Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

Are Crooked Teeth Increasing Your Risk of Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Having a less-than-perfect smile may not be such a big deal. But having gum disease is.

Gum disease, also called periodontitis, leads to tooth loss and can even predispose you to other health complications.

Crooked teeth are far more than just a cosmetic issue. Having tipped or crowded teeth could actually put you at higher risk of gum disease. Here’s how.

The Dangers of Crooked Teeth

Your teeth are healthier when spaced out in even alignment than when they’re crammed together. Overlapping teeth trap plaque bacteria and food debris which lead to decay and gum irritation. Properly spaced teeth are easy to clean with a toothbrush or floss and are thus more likely to be healthy.

Crooked teeth also put uneven tension on your gums. This leads to gum recession which worsens the effects of gum disease.

Braces Can Lower Your Risk of Periodontitis

Orthodontic treatment frees up space between your teeth and reduces tension on the gums. Even a short treatment period can make a difference in your oral health. Wearing braces or an orthodontic retainer may seem uncomfortable or inconvenient at times. But it’ll all be worth it in the end when you have healthy teeth and gums that are easy to keep clean.

Can Braces Make Your Gums Healthier?

Your teeth and gums may stand to benefit from braces if in addition to crooked teeth you have:

  • Gum recession
  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Food constantly getting trapped between your teeth
  • Difficulty flossing between tight or overlapping teeth
  • Gums that bleed whenever you floss or brush

See a dentist in your area for a gum health and orthodontic evaluation to see if braces are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth, GA 30102
(678) 888-1554

Sep
13

7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Smile After Gum Disease Strikes

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is serious but treatable. By following these seven steps under professional guidance, you can rebuild your smile and restore your oral health.

  1. See a Gum Health Professional

The very first thing you need to do if you suspect gum disease is to see a dentist or periodontist. A gum health professional will assess your gums for signs of disease and let you know exactly which steps to take next.

  1. Get a Deep Cleaning

Most treatment for gum disease involves a deep cleaning to remove tartar and bacteria from below the gum line. This step is crucial to controlling the infection.

  1. Try Antibiotic Therapy

Some patients benefit from antibiotic therapy to reduce the bacteria causing the inflammation. Your doctor may recommend local application around specific teeth, a therapeutic antimicrobial mouthwash, or a course of prescription pills.

  1. Cut Out Smoking

Smoking delays healing and makes gum tissue tough and inflexible. Cut back on the habit while your gums recover from treatment.

  1. Clean Your Teeth and Gums Well

Now that your gums are responding well to treatment, you must maintain the progress you’ve made. Brush and floss every day to prevent more germs from infecting your gums.

  1. Take Extra Vitamin C

An orange a day could boost your gums’ immune health. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

  1. Consider Gum Surgery and Other Restorative Treatment

Have your teeth lost support due to gum disease? You may need bone grafting, gum tissue grafting, or replacement teeth. Replacing these lost structures will keep your mouth healthy and prevent you from developing gum disease again.

Ready for healthier gums? Call your dentist to get started.

Posted on behalf of:
Smile Design Studios
6130 Highway 6
Missouri City, TX 77459
(281) 969-7388

Sep
11

Long Teeth: What Causes Them and What You Can Do About Them

Posted in Gum Disease

Come Halloween time, many people are thinking up scary costumes to put on for parties and outings. Yet it seems that the scariest features are the ones that don’t come off when you remove the mask!

Realizing that your teeth are getting longer can be a terrifying experience.

What causes this condition? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?

Gum Recession Causes Long Teeth

It’s probably not that your teeth are getting longer but that your gums are getting shorter. Gum recession is when the tissue that normally covers your teeth shrinks away and exposes the long yellow roots.

Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Brushing your teeth too hard or using a rough toothbrush
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Gum disease
  • Poor tooth alignment
  • Age

How to Prevent Long Teeth

There may be some gum recession factors that you have no control over. But by changing up a few small things in your daily routine, you should be able to slow down the damage.

For example, try switching to a toothbrush with soft or even extra soft bristles. Swap the manual toothbrush for a powered one that cleans your teeth for you with just the right amount of pressure.

What about the damage that’s already been done? Your dentist can recommend a few solutions for protecting your exposed teeth and keeping them bright and healthy. Dental bonding and fluoride treatments are very good for fixing long teeth. In extreme cases, you may even qualify for gum grafting to replace the lost tissue.

Ask your dentist for more advice on how to make your teeth look shorter and less scary!

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Sep
10

Gum Disease—Is There a Cure?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is not as easy to cure as some make it out to be.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection from bacteria found in dental plaque that accumulates around teeth. Germs trigger inflammation in the tissue and the plaque changes into gum-irritating calcified tartar.

The early stage of gum inflammation is called gingivitis and is reversible. Once the infection reaches deeper tissues and ligaments below the gum line, however, it turns into the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.

Gum Disease: Don’t Treat This at Home!

If your gum disease has advanced past simple gingivitis, then it’s not likely to stop on its own no matter how many herbal concoctions you try. This is because true periodontitis means that you have toxins and irritants trapped deep within pockets around your teeth, which can’t be removed without special tools.

Additionally, gum disease causes permanent damage to the structures around your teeth. Receded gums and lost bone tissue don’t grow back on their own. The longer you wait to see if you can cure gum disease at home, the greater the danger to your smile.

The Only Way to Treat Gum Disease

You need treatment that focuses on removing the debris that’s irritating your gums and creating a healthy foundation to encourage as much healing as possible.

Professional gum therapy addresses this challenge in a few ways:

  • Deep cleaning to smooth tooth roots and remove tartar
  • Flushing out toxins from the gum tissue
  • Local antibiotic administration
  • Instructions on problem-focused oral hygiene techniques

Talk with your dentist to learn more about the best way to restore your gum health and prevent disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Sep
9

Deep Gum Cleaning—What You Need to Know

Posted in Gum Disease

Your dentist just told you that you need to have a “deep cleaning” and you’re terrified.

But the more you know about this kind of gum therapy, the less you’ll have to fear. Your dentist most likely prescribed the deep cleaning because your gums show signs of inflammation and infection.

Deep Cleanings Can Save Your Teeth

Gum tissue swells in response to the presence of plaque. As bacterial growth advances, the infection breaks down bone tissue around teeth. This creates pockets between the gums and tooth roots, where more germs collect.

A “deep cleaning” is when the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from the surfaces of your roots inside the pockets.

The purpose of deep cleanings is to provide a smooth base for the gum tissues to start healing and reattaching to. A deep cleaning is the first step to restoring the health of your gums.

Left untreated, gum disease can worsen to the point that teeth get loose and fall out.

Deep Cleanings Don’t Hurt

You’ll be numbed up for the cleaning procedure. Afterwards, your gums may feel a bit sore and your tooth roots might ache slightly from having the buildup removed. Overall, however, it’s not a traumatic experience.

How to Avoid Deep Cleanings

If you take measures to prevent gum disease beforehand, you can avoid the need for having such procedures. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to slow down the development of plaque bacteria that cause gum inflammation.

Ask your local dentist for a comprehensive gum health evaluation to learn more about your need for gum therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Aug
6

How Well Do You Know Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

Your gums are more important to your health than you may know. So how are your yours doing?

Why Your Gums Are Important

Your gums help keep your teeth in place to cushion and protect the tooth roots. If you lose your gums to recession or gum disease, you risk losing your teeth.

Gum tissue is loaded with blood vessels that connect with the rest of the body. The gums are the perfect portal for oral bacteria to sneak into the bloodstream and cause infections in other areas.

Inflammation in the gums also seems linked to other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Keeping your gums healthy is not just important for your smile – it’s important for your entire well-being.

Signs Your Gums May Be in Trouble

Your gums may need some special attention to ward off disease if you notice:

  • Your gums look redder than usual
  • The margins of your gums look swollen or puffy
  • Your gums bleed when you floss and/or brush
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Any other unusual gum discoloration

Pay close attention to your gums each day to check for signs of trouble. If something looks or feels off, see your dentist.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

A healthy gum care routine includes daily brushing and flossing. Brush along the gum line with light jiggling strokes to loosen plaque and debris. When you floss, make sure to slip it just below the gum line around each tooth.

Use an antibacterial rinse for its therapeutic effect after flossing and brushing.

Visit your dentist on a regular basis to find out what your gums’ health is like and to get more tips on healthy smile maintenance.

Posted on behalf of:
Laguna West Dental Care
9098 Laguna Main St Ste 8
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 683-7300

Aug
5

Bleeding Gums—Are Your Hormones to Blame?

Posted in Gum Disease

Do your gums bleed in spite of your best efforts to keep them clean?

Women are subject to many body changes thanks to fluctuating hormones. Some of these changes are significant and some are so small that you barely notice them.

For example, hormones can have an impact even on small areas such as your gum tissue.

How Hormones Affect Gums

The surge or other sudden shift in the levels of hormones including estrogen and progesterone can trigger odd changes in the gingiva.

You may experience more gum sensitivity and gingivitis at times in your life when your body has heightened levels of these hormones.

Specifically, you might have tender swollen gums that bleed around events like:

  • Puberty
  • Menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking contraceptives
  • Menopause

If you develop gingivitis suddenly and around a few random teeth, then this is a sign that your gums may be suffering from hormonal changes. In contrast, gingivitis that develops gradually around large areas of your mouth and that lasts for weeks suggests that your oral hygiene could use some improvement.

Protect Your Gums During Hormonal Changes

Even if your gingivitis is a temporary result of hormone fluctuations, it can still provide a gateway for a more serious infection if you don’t treat it.

Oral hygiene prevents disease-causing plaque from building up and triggering gum inflammation. Keep your gums healthy at all times by brushing carefully along your gum line every day and flossing around each tooth daily, as well. An antimicrobial rinse can also help prevent gum disease by limiting bacteria growth around your gums.

See your dentist regularly for gum health checkups to learn more about keeping your gums healthy despite the influence of hormones.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

Aug
5

5 Foods That Are Good for Your Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Could you munch your way to a better smile? A diet low in sugars and acids will inhibit the growth of troublesome bacteria. Here are five foods that will improve your gum health, brighten teeth, and freshen breath.

Yogurt

Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium because human bodies absorb calcium better from dairy than from plant-based sources. Your body needs calcium to keep your bones strong and your teeth healthy and white. Yogurt is a great source of calcium. Plus, it’s loaded with bacteria-fighting probiotics that can freshen your breath.

Beans and Lentils

Legumes (wing beans, especially) are good sources of calcium if your health or personal values don’t allow you to consume dairy. Beans also contain fiber and protein, which will keep you feeling full and energized longer and thus minimize the urge to snack and graze on sugary junk food.

Celery

Celery is not only healthy for your body but it’s a perfect natural tooth cleanser. Its fibrous texture and high water content naturally clean your teeth of smelly and dangerous plaque bacteria.

Red Peppers

Sweet peppers are incredible sources of vitamin C, a nutrient essential for healthy gums. You can also get vitamin C in fruit sources such as guava, oranges, and strawberries. Peppers are lower in sugar, however.

Green Tea

Green tea (sugar-free, of course) holds out a lot of potential oral health benefits. Some studies indicate that people who regularly drink green tea are at a lower risk of gum disease. Additionally, tea is good for freshening breath and is also a natural source of enamel-strengthening fluoride.

How is your current diet affecting your oral health? Find out by scheduling a visit with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Laguna West Dental Care
9098 Laguna Main St Ste 8
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 683-7300

Aug
1

When Was the Last Time You Had Your Gums “Charted?”

Posted in Gum Disease

If you’ve been faithful about visiting the dentist every six months for check-ups, then chances are you’ve had this special gum-charting procedure done before.

Gum (periodontal) charting is when the dental hygienist uses a small ruler-like probe to measure the depth of your gums all around each tooth. He or she documents the measurements in millimeters in a paper or digital chart.

What is the point of gum charting? And how often should you have it done?

Periodontal Charting Prevents Disease

Gum pocket measurements of 3-4 millimeters are considered healthy. Deeper readings can indicate inflamed gum tissue or the loss of bone around teeth due to gum disease.

By measuring your gums and tracking the depths from year to year, your dentist and hygienist can quickly identify areas that are starting to deteriorate. You’ll be alerted so you can take action to improve areas of concern, to avoid developing serious gum disease.

Dentists Recommend Charting Once a Year

Dentists, hygienists, and gum health specialists generally advise adults to have their periodontal charts updated on a yearly basis.

Naturally, each patient’s needs are different, so your hygienist may check your gum levels more or less often. If you’ve had perfectly healthy gums all of your life, you can probably wait a year or a little more between chartings. But if you have a history of periodontitis or are at high risk for periodontal disease then your hygienist may check your gums more often than once a year.

Periodontal charting can take several minutes, but it’s worth every second to know where your gum health is at! Contact your dentist today to make sure you’re up-to-date on this diagnostic procedure.

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

Jun
21

What Can You Do About Receding Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

There’s an abundance of “natural” treatments targeting gum recession. If you suffer from receding gums, then you may be desperate enough to rub anything on them to make them stop shrinking!

What can you do to treat gum recession? Here are the facts your dentist wants you to know.

Gums Can’t Grow Back

Gum tissue does not grow back on its own. Once it’s lost, it’s gone for good. Despite the claims of some natural gum health products or at-home remedies, there is nothing that will make your receded gums grow back again.

Rubbing Your Gums Might Be Making Things Worse

Gentle massage is great for gum tissue. It promotes healthy blood circulation and stimulates your gums to keep them strong and less sensitive to irritants. But if you rub them too hard with something abrasive like sea salt, then you could actually speed up the recession. Check with your dentist before trying any at-home gum recession treatments.

The Only Ways to Treat Gum Recession

The very first thing you need to do is identify the cause of your gum recession. Sometimes it’s a hereditary factor that you can’t do much about. More often than not, however, gum recession is linked to problems or activities that irritate the gums.

These can include:

  • Rough edges on dental restorations
  • Brushing too hard
  • Improper flossing technique
  • Irritation or abrasion from teeth whitening products
  • Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
  • Inflammation from gum disease

Your dentist can help you identify such problems and put a stop to them to halt the recession. Later, if you want to restore the gums around your teeth, you may qualify for a gum graft procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

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