Dental Tips Blog

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

Sep
17

Health Considerations for Oral Piercings

Posted in Gum Disease

Oral jewelry may look pretty, exotic, rebellious, or tough, but it can also be dangerous.

Here are a few things you should think about before you go ahead and get your lip, cheek, chin, or tongue pierced.

Infection

Even if your piercing was done with clean equipment, it’s still a hole in your mouth. Oral injuries are risky due to the high levels of bacteria found in your mouth. These germs can trigger an infection in a new piercing or an old one if it’s not kept clean.

Cleaning

Too many people neglect their piercings, not realizing how dirty they can get. You may find it’s a pain to regularly clean your accessory and make sure the pierced area is free of foreign debris.

Allergic Reaction

It’s one thing to have your earlobe swell up from a cheap piece of jewelry. But getting a tongue piercing is a bad time to discover you have an allergy. If your tongue or throat tissues swell up, you may have difficulty breathing and face a medical emergency.

Gum Recession

If a piercing constantly chafes against your gums when your cheeks or tongue move, that can trigger gums to recede. Sensitive tooth roots can be exposed to decay and require treatment such as gum grafts or gum recontouring.

Swallowing Risk

There’s always the chance that something doesn’t get screwed in right, and you accidentally swallow something sharp!

Before you get an oral piercing, carefully think about this: whether making a personal statement is worth destroying a free and healthy channel of expressing yourself – your smile!

If you’ve already made up your mind, talk to your dentist about how to safely care for the area to reduce your risk of gum damage and infection.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

 

Sep
13

Could Flossing Be Bad for Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

Flossing is important. Daily flossing helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but did you know that improper flossing could be harmful to your gums?

Technique Matters!

When you floss, stay as close to your tooth as possible. Wrap the floss snugly around the crown in a C-shape before working it below the gums between teeth.

Scoot the floss up and down all the while keeping it pulled firmly against the tooth. You don’t need to pull so hard that your tooth hurts, but keep the floss thread taut enough that it stays on the tooth.

Don’t just randomly shove floss between two teeth. Pay attention to each side of every tooth. Also, avoid forcing the floss through tight spots; instead, see-saw it in gently.

Why It Matters

Your teeth are curved on the sides. Picture a row of eggs resting in a foam egg crate. The spaces between the eggs are kind of hourglass shaped. Neighboring teeth sitting in gums look similarly.

If you don’t hug the floss to the crown of the tooth, you’ll end up missing all the plaque packed in at the gum line. It’s key to follow the curve of the tooth as you scoot the floss down to ensure you reach all the plaque.

Not only will incorrect technique miss plaque, but it can hurt your gums. Simply jamming the floss straight down between your teeth can cut your soft tissue.

Signs of Incorrect Flossing

Do your gums bleed every time you floss despite the fact that you floss daily? Is there a cleft or slice mark on the gums between your teeth?

Rough flossing may be your problem.

Ask your dentist for tips on gentle flossing and alternatives to traditional floss.

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

Sep
12

Does Your Child Have Gingivitis?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It’s a response to irritating plaque bacteria left on the teeth. When teeth aren’t brushed at least twice a day, the germs can cause gums to  become sensitive, swollen, and bleed easily.

Kids are just as prone to getting gingivitis as adults are. If not treated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis (gum disease) and eventually even tooth loss.

Fortunately, gum disease can be treated with periodontal therapy by your dentist or periodontist.  It’s important for you to recognize signs of gum problems in your kids to promote a healthy smile from a young age.

Signs of Gingivitis

Your child may be suffering from gingivitis if you notice that they have:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Bright red puffy gums
  • Thick yellowish buildup on their teeth
  • Complaints of sore gums
  • Bleeding that’s spontaneous or triggered by brushing or flossing

Why Kids Are Prone to Gingivitis

You likely help your small children with their tooth brushing. But as kids get older, they crave more independence. They want to take care of their own hygiene needs and you’re happy to encourage them.

Just because kids can brush their teeth on their own doesn’t mean they’re good at doing it regularly. Children may slack off on brushing, only doing it once a day at the most. A lack of brushing and flossing is the primary cause of gingivitis.

Kids on the verge of puberty tend to have more sensitive gums that overreact to dental plaque. Hormones in the body can trigger chronic cases of gingivitis.

If You Suspect Gingivitis

Gingivitis isn’t something your child has to live with forever. In fact, you can easily treat and prevent gum inflammation with regular dental visits and a bit of extra help at home. Plan a checkup for every member of your family to keep gum disease from becoming a permanent resident in your house!

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

Sep
9

Bad Breath? Your Gums May Be to Blame

Posted in Gum Disease

We all experience those occasional cases of halitosis.

It could be due to lots of garlic at dinner, or it could just be a morning thing.

But if you have bad breath that won’t go away, it may be time to put aside the mints and see a dentist for a gum check.

REALLY Bad Breath!

There is a difference between bad breath caused by food and that caused by a serious medical issue.

You might notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth, but there’s a good chance you don’t know you have a bad breath issue until someone tells you.

Bad breath associated with gum disease is described as something rotting. This kind of bad breath is hard for others to ignore and may even result in people avoiding you.

Why so much stink?

Periodontal Disease and Bad Breath

When gums get inflamed by bacteria, this is called gingivitis. It doesn’t usually stink, in itself. Mild bad breath may just result from the fact that plaque bacteria are left in the mouth too long.

Gingivitis, left untreated, can turn into something far worse.

Periodontitis (periodontal disease) is when the inflammation and infection spread far beyond the gums. The underlying ligaments and bone that support the teeth start to break down. This creates pockets around tooth roots that trap more bacteria.

That ever-accumulating mass of germs along with decaying ligaments create a powerful stench.

So if you notice persistent and very foul breath, it could be a sign that your gums are in trouble.

Get a diagnosis for the cause of your bad breath and get rid of it for good by seeing your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gainesville Dental Group
1026 Thompson Bridge Rd
Gainesville, GA 30501
(770) 297-0401

Aug
20

Can Gum Recession Cause Tooth Loss?

Posted in Gum Disease

You may have receding gums if you notice your teeth…

  • Are more temperature-sensitive than before
  • Are beginning to look longer and yellower
  • Feel an uncomfortable zing when you brush close to the gum line

Common causes of receding gums include rough tooth brushing, poor tooth alignment, smoking, gum disease, and excess tartar buildup.

Right now, you’re probably wondering what danger gum recession could pose for your teeth.

Why Gum Recession Is Bad News

Without gums to protect tooth roots, your teeth will be at increased risk for developing sensitivity and decay. They lack the protective enamel covering the upper part of teeth have.

Your gums are secured to the underlying bone that supports your teeth. If that bone disappears, then there’s nothing for the gums to grow onto. The gum line can’t grow any higher than the level of the bone.

This means that if your gums have receded far enough to expose the entire tooth root and risk it falling out, then you have a bigger problem with your bone than with your gums.

Bone-loss and accompanying severe gum recession can be caused by:

  • Trauma to jaw
  • A habit of teeth-clenching
  • Gum disease that has infected bone

Stop Gums from Receding

No matter how little gum recession you may have, do your teeth a favor and make it stop!

Ask your dentist whether a small change to your routine or habits can spare your gums any further damage. If your teeth have already lost a lot of gum and bone support, then you may be a candidate for tissue grafting to save your tooth.

Call your local dental office today to schedule a visit.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill, South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Aug
3

How to Get Rid of Swollen Puffy Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

Puffy gums usually happen as a reaction to an irritant like bacteria or dental calculus. Your gums may be particularly prone to swelling due to:

  • Wearing braces
  • Taking certain medications
  • Pregnancy or other major hormonal changes
  • A compromised immune system

What can you do if your gums often look puffy?

Improve Your Oral Hygiene

Reassess how well you clean your teeth. The less debris there is in your mouth, the less likely your gums are to swell up.

An effective routine focuses on gently brushing along the gum line at least twice a day. You should also floss once a day to keep plaque bacteria from irritating the gums between teeth.

Whether your swollen gums are directly related to oral hygiene or not, it never hurts to improve in your brushing. But if your gums are very uncomfortable, you may need some more immediate relief.

Ice Your Gums

Cool your gums and bring down the inflammation with ice water or a popsicle. The cold will constrict blood vessels and soothe puffy tissue.

Take a Painkiller

You should only medicate against gum pain if your doctor says it’s okay. But most over-the-counter painkillers can help dull strong pain caused by swollen gums.

Topical Numbing Gel

A numbing spray or gel used to treat oral sores can also work on sore gums. If your swollen gums have become so tender that it hurts to brush or eat, then numbing them up beforehand may be helpful.

Some kinds of gum inflammation are a sign of serious infection that could put your health at risk. Talk with your dentist to get an idea of what’s causing your gum tissue to puff up and to discover an effective solution, especially if symptoms don’t clear up in a day or two.

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

Aug
1

What’s the Difference Between Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Posted in Gum Disease

Toothpaste advertising often touts anti-gingivitis benefits. Your dentist talks about preventing periodontitis.

Is there a difference between these two words… or are they the same thing?

Gingivitis: The Beginning

Gingivitis is inflammation of gum tissues. Your gums should hug your teeth tightly, but they get rolled, puffy, and red when you develop gingivitis. This inflammatory process is an immune response to plaque bacteria near the gums. You can develop mild gingivitis within a couple weeks of inadequate brushing and flossing.

The good news is that gingivitis is reversible within about 10-14 days with good oral hygiene.

For some people, they never experience anything worse than a little gingivitis. But inflamed gums can also open the door for a much more serious infection.

The Dangers of Periodontitis

Periodontitis refers to the inflammation and immune response in the bone and deeper gum tissues around your teeth. There’s a network of ligaments that attach your gums and teeth to the bone in your mouth. Bacteria can cause them to detach, with the bone shrinking away during the process; unfortunately, the damage is often permanent.

Untreated gingivitis can develop into periodontitis. When periodontitis is left unchecked, it can cause tooth loss.

Do You Have Gingivitis or Periodontitis?

Gingivitis and periodontitis can share some of the same symptoms:

  • Smelly breath (periodontitis is often worse)
  • Bleeding on brushing and flossing
  • Tender, swollen gums
  • Teeth yellowed from plaque and tartar buildup

Gingivitis may be a less serious infection, but the symptoms are often so similar that you can’t afford to ignore any sign of gum inflammation.

Get to a dentist right away if you notice any signs of bleeding, swollen gums. A periodontal evaluation may be just what you need to prevent the consequences of gum disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

Jul
13

Why You Still Need to See a Dentist Even Though Your Teeth Feel Fine

Posted in Gum Disease

So you’re one of the lucky few who’ve never had a dental filling.

Whether you attribute your stellar teeth to diet, genetics, or a great flossing routine, you’re grateful you don’t have steep dental bills.

But your dentist still wants to see you on a regular basis. That’s because white teeth are nothing without strong gums to hold them in place.

The Role Gums Play

Your gums protect sensitive tooth roots, but they also are unique in their ability to nourish and cushion teeth. They contain a rich network of blood vessels, nerves, and ligaments. Tooth roots connect to the gums at special junctures which help anchor teeth in place.

Gums are irreplaceable. If something happens to them, your teeth lose valuable support.

How Is Your Periodontal Health?

Your gums and the ligaments that lie beneath are classified as periodontal tissues.

Periodontal damage often happens gradually and it’s usually painless.

Some signs of gum disease are easy to pick up on:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

But if periodontal disease sets in, it destroys those ligaments long before you’d notice any of these signs.

Here’s where your dentist comes in.

Only a dental professional can detect and measure periodontal damage before you notice the signs. X-rays and other tools can determine the level of healthy gum tissue you have left.

Regular dental visits aren’t just for the benefit of your teeth. A checkup at the dentist’s is also a chance to find out how your gums are doing.

Besides that, you’ll also get valuable tips from your dentist on how to treat or even avoid gum disease.

Don’t wait! Call today to schedule your periodontal health evaluation.

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

May
20

What Are Periodontal Pockets?

Posted in Gum Disease

You may have heard the term “periodontal pockets” thrown around once or twice by a dental hygienist during your cleaning.

What exactly are they?

How Periodontitis Affects Your Teeth

Gum disease (periodontitis) starts out as an accumulation of bacterial plaque on teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed, it causes inflammation in the gum line. If this swelling isn’t reversed, it can spread and involve the ligaments that anchor teeth in place (periodontal tissues).

Your body reacts to the infection by sending out chemicals. Unfortunately, this reaction causes more damage to ligaments. Eventually, the gums pull away from your tooth roots entirely.

The bacteria multiply and invade the new empty space and the process continues. As things progress, even the bone surrounding teeth can start to break down. This results in a distinct gap, or “pocket,” between the tooth and your tissues.

Periodontal pockets are bad news. Not only do these gaps signify a loss of attachment for your tooth, but they are nearly impossible to keep clean. You’ll never be able to control the bacteria and tartar settling into those pockets with a toothbrush and floss, alone.

Do You Have Periodontal Pockets?

Your dental hygienist will do routine gum measurements to see whether any of your teeth have lost their gum and tooth support.

These measurements are recorded in millimeters on a chart. Measurements of 3mm or less are within the healthy range of snug gum tissue. A few 4mm areas suggest some gum inflammation. But areas higher than 5mm are a definite sign that your mouth needs periodontal treatment.

Call your local dentist to schedule a gum health evaluation and find out how you can prevent gum disease.

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

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