough on it’s own to help you beat gum disease.

Is laser gum therapy available and regulated in the area where you live?

The only way to find out if it’s safe for you is to visit a professional like your local dentist. Get a gum evaluation to establish your dental health needs. Ask whether laser therapy is a treatment option.

Posted on behalf of:
Atencio Family Dentistry
3773 Baker Ln #3
Reno, NV 89509
(775) 829-8684

Jan
21

Prevent Gum Recession with 3 Methods

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums recede for a number of reasons. A lot of these have to do with your current oral health and genetic background, which can be impossible to prevent. Some causes, however, are things you do have control over.

  1. Practice Gentle Brushing

A life-long habit of aggressive brushing takes a definite toll on gums. Gums are very sensitive to pressure and will pull away from the tooth if they are scrubbed too hard.

Try swapping your toothbrush to your non-dominant hand. It will feel awkward, but this will force you to “think” about how to brush instead of just doing it by habit. Using a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles is also a good idea.

  1. Cut Out the Tobacco

If you use tobacco in any form, you can bet that it’s contributing to your receding gums.

Ingredients inside of and smoke associated with tobacco products are irritating to gum tissue and contribute to the development of gum disease. When you quit the habit, you’ll halt the advancing gum-loss.

  1. Get a Mouthguard

Your gums respond to pressure on your teeth. As teeth bite together, they put stress on the ligaments around them. This is normal, but if you clench your teeth too often, you’ll strain the gums around your teeth. A habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep can manifest itself in gum recession.

A dentist can set you up with a specialized mouthguard that will prevent your teeth from closing together all the way.

When your gums shrink away, your teeth look longer, yellower, and older. They’ll also probably become more sensitive and prone to decay. Besides all this, gum recession means less support keeping your teeth in place.

To get more help in combating recession, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Moores Chapel Dentistry
9115 Samlen Lane #105
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 389-9299

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
10

Is Gum Disease Permanent?

Posted in Gum Disease

Do you love the gums you’ve got?

Maybe you haven’t given your gums much thought before, but you would be sorry if you lost them! Gum disease is a common and serious health problem for adults.

Gum Disease – Why a Big Deal

Affecting nearly 75% of Americans, gum disease occurs in various stages. You’ve probably heard a thing or two about gingivitis, the reversible form of gum disease. Gingivitis happens when your gums get irritated by the presence of plaque bacteria. Remove this plaque, and the inflammation goes away, too.

The term ‘periodontitis’ is a little less common. Periodontitis is irreversible. When a bacterial gum infection persists, the deeper layers of bone and ligaments below the gums get involved. This results in damage that can’t repair itself.

Put simply, periodontitis causes the breakdown of structures that hold your teeth in place. After your teeth lose this support, they fall out.

What You Can Do

If you’ve been told that you have gum disease, you can’t afford to ignore it any longer. It just can’t go away on its own. You need medical intervention to treat the infection at its source, far beyond the reach of toothbrush and floss.

Periodontitis is linked to other major health concerns such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy complications

With so much at risk, you need to stop the progression of the problem while you can. If you’ve already experienced some irreversible damage from gum disease, your dental team will help you explore options for getting your smile back on-track with options like deep cleanings, medication, or surgery. Visit your dentist for a periodontal evaluation and screening.

Posted on behalf of:
Brentwood Dental Group
2440 S Brentwood Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63144
(314) 962-6643

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
7

How Antibiotic Therapy Can Treat Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontal disease) happens when several factors coincide, such as:

  • Plaque buildup
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Compromised immune system
  • Concentration of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth
  • Poor oral hygiene

If gum disease is affecting your life, then you’re probably looking for a solution.

The surest method to-date is that of mechanically removing the bacteria through a deep cleaning.

Antibiotic Adjuncts

But isn’t there just some rinse you can swish to kill the bacteria? Actually, this won’t work. Bacteria protect themselves in a slimy coating that they produce. Rinses can’t penetrate this layer to remove it from your teeth.

However, a concentrated antibiotic just might.

After a deep cleaning, your dentist may prescribe a local antibiotic. It’s a small dose of powder or microscopic capsules that’s placed directly next to a badly infected site. The antibiotic should not be disturbed for several days to allow it to take effect.

Can you just choose to have an antibiotic instead of other treatments? No. It’s something your dentist will provide only after you’ve had all the other possible irritants removed. Otherwise, it likely won’t be as effective. And if given too often, you run the risk of building antibiotic resistance – creating more trouble!

Prevention – The Very Best Treatment

Preventing gum disease in the first place is the ideal solution. Brush at least twice a day and keep flossing a part of your daily routine. Use an antimicrobial rinse to help slow down plaque development, if your dentist feels it’s okay for you.

If you need treatment for gum disease, your dentist may recommend antibiotic therapy in addition to a deep cleaning. To find out which procedure is best, you need a full gum examination. Schedule yours today.

Posted on behalf of:
Pacific Sky Dental
6433 Mission St
Daly City, CA 94014
(650) 353-3130

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

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