Dental Tips Blog

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

Mar
13

Why Your Gum Health Matters

Posted in Gum Disease

Your gums might seem to be the least important part of your smile. You probably never even pay attention to them until you get a popcorn kernel stuck between your teeth and need to floss, and then your gums bleed a little.

Why should you be concerned about your gum health?

Here are four important reasons.

Gum Health Is Connected to Heart Health

Gum disease is an inflammatory condition. The bacteria and inflammatory response associated with gum disease are also linked to problems such as stroke and heart health. Keeping your gums healthy can lower your risk for cardiovascular problems.

Healthy Gums Equal Healthy Lungs

Studies show that people with gum disease tend to be at higher risk for pneumonia. Healthy gums can even improve conditions for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Gum Health Affects Self-Image

You don’t always appreciate a good thing until it’s gone, they say, and that’s very true when it comes to your gums.

Receded gumlines can leave you with long yellow teeth that you may be ashamed to show off in a smile. Unhealthy gums can also lead to embarrassing tooth loss.

Healthy Gums Mean Good Nutrition

Having healthy gums is one sign that you’re getting plenty of vitamins in your diet. But healthy gums also do you a big favor by holding your teeth in place. As long as you have strong teeth to chew with, you can enjoy a varied and nutritious diet.

If you lose teeth to gum disease on the other hand, you may find it difficult to eat the fresh fruits and vegetables and chewy whole grains your body needs.

How are your gums doing? Find out by scheduling a checkup at your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Riverwood Dental
3350 Riverwood Pkwy #2120
Atlanta GA 30339
(770) 955-2505

Mar
13

What’s Causing That Bad Taste in Your Mouth? 8 Possible Reasons

Posted in Gum Disease

There’s nothing like a bad taste in your mouth to ruin your appetite. But worse than that, an odd taste can indicate a serious oral health issue.

Is that bad taste due to one of the following causes?

Tooth Decay

A simple cavity can cause a strange taste in your mouth. Cavities are spots in your teeth where the enamel is actively dying, so the decaying tissue does have a foul taste.

Abscesses

When a cavity grows too large, it can infect the nerve of a tooth and create a sack of foul-tasting fluid on the gums. If it ruptures, your mouth will suddenly be filled with a salty taste.

Gum Disease

Chronically inflamed gums also give off a rancid taste as they break down. Strong breath odor coupled with a bad taste could signal periodontitis.

Plaque Buildup (Poor Oral Hygiene)

Don’t brush your tongue regularly? Bacterial plaque buildup can alter your taste sensation.

Tonsil Stones

Bacteria and food debris that collects in the pits on and near your tonsils can create a rotten-tasting, pebble-like formation.

Medications

Medications you take on a regular basis can cause a metallic taste in your mouth.

Acid Reflux

If you have stomach acid regularly washing back up into your throat, this can leave you with a particularly nasty taste in your mouth, especially first thing in the morning.

Thrush

You may have a treatable yeast condition called oral candidiasis if you notice white patches or sore red spots in your mouth along with an icky metallic taste.

Schedule a dental exam and talk with your local dentist to discover what’s causing bad breath issues for a fast solution to your halitosis woes.

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

Mar
3

The Painful Truth About Gum Disease

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is bad news. It causes chronic bad breath, gum recession, and tooth loss.

But the worst part about gum disease may be the fact that you can have this infection and not even realize it.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is also called periodontitis. It’s an inflammatory condition in which the gums and ligaments around your teeth start to break down. This happens as a reaction to plaque bacteria left on the gums.

Periodontitis can even attack the bone around tooth roots. This loss of bone and ligaments around teeth cause them to loosen and fall out.

A Silent Disease

Periodontitis is usually a gradual disease. It doesn’t hurt in the beginning stages. That’s dangerous, since the infection can progress and permanently destroy tissues before you know it’s happening. Your gums may seem a little tender and swollen, but you might only notice this if you pay close attention.

In the later stages, gum disease will start to hurt as teeth lose gum support and start to loosen. But at that point, it’s too late to save the irreplaceable structures in your jaw.

Keep an eye on your gum health to prevent problems before they can start.

Signs of Gum Disease

You likely won’t feel pain if you have periodontal disease. So, you need to stay alert to other signs that your oral health is in danger.

Look out for:

  • Bleeding when you brush or floss
  • Swollen puffy gums
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away after you brush or rinse
  • Gum recession
  • Sensitive exposed tooth roots

To find out the state of your gum health, schedule a checkup with a dentist near you.

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

Jan
28

What’s Causing That Strange Taste in Your Mouth? 9 Possibilities

Posted in Gum Disease

Your nose and taste buds work together to help you enjoy the experience of eating. But they can work against you when you start randomly experiencing an foul taste or odor coming from your mouth.

What’s behind that bitter, salty, or metallic taste? Here are nine possibilities to discuss with your dentist.

Inadequate Home Care

Improper brushing and flossing could accidentally allow smelly bacteria and food debris to accumulate into a film you can literally taste.

Dry Mouth

Saliva naturally cleanses your mouth and reduces acidity. But if you’re suffering from xerostomia (dry mouth,) your mouth may taste unpleasant.

Dental Infections

Bacteria can infect teeth and gums to the point of releasing odors that both taste and smell bad. These symptoms could indicate tooth decay, a dental abscess, or gum disease.

Hormone Changes

Pregnant women and women experiencing menopause often complain of a bitter or metallic taste in their mouth.

Medications

A wide range of prescription medications can be to blame for a strange taste that just doesn’t go away.

Sinus Infections and Allergies

Sinus (and even respiratory) infections can cause a temporary unpleasant taste.

Acid Reflux

Suffer from GERD? When acid from the stomach makes its way to your mouth, you’ll notice a bitter aftertaste. This condition often causes a bad taste in the mouth when you wake up in the morning.

Yeast Infection

Thrush is a common type of yeast infection affecting denture wearers and people with compromised immune systems. The fungal growth will alter your taste until the infection clears up.

Stress

High levels of anxiety can cause unexpected changes in the way you taste things.

Still not sure what could be causing an odd taste in your mouth? Contact your dentist for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

Jan
28

Swollen Gums? What You Can Do

Posted in Gum Disease

Gums usually swell up in response to irritation. Everyone has to deal with swollen gums at some point in their lives – whether it’s due to a piece of popcorn stuck along your gums or skipping a few days of flossing – if you currently have gum inflammation throughout your mouth, then these steps provide some relief.

Rinse with Warm Salt Water

For swollen gums that are tender and sore, a warm salt water rinse is a good thing to start with. Rinsing gently can bring down the inflammation and soothe painful tissues. Use about ½ teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water.

Brush and Floss

The next step is to physically remove any plaque or debris that could be contributing to the inflammation. You can do this best by brushing with a soft toothbrush and flossing, paying special attention to cleaning just under the gumlines. Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent swollen gums before they start.

Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Mouth rinses containing ingredients like essential oils or cetylpyridinium chloride inhibit bacterial growth. Using these mouthwashes can prevent plaque from growing between tooth brushing sessions, giving your swollen gums a better chance to heal.

Eat Foods Rich in Vitamin C

Your body need lots of vitamin C to stay healthy. Gums may quickly swell up if your diet has been low in fruits and vegetables, lately. Load up on vitamin-rich fresh foods to boost your gum health.

See Your Dentist

Swollen gums can be a sign of gingivitis or periodontitis, a serious form of gum disease that leads to tooth loss. Don’t just ignore swelling; if it doesn’t respond to improved oral hygiene measures, then it’s time to periodontal treatment.

Contact a dentist or periodontist in your area if you have any other questions about your gum health.

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

Jan
8

How Is a Periodontist Different from a Regular Dentist?

Posted in Periodontics

All periodontists go to dental school. Afterwards, they return for a few more years of study with a focus on the gum and bone tissues. The word “periodont-” literally means “around tooth.” So, a periodontist is someone who treats the structures around teeth.

Here are some of the differences between general dentists and periodontists.

What Dentists Treat That Periodontists Don’t

General dentists tend to treat just the teeth themselves. They aim to prevent decay, repair cavities, and rebuild teeth into a functional and beautiful smile. Some procedures done by dentists that you won’t likely find in a periodontist’s office include:

  • Fillings
  • Root canals
  • Dental crowns
  • Fluoride and sealants
  • Teeth whitening

What Periodontists Do That Dentists Don’t

When you visit a periodontist, you’ll have your gum health assessed via x-rays and an examination. Most likely, you’d be there because your gums need specialized treatment, cleaning, or reconstruction.

Some periodontal procedures include:

  • Deep cleaning for severe periodontitis
  • Gum surgery
  • Gum and bone grafting
  • Implant placement

Many dentists don’t place dental implants. They may restore an implant after it’s in, fitting it for a crown, bridge, or denture and so on. But the task of placing the actual screw in the bone under the gums is often referred out to a periodontist.

Even if your gums are in great shape, you may go see a periodontist for an implant if your local dentist doesn’t place them.

Do You Need to See a Periodontist?

Talk with your dentist about a referral to a periodontist. If you feel that your gums are showing signs of disease such as bleeding, recession, loose teeth, and bad breath, then you can feel free to contact a local periodontist yourself for an appointment.

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

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

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