Dental Tips Blog

Sep
10

Gum Disease—Is There a Cure?

Posted in Gum Disease

Gum disease is not as easy to cure as some make it out to be.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is an infection from bacteria found in dental plaque that accumulates around teeth. Germs trigger inflammation in the tissue and the plaque changes into gum-irritating calcified tartar.

The early stage of gum inflammation is called gingivitis and is reversible. Once the infection reaches deeper tissues and ligaments below the gum line, however, it turns into the more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.

Gum Disease: Don’t Treat This at Home!

If your gum disease has advanced past simple gingivitis, then it’s not likely to stop on its own no matter how many herbal concoctions you try. This is because true periodontitis means that you have toxins and irritants trapped deep within pockets around your teeth, which can’t be removed without special tools.

Additionally, gum disease causes permanent damage to the structures around your teeth. Receded gums and lost bone tissue don’t grow back on their own. The longer you wait to see if you can cure gum disease at home, the greater the danger to your smile.

The Only Way to Treat Gum Disease

You need treatment that focuses on removing the debris that’s irritating your gums and creating a healthy foundation to encourage as much healing as possible.

Professional gum therapy addresses this challenge in a few ways:

  • Deep cleaning to smooth tooth roots and remove tartar
  • Flushing out toxins from the gum tissue
  • Local antibiotic administration
  • Instructions on problem-focused oral hygiene techniques

Talk with your dentist to learn more about the best way to restore your gum health and prevent disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Group Health Dental
230 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
(212) 398-9690

Jul
28

Are Your Adult Teeth Getting Loose? What it Means and What You Should Do

Posted in Periodontics

Many people believe that losing teeth is a natural part aging. That’s actually not true. The main process that leads to tooth loss is an entirely avoidable one.

Periodontitis – The Leading Cause of Tooth Loss 

Also known as gum disease, periodontitis is infection and inflammation in the gums and ligaments that surround tooth roots. The swelling coupled with a natural immune system response causes the tissues to break down and shrink away from the teeth. As a result, they lose the supports holding them in place. Teeth can fall out completely if the disease isn’t treated with periodontal therapy.

How Can You Treat Loose Teeth? 

There is likely plaque and tartar on your tooth roots ,which irritate your gums. The tissues can’t heal on their own until you remove the irritants. This is only possible with the help of specialized cleaning tools used in a dental office. A dental professional will clean your tooth roots to provide a smooth surface for gums to reattach to. Do not attempt to do this on your own, as permanent tooth and gum damage can occur.

Gum tissue can only re-grow to a certain point, so it won’t be as tight as it was before your teeth got loose. In some cases, bone grafts are the only way to stabilize loose teeth. If it’s too late even for a graft, then loose teeth may need to be extracted and replaced.

Prevent Adult Tooth Loss

Brushing and flossing every day will prevent germs from irritating gum tissue and can even reverse some inflammation. An antibacterial mouthwash can also help. But there are a variety of factors that determine your risk for gum disease and loose teeth, so you need to see your dentist for an evaluation if an infection is suspected.

Posted on behalf of:
Bayshore Dental Center
810 W Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd #2900
Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 330-2006

Jun
19

Why Do Dentists “Poke” Your Gums and Then Say You Need to Floss More?

Posted in Gum Disease

It’s ironic to be told you need to improve your oral hygiene while your dentist seemingly pokes and prods your gums with small metal instruments.

But everything makes sense once you understand how your gums work.

Get to Know Your Gums

Your gingiva is more than just a delicate layer of skin over your teeth. It contains a thick and complex network of blood vessels and ligaments.

Gum tissue is very susceptible to infection and inflammation from the presence of germs in your mouth. Your gums are essentially a gateway to the rest of your body and their health has a significant influence on your overall wellness.

What Your Dentist Is Looking For

As your dentist (or hygienist) is “poking” around your gums, they’re measuring them to determine whether there are any signs of tissue loss. Exploring with special tools also reveals the presence of tartar on teeth below the gum line.

Prodding your gums with an instrument may be uncomfortable and cause bleeding if your gums are already inflamed. However, healthy gum tissue is tight and doesn’t easily bleed even when bumped. That’s why your dentist may give you some oral hygiene advice after examining your gums and finding that they are, in fact,  infected.

Flossing Improves Your Periodontal Health

Flossing can also make tender, infected gums bleed at first if you aren’t in the habit of using floss regularly. But your dentist wants you to start flossing daily since this activity disrupts the growth of bacteria that cause gingivitis and gum disease.

So, when your dentist lectures you on flossing, it usually means there are signs your gums are unhealthy. Proper flossing can improve your condition. Contact your dentist to learn more about improving your gingival health.

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

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

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