Dental Tips Blog

Oct
18

Do Your Gums Bleed When You Brush? Why That Could Mean Trouble

Posted in Gum Disease

Are bleeding gums a common occurrence for you? Even if your gums always bleed when you brush or floss it may be time to see a dentist. Bleeding gums are never normal.

Why Gums Bleed

Normal brushing and flossing and dental cleanings don’t cause healthy gums to bleed. Gums that are already sick will easily bleed when disturbed, however.

Your gums are made up of a complex and sensitive tissue. When they’re exposed to irritants such as plaque bacteria, they swell up as part of an immune response. The skin over swollen gums thins out and the blood vessels inside the tissue expand. This makes them very susceptible to bleeding when they’re bumped.

What Does it Mean When Your Gums Bleed?

If your gums bleed from a normal activity such as brushing, then that’s a sign that they’re probably swollen.

Gum swelling is often due to poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth properly or often enough, the plaque that’s left behind can trigger gingivitis. Swelling may also be an overreaction to irritants due to hormone changes such as during pregnancy.

How to Stop Bleeding Gums

Happily, it’s quite simple to treat gums that bleed when you brush. The first thing you might try is switching to a soft toothbrush and brushing more often to ensure all the plaque is gone. Use an anti-gingivitis rinse to reduce bacteria in your mouth. Swish with salt water to soothe sore gums and bring down the swelling.

Gum swelling and gingivitis can lead to a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. So if your gums bleed during brushing, schedule a dental checkup right away.

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

Sep
13

Are Crooked Teeth Increasing Your Risk of Gum Disease?

Posted in Gum Disease

Having a less-than-perfect smile may not be such a big deal. But having gum disease is.

Gum disease, also called periodontitis, leads to tooth loss and can even predispose you to other health complications.

Crooked teeth are far more than just a cosmetic issue. Having tipped or crowded teeth could actually put you at higher risk of gum disease. Here’s how.

The Dangers of Crooked Teeth

Your teeth are healthier when spaced out in even alignment than when they’re crammed together. Overlapping teeth trap plaque bacteria and food debris which lead to decay and gum irritation. Properly spaced teeth are easy to clean with a toothbrush or floss and are thus more likely to be healthy.

Crooked teeth also put uneven tension on your gums. This leads to gum recession which worsens the effects of gum disease.

Braces Can Lower Your Risk of Periodontitis

Orthodontic treatment frees up space between your teeth and reduces tension on the gums. Even a short treatment period can make a difference in your oral health. Wearing braces or an orthodontic retainer may seem uncomfortable or inconvenient at times. But it’ll all be worth it in the end when you have healthy teeth and gums that are easy to keep clean.

Can Braces Make Your Gums Healthier?

Your teeth and gums may stand to benefit from braces if in addition to crooked teeth you have:

  • Gum recession
  • Swollen or puffy gums
  • Food constantly getting trapped between your teeth
  • Difficulty flossing between tight or overlapping teeth
  • Gums that bleed whenever you floss or brush

See a dentist in your area for a gum health and orthodontic evaluation to see if braces are right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Acworth
5552 Robin Road Suite A
Acworth, GA 30102
(678) 888-1554

Jun
19

How Hormones Can Affect Your Oral Health

Posted in Gum Disease

Hormones can influence things like weight changes, sex drive, moods, and hair growth, to name a few. If you’re a woman, then none of this comes as a surprise.

One thing you might not have known is that hormones can also play a big role in your oral health.

Puberty and Oral Health in Girls

Hormones from puberty can cause gums to swell and overreact to the presence of plaque. Teenagers are highly prone to gingivitis. Even well into adulthood some women may discover that their gums become more tender and sensitive around the time of their period.

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy brings along a whole new set of hormones. Pregnant women are susceptible to pregnancy gingivitis as a result. Some women experience an increased risk in cavities during this time because of frequent vomiting, diet changes, or dry mouth, all of which can be linked to hormonal changes.

How Menopause Affects Oral Health

Menopause brings along changes such as a burning sensation in the mouth, dry mouth, and altered taste. Bone loss in the jaw is another serious concern. Women going through menopause may be at increased risk for decay and gum disease.

Combatting the Effects of Hormones on the Mouth

No matter which stage of life you’re currently in, proper dental hygiene will keep your mouth healthy. Hormones can cause unusual reactions in your gums and may even dry out your mouth. But the key is to do all you can to prevent and slow down the formation of plaque bacteria.

Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss daily. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups, dental cleanings, and other preventative treatments.

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

May
19

Could Flossing Spread Bacteria Around Your Mouth?

Posted in Gum Disease

The goal of flossing is to disrupt bacterial activity between your teeth. But some people would argue that sliding the floss through one germ-loaded spot and moving on to floss other teeth only helps spread the germs around.

Yes, it’s true that flossing does pick up and transfer bacteria. But the results aren’t as dramatic as you might think.

What Happens When You Floss

Plaque is a naturally-occurring film made up of food debris and bacterial colonies. To effectively kill all the bad germs, you have to physically stir up plaque and break down those colonies. This is what flossing is for.

Brushing and rinsing alone can’t get at all the plaque stuck between teeth and under the gum line. Flossing breaks up dental plaque, making it easier to brush and rinse away.

Bacteria in Your Mouth

Do you have a cluster of germs creating a pocket in the gums between two of your teeth?

If so, it means you have the germs elsewhere in your mouth. The bacteria only create trouble when they’re allowed to thrive undisturbed in a particular area.

Floss doesn’t transfer bacteria from a diseased tooth to a healthy one – the germs were already there to begin with. If you have one problematic tooth or patch of gum tissue, then there must be some reason it collects more germs than other places in your mouth.

Flossing Works!

Flossing will make it easier for you to control the levels of bacteria in your mouth and avoid periodontitis (gum disease) and other dental problems. For the cleanest results, follow up your flossing with two minutes of brushing and a rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.

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

Apr
24

Does Your Child Have Diabetes? What You Need to Know to Protect Their Smile

Posted in Gum Disease

If your child has diabetes, then you’re already extremely conscious of their health and diet.

Be careful that you don’t overlook your child’s oral health, however. Diabetes can lead to some costly and painful dental problems.

Here’s what you need to know:

Oral Health Risks Linked to Diabetes

Diabetes can cause frequent urination and fluid loss. Add to this reduced saliva production and you may have a thirsty kid who reaches for sweet drinks.

Dry mouth in itself is dangerous since that’s the perfect environment for cavity-causing bacteria to flourish. But your child may want to rehydrate with beverages that are bad for tooth enamel. Even sugar-free or diet soda is bad for teeth, as are fruit juices.

Young bodies affected by diabetes tend to have a hard time healing. Any injury in or near the mouth could take a long time to heal or could even get infected. Diabetics are also prone to thrush (fungal) infections.

Lastly, diabetic kids are prime candidates for gingivitis. If gum inflammation isn’t treated and controlled, it can quickly worsen to gum disease as your child gets older.

How to Protect Your Child’s Oral Health When They Have Diabetes

As the parent, you play a key role in preserving your child’s oral health for the future, especially if they have diabetes.

Emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing and make sure your child does those activities every day. Use fluoride-based products to strengthen tooth enamel. Provide water instead of other drinks.

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

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

Jan
4

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Posted in Gum Disease

Yes and no. That’s because gum disease falls under two major categories. One is reversible. The other is not.

Gingivitis

Gum inflammation usually starts in a superficial infection called gingivitis. When the gums around teeth get irritated by dental plaque, they turn red and a bit puffy. At this level, this beginning stage of gum disease is easily reversed by removing the plaque from the teeth. The swelling goes away when oral hygiene Improves.

Periodontitis

Take things a bit further, and the situation gets more complicated. Deeper layers of gum tissue are made up of ligaments that hold your teeth in place. When these are affected by inflammation, they can start breaking down in a condition called periodontitis. These tissues don’t grow back on their own.

To make things worse, the infection can travel yet farther into the bone surrounding tooth roots. The bone that disappears from gum disease doesn’t grow back on its own. As a result, teeth can eventually fall out. Chronic periodontitis has well-researched links to inflammation and infection in the body, being implicated in problems like:

  • Diabetes
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Stroke
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart disease

Get Rid Of Gum Disease

If you just have a mild case of gingivitis, that can go away simply by upping your oral hygiene efforts. But to stop periodontitis in its tracks and restore the damage done, you need to see a dental professional.

Don’t be suckered in by claims of herbs, oils, and other at-home remedies for treating gum disease. You’ll just be wasting time unless it’s treated at the source with tools and medications only a dentist can recommend.

Suspect your gums may be in danger? Contact a dentist near you to get a complete gum health evaluation.

Posted on behalf of:
Carolina Smiles
3244 Sunset Blvd
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 794-2273

 

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

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
30

No Bugs In Your Hair or Bed . . . But Have You Checked Your Gums?

Posted in Gum Disease

Okay, so this isn’t one of those urban myths about finding cockroaches in fast food. But sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Our society is paranoid of buggy infestations. We check our kids’ head for lice, we check hotel rooms for signs of pests before we sleep there, and we wash our hands like crazy during flu season.

Your gums are also prone to infection by tiny enemies. But because you don’t feel or see them, it’s easy to underestimate the damage they’re capable of.

What “Bugs” In The Gums?

“Bugs” is an oversimplification for bacteria. Their action is just as creepy, though!

Human mouths contain hundreds of species of bacteria. Some are perfectly harmless. But some individuals have high levels of dangerous germs. These bacteria trigger serious gum inflammation.

If those germs aren’t removed, your swelling gums will provide more hideouts for the bacteria to multiply in and will eventually result in gum disease.

As this process continues, your gums will start to pull away from your teeth forming “pockets.” These pockets, naturally, harbor more harmful bacteria in addition to plaque and tartar.

Periodontal disease (gum disease) a vicious cycle. In an effort to fight the infection, your gums will produce high levels of chemicals. Unfortunately, these substances only cause further breakdown of your gums. These chemicals and bacterial toxins can reach the bone, and next thing you know, your teeth are losing support fast.

Fight Gum Inflammation

Happily, you’ve got this! Your best defense starts simply with daily brushing and flossing to keep those germs from building up. A professional gum health assessment will give you an idea of what you’re up against so call your dentist to schedule.

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

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