Dental Tips Blog

Jun
19

How Hormones Can Affect Your Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Hormones can influence things like weight changes, sex drive, moods, and hair growth, to name a few. If you’re a woman, then none of this comes as a surprise.

One thing you might not have known is that hormones can also play a big role in your oral health.

Puberty and Oral Health in Girls

Hormones from puberty can cause gums to swell and overreact to the presence of plaque. Teenagers are highly prone to gingivitis. Even well into adulthood some women may discover that their gums become more tender and sensitive around the time of their period.

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy brings along a whole new set of hormones. Pregnant women are susceptible to pregnancy gingivitis as a result. Some women experience an increased risk in cavities during this time because of frequent vomiting, diet changes, or dry mouth, all of which can be linked to hormonal changes.

How Menopause Affects Oral Health

Menopause brings along changes such as a burning sensation in the mouth, dry mouth, and altered taste. Bone loss in the jaw is another serious concern. Women going through menopause may be at increased risk for decay and gum disease.

Combatting the Effects of Hormones on the Mouth

No matter which stage of life you’re currently in, proper dental hygiene will keep your mouth healthy. Hormones can cause unusual reactions in your gums and may even dry out your mouth. But the key is to do all you can to prevent and slow down the formation of plaque bacteria.

Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss daily. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups, dental cleanings, and other preventative treatments.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

Jun
19

Why Do Dentists “Poke” Your Gums and Then Say You Need to Floss More?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s ironic to be told you need to improve your oral hygiene while your dentist seemingly pokes and prods your gums with small metal instruments.

But everything makes sense once you understand how your gums work.

Get to Know Your Gums

Your gingiva is more than just a delicate layer of skin over your teeth. It contains a thick and complex network of blood vessels and ligaments.

Gum tissue is very susceptible to infection and inflammation from the presence of germs in your mouth. Your gums are essentially a gateway to the rest of your body and their health has a significant influence on your overall wellness.

What Your Dentist Is Looking For

As your dentist (or hygienist) is “poking” around your gums, they’re measuring them to determine whether there are any signs of tissue loss. Exploring with special tools also reveals the presence of tartar on teeth below the gum line.

Prodding your gums with an instrument may be uncomfortable and cause bleeding if your gums are already inflamed. However, healthy gum tissue is tight and doesn’t easily bleed even when bumped. That’s why your dentist may give you some oral hygiene advice after examining your gums and finding that they are, in fact,  infected.

Flossing Improves Your Periodontal Health

Flossing can also make tender, infected gums bleed at first if you aren’t in the habit of using floss regularly. But your dentist wants you to start flossing daily since this activity disrupts the growth of bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease.

So, when your dentist lectures you on flossing, it usually means there are signs your gums are unhealthy. Proper flossing can improve your condition. Contact your dentist to learn more about improving your gingival health.

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

Jun
18

What Makes a Periodontist Different from a Regular Dentist?

Posted in Gum Disease

Did you know that there are more than six to seven kinds of dentist? That’s right – there are dentists who focus on restoring teeth and others who focus on other structures in the mouth.

A periodontist is a dental specialist who specializes on everything below the gum line. He or she has several more years of education beyond basic dental school and uses their advanced training to make sure your teeth have a healthy foundation.

What Periodontists Do

Periodontists treat gum disease and provide therapy to gum and bone tissue in the jaw. They place implants and restore the smile by grafting new gum tissues on top of tooth roots.

Periodontists don’t treat teeth by placing fillings or crowns or performing root canals. Their focus is mainly on oral structures that you may otherwise take for granted.

When to See a Periodontist

If you have a specific concern about your gums or are curious about implants, then you should plan a visit with a periodontist. In general, however, you end up meeting a periodontist if your regular dentist refers you to one.

Visit Your Dentist to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Your gums and teeth are both extremely important to your smile’s health and beauty. Visiting your dentist at least once every six months will help you stay on top of your oral health. These maintenance appointments include exams, cleanings, and possibly x-rays that will help you avoid problems in the first place.

If you need specialized help in getting a gum infection under control or regenerating healthy gum tissue, then your dentist can refer you out.

Contact your dentist today to schedule a gum health checkup and find out whether or not you should see a periodontist.

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

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

Apr
20

Is Your Bad Breath Caused by Gum Disease?

Posted in Bad Breath

The occasional bout of bad breath can be annoying and embarrassing. But halitosis may also be a sign of a serious underlying problem.

For example, did you know that bad breath can be a sign of gum disease? Here are some indications that your foul breath might merit a trip to the dental office.

Your Gums Are Looking Puffy or Redder Than Usual

Gum disease causes inflammation in the tissues around teeth. This means that there are likely some signs of swelling or redness in the gums. Add to these symptoms a decaying odor, and you may very well have an infection in your gingiva.

The Smell Never Goes Away

Bad breath is often due to lingering food odors or plaque bacteria. If the cause of your stench is that simple, then brushing your teeth should take care of it.

Halitosis caused by gum disease, however, won’t go away no matter how much mouthwash you swish around.

People Avoid Standing Near You When You Talk

We all naturally back away when blasted with a full-force wave of halitosis. But if most people who know you find excuses to keep their heads turned away whenever you start a conversation, that means your breath has a bad reputation. Folks are prepared to avoid it!

If your bad breath doesn’t just give off the occasional funky odor but consistently sends others running away, then that could be a sign of a chronic health issue like gum disease.

Don’t leave your gum health to chance – it’s closely linked to your overall health. See a dentist or periodontist right away for a periodontal evaluation and help conquering your halitosis.

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

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

Feb
3

Are You Paying Attention to Your Gums When You Brush?

Posted in Gum Disease

When you think about “brushing,” you automatically think “teeth.”

Brushing is very important for dental health. But did you know that it is equally as important for your gum health, too?

Here are some ways to show your gums a little more love while you brush each day.

45 Degrees at the Gum Line

Most importantly, make sure you’re brushing with the toothbrush bristles angled into your gum margin at about 45 degrees. This will ensure that you wick away all the plaque bacteria that accumulate there.

Germs are responsible for causing cavities, but other kinds of bacteria contribute to problems like gingivitis and periodontitis. Getting rid of this plaque film every day will lower your chances of gum disease.

Give Your Gums a Massage

While you brush along the gum line, wiggle the toothbrush in short and fast, yet gentle strokes. This jiggling motion is good for loosening plaque and it also stimulates healthy circulation in your gum tissue, which boosts your gums’ infection-fighting ability.

You can take things a step further by purchasing an electric toothbrush or a blunt-tipped gum stimulator. These make it easier to massage your gums to better health.

Rinse Out

An antibacterial rinse after brushing and flossing can slow down plaque growth for several hours. This has therapeutic benefits for your gums just as much as your breath.

Watch for Blood

Your gums should not bleed when you brush! If you see pink in the sink, that means you’re either brushing too harshly or there’s something more serious going on. You’ll need to see a dentist for advice.

Schedule regular oral health checkups at your local dental office to make sure your gums are in perfect shape.

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

 

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