Dental Tips Blog

Apr
24

The Link Between Stress and Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Research shows that if you’re stressed out, then your gum health may be in danger.

How Stress Affects Your Gums

There seem to be a couple of ways in which high anxiety levels can make your oral health deteriorate:

Stress raises cortisol levels, which in turn lower your body’s immune system and increase inflammation in tissues like your gums.

Stress is tiring, distracting, and can put you off a healthy routine of oral hygiene, adequate sleep, a nutritious diet, and regular dental visits, all of which are necessary to gum health. Stress may also have you reaching for the tobacco products more often than usual.

Your body may be under more stress than you realize. Changes like a new job or house can cause anxiety despite being positive things.

Other Risk Factors for Gum Disease

Gum inflammation is ultimately caused by bacteria found in plaque. But your gums may be extra-sensitive to those germs if you have certain risk factors for periodontal disease.

You might be prone to gum health problems if you’re stressed and have one or more of the following risks:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Damaged or improperly-fitting dental restorations
  • Tobacco use
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking medications like calcium channel-blockers

Add stress on top of any of these risk factors, and you’ve got a recipe for gum disease.

Lower Your Stress, Lower Your Risk

Reduce stress by trying relaxation techniques or exercising. Drink more water, eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, get more sleep, and cut back on or eliminate your dependency on tobacco products.

Take steps to improve your oral hygiene. Visit a dentist near you for a gum health evaluation and personalized tips on fighting gingivitis.

Posted on behalf of:
ConfiDenT
11550 Webb Bridge Way, Suite 1
Alpharetta, GA 30005
(770) 772-0994

Jan
7

5 Signs You May Need Gum Therapy

Posted in Periodontics

Gum disease treatment (also called periodontal therapy) refers to specialized treatment that stops gum disease and/or repairs the damage caused by it.

You may be a candidate for gum therapy if you notice any of the following signs:

  1. Lots of Gum Recession

Severe gum recession may leave you with very sensitive, yellow, and long-looking teeth. After addressing the cause behind your receded gums, you may qualify for treatment such as gum grafting to replace the lost tissue.

  1. Chronic Bad Breath

If you have bad breath that won’t go away no matter what you do, then it could be due to chronic periodontal infection deep below your gum-lines.

  1. Bleeding Gums

Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and almost always mean that something is wrong.

  1. Pus Around Teeth

Is there a yellow or white buildup of soft material around your teeth? It may be dental plaque. But plaque left for a long time can cause a bacterial infection around your teeth that results in pus and drainage.

  1. Loose Teeth

Permanent teeth should never be loose. That’s a sure sign your gums are weakened by disease.

Where Do You Get Gum Therapy?

Get started by visiting your local family dentist. Most dental offices are prepared to offer some level of periodontal treatment. Your dentist will evaluate your gums and let you know whether or not you should see a specialist.

Alternatively, you can contact a specialist directly. A periodontist in your area will assess your gum health and explain your treatment options.

There is a possibility that you could have the early stages of gum disease without noticing any of the hallmark signs. That’s why you should see your dentist for regular gum health checkups.

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

Nov
28

How Gum Disease Affects Your Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) is serious business since that affects far more than just your gums.

Some of the direct consequences of this oral infection include:

  • Bleeding, sensitive gums
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath
  • Loose and missing teeth

But there are other reasons you should be concerned with preventing periodontitis.

Increased Risk for Disease and Infection

Although research hasn’t yet identified a direct cause-and-effect relationship between gum health and overall health, the link is strong. Those with periodontitis are statistically at higher risk for complications such as:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes

Connections Between Periodontitis and the Body

There are a couple of theories as to why the rest of the body suffers from gum disease. One is that the bacteria involved in causing the infection spread to other areas, such as the heart. The other theory is that chemicals produced to fight the infection cause inflammation in arteries, joints, and so on.

Reduce Your Risk for Gum Disease

Preventing periodontitis isn’t something only dentists need to worry about. With nearly 80% of adults in the United States suffering from gum disease to some degree, everyone needs to be concerned.

You can reduce your chances of developing gum infections by brushing and flossing every day to reduces bacterial buildup. Cut down or cut out your smoking habit, since tobacco stops your gums’ natural healing process.

Equally as important is visiting a dentist regularly for gum health checkups and inquiring about periodontal treatments if necessary. Dental professionals can identify and explain signs that your gums are inflamed and infected with bacteria, as opposed to something else.

Stay on top of your gum and overall health by contacting your dentist to schedule an examination.

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

Mar
30

Older Women with Gum Disease May Be at Higher Risk for Cancer, Study Finds

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease has been associated with conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction, just to name a few. But now researchers are wondering about how chronic gum disease could affect a person’s cancer risk.

What the Study Found

Researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo took a look at medical data collected over the course of eight years. The subjects of the data were postmenopausal women, most of them white.

The research findings showed an interesting pattern: women with periodontal disease (gum disease) were 14% more likely to develop cancer than those without gum disease. Whether the women smoked or not didn’t make a difference.

Site-specific cancers noted in these women’s health histories included lung, breast, skin, and gallbladder cancer. But the highest risk was for esophageal cancer.

What This Could Mean

Since gum disease has established links to other health problems, there may be some connection to cancer risk. Scientists have to study further what those connections may be and who are really at risk.

What This Doesn’t Mean

Not all older women with dental problems will develop cancer. This study was limited in scope. All though the finding was significant, it proved no direct connection between gum disease and cancer.

Keep Your Gums Healthy!

Good oral hygiene doesn’t just prevent tooth – loss; it could lower your cancer risk. A healthy diet rich in vitamins is also key to gum health. Lower your chancer further by reducing stress and avoiding tobacco use.

No matter age or gender, gum health is important to all. Regular gum health evaluations are an important part of oral hygiene. Schedule a checkup with a dentist near you.

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

Feb
13

Gum Disease – Is It Written in Your Genes?

Posted in Gum Disease

If you don’t floss and brush regularly, your teeth will fall out from periodontitis.

Well, that’s only part of the story.

From what we do know about gum disease, there are a few thoroughly-understood risk factors:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Stress
  • Compromised immune system
  • Smoking

For the most part, these are controllable. They affect how the gums react to plaque bacteria that cause gum disease.

But why is it that some folks with terrible oral hygiene never suffer more than a mild case of gingivitis while some avid flossers can’t kick periodontitis?

Research suggests that the presence of disease-causing bacteria isn’t enough to trigger the problem. Rather, the way your body responds to them may be more important.

A genetic marker has been cautiously pegged as an indicator of being prone to gum disease. It needs to be studied more, but it lines up with other research and observations indicating that there is some hereditary factor.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that smoking in itself has proven to be a far bigger risk factor in gum disease than the presence of that marker. Smoking ups your risk so much that it doesn’t matter whether gum disease runs in your family or not.

What’s the takeaway here?

While there appears to be a genetic factor at play in the risk for periodontal disease, there is not yet a sure way to predict your individual chances. The best you can do for now is lower your risk with great oral hygiene and not smoking. Your local dental team can help you develop a personalized preventative plan.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

Dec
31

Is Scurvy Still A Thing?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s not just pirate lingo – scurvy is a very real condition that still affects people even today. Scurvy isn’t a communicable disease like the common cold. Rather, it’s a deficiency of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. This vitamin is found in many fresh foods including:

  • Strawberries
  • Kiwis
  • Citrus fruit
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Papaya

In times past, scurvy was common among seafarers (like pirates) who didn’t have access to such fresh foods for months at a time. Today the condition is actually very rare, but people in certain groups are at risk. The elderly, those with sensitive food allergies, anorexia sufferers, alcoholics, and people who can’t or won’t make fresh foods a part of their diet are prone to scurvy.

Symptoms of this condition include appetite loss, diarrhea, fever, irritability, odd skin markings, and puffy, bleeding gums. If allowed to progress, scurvy can result in the loss of teeth. There are even indications that a vitamin C deficiency in pregnant mothers can adversely affect brain development of the baby.

Treatment and prevention for scurvy are the same: plenty of vitamin C. Our bodies can’t make this vitamin on their own and neither can they store it for long. That’s why it’s so important to get a healthy dose of it every day via a balanced diet loaded with fresh foods.

Interestingly, vitamin C is also essential for disease prevention and healing in the gums. Talk with your dentist about increasing your intake if you have been diagnosed with any form of gum disease. A daily glass of orange juice may be all it takes to keep your gums and body healthy with sufficient vitamin C.

Posted on behalf of:
Park Slope Dental Arts
506 3rd St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 962-0300

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
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

Aug
7

Does Bad Breath Mean You’re At Risk for Heart Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Bad breath and heart disease? That escalated quickly.

Let’s clarify one thing: when we say “bad breath,” we’re not referring to the garlic bread you had at lunch today.

The odor you need to be concerned about is connected to something far more serious.

Your Heart And Your Gums

Gum disease starts out small, usually in the form of gingivitis.

Gingivitis is reversible gum inflammation triggered by plaque bacteria. If it chronically persists, then it can worsen into periodontitis, a much deeper infection affecting ligaments and bone beneath the gums.

Growing research indicates that there is a strong connection between your gum and heart health. High levels of gum inflammation are associated with arterial plaque deposits and inflammation that can lead to blood clots. These clots, in turn, put you at risk for heart attack and stroke.

Periodontal Disease – Do You Know The Signs?

Periodontal disease is a common but silent disease. Most adults are affected by it at some point in their lives but don’t realize it. This is because your teeth and gums don’t usually feel any different, at first.

Look out for these classic tell-tale signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding on brushing and flossing
  • Gum recession
  • Teeth feeling loose
  • Swollen gum line
  • Bad breath

Yes, bad breath could indicate that you have a chronic gum infection going on. Periodontitis can cause a powerfully offensive odor because of the raging inflammation and dying gum tissues going on around your teeth.

If you (or others close to you) have complaints of bad breath despite your best efforts to mask it, there could be something very serious to blame. Call your local dentist to plan a gum evaluation.

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

Aug
3

Fight Gum Disease with Mouthwash? Here’s How

Posted in Gum Disease

First of all, let’s get one thing straight: there is no mouthwash that can cure gum disease…no matter how great the commercial looks!

But with the help of the right kind of rinse, you can be successful in preventing bacterial buildup that contributes to gum infections.

Your Local Drugstore

Generic over-the-counter rinses that boast anti-microbial properties are very effective in limiting plaque buildup.

Look for something like Listerine that states it’s “anti-plaque” or “anti-gingivitis.” You need more than a minty fresh rinse, here. These formulations contain essential oils which prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and gums.

Using use a mouthwash like this once or twice a day, in addition to brushing and flossing to keep your gums in great shape.

Prescription-Strength Mouthwash

If you are battling ongoing infection or have just had periodontal therapy, your dentist may prescribe a medicated rinse called chlorhexidine gluconate. As a powerful antibacterial rinse, it helps you avoid plaque development, giving your gums a jump-start toward healing.

The Most Reliable Way To Beat Gum Disease

Periodontitis is a very tricky infection. It’s often chronic and rages below the gum line where toothbrush, floss, and even a rinse can’t access. Inflamed gum tissues and pieces of tartar shelter bacteria that produce the irritating toxins.

Physical mechanical removal is still the best way to get rid of the culprits. This means a professional deep cleaning to scoop out tartar, plaque, and germs from pockets around teeth. Afterwards, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic and/or an anti-bacterial rinse to wrap things up.

There are plenty of herbal and other natural supplements out there which may claim to fight gum disease. Just make sure to check these with your dentist to make sure you get the fullest benefit.

Posted on behalf of:
Les Belles NYC Dentistry
420 Lexington Ave #228
New York, NY 10170
212-804-8884

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