Dental Tips Blog

Apr
25

What is Gingivitis?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth caused by plaque build up on the teeth and gums. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, and thus, should not be ignored when it appears in the mouth. Almost everyone will experience gingivitis at some point in his/her mouth. The good thing about gingivitis is that it is easy to treat when caught in its early stage. Classic symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed while brushing the teeth. Often, people have receding gums from gingivitis that make the teeth appear elongated. 

Gingivitis is typically caused when people do not floss their teeth on a daily basis. Flossing removes plaque from between the teeth that a toothbrush can not get to. When people choose not to floss, they are leaving plaque between the teeth that damages the gums and can eventually lead to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Contrary to what many people believe, flossing should not be painful and it should not cause the gums to bleed. Healthy gums are firm, light pink in color, and do not bleed – even when pushed or poked. People who have bleeding gums while flossing are simply not flossing enough. Irritated gums bleed, healthy gums do not.

Proper flossing, brushing the teeth, and visiting the dentist on a regular basis all work together to promote optimal oral health. Gingivitis does not form in healthy mouths, but it does form in mouths that are overrun with plaque. Good oral hygiene is essential to preventing gingivitis, and that is something you have control over.

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

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Mar
25

Local Antibiotic Use in Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

When we think about antibiotic use for treating infections, most people think about antibiotics that are taken systemically, that is, through a prescription that is delivered orally and absorbed by the digestive system before taking effect. There’s another type of antibiotic used for treating advanced stages of gum disease, and that is the locally placed antibiotic. There are a few different types of these put into use by dentistry, and they come in different forms such as chips or capsules.

The locally placed antibiotic is delivered into the direct area(s) where infection is the worst, that is, the pocket is deeper, and bone loss more severe. The gradual release of antibiotic into the contained area of infection allows this type of gum disease treatment to be extremely effective following periodontal therapies such as scaling and root planing procedures. The slow-release antibiotic provides a consistent dosage of medicine to the area. Consequently, these areas respond much quicker to therapy than severe areas that are not treated with an antibiotic.

Locally placed antibiotics are typically reserved for only severe areas of infection and the number of applications that can be placed in the patient’s mouth. Some patients only have one application while others may have 3, 4, or 5. This depends on the type of medication being used.

Ironically, your dentist will ask you not to floss this area for a week or even two weeks after the medication has been placed. That will prevent you from accidentally dislodging the capsule or chip and removing it. After the full course has been completed, then that area can once again be cleaned as normal.

Posted on behalf of Dan Myers

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