Dental Tips Blog

Nov
7

Bleeding Gums: What That Means and What You Should Do

Posted in Gum Disease

Contrary to common opinion it’s not normal for gums to bleed when you visit the dentist. It’s also not a good sign if your gums bleed whenever you brush or floss. Bleeding gums can be an indication of gum disease or other serious issues.  With some help from your dental team, you can make sure that your entire mouth stays in great shape.

What Causes Gums To Bleed?

One of the first things to take into consideration is your oral hygiene routine.

Gums are thin-skinned and rich in blood vessels. At the slightest irritation, they’ll get inflamed and swollen to fight off infection. If you aren’t frequently brushing away bacterial debris from your teeth, then your gums may be constantly irritated in a state called gingivitis. This will make them easily bleed when they are bumped by a toothbrush.

To be fair, other conditions involving medications and hormones can make the gums extra sensitive, no matter how clean you keep them. You may experience more gum bleeding as a side-effect of:

  • Taking blood thinners
  • Taking certain pain medications
  • Pregnancy

How To Treat Gums Prone To Bleeding

You can keep your gums comfortable by regularly removing plaque with a toothbrush and floss.

On that note, it’s good to take a look at what kind of tools you use on your teeth. A hard-bristled toothbrush could be irritating your gums more than you realize. Flossing incorrectly will also be uncomfortable. Make a couple changes to your routine to improve gum health.

Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins. Vitamin C is especially important to gum health.

Lastly, see your dentist for frequent checkups that assess not just your teeth, but gum health as well.

Posted on behalf of:
Chester Road Family Dental
11701 Chester Rd.
Chester, VA 23831
804-748-5105

Jun
4

Kissing Gives You Gum Disease!

Posted in Gum Disease

We’ve all heard about how a nice smooch boosts our levels of feel-good hormones. You likely also know how easy it is to catch your significant other’s cold via kissing. But did you know that the activity of kissing can also affect your gum health?

The True Cause Of Gum Disease

In the early stages, gum inflammation is known as gingivitis. Let that rage go unchecked, and you’ll have a case of periodontitis on your hands which will likely require periodontal therapy.

Or gums, rather.

Periodontitis happens when the ligaments and bone around tooth roots start to break down from chronic inflammation. Those structures don’t easily grow back on their own, so this infection results in tooth loss if it’s not treated.

Infection? Yes, a bacterial one. Gum disease is caused by a large population of bacteria found in dental plaque.

What does kissing have to do with any of this?

What’s In A Kiss

A single kiss can transmit some 80 million bacteria, by one estimate.

That’s a lot of germs. Not all of which are good ones.

Among these are the bacteria that trigger gum inflammation. These germs are found naturally in virtually everyone’s mouths. We pick them up over the years after we’re born when we kiss loved ones, share eating utensils, and so forth.

But not everyone has the same amount of germs. Some people have more than others. Your partner could be sharing with you an extra large load of bacteria with each kiss.

With proper preventive measures, you can keep your gums healthy . . . and enjoy each and every kiss!

Ask your dentist for more tips on lowering your risk for gum disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Timber Springs Dental
5444 Atascocita Road Suite 100
Humble, TX 77346
(713) 244-8929

Nov
24

Why You Can’t Ignore Bleeding Gums

Posted in Gum Disease

If you see pink in the sink, it’s worse than you think!

That may sound a little silly, but it’s true. If you see blood when you brush, that’s usually a sign that you have a serious problem with your gums.

Is Bleeding Normal?

Some people conclude that flossing is pointless and painful because it causes their gums to bleed.

But if you ask those same people, they probably don’t floss everyday!

It’s possible to floss only just enough to hate it. Clean healthy gums should NOT bleed during gentle flossing. When your gums become inflamed from a bacterial infection (gingivitis), they become sensitive to disruptions, like flossing.

But flossing is essential because it removes the bacteria that cause inflammation. So although it may seem counterintuitive, flossing more should help your gums heal and bleed less!

Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Bleeding gums could be a sign of reversible gum inflammation such as gingivitis, or it could indicate a more serious gum condition. In any case, gingivitis can progress to a more serious form of gum disease if it is not treated.

What You Can Do

  • Brush at least twice daily for two minutes at a time
  • Use “antigingivitis” rinses and toothpastes
  • Floss daily
  • Keep regular dental appointments

Schedule a visit with your dentist or dental hygienist as soon as possible. A routine dental examination may be all that’s needed to determine the cause of your bleeding gums. And a professional dental cleaning will get your gums back to a clean slate. Your hygienist will provide you with tailored instructions for reducing gum inflammation and preventing plaque buildup. Call today to schedule your appointment!

Posted on behalf of:
Family & Cosmetic Dental Care
2627 Peachtree Pkwy #440
Suwanee, GA 30024
(770) 888-3384

Nov
16

Periodontal Disease: The Connection to Your Body

Posted in Gum Disease

What is periodontal disease?

Also known simply as “gum disease” or “periodontitis,” this disease is one of the most common oral infections.

And it’s not just the gums that are affected.

The “periodontium” is a complex network of ligaments and tissues that support and anchor your teeth. These structures are extremely important if you want to keep your teeth for life. Your teeth aren’t affixed directly into bone like dental implants are. Rather, they are cushioned, suspended, and nourished by this matrix of ligaments.

How it Starts

Bacteria in plaque left along the gumline can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the surface layer of the gums. If this isn’t treated, it can advance right into that periodontium, transforming into periodontal disease.

When this deep layer gets infected, the gums become inflamed and pull away from the tooth. The bone around the teeth also eventually breaks down. This leads to teeth becoming mobile and eventually falling out.

What This Has to Do with Your Body

Scientists are not even entirely sure of the mechanisms behind it, but there is a definite link between periodontal disease and other health problems such as:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Pre-mature births
  • Dementia
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis

These connections could be due to bacteria entering the bloodstream from infected sites in the gums. It’s also likely that the chronic inflammation in the gums trigger inflammatory responses elsewhere.

Basically, when your mouth is fighting a disease like this, your entire immune system is strained.

Stay on top of your overall health by keeping your gums clean. Visit your dentist for a gum health assessment and to learn how to lower your risk for periodontal disease and treat symptoms early.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Apr
6

How Do I Know If I Have Periodontal Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, starts out as gingivitis – a condition that impacts approximately 90% of adults. Everyone has germs in their mouth that can cause periodontal disease. Those germs mix with sugary foods in your diet, causing a sticky plaque to form on your teeth. If this plaque is not removed with daily brushing and flossing, your gums can get infected with gum disease.

There are 3 stages of gum disease:

Gingivitis- This is the earliest stage. Your gums are red and puffy but this phase of disease is reversible because it has not spread to the bone.

Mild to Moderate Periodontitis- The supporting structures of the tooth now have irreversible damage due to the disease. Bone loss is evident on x-rays, and the gums bleed when you floss or brush.

Advanced Periodontitis- The supporting tooth structures are all destroyed – causing the teeth to become mobile to the point that they will fall out.

You may have gum disease if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Puffy, red or tender gums
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that bleed when you brush and floss
  • Flappy gums that have pulled away from your teeth

What can be done to treat gum disease?

Brushing and flossing daily will help keep plaque from building up, which will help your gums stay healthy. If your gum disease has advanced to a later stage, you need to see a gum specialist to save your teeth.

If you think you have gum disease, contact your dentist. The good news is that the early stages of the infection can be reversed if you seek care out early.

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

Mar
27

How Smoking Can Cover Up Gum Disease

Posted in Periodontics

Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss in adults. You may already know that traditional symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease include problems like bleeding gums and swelling – but most of the top warning signs can be hidden in people who smoke.

If you smoke, you could be experiencing gum disease without even knowing it. Your teeth and gums may look fine – but deep below the gumlines, your gum tissues could be detaching and bone may be deteriorating.

How to Know if You Have Gum Disease 

Smokers owe it to themselves to get routine dental check-ups at least twice a year. Even if symptoms of gum disease aren’t present, ask your dentist or hygienist to conduct a “periodontal screening.” The screening process will measure the actual attachment levels of your gums and bone around each tooth. Then you can pinpoint specific areas of infection, even if symptoms aren’t present.

Why Do Smokers with Gum Disease Have “Healthy” Looking Smiles? 

Inhaling smoke and tobacco fumes causes the small blood vessels in the gum tissues to atrophy. That is, they can’t deliver the blood flow and necessary nutrients to the gum tissues, even if disease is present. When most people would have swelling or bleeding, smokers get gum tissues that are pale or smooth. This can mimic “healthy” tissue, and delay appropriate response for care.

Once gum disease is noted, smokers have an even more difficult time battling the infection. Their body isn’t able to deliver appropriate blood flow to areas of infection, and recovery takes much longer.

If you’re a smoker who is experiencing other symptoms of periodontal disease, such as gum recession, tooth mobility or bad breath – call your dentist right away.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Sep
10

The Causes and Treatment of Gum Recession

Posted in Periodontics

Gum recession is an unsightly and uncomfortable condition that can pop up from a number of causes. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Aggressive brushing or flossing–rough motions over the gums will irritate and shrink them.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth–increased pressure on the teeth will strain the surrounding ligaments and gums.
  • Crooked teeth–teeth which are out of proper alignment will experience an unequal distribution of the bite force, stressing the surrounding gum tissue.
  • Tobacco use–tobacco products alter the mouth’s chemical elements. Plaque becomes even more destructive to the gums.
  • Braces/oral piercings–metal in the mouth can rub against gums and harbor bacteria, causing irritation and recession.
  • Periodontal disease–gum disease causes gum inflammation and reduction in tooth-supporting structures.
  • Aged fillings and crowns–old restorations shift over time, providing ledges and cracks which irritate the gums and harbor bacteria.
  • Poor oral hygiene–the buildup of dental plaque and tartar provide bacteria that irritate and inflame the gums. Without regular dental cleanings and a routine of brushing and flossing, such buildup will cause the gums to pull away from the teeth.

What Can Be Done to Reverse the Effects of Recession?

Since gum recession leads to increased tooth sensitivity and a greater risk of cavities, you likely do not want to waste any time in addressing it. If gum disease is at the heart of the issue, then having that treated is the first step. In some advanced cases, a specialist can surgically alter the gum tissue and/or bone levels to rebuild the support that has been lost.

In some cases of advanced recession, gum grafting can be done to protect those sensitive spots. Gum tissue is carefully selected from a healthy site in the mouth and positioned over exposed teeth.

Ask your dentist at your next appointment how he can help you determine the cause of and appropriate treatment for your gum recession.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

Jul
24

How Diabetes Affects Your Gum Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Diabetes is a life-altering condition that can create complications for other body systems. If you are a sufferer of diabetes, you may already be aware of the connection the disease has to kidney and eye problems. But have you ever heard about its close relationship with your gums?

A Hand-in-Hand Relationship

If your diabetes is not controlled, it will aggravate your periodontal (gum) condition, and if your periodontal condition is not stable, it can amplify the negative effects diabetes has on the rest of your body. How so?

Gum disease is loosely classified into two categories: gingivitis (inflammation of only a shallow layer of the gums) and periodontitis (advanced inflammation and breakdown of gum tissue, supporting ligaments, and bone surrounding teeth). These diseases result from the body responding to the presence of bacteria on the teeth.

Hyperglycemia (high levels of sugar in the blood) overstimulates the inflammatory response, which is directly responsible for the destruction associated with periodontal disease. Uncontrolled, diabetes will aggravate your periodontal condition.

Recent research indicates that the increased inflammatory response connected to periodontal disease also makes it more difficult to regulate blood sugar levels.

What Can You Do?

Diabetes typically predisposes you to infections and slow healing times. These factors make it difficult to manage your periodontal health, but it is not impossible.

By keeping your diabetes carefully monitored by a physician and under control and by maintaining excellent oral hygiene at home, you can stay on top of both conditions.

You would also benefit from hygiene check-ups scheduled more frequently than six months. Ask your dentist about what routine is best-suited to your needs.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

May
31

Top 4 Health Risks Associated with Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is categorized into two broad stages. Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease in which gum tissue is inflamed due to bacteria found in plaque. When gum disease advances, different kinds of bacteria infect deeper layers of the gums, breaking down the ligaments and bone that support the teeth in a disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis has been associated with several serious health issues.

Diabetes

People with diabetes are susceptible to developing periodontitis because of already being infection-prone. Research shows that uncontrolled diabetes will worsen the periodontal condition, and uncontrolled periodontal disease makes it difficult to control blood sugar levels in diabetics.

Heart Disease

Research has shown that periodontal disease can increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease. The bacteria implicated in periodontal disease have also been associated with those causing infective endocarditis.

Stroke

Studies conducted on the connection between periodontal disease and stroke have revealed the fact that those diagnosed with a stroke were more likely to present signs of oral disease, including periodontitis.

Premature Births

Periodontal disease in pregnant women has been connected to the rate of premature births. It has been suggested by many studies that an agent produced by the body in fighting periodontal disease could in some way be responsible for triggering premature labor.

Clearly, periodontal health is closely-connected to your overall health. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can stabilize your periodontal condition and safeguard your health. Visit your dentist as soon as possible to get an accurate assessment of the state of your gums, and take control of your oral health today, for better overall health tomorrow.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618

May
31

Is It Normal For Gums to Bleed?

Posted in Gum Disease

Healthy gums should not bleed. Some people feel that bleeding is simply due to the sliding of a sharp piece of floss between the teeth, causing injury to the gums. An improper or aggressive technique can injure the gums, but flossing typically should not cause bleeding. Let’s consider the three most-common causes of bleeding gums.

Gum Disease

Gum inflammation is an immune-response to bacteria (plaque) that irritate gums. As the body fights the bacteria, tiny capillaries in the gums are expanded to allow germ-fighting agents to escape and attack the bacteria. These little blood vessels are more sensitive as they expand. This makes the surrounding tissue swollen and prone to bleeding. When not removed by frequent brushing and flossing, plaque can cause prolonged inflammation called gingivitis. This can advance to the more-serious disease, periodontitis.

Medication

Some medications, such as blood-thinners, prevent blood from clotting. Any disruption to the gum tissue can cause bleeding. This is not necessarily a factor you can control, if your doctor has prescribed such a medication for you, but try to familiarize yourself with the side-effects.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes affect the sensitivity of the gums and can cause increased inflammation. The hormonal fluctuations that accompany the onset of puberty, menstruation in females, and the first trimester of pregnancy are among the most common contributors to increased bleeding in gums.

No matter what is contributing to increased-bleeding, proper oral hygiene will keep inflammation-causing bacteria to a minimum. Contact your dentist for a gum-health assessment if you have noticed bleeding even while simply brushing. Your dental team will help identify possible causes.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. Farhan Qureshi, DDS
5206 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
(703) 931-4544

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