Dental Tips Blog

Dec
19

How Often Should You Be Brushing?

Posted in Gum Disease

What do you think?

A.) Once a day is enough

B.) As often as I can fit in one day!

C.) Right before a special event

There are mixed opinions when it comes to oral hygiene. A lot of it boils down to how much people value their teeth. We also tend to follow whatever brushing habits we were raised with.

Caring for your teeth is very important. It’s not just a matter of vanity – some folks truly don’t care about whether or not they have teeth to smile with. But the issue goes deeper than that.

Chronic tooth decay or gum disease also affects the rest of your body. Diabetes, pneumonia, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and more have all been connected to some oral health problem.

Brushing your teeth may be more important than you realized.

The minimum you should be brushing is two times a day. It’s important to brush in the morning to remove breakfast and whatever germs were cooking in your mouth the night before. Cleaning your teeth before bed is important so that your teeth don’t suffer by soaking in the acids and sugars of whatever you ate that day.

If you are able to brush after each meal, that’s great. Try not to brush directly after eating, however. That will only spread around the food acids. Rinse with water or wait about a half hour after eating before you brush.

It is possible to over-brush. Excessive or rough tooth-brushing can lead to worn spots in enamel and gum recession. So brush well, but don’t go crazy! Talk with your dentist for more tips on a healthy tooth-brushing routine.

Posted on behalf of:
Definition Dental
12850 SW Canyon Rd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 644-8900

Dec
19

6 Common Causes of Gum Recession

Posted in Gum Disease

You’re not sure when you first started noticing it, but now it’s impossible to ignore: your gums are creeping away from the teeth exposing sensitive yellow roots.

What’s going on here?

Gum recession can often be blamed on genetics and aging. But if you’re experiencing recession in just a few spots, then there’s a good chance you can identify the trigger that’s causing it.

Orthodontic Appliances

Plaque that collects on fixed brackets is often to blame for irritating gums, causing them to shrink back away from the appliances and the tooth.

Oral Appliances

Do you wear a partial denture or retainer? Even a sports mouth guard could be the culprit. If your prosthesis is damaged or needs an adjustment, one of the first signs could be gum recession.

Irritating Restorations

Excessive fillings and poor crown margins are known to cause some inflammation in gum tissue, especially if they’re old. You’ll need a dentist to examine the restoration for “overhangs” and repair or replace it so that the area doesn’t stay irritated.

Bruxism

Did you know that clenching your teeth can cause gum recession? Unconsciously biting hard when you’re stressed puts a lot of tension on those poor gums.

Tooth Brushing

If you’re in the habit of scrubbing too hard, you could be literally scrubbing your gums away!

Gum Disease

Gum recession is often an indicator that there’s a serious infection.

Your dentist will help you narrow down the possibilities if you aren’t sure. He or she will also let you know what you can do to prevent further recession and provide treatment options for your gum disease.

Call your dentist today to schedule a consultation.

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

Dec
12

Do You Need Gum Therapy?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum therapy isn’t exactly something you opt for, like some kind of spa treatment. But it can rejuvenate your gums in way you never knew you needed!

What Is It?

Any procedure with the aim of improving your gum health can be considered therapeutic for your mouth. Most often, the term refers to a specialized cleaning that removes calcified buildup from below the gum-line. This treatment may include minor surgery, laser therapy, cleansing rinses, or topical antibiotics to fight the disease that undermines the health and structure of the gums.

Who Needs Gum Therapy?

Virtually anyone with periodontal disease is a candidate for gum therapy.

Diseased gums range from skin-deep gingivitis to the more serious periodontitis. When gums are exposed to certain bacteria for too long, they become inflamed. Inflammation can trigger a process that breaks down tissues that anchor your teeth to the bone. The longer gums are inflamed, the more teeth and surrounding bone are at risk for permanent damage.

So how about you? Could your gums be affected by disease without your knowledge?

Do You Qualify?

Gum disease tends to set in and progress very subtly. Most people aren’t aware of the change as it’s happening. It’s usually painless and advances in places you can’t see. You may first become aware of an infection through signs such as:

  • Lots of plaque and tartar buildup
  • Bleeding while flossing or brushing
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

The only way to know for sure? Schedule a visit with your local dental hygienist. He or she will evaluate your gums with clinical tools and x-rays to determine the need for gum therapy.

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

Dec
5

My Gums Are Peeling!

Posted in Gum Disease

Your mouth is a very important and sensitive part of your body. Just think of all the jobs our mouths do: eating, talking, breathing, laughing, kissing, and more.

When something goes wrong with your mouth, you have every right to be concerned. Maybe even a little freaked out!

A prime example of freaky mouth problems is that of peeling gums.

Why does it happen? Should you see a dentist?

Here are a few common causes of peeling in the mouth.

Burns

When you burn a spot of soft tissue in your mouth, the dead “cooked” stuff eventually sloughs off as it heals. This will make it look like your cheeks, lips, or gums are peeling.

Allergic Reaction

Did you know that you could be allergic to your toothpaste? Some ingredients in toothpaste cause a painless but unsettling production of flaky white skin peeling off your gums. Try switching brands if this happens to you.

Sores

Healing sores like canker sores or some other kind of ulcer may cause mouth tissues to peel around the area. If your wound doesn’t appear to be resolving on its own, you should contact your dentist.

Gum Disease

Irritated, inflamed, or rotting gums could all exhibit signs of peeling. Advancing periodontal disease can cause gums to actually shrink away from tooth roots. See your dentist ASAP to rule out any possibility of gum disease that can cause your teeth to lose gum support.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Fortunately, this condition is so rare that you can probably rule it out. Especially since it only causes peeling gums well after other symptoms arrive.

Who knows? Your peeling gums may not be anything serious at all. But just to play it safe, visit your dentist for an examination.

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

Nov
30

4, 2, 3…What Do All Those Numbers Mean?

Posted in Gum Disease

Your hygienist is looking intently at your teeth, like she’s trying to spot something that isn’t there. You hear her calling out a series of numbers (a secret code, maybe?) to the assistant next to her. 4, 2, 3…3, 2, 3…3, 2, 4…what do all of these numbers mean?

Measuring the Health of Your Smile

First off, any numbers that you hear which are three or below are good. It’s the numbers higher than a three that you need to be concerned with.

What your hygienist is doing is measuring the attachment levels of your gums around each tooth. There is a naturally occurring “pocket” under your gums, which is an area that can collect bacteria and become infected. If it is diseased, the gums start to detach from your tooth and make the pocket deeper, not to mention destroy bone structure during the process.

Healthy gum “pockets” are anywhere up to 3mm deep. Deeper pockets can’t be cleaned with oral hygiene aids like floss. Instead, special instruments must be used to clean them at your dentist’s office. The difficulty managing them can predispose you to getting even more severe infections or lose your teeth completely.

Treating Gum Disease

Usually, moderate periodontitis (gum disease) is treated with a series of deep cleanings. “Deep,” because they’re further below the pocket. This creates a clean space where healthier gums can potentially reattach to your tooth, shortening the depth of the pocket (and halting additional bone loss.)

Periodontal exams are the process of measuring six separate areas on each individual tooth. Ask your dentist or hygienist what the numbers on your periodontal chart mean!

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

Oct
30

Why Are My Gums So Dark?

Posted in Gum Disease

Dark gums usually aren’t a sign of any problem. They’re because gum tissue can be pigmented with melanin just like skin anywhere else on your body can be.

Melanin-free gums tend to be a coral pink color, while melanin-rich ones vary in shades of tan and even purple. Gums can even have freckles!

However, when your gums turn dark when they’ve been another color for your entire life it may be an indication of a problem that calls for periodontal therapy or other treatment. Some reasons for this may be:

  • Smoking
  • Metal restorations (pigment leaching into gums)
  • Medications such as tricyclic antidepressants
  • Acute necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis (“ANUG”)

That last causative factor poses a serious immediate risk to your oral health. Acute necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis can be triggered as a result of smoking, stress, a viral infection, HIV, or extreme lack of oral care.

ANUG causes the gum tissue to die off quickly, turning black in the process. If you notice darkening gums accompanied by pain, bleeding, and very bad breath, then you need to see a dentist immediately for treatment including antibiotic therapy.

What About White Gums?

The opposite problem (gum color lightening) can also indicate trouble. Gums may also turn pale from cigarette use, which reduces healthy blood circulation. A white patch on your gums that easily wipes off may be a thrush infection, treatable with anti-fungal medication.

Any other white-colored growth may be a precancerous growth called leukoplakia.

See your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental checkups which include gum examinations. Proper oral hygiene will help you maintain good health and frequent checkups will help you catch problems before they get out of hand. Talk with your dentist or dental hygienist for more information on what your discolored gums could mean.

Posted on behalf of:
Rolling Hills Dentistry
53 North Street
Danbury, CT 06810
(203) 743-0783

Oct
8

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is one of those conditions that can be considered a “silent killer” for your smile.

Gum disease is not likely to be deadly in the way that heart disease or cancer can be. But it is connected to serious ailments such as pneumonia and stroke. That’s because the gums are a gateway to the rest of your body. A chronic infection in your mouth can negatively impact other areas.

How do you know if you’re susceptible to this underestimated yet common disease?

Your Gums Easily Bleed

Contrary to popular belief, your gums don’t bleed because your hygienist “stabs” them. Neither is it normal for gums to bleed when you floss. Inflamed gum tissue is loaded with blood vessels that are easily damaged. So, if you notice pink in the sink, that could be a sign of infection.

Your Bad Breath Just Won’t Go Away

Not all kinds of halitosis can be masked with a breath mint. Chronic gum disease can leave a frustrating odor on your breath that causes people to keep their distance.

Gum Recession Is Driving Your Crazy

Do your teeth look a little long? Gums will shrink away from teeth as a result of inflammation from periodontitis. If you notice that more of your tooth roots are exposed, then it’s worth seeing a dentist to find out whether gum disease is to blame.

Don’t wait much longer if any of these signs are plaguing your smile! Taking quick action to treat or prevent gum disease could save not just your teeth but possibly lower your risk for other serious health problems.

Posted on behalf of:
Moores Chapel Dentistry
9115 Samlen Lane #105
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 389-9299

Sep
22

It’s Just Gingivitis – What’s the Big Deal?

Posted in Gum Disease

Discolored teeth and gingivitis can’t do that much harm, right?

“Dirty” teeth aren’t just stained. They also host lots of bacterial species, both good and bad. Leave those bacteria on your teeth long enough, however, and some will start to cause trouble.

Some germs, for example, cause cavities. Others, when left in contact with the gums for more than a day, will trigger a case of gingivitis.

What Is Gingivitis?

Your gums react to bacteria the way your skin reacts to a splinter.

Irritants trigger an automatic immune response. Gum tissues swell to allow more pathogen-fighting agents to get to the site of infection. As a result, your gums will start to look puffy and redder than usual.

This is gingivitis – the first stage in the process of gum inflammation.

Why Gingivitis Means Trouble

If those germs that caused the inflammation don’t go away, neither will the swelling.

More plaque bacteria can sneak into the tight space between tooth and gum as the gums swell and pull back from the teeth. Over time, this space can widen and allow more debris to slip in and aggravate the infection.

Your body will step up its disease-fighting game, but this process also damages gum tissues and bone. You could be left with a vicious cycle in which the bacteria multiply and your gums continue to break down. The end result is a destructive condition called periodontitis.

Periodontitis causes bad breath and gum recession and can lead to tooth-loss and other health issues.

So don’t brush off a mild case of gingivitis as nothing. Ask your dentist for periodontal treatment options to reverse the inflammation while you still can!

Posted on behalf of:
Meridian Campus Family Dental
3201 Willamette DR NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 200-5505

Sep
19

Nearly 1 Out of 2 People Have This Disease – Are You At Risk?

Posted in Gum Disease

According to a CDC study, some 47% of Americans have this disease…

…It’s bacterial in origin.

…It’s contagious.

…It’s connected to other diseases like stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

…Untreated, it will lead to tooth loss.

Can you guess what it is?

Also called periodontal disease or periodontitis, we’re talking about none other than simple gum disease.

The Ever-Present Threat Of Gum Disease

You might have been surprised to learn that periodontitis is so prevalent. Gum disease occurs in varying stages and affects people differently depending on their oral hygiene, health, and even genetics. Still, it may be closer to home than you may realize.

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis – uncomplicated gum inflammation. But inflamed gums pull away from teeth and create pockets which shelter greater numbers of harmful bacteria. The more bacteria show up, the more your body has to fight against.

Gingivitis left untreated will advance to a more complex infection. Your gums and the ligament and bone underneath can break down. This is how teeth lose support and eventually fall out.

The bacteria that trigger gum inflammation are so common that everyone picks them up over the course of their lifetime. Given the opportunity to flourish, those germs will do so.

How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?

While there’s no practical way to eliminate the germs from your mouth altogether, you can still keep them from accumulating.

How?

Efficient, daily tooth brushing and flossing.

A solid daily regimen of oral hygiene, coupled with routine cleanings, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyle choices is the most important way to keep gum disease at bay.

Consult your dentist for a gum health evaluation to find out your risk.

Posted on behalf of:
Hudson Oaks Family Dentistry
200 S Oakridge Dr #106
Hudson Oaks, TX 76087
(817) 857-6790

Aug
29

How Gum Inflammation Affects Your Body

Posted in Gum Disease

Inflammation is a normal reaction and usually one of your body’s best friends.

It’s how your immune system gets rid of unwanted guests. Everything from viruses to bad foods to a little wooden splinter in your finger can trigger an inflammatory reaction.

What Happens During Inflammation?

Your body will flood the compromised site with tons of white blood cells and proteins to kill the invader. Tissues swell with the increased blood flow, making them warm and tender.

This is the same thing that happens to your gums in the case of gum disease.

How Gum Inflammation Happens

Periodontitis, also call periodontal disease or gum disease, is chronic inflammation in response to bacteria living deep in gum pockets around teeth. Because most people don’t feel or notice anything different when they have this disease, they conclude nothing is wrong.

Whether you’re bothered by gum inflammation or not, you have good reason to get your gums checked out. Periodontal disease doesn’t just jeopardize your gums and teeth. The chronic inflammation can tax your system in other ways.

Mouth-Body Connection

Growing research shows that there is some connection between inflamed gums and health problems such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

One reason for this could be that inflammatory chemicals released in your gums to fight bacteria trigger the buildup of plaque in arteries. This puts you at risk for blood clots.

If you already have a condition like diabetes, then it’s even more important that you keep your gums healthy. Don’t let gum inflammation rage unchecked!

Talk with your dentist for more information on how to treat and prevent gum disease. Your body will thank you!

Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
(770) 475-6767

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