Posts for tag: gum disease
In light of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about preventative healthcare.
At Parker Dentistry Facial Rejuvenation and Wellness, we strongly promote and encourage bi-annual teeth cleanings and check-ups, fluoride treatment alongside cleanings, and x-rays. These are all examples of preventative healthcare measures in regards to your oral health. We also encourage our patients to brush and floss at least twice a day, minimize sugar intake, eat teeth and gum health-promoting foods, and drink plenty of water. These are also all examples of preventative healthcare measures. We stand behind Juice Plus+, Sonicare toothbrushes, and Invisalign. These are all preventative healthcare tools.
The idea is simple. Take care of and maintain your health instead of waiting to fix it once it is in disrepair. It is far easier, far less expensive, and far less time consuming to practice healthy habits and take preventative measures than to try and fix what is broken. This is true for all avenues of health. Diet and nutrition, exercise, positive lifestyle changes and choices, and the conscious act of listening to your body are all equally important. Of course, there are some things that are out of our control, but this falls under listening to your body and taking charge when something isn’t right. The sooner you act, the better off you will be.
For example, gum disease is preventable. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. Red and swollen gums that bleed easily characterize this condition. There is typically little discomfort at this stage. However, this is not something that should be overlooked just because it is not causing pain. Gingivitis is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. Smoking, inadequate nutrition, and substance abuse can also contribute to this condition. If gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis. Periodontitis can lead to chronic inflammation, tooth loss, and even heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes. With preventative healthcare, it should never have to get to this point. This scenario is common throughout our body and with countless conditions and diseases.
You have one body and it is your only permanent place in this world; keep it a place that you want to continue to live in!
Stay tuned for more about preventative health and some simple changes that can make grand differences in your bodily home. Thanks for sharing a smile with us!
As we discussed last week, your smile holds a lot power. Your smile has the ability to make others smile. Your smile is your signature and sign of confidence, happiness, and positivity. A straight toothed and sincere smile is more than just aesthetically significant though. Straightening your teeth is actually imperative to upholding optimal oral health. There is a quite a long list of consequences, in the long run, for opting not to straightening your teeth or close a sizeable gap.
For starters, having crooked teeth can actually end up causing you discomfort, especially when eating. Unnecessary and unbalanced exertion, which is caused by misaligned teeth and a misaligned bite, will end up wearing down your teeth at a far faster pace than if your teeth and bite were properly aligned. Also, this uneven pressure from misaligned chewing can end up causing a break or a fracture, which if severe enough can lead to having to get a crown. A crown procedure is not particularly cheap, and in this type of case could probably be avoided completely.
When teeth are crooked and overlapping, it is more difficult to properly clean them. Your risk of gum disease and gingivitis is much higher when your teeth are not straight. When your teeth are straight, your gums are tighter and less likely to have plaque build up in the soft tissue. Plaque is an acidic bacterium that can penetrate your gum line. The initial signs of gum disease are swollen and bleeding gum. In severe cases, when left untreated, teeth will begin to fall out.
Having a gap between your teeth also puts you at risk for losing teeth. Where there is a gap, your teeth are more likely and capable of moving. This movement occurs when a tooth or teeth loosen from the surrounding gum tissue. Loose teeth are at a high risk of falling out. No one wants to lose his or her teeth!
These issues can be easily avoided though. There are multiple straightening and gap closing options, depending on the specific case. Invisalign is often an excellent choice and a treatment that we provide (we will discuss this next week). The added benefits of straightening your teeth is that your smile will reflect your inner beauty and you will be more likely to want to share that beauty and happiness with the world. It is something to think about…
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.
Dental implants are the ideal tooth replacement with their life-like appearance, high success rate and durability. If you have significant dental issues, they may seem like the perfect answer. But before you choose to replace a problem tooth with an implant, it might be to your benefit — financially and health-wise — to consider saving the tooth first.
Tooth decay can be a formidable enemy, destroying both tooth structure and the tooth’s connectivity to the jaw. But there are treatment options even for heavily decayed teeth, including cavity filling with composite resins or porcelain that look and function like natural teeth. For decay deep within a tooth’s interior, root canal therapy can rid the pulp chamber and root canals of decay and seal them from future occurrences. The treatment’s success rate is comparable to and less expensive than implants.
While decay damage can be significant, adult teeth are more at risk from periodontal (gum) disease, a gum infection caused by bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces. This disease can weaken gum tissues until they eventually detach from the teeth and lead to loss. Gum disease, though, can often be brought under control by techniques called scaling and root planing that deep clean tooth and root surfaces of plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits).
Scaling may require multiple sessions and will require a greater effort from the patient in performing daily oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly to closely monitor gum health. And more advanced cases may require surgery to access deep pockets of infection or repair damaged tissues. But even with this effort, treating gum disease rather than replacing a tooth could be much less costly — and you’ll be able to preserve your own teeth.
On the other hand, the disease process may have gone on too long and caused too much damage for the tooth to be saved. In these cases, the best option is to remove it and install a restoration like an implant. By first completing a complete dental examination, we’ll be better able to advise you whether your best course is a “tooth rescue” or a replacement.
One of the health issues pregnant women should be concerned about is a higher risk of periodontal (gum) disease. But you don’t have to be pregnant to have an increased risk — you also may be more susceptible to dental disease if you’re taking certain birth control pills.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection caused by plaque, food debris that builds up on tooth and gum surfaces due to poor oral hygiene. If left untreated gum disease can eventually lead to the breakdown of connective gum tissue and cause tooth loss.
Pregnant women are at greater risk because of an increased level of female hormones (estrogen) in their blood stream. This causes a change in the blood vessels that supply the gums, making them more susceptible to the effects of bacteria. A number of birth control options also increase estrogen levels, causing much of the same effect. To heighten the effect, you may also have a predisposition toward gum disease by your genetics or a high stress level.
There are some things you can do, however, to help lower your risk if you’re taking birth control medication. First and foremost, practice a consistent, daily habit of brushing and flossing. If you’re unsure if your technique is effective, we can provide guidance and training to make sure you’re performing these tasks properly. You should also visit us at least twice a year for office cleanings and checkups: no matter how effective you are with brushing and flossing, plaque can still accumulate in hard to reach places and form hardened deposits known as calculus.
You should also be on the lookout for signs of disease like gum redness, swelling or bleeding. If you see any of these signs, contact us as soon as possible for a thorough examination. As with many other issues involving health, the sooner we begin treatment for gum disease the better your chances of stopping it before it does too much harm.
If you would like more information on the relationship between gum disease and pregnancy or birth control, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy & Birth Control.”