Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

7 Steps to Rebuilding Your Smile After Gum Disease Strikes

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is serious but treatable. By following these seven steps under professional guidance, you can rebuild your smile and restore your oral health.

  1. See a Gum Health Professional

The very first thing you need to do if you suspect gum disease is to see a dentist or periodontist. A gum health professional will assess your gums for signs of disease and let you know exactly which steps to take next.

  1. Get a Deep Cleaning

Most treatment for gum disease involves a deep cleaning to remove tartar and bacteria from below the gum line. This step is crucial to controlling the infection.

  1. Try Antibiotic Therapy

Some patients benefit from antibiotic therapy to reduce the bacteria causing the inflammation. Your doctor may recommend local application around specific teeth, a therapeutic antimicrobial mouthwash, or a course of prescription pills.

  1. Cut Out Smoking

Smoking delays healing and makes gum tissue tough and inflexible. Cut back on the habit while your gums recover from treatment.

  1. Clean Your Teeth and Gums Well

Now that your gums are responding well to treatment, you must maintain the progress you’ve made. Brush and floss every day to prevent more germs from infecting your gums.

  1. Take Extra Vitamin C

An orange a day could boost your gums’ immune health. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

  1. Consider Gum Surgery and Other Restorative Treatment

Have your teeth lost support due to gum disease? You may need bone grafting, gum tissue grafting, or replacement teeth. Replacing these lost structures will keep your mouth healthy and prevent you from developing gum disease again.

Ready for healthier gums? Call your dentist to get started.

Posted on behalf of:
Smile Design Studios
6130 Highway 6
Missouri City, TX 77459
(281) 969-7388

Sep
11

Long Teeth: What Causes Them and What You Can Do About Them

Posted in Gum Disease

Come Halloween time, many people are thinking up scary costumes to put on for parties and outings. Yet it seems that the scariest features are the ones that don’t come off when you remove the mask!

Realizing that your teeth are getting longer can be a terrifying experience.

What causes this condition? Is there anything you can do to prevent it?

Gum Recession Causes Long Teeth

It’s probably not that your teeth are getting longer but that your gums are getting shorter. Gum recession is when the tissue that normally covers your teeth shrinks away and exposes the long yellow roots.

Gum recession can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Brushing your teeth too hard or using a rough toothbrush
  • Clenching and grinding your teeth
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Gum disease
  • Poor tooth alignment
  • Age

How to Prevent Long Teeth

There may be some gum recession factors that you have no control over. But by changing up a few small things in your daily routine, you should be able to slow down the damage.

For example, try switching to a toothbrush with soft or even extra soft bristles. Swap the manual toothbrush for a powered one that cleans your teeth for you with just the right amount of pressure.

What about the damage that’s already been done? Your dentist can recommend a few solutions for protecting your exposed teeth and keeping them bright and healthy. Dental bonding and fluoride treatments are very good for fixing long teeth. In extreme cases, you may even qualify for gum grafting to replace the lost tissue.

Ask your dentist for more advice on how to make your teeth look shorter and less scary!

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

Sep
10

Gum Disease—Is There a Cure?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is not as easy to cure as some make it out to be.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection from bacteria found in dental plaque that accumulates around teeth. Germs trigger inflammation in the tissue and the plaque changes into gum-irritating calcified tartar.

The early stage of gum inflammation is called gingivitis and is reversible. Once the infection reaches deeper tissues and ligaments below the gum line, however, it turns into the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.

Gum Disease: Don’t Treat This at Home!

If your gum disease has advanced past simple gingivitis, then it’s not likely to stop on its own no matter how many herbal concoctions you try. This is because true periodontitis means that you have toxins and irritants trapped deep within pockets around your teeth, which can’t be removed without special tools.

Additionally, gum disease causes permanent damage to the structures around your teeth. Receded gums and lost bone tissue don’t grow back on their own. The longer you wait to see if you can cure gum disease at home, the greater the danger to your smile.

The Only Way to Treat Gum Disease

You need treatment that focuses on removing the debris that’s irritating your gums and creating a healthy foundation to encourage as much healing as possible.

Professional gum therapy addresses this challenge in a few ways:

  • Deep cleaning to smooth tooth roots and remove tartar
  • Flushing out toxins from the gum tissue
  • Local antibiotic administration
  • Instructions on problem-focused oral hygiene techniques

Talk with your dentist to learn more about the best way to restore your gum health and prevent disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Sep
9

Deep Gum Cleaning—What You Need to Know

Posted in Gum Disease

Your dentist just told you that you need to have a “deep cleaning” and you’re terrified.

But the more you know about this kind of gum therapy, the less you’ll have to fear. Your dentist most likely prescribed the deep cleaning because your gums show signs of inflammation and infection.

Deep Cleanings Can Save Your Teeth

Gum tissue swells in response to the presence of plaque. As bacterial growth advances, the infection breaks down bone tissue around teeth. This creates pockets between the gums and tooth roots, where more germs collect.

A “deep cleaning” is when the dental hygienist uses specialized tools to remove plaque, tartar, and other debris from the surfaces of your roots inside the pockets.

The purpose of deep cleanings is to provide a smooth base for the gum tissues to start healing and reattaching to. A deep cleaning is the first step to restoring the health of your gums.

Left untreated, gum disease can worsen to the point that teeth get loose and fall out.

Deep Cleanings Don’t Hurt

You’ll be numbed up for the cleaning procedure. Afterwards, your gums may feel a bit sore and your tooth roots might ache slightly from having the buildup removed. Overall, however, it’s not a traumatic experience.

How to Avoid Deep Cleanings

If you take measures to prevent gum disease beforehand, you can avoid the need for having such procedures. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to slow down the development of plaque bacteria that cause gum inflammation.

Ask your local dentist for a comprehensive gum health evaluation to learn more about your need for gum therapy.

Posted on behalf of:
Dunwoody Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
1816 Independence Square, Suite B
Dunwoody, GA 30338
(770) 399-9199

Aug
6

How Well Do You Know Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

Your gums are more important to your health than you may know. So how are your yours doing?

Why Your Gums Are Important

Your gums help keep your teeth in place to cushion and protect the tooth roots. If you lose your gums to recession or gum disease, you risk losing your teeth.

Gum tissue is loaded with blood vessels that connect with the rest of the body. The gums are the perfect portal for oral bacteria to sneak into the bloodstream and cause infections in other areas.

Inflammation in the gums also seems linked to other inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Keeping your gums healthy is not just important for your smile – it’s important for your entire well-being.

Signs Your Gums May Be in Trouble

Your gums may need some special attention to ward off disease if you notice:

  • Your gums look redder than usual
  • The margins of your gums look swollen or puffy
  • Your gums bleed when you floss and/or brush
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Any other unusual gum discoloration

Pay close attention to your gums each day to check for signs of trouble. If something looks or feels off, see your dentist.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

A healthy gum care routine includes daily brushing and flossing. Brush along the gum line with light jiggling strokes to loosen plaque and debris. When you floss, make sure to slip it just below the gum line around each tooth.

Use an antibacterial rinse for its therapeutic effect after flossing and brushing.

Visit your dentist on a regular basis to find out what your gums’ health is like and to get more tips on healthy smile maintenance.

Posted on behalf of:
Laguna West Dental Care
9098 Laguna Main St Ste 8
Elk Grove, CA 95758
(916) 683-7300

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
1

When Was the Last Time You Had Your Gums “Charted?”

Posted in Gum Disease

If you’ve been faithful about visiting the dentist every six months for check-ups, then chances are you’ve had this special gum-charting procedure done before.

Gum (periodontal) charting is when the dental hygienist uses a small ruler-like probe to measure the depth of your gums all around each tooth. He or she documents the measurements in millimeters in a paper or digital chart.

What is the point of gum charting? And how often should you have it done?

Periodontal Charting Prevents Disease

Gum pocket measurements of 3-4 millimeters are considered healthy. Deeper readings can indicate inflamed gum tissue or the loss of bone around teeth due to gum disease.

By measuring your gums and tracking the depths from year to year, your dentist and hygienist can quickly identify areas that are starting to deteriorate. You’ll be alerted so you can take action to improve areas of concern, to avoid developing serious gum disease.

Dentists Recommend Charting Once a Year

Dentists, hygienists, and gum health specialists generally advise adults to have their periodontal charts updated on a yearly basis.

Naturally, each patient’s needs are different, so your hygienist may check your gum levels more or less often. If you’ve had perfectly healthy gums all of your life, you can probably wait a year or a little more between chartings. But if you have a history of periodontitis or are at high risk for periodontal disease then your hygienist may check your gums more often than once a year.

Periodontal charting can take several minutes, but it’s worth every second to know where your gum health is at! Contact your dentist today to make sure you’re up-to-date on this diagnostic procedure.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

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

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