Dental Tips Blog

May
19

Could Flossing Spread Bacteria Around Your Mouth?

Posted in Gum Disease

The goal of flossing is to disrupt bacterial activity between your teeth. But some people would argue that sliding the floss through one germ-loaded spot and moving on to floss other teeth only helps spread the germs around.

Yes, it’s true that flossing does pick up and transfer bacteria. But the results aren’t as dramatic as you might think.

What Happens When You Floss

Plaque is a naturally-occurring film made up of food debris and bacterial colonies. To effectively kill all the bad germs, you have to physically stir up plaque and break down those colonies. This is what flossing is for.

Brushing and rinsing alone can’t get at all the plaque stuck between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing breaks up dental plaque, making it easier to brush and rinse away.

Bacteria in Your Mouth

Do you have a cluster of germs creating a pocket in the gums between two of your teeth?

If so, it means you have the germs elsewhere in your mouth. The bacteria only create trouble when they’re allowed to thrive undisturbed in a particular area.

Floss doesn’t transfer bacteria from a diseased tooth to a healthy one – the germs were already there to begin with. If you have one problematic tooth or patch of gum tissue, then there must be some reason it collects more germs than other places in your mouth.

Flossing Works!

Flossing will make it easier for you to control the levels of bacteria in your mouth and avoid periodontitis (gum disease) and other dental problems. For the cleanest results, follow up your flossing with two minutes of brushing and a rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.

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

May
18

Does Flossing Cause Gums to Bleed?

Posted in Gum Disease

When you bleed every time you run a thin thread of floss between your teeth, then it’s easy to assume that flossing is the problem.

Dentists don’t recommend doing something that will make your gums bleed or unhealthy, however. So why is this happening?

Flossing Does NOT Make Gums Bleed!

Done properly and regularly, flossing will not make gums bleed.

Your flossing technique, however, could pose a problem. Pulling the floss straight down between teeth can make it cut painfully into the tender gums underneath. Infrequent flossing is even more problematic, as gums become infected and bleed when touched.

How to Floss Properly 

Wrap the floss tautly around one side of a tooth in a C-shape. Wiggle it slowly down the side and pull it back and forth to work it through the tight point of contact between teeth.

Once through the tight spot, continue to hug one side of a tooth as you carefully slip the floss below the edge of the gums, cleaning where your brush doesn’t reach. Then, gently lift the floss out and switch to the other tooth before pulling the floss firmly out from between your teeth.

When Flossing Isn’t the Problem 

If even the gentlest flossing technique still bothers your gums, then your gums themselves are likely to blame.

Inflamed or infected gums will swell up. As they do, their skin thins out and the blood vessels inside the gums also expand and thin. This makes your gum tissue highly susceptible to bleeding if it’s bumped the tiniest bit.

Flossing Prevents Bleeding Gums

Regular flossing prevents the growth of bacteria that cause gum inflammation and gum disease. Bleeding gums are often, in fact, a sign that you aren’t flossing enough.

So floss your way to healthier gums! Ask your local dentist for more oral health tips.

Posted on behalf of:
Marietta Dental Professionals
550 Franklin Gateway SE
Marietta, GA 30067
(770) 514-5055

May
17

How to Cure Bleeding Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

Bleeding gums are a sign that you have a serious problem such as gum disease. Bleeding gums are never normal.

Curing bleeding gums will take more than just a quick DIY you read about on the internet. Here are the real steps you should towards getting healthier gums.

Rinse with Salt Water

If your gums bleed a lot, then they may be very tender and sore. A warm saltwater rinse will flush away debris and bring down the swelling. Start out with this rinse to soothe any wounds in your gums before you move on to the next step.

Brush Gently

Gums bleed in response to the presence of plaque bacteria. Your gums may be swollen and prone to bleeding if you have a heavy buildup of plaque along the gum line. Brush gently but thoroughly using a soft bristled toothbrush to remove debris. Do this at least twice a day to start restoring your gums’ health.

Floss Daily

It’s not just to prevent cavities! Flossing removes plaque trapped between teeth so that it doesn’t inflame the gum tissue. If you floss every day, you’ll keep your gums cleaner and also toughen them up a bit so that they don’t bleed every time you floss.

Boost Your Vitamin C

Vitamin C will improve your gums’ immune defenses and make them more resistant to plaque bacteria.

Use an Antibacterial Rinse

A mouthwash doesn’t replace brushing and flossing. Used daily, however, an antimicrobial rinse can slow down plaque growth between brushings. This is therapeutic for infected bleeding gums.

See a Dentist

Most importantly, visit a dentist as soon as possible to identify the real cause behind your bleeding gums and get the right treatment.

Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 514-1224

Apr
24

The Link Between Stress and Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Research shows that if you’re stressed out, then your gum health may be in danger.

How Stress Affects Your Gums

There seem to be a couple of ways in which high anxiety levels can make your oral health deteriorate:

Stress raises cortisol levels, which in turn lower your body’s immune system and increase inflammation in tissues like your gums.

Stress is tiring, distracting, and can put you off a healthy routine of oral hygiene, adequate sleep, a nutritious diet, and regular dental visits, all of which are necessary to gum health. Stress may also have you reaching for the tobacco products more often than usual.

Your body may be under more stress than you realize. Changes like a new job or house can cause anxiety despite being positive things.

Other Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Gum inflammation is ultimately caused by bacteria found in plaque. But your gums may be extra-sensitive to those germs if you have certain risk factors for periodontal disease.

You might be prone to gum health problems if you’re stressed and have one or more of the following risks:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Damaged or improperly-fitting dental restorations
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking medications like calcium channel-blockers

Add stress on top of any of these risk factors, and you’ve got a recipe for gum disease.

Lower Your Stress, Lower Your Risk

Reduce stress by trying relaxation techniques or exercising. Drink more water, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, get more sleep, and cut back on or eliminate your dependency on tobacco products.

Take steps to improve your oral hygiene. Visit a dentist near you for a gum health evaluation and personalized tips on fighting gingivitis.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Apr
24

Does Your Child Have Diabetes? What You Need to Know to Protect Their Smile

Posted in Gum Disease

If your child has diabetes, then you’re already extremely conscious of their health and diet.

Be careful that you don’t overlook your child’s oral health, however. Diabetes can lead to some costly and painful dental problems.

Here’s what you need to know:

Oral Health Risks Linked to Diabetes

Diabetes can cause frequent urination and fluid loss. Add to this reduced saliva production and you may have a thirsty kid who reaches for sweet drinks.

Dry mouth in itself is dangerous since that’s the perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to flourish. But your child may want to rehydrate with beverages that are bad for tooth enamel. Even sugar-free or diet soda is bad for teeth, as are fruit juices.

Young bodies affected by diabetes tend to have a hard time healing. Any injury in or near the mouth could take a long time to heal or could even get infected. Diabetics are also prone to thrush (fungal) infections.

Lastly, diabetic kids are prime candidates for gingivitis. If gum inflammation isn’t treated and controlled, it can quickly worsen to gum disease as your child gets older.

How to Protect Your Child’s Oral Health When They Have Diabetes

As the parent, you play a key role in preserving your child’s oral health for the future, especially if they have diabetes.

Emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing and make sure your child does those activities every day. Use fluoride-based products to strengthen tooth enamel. Provide water instead of other drinks.

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

Apr
18

Is Gum Recession Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum recession can give the undesirable impression of having long yellow teeth. Receding gumlines also has more serious consequences, making teeth very sensitive and exposed to cavities.

If you are already suffered from receding gums, then you may be hoping they’ll grow back.

Gum Recession – Not Reversible, But Still Preventable

Unfortunately, once your gums shrink down they don’t grow back. The best thing you can do is stop the recession by correcting or avoiding things that cause it, including:

  • Gum disease
  • Irritating dental fillings or appliances
  • Rough toothbrushing
  • Crooked teeth
  • Teeth clenching habits
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Oral jewelry

How You Can Treat Gum Recession

While the gums don’t grow back, you can still do something to protect your exposed  teeth.

Dental bonding is one option. Your dentist can apply a small amount of filling material to the exposed roots. This will make them look white like the rest of the tooth and protect them from decay. Dental veneers can play a similar role.

In more severe cases, your dentist may recommend gum graft to restore the lost tissue.

Oral Hygiene Considerations if You Have Gum Recession

Until you’re able to undo the effects of gum recession, it’s important to do all you can to protect your teeth and gums.

Switch to a soft- or extra soft-bristled toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are also good to use on delicate gum tissue and sensitive teeth.

Get plenty of fluoride through toothpaste and rinses. This mineral will strengthen teeth exposed by gum recession and increase their defenses against cavities.

See a dentist or gum health specialist as soon as possible to find out how you can repair the effects of gum recession.

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

Apr
9

Gum Disease: A Silent Killer?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease (periodontitis) is a serious condition affecting an estimated 85% of adults in the United States. The problem, however, is that most of those with gum disease don’t even realize they have it, making periodontitis a silent attacker.

How Gum Disease Destroys Your Smile

Periodontitis doesn’t strike overnight. Rather, it creeps up over the course of a few months.

Gum disease starts out as mild inflammation known as gingivitis. This infection is reversible but if you don’t treat it in time, the swelling can spread from the gums into the bone. The inflammation then causes the bone to disintegrate. As the jawbone shrinks, gums recede and teeth loosen.

The Connection Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease

Periodontitis is connected to other medical complications such as heart disease and stroke. The swelling in the gums triggers inflammation in blood vessels elsewhere.

Bacteria responsible for gum infections have also been found in some cases of pneumonia. This suggests that periodontitis can also cause serious respiratory infections.

Untreated gum disease can increase your risk for life-threatening conditions.

Gum Disease Linked to Premature Births

There’s a link between pregnant women with gum disease and premature births. That’s why it’s so important for women to pay attention to their oral health before and during pregnancy. Babies’ health depends on their mothers having a healthy body (and gums.)

Prevent the Silent Killer

The good news is that gum disease is avoidable. You can keep your gums healthy by:

  • Brushing and flossing every day
  • Getting lots of vitamin C in your diet
  • Not smoking
  • Visiting your dentist for regular gum and dental checkups

Contact your dentist to learn more about maintaining healthy gums and preventing periodontitis.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Mar
13

Why Your Gum Health Matters

Posted in Gum Disease

Your gums might seem to be the least important part of your smile. You probably never even pay attention to them until you get a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth and need to floss, and then your gums bleed a little.

Why should you be concerned about your gum health?

Here are four important reasons.

Gum Health Is Connected to Heart Health

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition. The bacteria and inflammatory response associated with gum disease are also linked to problems such as stroke and heart health. Keeping your gums healthy can lower your risk for cardiovascular problems.

Healthy Gums Equal Healthy Lungs

Studies show that people with gum disease tend to be at higher risk for pneumonia. Healthy gums can even improve conditions for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Gum Health Affects Self-Image

You don’t always appreciate a good thing until it’s gone, they say, and that’s very true when it comes to your gums.

Receded gumlines can leave you with long yellow teeth that you may be ashamed to show off in a smile. Unhealthy gums can also lead to embarrassing tooth loss.

Healthy Gums Mean Good Nutrition

Having healthy gums is one sign that you’re getting plenty of vitamins in your diet. But healthy gums also do you a big favor by holding your teeth in place. As long as you have strong teeth to chew with, you can enjoy a varied and nutritious diet.

If you lose teeth to gum disease on the other hand, you may find it difficult to eat the fresh fruits and vegetables and chewy whole grains your body needs.

How are your gums doing? Find out by scheduling a checkup at your local dental office.

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

Mar
13

What’s Causing That Bad Taste in Your Mouth? 8 Possible Reasons

Posted in Gum Disease

There’s nothing like a bad taste in your mouth to ruin your appetite. But worse than that, an odd taste can indicate a serious oral health issue.

Is that bad taste due to one of the following causes?

Tooth Decay

A simple cavity can cause a strange taste in your mouth. Cavities are spots in your teeth where the enamel is actively dying, so the decaying tissue does have a foul taste.

Abscesses

When a cavity grows too large, it can infect the nerve of a tooth and create a sack of foul-tasting fluid on the gums. If it ruptures, your mouth will suddenly be filled with a salty taste.

Gum Disease

Chronically inflamed gums also give off a rancid taste as they break down. Strong breath odor coupled with a bad taste could signal periodontitis.

Plaque Buildup (Poor Oral Hygiene)

Don’t brush your tongue regularly? Bacterial plaque buildup can alter your taste sensation.

Tonsil Stones

Bacteria and food debris that collects in the pits on and near your tonsils can create a rotten-tasting, pebble-like formation.

Medications

Medications you take on a regular basis can cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

Acid Reflux

If you have stomach acid regularly washing back up into your throat, this can leave you with a particularly nasty taste in your mouth, especially first thing in the morning.

Thrush

You may have a treatable yeast condition called oral candidiasis if you notice white patches or sore red spots in your mouth along with an icky metallic taste.

Schedule a dental exam and talk with your local dentist to discover what’s causing bad breath issues for a fast solution to your halitosis woes.

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

Mar
9

Do You Have Gingivitis? 4 Signs to Look For

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is inflammation in the gum tissue. It happens when your gums react to an irritant, such as plaque bacteria. While this condition is easily reversible, it can progress to a more serious form of gum disease if you don’t stop it in time.

Do you have gingivitis right now that needs immediate attention?

Look for these four signs to find out.

  1. Swollen Gums

When gums get inflamed, they swell up from expanded blood vessels and increased fluids in the tissues. This is a part of a natural reaction that delivers pathogen-fighting agents to the infection site.

Your gums should create a tight seal against the surface of your teeth. But if your gum line looks rolled or puffy, then that could be a sign of swelling from gingivitis.

  1. Bleeding When You Brush or Floss

Bleeding while brushing or flossing is not normal. If your gums do bleed that easily, it means their skin is swollen so tightly that the underlying blood vessels easily break when bumped.

  1. Changes in Gum Color

Generally speaking, bright red gums are a sign of inflammation, so if your gums seem redder than usual, that could be a sign of gingivitis.

  1. Plaque or Tartar on Teeth Near the Gum Line

Gingivitis is most commonly caused by dental plaque. If you have a lot of soft pale plaque buildup along your gums, then that’s a sign you have gingivitis. Plaque left on teeth too long hardens into tartar or calculus that irritates gums.

Improving your oral hygiene routine can help you get rid of gingivitis. See a dentist to find out what other steps you should take.

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

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