Dental Tips Blog

Mar
30

Are Braces Making Your Gums Swell? What it Could Mean

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums are touchy and sensitive. They can even be a little moody. They don’t like sharing their space with anything.

When new braces come into town, gums can overreact by swelling beyond their normal size.

Some people’s gums are more sensitive than others. For the most part, however, you may be able to pin your swollen gums on a specific cause.

Put a Little More Work into Your Brushing!

Braces provide more surface area for plaque bacteria to collect on. These germs cause gum irritation (gingivitis), so getting braces increases your chances of angering your soft tissues.

This situation is easily remedied by taking your tooth-brushing game to the next level.

Your gums could benefit greatly from:

  • Extra brushing during the day
  • Brushing with a powered toothbrush
  • Using a water flosser
  • Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash

Hormones Turning Up the Volume on Gum Inflammation

In some instances, you aren’t entirely at fault for swollen gums. Sometimes it can be your hormones.

People usually get braces while in their teens. This is a time when hormones wreak havoc all over the body. It can be the same when you’re expecting; if you’re pregnant, you might see the same effects of how your situation starts to affect your gums.

Those picky gums respond in dramatic fashion to hormones with swelling and bleeding. Even so, this is still a good time to improve your oral hygiene.

Swollen gums can lead to serious gum disease later on, but they don’t have to, as long as you practice diligent oral hygiene. You can keep wearing your braces by doing your best to keep your teeth – and gums – clean. If swelling has you nervous about your braces, talk with your dentist or orthodontist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Mar
6

Get Rid of Gingivitis At Home with These 4 Easy Steps

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is inflammation of your gums. It’s a very common condition affecting people of all ages. If you’re dealing with it now, then you want to know how to get rid of it before it turns into something worse.

Fortunately, you can take measures here and now to start reducing the inflammation.

  1. Change Your Brush

It’s as simple as getting a more effective toothbrush. Look for one with soft bristles and a head that’s small enough to access all of your teeth. Many people with gingivitis like a powered brush because it’s good at removing the bacterial plaque that causes inflammation.

  1. Floss Daily

Flossing is good for preventing cavities. But it’s also essential for removing the plaque in between teeth that trigger gum inflammation. Flossing every day should eventually help your gums to bleed less.

  1. Antimicrobial Rinse

Look for an ADA-approved mouthwash that claims to kill bacteria. When used along with brushing and flossing, a rinse can prevent plaque buildup from recurring for long periods throughout the day.

  1. Vitamin C

Your gums can benefit a lot from just a little extra vitamin C in your diet. A strong immune system empowers your gums to fight off bacterial infections. Get lots of this water-soluble vitamin in strawberries, oranges, red peppers, kale, and other vegetables.

Fighting gingivitis is important because it can advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis attacks the bone and ligaments that keep your teeth in place. It can also increase your risk of developing other health problems.

After doing what you can at home, make sure to schedule a checkup with your local dentist. Professional dental cleanings will help you maintain the best gum health possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Oct
8

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is one of those conditions that can be considered a “silent killer” for your smile.

Gum disease is not likely to be deadly in the way that heart disease or cancer can be. But it is connected to serious ailments such as pneumonia and stroke. That’s because the gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. A chronic infection in your mouth can negatively impact other areas.

How do you know if you’re susceptible to this underestimated yet common disease?

Your Gums Easily Bleed

Contrary to popular belief, your gums don’t bleed because your hygienist “stabs” them. Neither is it normal for gums to bleed when you floss. Inflamed gum tissue is loaded with blood vessels that are easily damaged. So, if you notice pink in the sink, that could be a sign of infection.

Your Bad Breath Just Won’t Go Away

Not all kinds of halitosis can be masked with a breath mint. Chronic gum disease can leave a frustrating odor on your breath that causes people to keep their distance.

Gum Recession Is Driving Your Crazy

Do your teeth look a little long? Gums will shrink away from teeth as a result of inflammation from periodontitis. If you notice that more of your tooth roots are exposed, then it’s worth seeing a dentist to find out whether gum disease is to blame.

Don’t wait much longer if any of these signs are plaguing your smile! Taking quick action to treat or prevent gum disease could save not just your teeth but possibly lower your risk for other serious health problems.

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

Sep
22

It’s Just Gingivitis – What’s the Big Deal?

Posted in Gum Disease

Discolored teeth and gingivitis can’t do that much harm, right?

“Dirty” teeth aren’t just stained. They also host lots of bacterial species, both good and bad. Leave those bacteria on your teeth long enough, however, and some will start to cause trouble.

Some germs, for example, cause cavities. Others, when left in contact with the gums for more than a day, will trigger a case of gingivitis.

What Is Gingivitis?

Your gums react to bacteria the way your skin reacts to a splinter.

Irritants trigger an automatic immune response. Gum tissues swell to allow more pathogen-fighting agents to get to the site of infection. As a result, your gums will start to look puffy and redder than usual.

This is gingivitis – the first stage in the process of gum inflammation.

Why Gingivitis Means Trouble

If those germs that caused the inflammation don’t go away, neither will the swelling.

More plaque bacteria can sneak into the tight space between tooth and gum as the gums swell and pull back from the teeth. Over time, this space can widen and allow more debris to slip in and aggravate the infection.

Your body will step up its disease-fighting game, but this process also damages gum tissues and bone. You could be left with a vicious cycle in which the bacteria multiply and your gums continue to break down. The end result is a destructive condition called periodontitis.

Periodontitis causes bad breath and gum recession and can lead to tooth-loss and other health issues.

So don’t brush off a mild case of gingivitis as nothing. Ask your dentist for periodontal treatment options to reverse the inflammation while you still can!

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505

Aug
29

How Gum Inflammation Affects Your Body

Posted in Gum Disease

Inflammation is a normal reaction and usually one of your body’s best friends.

It’s how your immune system gets rid of unwanted guests. Everything from viruses to bad foods to a little wooden splinter in your finger can trigger an inflammatory reaction.

What Happens During Inflammation?

Your body will flood the compromised site with tons of white blood cells and proteins to kill the invader. Tissues swell with the increased blood flow, making them warm and tender.

This is the same thing that happens to your gums in the case of gum disease.

How Gum Inflammation Happens

Periodontitis, also call periodontal disease or gum disease, is chronic inflammation in response to bacteria living deep in gum pockets around teeth. Because most people don’t feel or notice anything different when they have this disease, they conclude nothing is wrong.

Whether you’re bothered by gum inflammation or not, you have good reason to get your gums checked out. Periodontal disease doesn’t just jeopardize your gums and teeth. The chronic inflammation can tax your system in other ways.

Mouth-Body Connection

Growing research shows that there is some connection between inflamed gums and health problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

One reason for this could be that inflammatory chemicals released in your gums to fight bacteria trigger the buildup of plaque in arteries. This puts you at risk for blood clots.

If you already have a condition like diabetes, then it’s even more important that you keep your gums healthy. Don’t let gum inflammation rage unchecked!

Talk with your dentist for more information on how to treat and prevent gum disease. Your body will thank you!

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

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

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

Feb
14

Understanding Periodontal Pockets

Posted in Periodontics

Ever heard of “pocketing” in the gums?

Whenever your dentist or hygienist measures your gums with a little dental probe and calls out numbers, they’re looking for periodontal pockets.

What Makes it a Pocket?

Your gums are not empty sockets around your teeth. They actually have tiny fibers that connect into the tooth. These fibers not only protect tooth roots, but they provide cushioning and support when you bite. All those ligaments and fibers make up the “periodontium” of your smile.

The empty space or shallow valley between a tooth and the gum tissue should not be very deep. A periodontal pocket happens when that trough of unattached gum tissue extends into the area where it should be attached.

The presence of a pocket also indicates that the bone supporting your tooth in that area is now gone. That’s even more bad news for your tooth.

Periodontal Pockets – Why They’re Dangerous

Why is a healthy periodontium so important?

As suggested earlier, the bone and ligaments around the roots of your teeth are critical for support. Once that support is lost, you risk losing the tooth. Not only that, but your gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. Periodontal disease in your gums can gradually affect your health in other ways.

How To Avoid Pockets

Your dentist will keep track of your gum health by taking measurements at least once a year. This will alert you to any areas of concern that need some more attention.

Keeping your teeth and gums clean is essential to avoiding an infection that triggers periodontal breakdown. Ask your dentist for suggestions on keeping your gums in top shape.

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

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