Dental Tips Blog

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

Sep
17

Is Tartar Really Bad for Teeth?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

You hear lots about dental products that prevent plaque and tartar. Not to mention your hygienist telling you to brush and floss to fight the buildup.

But do you know what’s so bad about having tartar in the first place?

What Is Tartar?

Tartar is a term for dental “calculus.” Calculus isn’t the math course you took in high school. In this case, it refers to a substance that naturally grows on teeth over time.

Calculus is a rock-like gritty deposit. It occurs when minerals in saliva mix with plaque that contains bacteria and food debris. How fast you develop tartar depends on the minerals in your saliva and how much plaque is on your teeth.

Typically, tartar forms in small amounts within a matter of weeks. Several months after a dental cleaning you may notice the pale rough calculus developing along your gum line.

What’s So Bad About Calculus?

Dental calculus is just a collection of minerals and dead germs. It’s also porous, which allows it to absorb stains from smoking and dark-colored foods. So for one thing, it makes teeth look gross.

Although it’s sometimes a protective defense against damage to the underlying enamel, it can harbor live bacteria. This tends to irritate gums and triggers recession. It also serves as the perfect platform for another kind of bacteria – the one responsible for periodontal disease and bad breath. If you let calculus develop freely for long enough, you won’t even be able to floss anymore since it would fill in the gaps between teeth.

Fight that tartar! Visit your dentist for regular checkups to avoid unhealthy dental calculus.

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

Sep
12

Does Your Child Have Gingivitis?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. It’s a response to irritating plaque bacteria left on the teeth. When teeth aren’t brushed at least twice a day, the germs can cause gums to  become sensitive, swollen, and bleed easily.

Kids are just as prone to getting gingivitis as adults are. If not treated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis (gum disease) and eventually even tooth loss.

Fortunately, gum disease can be treated with periodontal therapy by your dentist or periodontist.  It’s important for you to recognize signs of gum problems in your kids to promote a healthy smile from a young age.

Signs of Gingivitis

Your child may be suffering from gingivitis if you notice that they have:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Bright red puffy gums
  • Thick yellowish buildup on their teeth
  • Complaints of sore gums
  • Bleeding that’s spontaneous or triggered by brushing or flossing

Why Kids Are Prone to Gingivitis

You likely help your small children with their tooth brushing. But as kids get older, they crave more independence. They want to take care of their own hygiene needs and you’re happy to encourage them.

Just because kids can brush their teeth on their own doesn’t mean they’re good at doing it regularly. Children may slack off on brushing, only doing it once a day at the most. A lack of brushing and flossing is the primary cause of gingivitis.

Kids on the verge of puberty tend to have more sensitive gums that overreact to dental plaque. Hormones in the body can trigger chronic cases of gingivitis.

If You Suspect Gingivitis

Gingivitis isn’t something your child has to live with forever. In fact, you can easily treat and prevent gum inflammation with regular dental visits and a bit of extra help at home. Plan a checkup for every member of your family to keep gum disease from becoming a permanent resident in your house!

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

Sep
9

Bad Breath? Your Gums May Be to Blame

Posted in Gum Disease

We all experience those occasional cases of halitosis.

It could be due to lots of garlic at dinner, or it could just be a morning thing.

But if you have bad breath that won’t go away, it may be time to put aside the mints and see a dentist for a gum check.

REALLY Bad Breath!

There is a difference between bad breath caused by food and that caused by a serious medical issue.

You might notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth, but there’s a good chance you don’t know you have a bad breath issue until someone tells you.

Bad breath associated with gum disease is described as something rotting. This kind of bad breath is hard for others to ignore and may even result in people avoiding you.

Why so much stink?

Periodontal Disease and Bad Breath

When gums get inflamed by bacteria, this is called gingivitis. It doesn’t usually stink, in itself. Mild bad breath may just result from the fact that plaque bacteria are left in the mouth too long.

Gingivitis, left untreated, can turn into something far worse.

Periodontitis (periodontal disease) is when the inflammation and infection spread far beyond the gums. The underlying ligaments and bone that support the teeth start to break down. This creates pockets around tooth roots that trap more bacteria.

That ever-accumulating mass of germs along with decaying ligaments create a powerful stench.

So if you notice persistent and very foul breath, it could be a sign that your gums are in trouble.

Get a diagnosis for the cause of your bad breath and get rid of it for good by seeing your local dentist.

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

Jul
13

Why You Still Need to See a Dentist Even Though Your Teeth Feel Fine

Posted in Gum Disease

So you’re one of the lucky few who’ve never had a dental filling.

Whether you attribute your stellar teeth to diet, genetics, or a great flossing routine, you’re grateful you don’t have steep dental bills.

But your dentist still wants to see you on a regular basis. That’s because white teeth are nothing without strong gums to hold them in place.

The Role Gums Play

Your gums protect sensitive tooth roots, but they also are unique in their ability to nourish and cushion teeth. They contain a rich network of blood vessels, nerves, and ligaments. Tooth roots connect to the gums at special junctures which help anchor teeth in place.

Gums are irreplaceable. If something happens to them, your teeth lose valuable support.

How Is Your Periodontal Health?

Your gums and the ligaments that lie beneath are classified as periodontal tissues.

Periodontal damage often happens gradually and it’s usually painless.

Some signs of gum disease are easy to pick up on:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth

But if periodontal disease sets in, it destroys those ligaments long before you’d notice any of these signs.

Here’s where your dentist comes in.

Only a dental professional can detect and measure periodontal damage before you notice the signs. X-rays and other tools can determine the level of healthy gum tissue you have left.

Regular dental visits aren’t just for the benefit of your teeth. A checkup at the dentist’s is also a chance to find out how your gums are doing.

Besides that, you’ll also get valuable tips from your dentist on how to treat or even avoid gum disease.

Don’t wait! Call today to schedule your periodontal health evaluation.

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

May
20

What Are Periodontal Pockets?

Posted in Gum Disease

You may have heard the term “periodontal pockets” thrown around once or twice by a dental hygienist during your cleaning.

What exactly are they?

How Periodontitis Affects Your Teeth

Gum disease (periodontitis) starts out as an accumulation of bacterial plaque on teeth. If this plaque isn’t removed, it causes inflammation in the gum line. If this swelling isn’t reversed, it can spread and involve the ligaments that anchor teeth in place (periodontal tissues).

Your body reacts to the infection by sending out chemicals. Unfortunately, this reaction causes more damage to ligaments. Eventually, the gums pull away from your tooth roots entirely.

The bacteria multiply and invade the new empty space and the process continues. As things progress, even the bone surrounding teeth can start to break down. This results in a distinct gap, or “pocket,” between the tooth and your tissues.

Periodontal pockets are bad news. Not only do these gaps signify a loss of attachment for your tooth, but they are nearly impossible to keep clean. You’ll never be able to control the bacteria and tartar settling into those pockets with a toothbrush and floss, alone.

Do You Have Periodontal Pockets?

Your dental hygienist will do routine gum measurements to see whether any of your teeth have lost their gum and tooth support.

These measurements are recorded in millimeters on a chart. Measurements of 3mm or less are within the healthy range of snug gum tissue. A few 4mm areas suggest some gum inflammation. But areas higher than 5mm are a definite sign that your mouth needs periodontal treatment.

Call your local dentist to schedule a gum health evaluation and find out how you can prevent gum disease.

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

May
13

Is Your Bad Breath a Sign of Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Having a bout of bad breath is embarrassing enough. But it gets even more frustrating when it won’t go away no matter what you do.

Your chronic halitosis could actually be a sign of a very serious issue like gum disease.

Why Gum Disease Causes Bad Breath

Gum disease, also called periodontitis, is an infection in the gums. Bacterial overgrowth trigger inflammation and the ligaments and bone around teeth start to break down. These decaying tissues give off quite a foul odor.

If you have gum disease, you may notice a strange taste in your mouth or others may comment on your foul breath.

Signs You Might Have Gum Disease

Bad breath is one indicator of periodontitis, but it’s not the only one. You may have gum disease if you also notice:

  • Puffy, swollen, red gums
  • Gum recession
  • Loose teeth
  • Pus around the gumline
  • Plaque and tartar buildup

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath Cause by Periodontitis

If you struggle with bad breath, then popping a piece of mint gum may not be enough to mask the smell. Proper oral hygiene is essential for preventing both halitosis and the gum infections that may cause it.

Maintain fresh breath by cleaning your tongue, flossing every day, and brushing at least twice a day. Use toothpastes and mouthwashes that target gingivitis and plaque. Staying hydrated by drinking lots of water is also effective in keeping breath sweet.

To get rid of the stench, you’ll have to treat the cause of your bad breath. A periodontist or general dentist can examine your gums for signs of disease and let you know what treatment is necessary.

Posted on behalf of:
Montevallo Family Dentistry
711 Wadsworth St
Montevallo, AL 35115
(205) 665-2224

May
6

Can You Just Take an Antibiotic to Get Rid of Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is triggered by bacteria.

If gum disease is a bacterial infection in the gums, why can’t you just take an antibiotic to treat it?

Why Antibiotics Aren’t Recommended

In some emergency situations where a patient comes in with an abscess, a dentist will most likely prescribe an antibiotic before doing anything else.

But if you just popped a pill to deal with a typical case of periodontitis, you’d actually risk antibiotic resistance. This happens when the medication isn’t strong enough to kill off all the bacteria, but it temporarily weakens the infection. The germs can then come back “bigger and badder” and tougher to fight off.

Frequent antibiotic use can also disrupt the bacterial balance in other parts of your body, leading to more problems.

Best Way to Treat Gum Disease

Periodontitis usually responds best to special dental cleanings followed up by antibiotic medication, if necessary.

As a similar example, let’s imagine you got something like a splinter or metal nail stuck in your hand. You’d definitely need an antibiotic for an infected wound, and possibly even a tetanus booster. But would that make it okay to just leave the debris in your hand? Of course not! You also need to have the object removed.

Gum disease is aggravated by collections of bacteria that live in dense gooey plaque and tough dental calculus. Unless you get rid of that debris, your gums will always be ripe for infection.

There’s no replacement for trusted periodontal therapies and a great flossing routine!

Schedule a gum health evaluation with your dentist if you suspect that you may have periodontal disease. You’ll then find out which treatment options are best for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Gold Hill Dentistry
2848 Pleasant Road #104
Fort Mill,  South Carolina 29708
(803) 566-8055

Apr
22

5 Reasons Why Gum Recession is Bad for Your Smile

Posted in Periodontics

Age, tooth alignment, smoking, and other factors can cause gum recession. It’s often impossible to prevent.

Yet, there are five good reasons you should try to slow down and repair gum recession if it happens to you.

  1. Your Teeth Will Get More Sensitive

Exposed tooth roots are very sensitive without the protective covering of gum tissue. You may have more and more difficulty with drinking hot tea or ice water.

  1. Your Cavity Risk Will Increase

Tooth roots lack the hard enamel coating that the upper part of your teeth have. Without enamel, roots can quickly develop aggressive cavities that eat right through the tooth.

  1. Your Teeth Can Lose Support

Gum recession only gets worse as time goes on. In severe cases, it can pull enough gum tissue away that your teeth get loose.

  1. Your Smile Won’t Look Nice

No matter how much you whiten, there’s not much that will change the look of long yellow teeth. Recession exposes tooth roots which are naturally dark. That color won’t bleach out.

  1. It Can Signal a Serious Underlying Problem

Gum recession can be caused by many other issues. One of those is gum disease, which is relatively painless. Receding gums could be a sign of a chronic gum infection that needs immediate attention.

What You Can Do About Gum Recession

The most important and sometimes only thing you can do is protect the exposed teeth. Extra fluoride or other remineralization treatments can help prevent erosion, decay, and sensitivity.

Your dentist or periodontist can provide treatments to restore lost gum tissue. Schedule a consultation with your dentist to find out more about combating gingival recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care of Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth GA 30103
678-888-1554

Mar
31

What Your Gums Reveal About Your Risk for Alzheimer’s

Posted in Gum Disease

Brushing your teeth isn’t just good for your mouth. It could even have a beneficial effect on your long term memory, according to one study.

Researchers in Taiwan have recently made an interesting observation about gum disease and Alzheimer’s.

While we can’t say for sure that there is a direct link between the two conditions, there’s a definite pattern. Statistics show that older adults who have lived with gum disease for ten years or more were 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

This figure already accounts for other factors known to contribute towards Alzheimer’s such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

Does this mean that if you have gum disease you’ll develop Alzheimer’s?

Not necessarily. In fact, for all we know, a genetic inclination towards Alzheimer’s may be what predisposes someone to periodontitis.

But some experts suggest that having a chronic low-grade inflammation – like gum disease – raging in your body may play a role in the onset of other serious conditions.

Alzheimer’s disease is difficult to predict and prevent and impossible to reverse. But gum disease, on the other hand, is highly preventable. It usually responds well to straightforward treatment right in your local dental office.

As more research unfolds on the connection between gum disease and other illnesses, now is the best time to get your gum health under control.

Get started by:

  • Eating a balanced diet with plenty of protein and vitamin C
  • Brushing and flossing daily
  • Visiting a dentist for a gum health assessment

As your local dentist to evaluate the condition of your gums. Keeping them healthy is a great way to lower your risk for many other potential problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Manhattan Dental Design
315 W 57th St Suite 206
New York, NY 10019
(646) 504-4377

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