Dental Tips Blog

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

Mar
3

The Painful Truth About Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is bad news. It causes chronic bad breath, gum recession, and tooth loss.

But the worst part about gum disease may be the fact that you can have this infection and not even realize it.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is also called periodontitis. It’s an inflammatory condition in which the gums and ligaments around your teeth start to break down. This happens as a reaction to plaque bacteria left on the gums.

Periodontitis can even attack the bone around tooth roots. This loss of bone and ligaments around teeth cause them to loosen and fall out.

A Silent Disease

Periodontitis is usually a gradual disease. It doesn’t hurt in the beginning stages. That’s dangerous, since the infection can progress and permanently destroy tissues before you know it’s happening. Your gums may seem a little tender and swollen, but you might only notice this if you pay close attention.

In the later stages, gum disease will start to hurt as teeth lose gum support and start to loosen. But at that point, it’s too late to save the irreplaceable structures in your jaw.

Keep an eye on your gum health to prevent problems before they can start.

Signs of Gum Disease

You likely won’t feel pain if you have periodontal disease. So, you need to stay alert to other signs that your oral health is in danger.

Look out for:

  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Swollen puffy gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away after you brush or rinse
  • Gum recession
  • Sensitive exposed tooth roots

To find out the state of your gum health, schedule a checkup with a dentist near you.

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

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

 

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

Jan
28

Swollen Gums? What You Can Do

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums usually swell up in response to irritation. Everyone has to deal with swollen gums at some point in their lives – whether it’s due to a piece of popcorn stuck along your gums or skipping a few days of flossing – if you currently have gum inflammation throughout your mouth, then these steps provide some relief.

Rinse with Warm Salt Water

For swollen gums that are tender and sore, a warm salt water rinse is a good thing to start with. Rinsing gently can bring down the inflammation and soothe painful tissues. Use about ½ teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water.

Brush and Floss

The next step is to physically remove any plaque or debris that could be contributing to the inflammation. You can do this best by brushing with a soft toothbrush and flossing, paying special attention to cleaning just under the gumlines. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent swollen gums before they start.

Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Mouth rinses containing ingredients like essential oils or cetylpyridinium chloride inhibit bacterial growth. Using these mouthwashes can prevent plaque from growing between tooth brushing sessions, giving your swollen gums a better chance to heal.

Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Your body need lots of vitamin C to stay healthy. Gums may quickly swell up if your diet has been low in fruits and vegetables, lately. Load up on vitamin-rich fresh foods to boost your gum health.

See Your Dentist

Swollen gums can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that leads to tooth loss. Don’t just ignore swelling; if it doesn’t respond to improved oral hygiene measures, then it’s time to periodontal treatment.

Contact a dentist or periodontist in your area if you have any other questions about your gum health.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999

Jan
26

The 6 Main Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Also known as periodontitis, gum disease is a serious condition that most people know little about. If not treated, this chronic infection can lead to tooth loss. It also negatively impacts overall health.

Are you at risk for gum disease?

Here are the six main risk factors for developing periodontitis.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Bacteria found in plaque biofilm is the primary cause of gum disease. Some bacteria species are more dangerous than others and you can’t always control which kind of germs you have in your mouth. Even so, brushing and flossing to get rid of plaque will slow down bacterial growth. If you don’t have good oral hygiene, you are at risk for periodontitis.

Smoking

Tobacco use is a major contributor of gum disease. Smoking slows down healing and blood circulation which are necessary to fight off bacterial infections. When you smoke, you make it easier for bacteria to infect and destroy your tissues.

Diabetes

Diabetes and periodontitis go hand-in-hand. Uncontrolled diabetes makes it almost impossible to control a gum infection because the body can’t heal itself very well. High blood sugar levels may also contribute to greater tissue destruction in the gums.

Age

Poor gum health is common for older adults. With advancing age comes an increased risk for gum disease (especially if flossing wasn’t a habit.)

Stress

Stress releases chemicals that can actually speed up the breakdown of gum tissue and impair the body’s ability to heal. Stress may also cause you to neglect your oral hygiene.

Genetics

If someone in your family had gum disease, odds are good that you’re at risk, too.

Schedule a gum health evaluation with a dentist near you and learn how you can lower your risk for gum disease induced tooth loss.

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

Oct
22

What to Expect with Gum Surgery

Posted in Gum Disease

Having surgery on your gums may sound a little scary. But it won’t be as bad as you’re expecting!

You may need gum surgery for any of several reasons:

  • To graft new gum tissue in place
  • Scaling and root planing for teeth affected by gum disease
  • Make teeth look longer and more even
  • Treatment for tissue regeneration

Who Performs the Surgery? 

A periodontist (gum specialist) usually performs the procedure. Some oral surgeons also perform gum surgery, such as placing grafts. A general dentist can treat your teeth and perform basic gum therapy, but you need to see a specialist when it comes to gum surgery. 

Is Gum Surgery Painful?

Gum surgery is over very quickly and you’ll be numb the entire time, so you won’t have to feel anything. Once the anesthetic wears off, you may feel some discomfort. Most patients say that gum surgery on the roof of their mouth is the most uncomfortable. It’s said to feel like a burn from eating hot pizza.

Your recovery doesn’t have to be very painful. Taking over the counter pain relievers as your gum surgeon directs and sticking to a diet of cool soft foods will help you stay comfortable.

Does It Take Long to Heal?

Oral tissues heal faster than most others in the body. If you have stitches, they usually come out within a week after the surgery. Even if it takes as long as two weeks to heal completely, you can get back into your normal routine within a day of the procedure.

Contact a periodontist or dentist in your area to learn more about what’s involved in gum surgery and whether it’s right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

Oct
22

Can Gums Grow Back?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum loss is a pretty big deal, since gums are supposed to provide protection and support for tooth roots. Without them, teeth can develop cavities on their roots and become very sensitive.

So is there any chance of your gums growing back once a little bit is lost?

Unfortunately, no.

Gums grow to a set height in proportion with the underlying bone. If that bone is lost, the gums cannot reform all the way up to cover the tooth root. It would have nothing to attach to and be very floppy! Gingiva worn away from the front of teeth also cannot regrow. They’ve lost the elastic tissue that attaches them to root surfaces.

How to Restore Lost Gums

Your gums won’t grow back on their own once they’re lost. But there are a few ways you can prevent further damage and protect your teeth.

Get treatment for gum disease – Gum recession caused by infection will only continue to worsen. Ask your dentist for a gum health exam and gum disease treatment to stop the disease progression.

Switch toothbrushes – Go for a brush with soft bristles or even a powered toothbrush to reduce how hard you’re scrubbing.

Try gum or bone grafting – Some areas of your mouth can be repaired by grafting in tissue to serve as a scaffold to help new gingiva attach.

Have your teeth bonded – Dental bonding patches up exposed roots and fills in gaps between teeth with a tooth-colored filling. This protects roots exposed by gum loss and helps close empty spaces.

Visit your local dentist for help in identifying the cause behind your lost gums and to find out what treatment options are available.

Posted on behalf of:
Wayne G. Suway, DDS, MAGD
1820 The Exchange SE #600
Atlanta, GA 30339
(770) 953-1752

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