Dental Tips Blog

Jan
9

Do You Really Need a Deep Cleaning?

Posted in Gum Disease

You could say that a normal dental cleaning is the car wash and a deep cleaning is the detailing procedure. However, when your dental health is involved, it’s a little more complicated than that.

What is a Deep Cleaning?

Medically-known as “scaling and root planing” or SRP, this treatment does more than simply get your teeth “extra clean.”

Scaling is the removal of tartar from teeth. Root planing means smoothing out the surface of tooth roots that are roughened with bacteria and tartar. These techniques are combined in a “deep cleaning” procedure. This treatment requires specialized dental tools and is often broken up into multiple appointments due to complexity.

Contrary to how it may sound, SRP is more of a medical treatment instead of a superficial, cosmetic one.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis, which is gum inflammation in response to bacteria. As the bacteria spread, the inflammation worsens. Combine this with tartar buildup at and below the gum line, and you’ve got a problem on your hands.

Without medical intervention, gum disease will lead to tooth-loss. A deep cleaning is the medical standard for stopping the infection right in its tracks.

A Regular Cleaning Won’t Cut It!

To really nip the problem in the bud, you need a deep cleaning. Gum disease creates deep pockets of infected and damaged tissue around teeth. You can’t access these pockets with a toothbrush and floss, alone.

A deep cleaning might sound like a luxury dental treatment. But it’s actually a procedure that’s essential for anyone suffering from gum disease. Contact your dentist to schedule a gum health assessment to find out whether a deep cleaning is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Pristine Dental
555 Providence Hwy #2
Walpole, MA 02081
(508) 734-7056

Jan
8

Flossing and Gum Disease: The Connection

Posted in Gum Disease

Have you ever been told that you have gum disease?

Many Americans have been affected by gum disease at some point in their lives. So if you’ve had a run-in with gingivitis, you’ve got plenty of company!

Fortunately, this isn’t the end of the story for your teeth. With a routine of diligent flossing, you can keep your gums disease-free and happy. 

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque.

Usually starting out as gingivitis, gum disease can progress to a serious form known specifically as periodontitis. Gingivitis is inflammation limited to the outer layer of gum tissue and is easily reversed. Periodontitis, on the other hand, affects deeper layers of ligaments and bone around the tooth roots. The damage caused by periodontitis cannot reverse itself.

How Flossing Helps

The spaces between your teeth are impossible to directly access with a toothbrush, alone. The problem is that those spots are where gum disease is likely to settle in first.

Here’s where flossing helps out.

A thin piece of floss or or even a water flosser can slip between teeth and break up the clusters of bacteria along the gum line. You need to physically remove the germs daily to keep them from triggering inflammation.

Because it’s the best way to prevent gum disease from developing between teeth, flossing is a pretty big deal! Cleaning your teeth doesn’t just help them look nice – it also helps you avoid expensive treatments or surgery later on.

To find out more about preventing gum disease, schedule your regular checkup every six months!

Posted on behalf of:
Timber Springs Dental
5444 Atascocita Road Suite 100
Humble, TX
(713) 244-8929

Jan
6

The Role of Vitamin C in Gum Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Ever thought about why people typically recommend orange juice in times of sickness?

You probably know that all of that vitamin C empowers your immune system to fight whatever it is that’s weakening your body.

As early as the 18th century, a naval captain experimented with various techniques for preventing “scurvy” among his crew. It was gradually understood that lemons could help prevent “scurvy,” a potentially deadly disease caused by a deficiency of vitamin C.

We now know that lemons are very high in vitamin C…so, what does this mean for our gum health today?

Vitamin C is found in plants like strawberries, citrus fruits, and pineapple. It’s actually contained in many fresh fruits and vegetables. This vitamin has properties that help boost the immune system, strengthening the body to fight off diseases and pathogens.

Being a part of your body, your gums are no exception. Gums are prone to infection caused by bad bacteria found in most people’s mouth. These bacteria will irritate and inflame the gums if they are allowed to accumulate.

The best way to keep your gums healthy and avoid gum disease is by making sure they are clean! Daily brushing and flossing will keep harmful dental plaque at bay. But a healthy dose of vitamin C will also give your body a competitive edge over a potential infection.

Severe gum inflammation and poor healing in the mouth can actually be signs of poor nutrition, including a deficiency of vitamin C.

Talk with your doctor first if you think you may need a vitamin C supplement. Then, stay on top of your gum health by scheduling regular exams with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202

Jan
5

Use the Floss that Suits Your Smile

Floss should be used by everyone, but it isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all item!

The goal of flossing is to physically disrupt bacterial colonies that form in the plaque on your teeth…especially in areas where a toothbrush can’t reach.

Here are a few guidelines for effective flossing. Floss should:

  • Have direct contact with the side of the tooth
  • Reach below the gum line
  • Not harm the gums

Not all teeth are spaced out the same way. People’s mouths vary, and even your own teeth may be positioned and spaced differently. This means that different areas will have unique needs for cleaning them.

Take into consideration the shape of the tooth. The crowns of teeth have mostly outward curves, but if roots are exposed, they could have concavities (inward curves), where plaque can hide.

When you look at the space between two teeth, how much gum tissue is there? Healthy gums are shaped like a triangle of pink that prevent you from seeing between teeth. These areas benefit from traditional floss. If teeth are crowded, a tape or ribbon-style floss that stretches out will be more comfortable.

Where there are large gaps between teeth, a wider material will be gentler and easier to control. Some types of floss have fluffy fibers on them, making them look like yarn. This makes them absorbent and easier to wrap around teeth that don’t have contact with their neighbors.

What about teeth with exposed roots? A wedge-shaped wooden stick or “Proxa Brush” is usually gentle on sensitive roots and lets you access all of the tricky curves.

Water flossers can be helpful in hard-to-reach areas around bridges or the back teeth.

At your next dental cleaning and check up, ask your dentist or dental hygienist about the most effective way to floss your unique smile!

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Sep
19

The Serious Dangers of Gum Disease

When it comes to oral health, many patients are focused solely on keeping their teeth free of cavities. While this is highly important, you have a responsibility to the health of your gums too. In fact, gum disease is one of the most serious oral health conditions. If not treated, gum disease can produce significant consequences within your mouth and your body.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease refers to inflammation or infection within the gum tissues. This is caused when bacteria and plaque are allowed to accumulate at the gum line and around the tooth root. Gum disease can cause the gums to pull away from the tooth, resulting in deep pockets that accumulate even more bacteria. The infection can spread to the surrounding bone and teeth.

What’s At Stake?

When it comes to gum disease, your smile and your overall health are at risk. While the first stage (gingivitis) can be relatively mild with swollen or red gums, more advanced stages of gum disease (periodontitis) can result in tooth instability and even tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.

The dangers of gum disease aren’t restricted to your mouth. Gum disease has also been linked to several health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and premature birth. In addition, your risk for arthritis, respiratory disease and certain cancers are said to be greater.

Who’s At Risk?

The best way to prevent gum disease is to learn your risk and modify your habits accordingly. Proper oral hygiene and seeing the dentist twice a year is most important. This ensures that mild gingivitis is treated and reversed before serious consequences occur. Factors such as diabetes, age, tobacco use, poor nutrition and heredity also play a role in determining you risk for gum disease.

Want to learn your risk for gum disease? Schedule an appointment with Farhan Qureshi, DDS. There are specific treatments available for gum disease, including scaling and root planing and other advanced periodontal therapies to restore the health of your smile.

Posted on behalf of:

Farhan Qureshi, DDS

5206 Dawes Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

 

Aug
19

Understanding Periodontal Attachment Loss

Posted in Gum Disease

What does that even mean?

If you are at risk for gum disease, then it’s vital for you to have a periodontal screening. Your smile depends upon healthy gums just as much as healthy teeth.

The term “periodontal” refers to the tissues and ligaments that support your teeth below the visible part of your gums. Your teeth need these structures to stay in place.

Bacteria and Your Gums

Periodontal disease starts with bacterial buildup. The bacteria are what make up dental plaque. If not removed daily, these germs cause gums to become irritated and inflamed.

The inflammation can eventually reach beyond the gum line to all those ligaments we talked about earlier. This results in the ligaments breaking down.

The Effects of Periodontal Disease

As the periodontal structures break down, the shallow pocket of gum tissue around the tooth deepens into a periodontal pocket. This pocket shelters harmful bacteria and tartar and is hard to clean out. The deeper the pocket, the greater the amount of attachment loss.

Because your teeth are losing this attachment, they can eventually fall out altogether. Periodontal disease leads to tooth loss and also affects your overall health.

Measuring Your Gum Health

At regular intervals, your dental office will perform a periodontal evaluation. This includes measuring the depth of the shallow pocket around each tooth with a dental “ruler.” When the readings are regularly updated, your dental team can detect early signs of attachment loss. This helps alert you to the start of gum disease and get it under control before it gets worse.

Talk with your local dental team about what steps you can take to prevent gum disease. Call today to schedule a periodontal checkup!

Posted on behalf of:
Avalon Dental Group P.C.
2205 Williams Trace Blvd #108
Sugar Land, TX 77478
(281) 240-5559

Aug
18

Isn’t There A Mouth Rinse That Cures Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious bacterial infection. It’s not a simple matter of having a basic teeth cleaning. You need to take a very comprehensive approach when combating gum disease deep below your tissues and into the bone. Swishing with a minty rinse isn’t going to cut it.

What should you do?

Let’s consider what several common mouth rinses can do and then discuss what steps you need to take to treat and prevent periodontal disease.

Over-the-Counter Antimicrobial Rinse

Mouthwashes that contain:

  • Chlorhexidine gluconate
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride
  • Essential oils

…all have effective antiseptic properties. This makes them helpful in reducing how much dental plaque can accumulate. However, they won’t simply kill off all bacteria associated with gum disease.

Why not?

Why Periodontal Disease Is Dangerous

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect the gums around your teeth – it involves the ligaments and bones that support your teeth. The harmful bacteria actually set up camp inside the tissues around your teeth deep below the gum line. A rinse simply can’t reach those areas!

What Can You Do?

Physical removal is the best way to get rid of bacteria that cause gum disease. This means daily brushing and flossing, and routine professional dental cleanings. After that, the use of a mouthwash may be recommended by your dentist to help prevent some of the bacteria from growing back.

There are also locally-administered antibiotics available for treating gum disease. These are usually effective when used along with a professional deep cleaning.

No rinse on its own will be effective against the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. But if gum disease is something you struggle with, they can help you gain the upper hand to keep it from coming back. Call your dentist today to learn more!

Posted on behalf of:
Pacific Sky Dental
6433 Mission St
Daly City, CA 94014
(650) 353-3130

Aug
10

Will Oil Pulling Help My Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

With its roots in Ayurvedic dental practices dating back thousands of years, does oil pulling still have any benefit today?

Oil Pulling and Modern Research

Coconut oil is touted as one of the best oils to perform this regimen with. It’s known for its antimicrobial properties because it contains lauric acid. Some research suggests that it can have antibacterial benefits in the mouth that can prevent cavities. Keep in mind however, that there is not conclusive evidence out there supporting oil pulling as the end cure for any oral issue.

The Challenges of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling requires that you gently swish a small amount of oil around and between your teeth. You do this by holding the oil in your mouth and sucking it through your teeth for up to 20 minutes. The downsides include:

  • Investing a lot of time each day
  • Potential for an aching jaw from the swishing action
  • Stomachache from swallowing oil

Supplement, Don’t Replace!

Even dental professionals who advocate oil pulling readily admit that it should not replace regular oral hygiene habits and dental visits. You still need dental cleanings, x-rays, and treatment for oral diseases such as existing cavities and gum disease.

Oil pulling just might help fight harmful bacteria in your mouth. If you choose to try this technique, use it as a supplement to thorough brushing and flossing. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease (periodontitis), then you will still need the help that a professional “deep cleaning” can provide. Oil pulling is not proven to remove harmful bacteria from pockets in the gums.

Visit your local dentist to find out the status of your gum health and whether you should give oil pulling a try.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339

Aug
9

3 Essential Tools for Fighting Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

It can be a little scary to think of the effects that advanced gum disease can have on your smile. With the help of your local dental team and some helpful tools at home, you can still put up a successful fight against gum disease!

Soft Toothbrush

Don’t underestimate the power of a good brush! A soft-bristled toothbrush will help you to remove plaque from sensitive and inflamed gums. You may have to brush more than twice a day to control plaque growth. Using a soft brush is better for your gums and will clean more efficiently. Gum disease can make gums recede, and scrubbing with a hard-bristled toothbrush will only make it worse.

Floss

Daily flossing is a must when battling periodontal disease. Don’t skip a single day! Flossing removes bacteria between teeth and below the gum line that a toothbrush misses.

Select a flossing agent that suits your needs. Teeth with tight spaces in-between need a string or tape floss. Teeth that have wide gaps in-between or exposed roots do better with a wide and absorbent material, such as yarn or textured floss.

Oral Irrigator

A water flosser, or oral irrigator, is an effective tool for almost anyone. This device uses a stream of water to blast away sticky plaque. Some models allow you to add mouthwash to the reservoir so that you can deliver the antimicrobial solution below the gum line.

An oral irrigator is also great for:

  • Bridgework that’s hard to floss under
  • Patients with large hands or a condition that makes flossing by hand difficult
  • Fixed retainers and braces
  • Hard-to-reach areas

Talk with your local dentist to learn more about what can help you in your battle against gum disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

 

Jun
24

Diet and Your Gum Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Your gums play a vital role in protecting your teeth. They’re also closely connected to the rest of your body. That’s why the food that passes your gums has the ability to affect them just as it does other body systems.

Vitamin C for Healing

Vitamin C boosts your overall immune system and helps you to fight off infection. A strengthened immune system will power your gums to resist the inflammation that starts with gingivitis. It also speeds up your gums’ healing ability.

Chewing Gum for Cleaning

Gum chewing between meals stimulates saliva flow. Lots of saliva rinses away harmful bacteria in dental plaque. Make sure that the gum you choose is sugar-free. Xylitol is an excellent sugar substitute in chewing gum because it helps to control the number of cavity-causing bacteria.

Avoid Foods That Get Stuck

If you have periodontal pocketing around one or more teeth or gum recession, then you may be prone to getting certain foods stuck between teeth and under the gum line. Some small food pieces can get impacted in hard-to-reach areas and cause irritation. Try to avoid things like:

  • Popcorn kernels
  • Seeds
  • Stringy meats

Healthy Body, Healthy Gums

Eat to promote your overall health and your gums will benefit, as well. A diet rich in nutrients, fresh items, whole grains, and low in salt and refined carbohydrates is the key to staying well and fighting disease.

Visit your dentist for an assessment of your current gum health. You will also get recommendations for diet and oral hygiene changes that can boost your gums’ ability to resist disease. With wise food choices, you can help your gums stay healthy for a lifetime!

Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 791-8358

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