Dental Tips Blog

Sep
19

Nearly 1 Out of 2 People Have This Disease – Are You At Risk?

Posted in Gum Disease

According to a CDC study, some 47% of Americans have this disease…

…It’s bacterial in origin.

…It’s contagious.

…It’s connected to other diseases like stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

…Untreated, it will lead to tooth loss.

Can you guess what it is?

Also called periodontal disease or periodontitis, we’re talking about none other than simple gum disease.

The Ever-Present Threat Of Gum Disease

You might have been surprised to learn that periodontitis is so prevalent. Gum disease occurs in varying stages and affects people differently depending on their oral hygiene, health, and even genetics. Still, it may be closer to home than you may realize.

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis – uncomplicated gum inflammation. But inflamed gums pull away from teeth and create pockets which shelter greater numbers of harmful bacteria. The more bacteria show up, the more your body has to fight against.

Gingivitis left untreated will advance to a more complex infection. Your gums and the ligament and bone underneath can break down. This is how teeth lose support and eventually fall out.

The bacteria that trigger gum inflammation are so common that everyone picks them up over the course of their lifetime. Given the opportunity to flourish, those germs will do so.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

While there’s no practical way to eliminate the germs from your mouth altogether, you can still keep them from accumulating.

How?

Efficient, daily tooth brushing and flossing.

A solid daily regimen of oral hygiene, coupled with routine cleanings, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices is the most important way to keep gum disease at bay.

Consult your dentist for a gum health evaluation to find out your risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

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

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
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
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

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

Nov
25

Do I Need a Deep Gum Cleaning?

Posted in Gum Disease

A “deep gum cleaning” sounds like a deep tissue massage or maybe even like having your car detailed. It might sound fancy, but it’s not exactly an optional procedure like something you might select at a spa.

The idea of having your gums deep cleaned could be a concept that makes you squirm in pain! But here again, the real thing is quite different from what you might imagine.

A balanced view of the procedure will help you to make the right decision.

Why Deep Cleanings Happen

Gum disease begins small as gingivitis. Left untreated, it can advance into something far more serious called periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is when the ligaments and bone that hold your teeth start to break down.

As the gums break down, pockets form in the gums around teeth. These pockets collect bacteria and tartar, which make the disease even worse.

What to Expect at a Deep Cleaning Appointment

A deep cleaning, also known as root planing, helps remove bacteria and debris from the tooth root. A skilled dental hygienist uses specialized tools to reach as far down in the pocket as possible. The tools smooth out the root of the tooth and give your gums a chance to reattach against a clean surface.

This might sound a little rough, but you can be numbed up with local anesthesia for the whole procedure so that you don’t feel a thing!

Determining Your Need for Periodontal Treatment

Periodontal disease of varying degrees is more common than many realize. Visiting your dentist on a regular basis will give your dentist the chance to evaluate where the health of your gums stand.

Schedule your periodontal evaluation today!

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

Nov
16

Periodontal Disease: The Connection to Your Body

Posted in Gum Disease

What is periodontal disease?

Also known simply as “gum disease” or “periodontitis,” this disease is one of the most common oral infections.

And it’s not just the gums that are affected.

The “periodontium” is a complex network of ligaments and tissues that support and anchor your teeth. These structures are extremely important if you want to keep your teeth for life. Your teeth aren’t affixed directly into bone like dental implants are. Rather, they are cushioned, suspended, and nourished by this matrix of ligaments.

How it Starts

Bacteria in plaque left along the gumline can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the surface layer of the gums. If this isn’t treated, it can advance right into that periodontium, transforming into periodontal disease.

When this deep layer gets infected, the gums become inflamed and pull away from the tooth. The bone around the teeth also eventually breaks down. This leads to teeth becoming mobile and eventually falling out.

What This Has to Do with Your Body

Scientists are not even entirely sure of the mechanisms behind it, but there is a definite link between periodontal disease and other health problems such as:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Pre-mature births
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis

These connections could be due to bacteria entering the bloodstream from infected sites in the gums. It’s also likely that the chronic inflammation in the gums trigger inflammatory responses elsewhere.

Basically, when your mouth is fighting a disease like this, your entire immune system is strained.

Stay on top of your overall health by keeping your gums clean. Visit your dentist for a gum health assessment and to learn how to lower your risk for periodontal disease and treat symptoms early.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Sep
20

Are Your Gums a Healthy Color?

Posted in Gum Disease

What do you see when you think of a Hollywood smile? Probably a glittering row of pearly whites nestled against lush coral-pink gums.

But what if your gums aren’t coral-pink? Maybe they’re not pink, at all. Does this mean that you have a serious problem on your hands? Or on your gums, we should say.

A Beautiful Spectrum

What many folks don’t realize is that gums come in a variety of colors much in the way that skin does. Gums can have many colors in them. They can even be freckled!

This variety is perfectly healthy. You can thank genetics for your hair color, skin color, eye color, and yes, gum color.

When Disease is the Cause

Sometimes, an unusual coloration in the gums is a bad sign. Different stages and types of gum disease can cause visible changes in the color of your gums. For example, bright red gums along with the presence of bleeding usually mean that they are inflamed. This is gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.

When you visit your dentist, you’ll find out whether the color of your gums is normal or a sign that something serious is going on.

Ready for a Change?

In most cases of gum disease, your gums will return to a more healthy hue after they are treated for the disease. What if you want to lighten the natural color of your gums?

Cosmetic dental specialists have the tools and knowledge necessary to help you out. It’s possible to essentially “bleach” the color of your gums if you desire a lighter shade.

Call your local dentist today to schedule a consultation to see how your gum color checks out.

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

 

Aug
19

Understanding Periodontal Attachment Loss

Posted in Gum Disease

What does that even mean?

If you are at risk for gum disease, then it’s vital for you to have a periodontal screening. Your smile depends upon healthy gums just as much as healthy teeth.

The term “periodontal” refers to the tissues and ligaments that support your teeth below the visible part of your gums. Your teeth need these structures to stay in place.

Bacteria and Your Gums

Periodontal disease starts with bacterial buildup. The bacteria are what make up dental plaque. If not removed daily, these germs cause gums to become irritated and inflamed.

The inflammation can eventually reach beyond the gum line to all those ligaments we talked about earlier. This results in the ligaments breaking down.

The Effects of Periodontal Disease

As the periodontal structures break down, the shallow pocket of gum tissue around the tooth deepens into a periodontal pocket. This pocket shelters harmful bacteria and tartar and is hard to clean out. The deeper the pocket, the greater the amount of attachment loss.

Because your teeth are losing this attachment, they can eventually fall out altogether. Periodontal disease leads to tooth loss and also affects your overall health.

Measuring Your Gum Health

At regular intervals, your dental office will perform a periodontal evaluation. This includes measuring the depth of the shallow pocket around each tooth with a dental “ruler.” When the readings are regularly updated, your dental team can detect early signs of attachment loss. This helps alert you to the start of gum disease and get it under control before it gets worse.

Talk with your local dental team about what steps you can take to prevent gum disease. Call today to schedule a periodontal checkup!

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559

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