Dental Tips Blog

Feb
3

Are You Paying Attention to Your Gums When You Brush?

Posted in Gum Disease

When you think about “brushing,” you automatically think “teeth.”

Brushing is very important for dental health. But did you know that it is equally as important for your gum health, too?

Here are some ways to show your gums a little more love while you brush each day.

45 Degrees at the Gum Line

Most importantly, make sure you’re brushing with the toothbrush bristles angled into your gum margin at about 45 degrees. This will ensure that you wick away all the plaque bacteria that accumulate there.

Germs are responsible for causing cavities, but other kinds of bacteria contribute to problems like gingivitis and periodontitis. Getting rid of this plaque film every day will lower your chances of gum disease.

Give Your Gums a Massage

While you brush along the gum line, wiggle the toothbrush in short and fast, yet gentle strokes. This jiggling motion is good for loosening plaque and it also stimulates healthy circulation in your gum tissue, which boosts your gums’ infection-fighting ability.

You can take things a step further by purchasing an electric toothbrush or a blunt-tipped gum stimulator. These make it easier to massage your gums to better health.

Rinse Out

An antibacterial rinse after brushing and flossing can slow down plaque growth for several hours. This has therapeutic benefits for your gums just as much as your breath.

Watch for Blood

Your gums should not bleed when you brush! If you see pink in the sink, that means you’re either brushing too harshly or there’s something more serious going on. You’ll need to see a dentist for advice.

Schedule regular oral health checkups at your local dental office to make sure your gums are in perfect shape.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

 

Jan
28

What’s Causing That Strange Taste in Your Mouth? 9 Possibilities

Posted in Gum Disease

Your nose and taste buds work together to help you enjoy the experience of eating. But they can work against you when you start randomly experiencing an foul taste or odor coming from your mouth.

What’s behind that bitter, salty, or metallic taste? Here are nine possibilities to discuss with your dentist.

Inadequate Home Care

Improper brushing and flossing could accidentally allow smelly bacteria and food debris to accumulate into a film you can literally taste.

Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally cleanses your mouth and reduces acidity. But if you’re suffering from xerostomia (dry mouth,) your mouth may taste unpleasant.

Dental Infections

Bacteria can infect teeth and gums to the point of releasing odors that both taste and smell bad. These symptoms could indicate tooth decay, a dental abscess, or gum disease.

Hormone Changes

Pregnant women and women experiencing menopause often complain of a bitter or metallic taste in their mouth.

Medications

A wide range of prescription medications can be to blame for a strange taste that just doesn’t go away.

Sinus Infections and Allergies

Sinus (and even respiratory) infections can cause a temporary unpleasant taste.

Acid Reflux

Suffer from GERD? When acid from the stomach makes its way to your mouth, you’ll notice a bitter aftertaste. This condition often causes a bad taste in the mouth when you wake up in the morning.

Yeast Infection

Thrush is a common type of yeast infection affecting denture wearers and people with compromised immune systems. The fungal growth will alter your taste until the infection clears up.

Stress

High levels of anxiety can cause unexpected changes in the way you taste things.

Still not sure what could be causing an odd taste in your mouth? Contact your dentist for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Jan
28

Swollen Gums? What You Can Do

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums usually swell up in response to irritation. Everyone has to deal with swollen gums at some point in their lives – whether it’s due to a piece of popcorn stuck along your gums or skipping a few days of flossing – if you currently have gum inflammation throughout your mouth, then these steps provide some relief.

Rinse with Warm Salt Water

For swollen gums that are tender and sore, a warm salt water rinse is a good thing to start with. Rinsing gently can bring down the inflammation and soothe painful tissues. Use about ½ teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water.

Brush and Floss

The next step is to physically remove any plaque or debris that could be contributing to the inflammation. You can do this best by brushing with a soft toothbrush and flossing, paying special attention to cleaning just under the gumlines. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent swollen gums before they start.

Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Mouth rinses containing ingredients like essential oils or cetylpyridinium chloride inhibit bacterial growth. Using these mouthwashes can prevent plaque from growing between tooth brushing sessions, giving your swollen gums a better chance to heal.

Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Your body need lots of vitamin C to stay healthy. Gums may quickly swell up if your diet has been low in fruits and vegetables, lately. Load up on vitamin-rich fresh foods to boost your gum health.

See Your Dentist

Swollen gums can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that leads to tooth loss. Don’t just ignore swelling; if it doesn’t respond to improved oral hygiene measures, then it’s time to periodontal treatment.

Contact a dentist or periodontist in your area if you have any other questions about your gum health.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Jan
27

Want Healthier Gums? Do These 7 Things Every Night Before Bed

Posted in Gum Disease

Are you suffering from gingivitis? Adding these seven steps to your evening routine could make a major difference in your gum health.

  1. Eat a Salad

Vitamin C is essential to healthy gums. Get more than your daily recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving of the right fresh fruits or veggies. Aim for guava, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, kale, and oranges.

  1. Swish with Water After Dinner

Acids and sugar from your meals linger long after you’re done eating. This process fuels the growth of bacteria that cause gum inflammation. You shouldn’t brush immediately after dinner since that can spread the acids around. Rinse well with water and wait about a half hour before you brush.

  1. Brush Longer Than Usual

Pay special attention to brushing along the gum-line. Just scrubbing the front of your teeth isn’t enough. Take your time, brushing for at least two minutes.

  1. Use an Antigingivitis Toothpaste

Antigingivitis toothpastes contain an ingredient called triclosan, a mild antibacterial agent. While triclosan is no longer recommended in hand soap, it’s still very effective at controlling bacterial growth in the gums.

  1. Floss Thoroughly

Flossing removes germs and debris from between teeth and gums where a toothbrush can’t reach. You may find it easier to floss at night versus in the morning when you’re busy.

  1. Massage Your Gums

A blunt-tipped gum stimulator rubbed along your gum-line encourages healthy circulation and toughens up delicate tissues.

  1. Rinse with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Anti-plaque rinses contain therapeutic essential oils that inhibit bacterial growth. Rinsing for thirty seconds after brushing will help reduce gum inflammation.

Ask your periodontist for more tips on how to keep your gums healthy.

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

Jan
26

The 6 Main Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is a serious condition that most people know little about. If not treated, this chronic infection can lead to tooth loss. It also negatively impacts overall health.

Are you at risk for gum disease?

Here are the six main risk factors for developing periodontitis.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Bacteria found in plaque biofilm is the primary cause of gum disease. Some bacteria species are more dangerous than others and you can’t always control which kind of germs you have in your mouth. Even so, brushing and flossing to get rid of plaque will slow down bacterial growth. If you don’t have good oral hygiene, you are at risk for periodontitis.

Smoking

Tobacco use is a major contributor of gum disease. Smoking slows down healing and blood circulation which are necessary to fight off bacterial infections. When you smoke, you make it easier for bacteria to infect and destroy your tissues.

Diabetes

Diabetes and periodontitis go hand-in-hand. Uncontrolled diabetes makes it almost impossible to control a gum infection because the body can’t heal itself very well. High blood sugar levels may also contribute to greater tissue destruction in the gums.

Age

Poor gum health is common for older adults. With advancing age comes an increased risk for gum disease (especially if flossing wasn’t a habit.)

Stress

Stress releases chemicals that can actually speed up the breakdown of gum tissue and impair the body’s ability to heal. Stress may also cause you to neglect your oral hygiene.

Genetics

If someone in your family had gum disease, odds are good that you’re at risk, too.

Schedule a gum health evaluation with a dentist near you and learn how you can lower your risk for gum disease induced tooth loss.

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

Nov
28

How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is serious business since that affects far more than just your gums.

Some of the direct consequences of this oral infection include:

  • Bleeding, sensitive gums
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath
  • Loose and missing teeth

But there are other reasons you should be concerned with preventing periodontitis.

Increased Risk for Disease and Infection

Although research hasn’t yet identified a direct cause-and-effect relationship between gum health and overall health, the link is strong. Those with periodontitis are statistically at higher risk for complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Connections Between Periodontitis and the Body

There are a couple of theories as to why the rest of the body suffers from gum disease. One is that the bacteria involved in causing the infection spread to other areas, such as the heart. The other theory is that chemicals produced to fight the infection cause inflammation in arteries, joints, and so on.

Reduce Your Risk for Gum Disease

Preventing periodontitis isn’t something only dentists need to worry about. With nearly 80% of adults in the United States suffering from gum disease to some degree, everyone needs to be concerned.

You can reduce your chances of developing gum infections by brushing and flossing every day to reduces bacterial buildup. Cut down or cut out your smoking habit, since tobacco stops your gums’ natural healing process.

Equally as important is visiting a dentist regularly for gum health checkups and inquiring about periodontal treatments if necessary. Dental professionals can identify and explain signs that your gums are inflamed and infected with bacteria, as opposed to something else.

Stay on top of your gum and overall health by contacting your dentist to schedule an examination.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Nov
27

How Does Flossing Prevent Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is caused by bacteria that trigger gum inflammation and breakdown. If periodontitis isn’t prevented or treated, it can cause teeth to fall out.

So what role does flossing play in preventing gum inflammation and tooth loss?

Oral Hygiene and Gum Disease

Since periodontitis starts with a bacterial infection, the first line of defense should be preventing the bad germs from setting up camp.

Good oral hygiene is all about slowing and preventing bacterial growth in the mouth. Tooth brushing is an important way to remove the bacterial film called plaque from the gum line and other surfaces of the teeth.

But flossing is how you reach the spots between teeth that toothbrush bristles can’t access. Dental floss disrupts bacterial growth which would otherwise start irritating the gums.

Since the germs multiply on a daily basis, you need to floss on a daily basis to keep up. That’s why dentists stress regular flossing.

Other Factors Besides Oral Hygiene

Periodontitis is a complex disease that scientists are still working to explain. But there are several factors found to affect a person’s risk for gum disease.

  • Smoking
  • Age
  • Diet
  • Medication
  • Immune health
  • Underlying medical conditions

Work with your dentist to figure out if there’s anything you can do to change factors that may be putting you at risk for gum disease.

But one thing all gum health professionals agree helps lower the risk for periodontitis is flossing.

Flossing is the one thing you can do to limit plaque growth and gum inflammation, definitely lowering your chances for getting gum disease.

Schedule a gum health evaluation at your local dental office to find out other ways to prevent unwanted tooth loss.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Oct
22

What to Expect with Gum Surgery

Posted in Gum Disease

Having surgery on your gums may sound a little scary. But it won’t be as bad as you’re expecting!

You may need gum surgery for any of several reasons:

  • To graft new gum tissue in place
  • Scaling and root planing for teeth affected by gum disease
  • Make teeth look longer and more even
  • Treatment for tissue regeneration

Who Performs the Surgery? 

A periodontist (gum specialist) usually performs the procedure. Some oral surgeons also perform gum surgery, such as placing grafts. A general dentist can treat your teeth and perform basic gum therapy, but you need to see a specialist when it comes to gum surgery. 

Is Gum Surgery Painful?

Gum surgery is over very quickly and you’ll be numb the entire time, so you won’t have to feel anything. Once the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some discomfort. Most patients say that gum surgery on the roof of their mouth is the most uncomfortable. It’s said to feel like a burn from eating hot pizza.

Your recovery doesn’t have to be very painful. Taking over the counter pain relievers as your gum surgeon directs and sticking to a diet of cool soft foods will help you stay comfortable.

Does It Take Long to Heal?

Oral tissues heal faster than most others in the body. If you have stitches, they usually come out within a week after the surgery. Even if it takes as long as two weeks to heal completely, you can get back into your normal routine within a day of the procedure.

Contact a periodontist or dentist in your area to learn more about what’s involved in gum surgery and whether it’s right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Oct
22

Can Gums Grow Back?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum loss is a pretty big deal, since gums are supposed to provide protection and support for tooth roots. Without them, teeth can develop cavities on their roots and become very sensitive.

So is there any chance of your gums growing back once a little bit is lost?

Unfortunately, no.

Gums grow to a set height in proportion with the underlying bone. If that bone is lost, the gums cannot reform all the way up to cover the tooth root. It would have nothing to attach to and be very floppy! Gingiva worn away from the front of teeth also cannot regrow. They’ve lost the elastic tissue that attaches them to root surfaces.

How to Restore Lost Gums

Your gums won’t grow back on their own once they’re lost. But there are a few ways you can prevent further damage and protect your teeth.

Get treatment for gum disease – Gum recession caused by infection will only continue to worsen. Ask your dentist for a gum health exam and gum disease treatment to stop the disease progression.

Switch toothbrushes – Go for a brush with soft bristles or even a powered toothbrush to reduce how hard you’re scrubbing.

Try gum or bone grafting – Some areas of your mouth can be repaired by grafting in tissue to serve as a scaffold to help new gingiva attach.

Have your teeth bonded – Dental bonding patches up exposed roots and fills in gaps between teeth with a tooth-colored filling. This protects roots exposed by gum loss and helps close empty spaces.

Visit your local dentist for help in identifying the cause behind your lost gums and to find out what treatment options are available.

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

Sep
19

If Your Gums Are Bleeding, It’s Probably for One of These Reasons

Posted in Gum Disease

Bleeding gums may come as a shock if you’ve never experienced it before. On the other hand, your gums may bleed so often that you feel it’s normal.

Bleeding gums are anything but normal, however.

Your dentist will help you figure out whether one of the following causes are behind your unhappy gum tissues.

Gum Disease

A bacterial infection in the gums called periodontitis is the most common cause of bleeding gingiva.

The infection starts out as gingivitis. But if not treated, it can move into the ligaments and bone below the gums.

Your body responds to the bacterial infection with an inflammatory response. This causes blood vessels to expand around the gum tissues. When the gums swell from the infection, those blood vessels are easily ruptured with brushing or flossing.

Gum disease typically begins with inadequate oral hygiene. It can flare up with changes like stress, smoking, and a poor diet.

Hectic Hormones

A sudden change in hormones can make gums overly sensitive to dental plaque. Pregnancy is notorious for causing bleeding gums.

Medication

If you’re on something like a blood-thinner, then your gums will easily bleed when disturbed. Something like taking aspirin on a regular basis may make your gums prone to bleeding more heavily.

Rough Flossing 

Pulling the floss too roughly between teeth can cut gums and make them bleed unnecessarily. Floss can cut soft gum tissue like a knife if you don’t learn how to maneuver it properly.

What if you’re confident you have your oral hygiene well under control but still suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums?

Schedule a visit with your local family dentist to find out what’s making your gums bleed.

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

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