Dental Tips Blog

Sep
27

Is Gum Disease Really Such a Big Deal?

Posted in Gum Disease

When most people come into the dental office, they’re worried about whether or not they have a cavity. Cavities are pretty serious matters, but something that your Alexandria dentists pay just as much attention to is whether or not you have symptoms of gum disease, and how severe they are.

Gum disease causes more people to lose their teeth each year than tooth loss caused by cavities. In fact, gum disease actually destroys the attached gum tissue around your teeth, as well as the supporting bone structure that anchors your teeth into place. Over time, untreated gum disease causes the tooth to become mobile and eventually fall out.

Tooth loss is only one aspect of the damage that gum disease can do. The bacteria found deep in infected gum pockets is actually linked with diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart attack and stroke. The healthier your gums are, the more likely you are to have other disease symptoms under control. The more infected your gums are, the more likely you are to not be able to manage your other disease conditions.

Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, red gums, and gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Brushing along the gumlines and flossing under your gums each day can help symptoms diminish within 2 weeks. If swelling or bleeding continues, there may be areas of tartar buildup that need to be cleaned off by your dentist or hygienist.

Healthy gums help you smile longer, have fresher breath, and keep your immune system from being overworked. If you’ve been told that you have gum disease, ask your dentist what needs to be done to reverse it, and preserve your teeth for a lifetime.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park

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Sep
25

Is Dental Radiology Necessary?

Posted in Digital X-Rays

Radiology can get a bad reputation these days with studies showing that prolonged exposure to radiation (X-rays) can have damaging effects. Many people are left asking the question, “Are my dental X-rays really necessary?”

This is a hot topic in the world of dentistry right now, and not all dentists have the same thoughts on the topic. While there are small amounts of radiation exposure each time a dental X-ray is done – whether it’s from bitewing X-rays or a panoramic X-ray – exposure is still exposure.

So is it necessary? Not in all cases, no. According to the American Dental Association, dentists should evaluate each patient specifically. Those who are at a higher risk for oral diseases should have dental X-rays taken more often than those who are not. This is especially true when it comes to children. The American Dental Association guidelines say that children who are not considered high risk for cavities and gum disease should get X-rays about every two years. And adults who are not at risk should get them every two to three years.

But this is not to say that dental radiology does not have benefits. Dentists use X-rays to find hidden problems that the eye cannot always catch. It is possible for tooth decay and other oral diseases to be missed during a routine dental exam. X-rays are able to look below the enamel and expose hidden problems, and Alexandria dentists rely on the results from X-rays to help them find areas of concern.

Talk with your dentist if you have reservations about receiving an X-ray at your next visit. Your health is the utmost concern of your dentist. If you are not at high risk, you may be OK to put off another X-ray for a year or two. However, if your dentist considers you to be at risk for oral health issues, an X-ray may be your most beneficial solution. Remember that it is minimal exposure to radiation during a dental X-ray, about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park

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