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

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

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

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

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

Mar
6

Get Rid of Gingivitis At Home with These 4 Easy Steps

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is inflammation of your gums. It’s a very common condition affecting people of all ages. If you’re dealing with it now, then you want to know how to get rid of it before it turns into something worse.

Fortunately, you can take measures here and now to start reducing the inflammation.

  1. Change Your Brush

It’s as simple as getting a more effective toothbrush. Look for one with soft bristles and a head that’s small enough to access all of your teeth. Many people with gingivitis like a powered brush because it’s good at removing the bacterial plaque that causes inflammation.

  1. Floss Daily

Flossing is good for preventing cavities. But it’s also essential for removing the plaque in between teeth that trigger gum inflammation. Flossing every day should eventually help your gums to bleed less.

  1. Antimicrobial Rinse

Look for an ADA-approved mouthwash that claims to kill bacteria. When used along with brushing and flossing, a rinse can prevent plaque buildup from recurring for long periods throughout the day.

  1. Vitamin C

Your gums can benefit a lot from just a little extra vitamin C in your diet. A strong immune system empowers your gums to fight off bacterial infections. Get lots of this water-soluble vitamin in strawberries, oranges, red peppers, kale, and other vegetables.

Fighting gingivitis is important because it can advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease. Periodontitis attacks the bone and ligaments that keep your teeth in place. It can also increase your risk of developing other health problems.

After doing what you can at home, make sure to schedule a checkup with your local dentist. Professional dental cleanings will help you maintain the best gum health possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
678.730.2005

Jan
4

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Yes and no. That’s because gum disease falls under two major categories. One is reversible. The other is not.

Gingivitis

Gum inflammation usually starts in a superficial infection called gingivitis. When the gums around teeth get irritated by dental plaque, they turn red and a bit puffy. At this level, this beginning stage of gum disease is easily reversed by removing the plaque from the teeth. The swelling goes away when oral hygiene Improves.

Periodontitis

Take things a bit further, and the situation gets more complicated. Deeper layers of gum tissue are made up of ligaments that hold your teeth in place. When these are affected by inflammation, they can start breaking down in a condition called periodontitis. These tissues don’t grow back on their own.

To make things worse, the infection can travel yet farther into the bone surrounding tooth roots. The bone that disappears from gum disease doesn’t grow back on its own. As a result, teeth can eventually fall out. Chronic periodontitis has well-researched links to inflammation and infection in the body, being implicated in problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart disease

Get Rid Of Gum Disease

If you just have a mild case of gingivitis, that can go away simply by upping your oral hygiene efforts. But to stop periodontitis in its tracks and restore the damage done, you need to see a dental professional.

Don’t be suckered in by claims of herbs, oils, and other at-home remedies for treating gum disease. You’ll just be wasting time unless it’s treated at the source with tools and medications only a dentist can recommend.

Suspect your gums may be in danger? Contact a dentist near you to get a complete gum health evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

 

Dec
5

My Gums Are Peeling!

Posted in Gum Disease

Your mouth is a very important and sensitive part of your body. Just think of all the jobs our mouths do: eating, talking, breathing, laughing, kissing, and more.

When something goes wrong with your mouth, you have every right to be concerned. Maybe even a little freaked out!

A prime example of freaky mouth problems is that of peeling gums.

Why does it happen? Should you see a dentist?

Here are a few common causes of peeling in the mouth.

Burns

When you burn a spot of soft tissue in your mouth, the dead “cooked” stuff eventually sloughs off as it heals. This will make it look like your cheeks, lips, or gums are peeling.

Allergic Reaction

Did you know that you could be allergic to your toothpaste? Some ingredients in toothpaste cause a painless but unsettling production of flaky white skin peeling off your gums. Try switching brands if this happens to you.

Sores

Healing sores like canker sores or some other kind of ulcer may cause mouth tissues to peel around the area. If your wound doesn’t appear to be resolving on its own, you should contact your dentist.

Gum Disease

Irritated, inflamed, or rotting gums could all exhibit signs of peeling. Advancing periodontal disease can cause gums to actually shrink away from tooth roots. See your dentist ASAP to rule out any possibility of gum disease that can cause your teeth to lose gum support.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Fortunately, this condition is so rare that you can probably rule it out. Especially since it only causes peeling gums well after other symptoms arrive.

Who knows? Your peeling gums may not be anything serious at all. But just to play it safe, visit your dentist for an examination.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Jul
12

How Long Does it Take for Gum Disease to Affect My Smile?

Posted in Gum Disease

Maybe you’ve heard time and again that gum disease leads to tooth-loss. After all, it’s a lack of brushing and flossing is what leads to gum disease. But did anyone ever tell you how much time you have?

Periodontitis – Why Dangerous?

Known medically as “periodontitis,” gum disease attacks silently. As a chronic infection, this condition is connected to other health problems such as diabetes. It’s even linked to heart disease and stroke.

At the end of the day, the issue isn’t about how long you have until your teeth fall out. The danger is in letting a bacterial infection rage unchecked in your gums.

Are You Speeding Up The Damage?

Once inflammation starts in the form of gingivitis, a few factors determine whether or not it becomes anything serious.

These include:

– Age

– Oral hygiene

– Lifestyle

– Genetic predisposition

Some of these things you can’t help, but others you can. For example, smoking and other tobacco use are known to speed up the effects of gum disease. If you don’t cut back, you’ll likely lose teeth quicker than a non-smoker.

Why You Should Treat Gum Disease NOW

Gum disease doesn’t usually go away on its own. The longer you let it go on, the faster harmful debris will build up and the quicker your gums will go downhill. Some people can live with mild chronic periodontitis for years without losing teeth.

If you are diagnosed with or suspect you have gum disease, why take the gamble? Don’t wait for it to worsen. Damage done now may be repairable, if caught early enough.

Talk with your dentist about setting a pattern of smile-healthy habits to maintain your teeth and gums.

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

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