Dental Tips Blog

Jan
27

Want Healthier Gums? Do These 7 Things Every Night Before Bed

Posted in Gum Disease

Are you suffering from gingivitis? Adding these seven steps to your evening routine could make a major difference in your gum health.

  1. Eat a Salad

Vitamin C is essential to healthy gums. Get more than your daily recommended amount of vitamin C in just one serving of the right fresh fruits or veggies. Aim for guava, red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, kale, and oranges.

  1. Swish with Water After Dinner

Acids and sugar from your meals linger long after you’re done eating. This process fuels the growth of bacteria that cause gum inflammation. You shouldn’t brush immediately after dinner since that can spread the acids around. Rinse well with water and wait about a half hour before you brush.

  1. Brush Longer Than Usual

Pay special attention to brushing along the gum-line. Just scrubbing the front of your teeth isn’t enough. Take your time, brushing for at least two minutes.

  1. Use an Antigingivitis Toothpaste

Antigingivitis toothpastes contain an ingredient called triclosan, a mild antibacterial agent. While triclosan is no longer recommended in hand soap, it’s still very effective at controlling bacterial growth in the gums.

  1. Floss Thoroughly

Flossing removes germs and debris from between teeth and gums where a toothbrush can’t reach. You may find it easier to floss at night versus in the morning when you’re busy.

  1. Massage Your Gums

A blunt-tipped gum stimulator rubbed along your gum-line encourages healthy circulation and toughens up delicate tissues.

  1. Rinse with an Antibacterial Mouthwash

Anti-plaque rinses contain therapeutic essential oils that inhibit bacterial growth. Rinsing for thirty seconds after brushing will help reduce gum inflammation.

Ask your periodontist for more tips on how to keep your gums healthy.

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

Jan
6

Is There a Difference Between a Dental Hygienist and a Dental Assistant?

Most people think assistants and hygienists are different terms for the same person on a dental team.

In reality, they are two distinct roles.

What a Dental Assistant Does

A dental assistant may have a certification depending on local or state requirements. He or she is generally responsible for:

  • Helping a patient before, during, and after treatment
  • Cleaning and organizing dental tools
  • Handing tools to the dentist
  • Taking x-rays
  • Preparing dental materials

An assistant plays a valuable role in helping dental office functions to run smoothly. However, assistants aren’t a licensed practitioner such as a dentist or hygienist, who performs therapeutic treatment.

The Role of a Dental Hygienist

Hygienists usually have either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the field (like a registered nurse.) While requirements and limitations vary by state, hygienists are authorized to do things like deliver injections, clean teeth, place sealants, and treat gum disease.

Dental hygienists also collaborate periodontal treatment plans and instruct patients in oral hygiene.

If you’re in the dental chair for close to an hour while someone cleans your teeth and provides other preventative services, then he or she is probably a hygienist!

One and the Same?

In some small dental practices, the resident dental hygienist may do double duty by assisting the dentist. This is often the case when the dental office can only seat one or two patients at a time.

It’s more common to have a team with at least one hygienist and one or two dental assistants.

Are your teeth overdue for a checkup? Contact your local dental office to schedule an exam with the dentist and a cleaning with the hygienist. If you need any fillings, the assistant will be right by your side to keep you comfortable.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

Nov
30

4, 2, 3…What Do All Those Numbers Mean?

Posted in Gum Disease

Your hygienist is looking intently at your teeth, like she’s trying to spot something that isn’t there. You hear her calling out a series of numbers (a secret code, maybe?) to the assistant next to her. 4, 2, 3…3, 2, 3…3, 2, 4…what do all of these numbers mean?

Measuring the Health of Your Smile

First off, any numbers that you hear which are three or below are good. It’s the numbers higher than a three that you need to be concerned with.

What your hygienist is doing is measuring the attachment levels of your gums around each tooth. There is a naturally occurring “pocket” under your gums, which is an area that can collect bacteria and become infected. If it is diseased, the gums start to detach from your tooth and make the pocket deeper, not to mention destroy bone structure during the process.

Healthy gum “pockets” are anywhere up to 3mm deep. Deeper pockets can’t be cleaned with oral hygiene aids like floss. Instead, special instruments must be used to clean them at your dentist’s office. The difficulty managing them can predispose you to getting even more severe infections or lose your teeth completely.

Treating Gum Disease

Usually, moderate periodontitis (gum disease) is treated with a series of deep cleanings. “Deep,” because they’re further below the pocket. This creates a clean space where healthier gums can potentially reattach to your tooth, shortening the depth of the pocket (and halting additional bone loss.)

Periodontal exams are the process of measuring six separate areas on each individual tooth. Ask your dentist or hygienist what the numbers on your periodontal chart mean!

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

May
30

How to Erase Gingivitis in Just 2 Weeks

Posted in Gum Disease

Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue, and is easily reversed. Most people experience this type of gum infection at least once in their lives. Sometimes, there are no apparent symptoms, so no one knows they have gingivitis. In other cases, people notice bleeding from their gums when they brush, or report that their gums feel a little sore. Regardless, everyone will benefit from learning about this common disease and how to fight it.

Gingivitis

Your mouth is home to a variety of bacteria. Some bacteria can irritate the gums, if left undisturbed for even a brief period of time. The harmful bacteria multiply and gather into a substance called plaque, which also contains remnants of food. This plaque causes the gum infection. Plaque left on the teeth turns into tartar, within a matter of days. The tartar is also an irritant to gums, and provides a place for bacteria to stick to.

How to Reverse the Process

Gingivitis can be reversed simply by making some improvements in the way you care for your mouth:

  • Brush for two minutes, twice a day
  • Floss once daily to remove plaque from below the gum-line between teeth
  • Use an antiseptic/antibacterial mouth-rinse twice a day to slow plaque development

Within two weeks of following the routine listed above, you should see reduced signs of gingivitis.

Go to the Dentist!

Even though you may have eliminated gingivitis once, it will come back, if you slack off. And don’t forget to maintain a consistent schedule of professional cleanings at your local dentist office to have tartar buildup removed on a regular basis.

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

Feb
28

Crown Lengthening for Periodontal Disease and Restorative Treatment

Posted in Gum Disease

Crown lengthening is an effective surgical method that is used to help patients with gum disease manage their condition more effectively. The treatment process involves the removal of diseased tissue surrounding the teeth, tissue that is unattached and causes a deep pocket around the tooth that builds up plaque, tartar and food debris. These areas are difficult if not impossible to keep clean, and frequently progress into more severe forms of gum disease due to the patient’s inability to keep the area healthy.

During the procedure, the excess gum tissue is surgically trimmed or recontoured using a laser, completely changing the margin of the gumlines along the teeth. By doing so this creates a shallower pocket around the teeth, which patients are able to keep clean. When the area is kept free of biofilm and food deposits, the disease process can be reversed and the life and stability of the tooth can be restored.

The process of crown lengthening does cause the teeth to appear longer, with a portion of the tooth root then being exposed. These areas are susceptible to sensitivity, but the use of sensitivity toothpastes or supplemental fluoride can manage the condition. Once the disease is reversed and manageable, it may be an option to perform gum grafting to cover any areas of concern.

Crown lengthening is primarily used for the treatment of gum disease, but it can also be a useful part of treating teeth in need of restorations such as crowns when there is not enough tooth above the gum line present to support a crown. Lengthening the exposed amount of tooth above the gums leaves enough tooth structure to support a functional crown on the tooth.

Posted on the behalf of North Point Periodontics

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