Periodontitis and Other Gum Diseases

Periodontitis is a severe inflammation of the gums in the mouth. If inflammation of the gums remains long, deeper parts of the supporting tissue of the teeth and molars (jaw bone, root cement and root membrane) can also become involved in the inflammatory process. Then periodontal degradation occurs. You then speak of periodontitis, in which loose teeth (sometimes even falling out), bad taste and bleeding gums are the main symptoms.

What is Periodontitis?
Gum disease can spread in depth to the jaw bone around the teeth and choose. This allows the gums to separate from the teeth and to remove. In the space (the pocket) that occurs between the gums and the teeth and molars, plaque forms again. Because of this plaque, the inflammation moves even further in. The fibers begin to break through the swelling, and the jawbone is broken down. This makes the pockets deeper. In the lowered pockets the plaque partially calcifies to tartar. This progressive inflammation with a breakdown of fibers and jaw bone is called periodontitis.

Characteristics of Periodontitis
Periodontitis can remain unnoticed for a long time because it often does not involve – or only at a very late stage – symptoms. Some features that can occur are red, limp and swollen gums, bleeding gums when brushing or eating and receding gums. A bad taste or bad breath can also indicate periodontitis. Periodontitis rarely causes pain. Only in an advanced stage of periodontitis do symptoms arise. These can, for example, consist of the loosening of teeth and/or the creation of gaps.

Sensitive Teeth
A periodontitis patient also sees his gums withdraw; you speak of a gingival recession. The patient will then suffer from sensitive teeth and exposed tooth necks. The cause is the bone that disappears around the teeth and automatically follows the gums with pockets.

Bad Breath
The breakdown of the support tissues is almost imperceptible and can only be detected by having periodic examinations carried out by the dentist and dental hygienist. Often, a person suffering from periodontitis suffers from bad breath, including sulfur-producing bacteria.

More Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms that the patient sees is the movement of the teeth on the front of the teeth (the front elements). Observing an opening between the central front teeth is almost always a symptom of periodontal destruction. The patient can see this himself by comparing old photographs with the current situation or hearing from others. The dentist examines this with x-rays to determine the cause. It is also essential to find out in which period the movement has occurred or increased.

Consequences of Periodontitis
If the gum recedes too far, it can look unsightly. Because the roots are partially exposed when the gum recedes, the teeth and teeth can be susceptible when brushing or drinking hot, cold, sweet or sour drinks and eating food. Eventually, periodontitis can cause so much of the jawbone to disappear that the teeth will loosen and eventually fall out.

Prevention of Periodontitis
Bleeding gums means that there is gum disease (gingivitis). Do not ignore this signal, but take action to get the gums healthy again. The cause of inflamed gums is a dental plaque. That is why it becomes more imperative to keep your mouth clean. Tools for cleaning your mouth can be (electric) toothbrush, toothpaste, toothpicks, dental floss, brushes, gauze and a tongue scraper. Dental plaque and tartar under the gum line (subgingival) can only be removed via the dentist and dental hygienist. That is why people who do not go to the dentist – often anxious persons – may be more likely to suffer from periodontitis. Always consult with your dentist or dental hygienist which tools are most suitable for you.

Treatment of Periodontitis
Timely treatment can prevent the loss of teeth and molars. By good oral hygiene, you can contribute to the healing of periodontitis yourself. Also, the dentist or dental hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar in the recessed pockets by professional dental cleaning. The tooth plaque above the gum line should be removed daily by proper oral hygiene. With a toothbrush, you can brush away the plaque on the surface. With tools such as brushes and toothpicks, you can remove the plaque between teeth and teeth. Your dentist or dental hygienist will tell you which tools are suitable for your mouth. The combination of good oral hygiene and dental cleaning usually removes the inflammation and attaches the healthy gums to the teeth.

After the Treatment of Periodontitis
When the root and tooth surfaces are clean after surgery, good oral hygiene at home can prevent new dental plaque from quickly getting underneath the gums again. Proper aftercare during treatment (counseling and periodic dental cleaning) by the dentist and dental hygienist can prevent a chance of further periodontal decay, both now and in the future.

Risk Groups for Periodontitis
It has been proven that some people have more tendencies for periodontitis than others. Often, specific bacteria play an essential role in this. Some groups are at extra risk:

  • Smokers: In the case of smokers, periodontitis is more common than in non-smokers. Also, the severity of periodontitis in smokers is greater. Smokers even respond less to the treatment of periodontitis.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes also gives an increased chance of developing periodontitis. Diabetes also increases the likelihood of developing abscesses during periodontitis.
  • Stress: Mental stress can suppress the body’s defenses. As a result, the chance of developing periodontitis increases and the adverse effects of periodontitis can be higher.
  • Pregnancy: systemic diseases and medication use can also affect periodontitis. That is why it is important that your dentist and dental hygienist are aware of your health.

Healthy Dental Practices for a Healthy Smile

Though Oral hygiene is vitally important for maintaining your overall health and well being, it is actually quite easy to. But that’s fine Denverites! Listed here are a few dental practices that you should try to follow to avoid a negative visit to your Denver Dentist.

Don’t forget to floss!

Flossing is as equally important as brushing, if not more. While the primary purpose is to get rid of the little food particles stuck between the teeth, flossing also helps to prevent cavities, reduce plaque and keeps your gums in excellent condition.

Brush well

It’s no point brushing your teeth just for the sake of it. Perform this task actively. Don’t be lackadaisical and careless in your approach. Remember, merely shoving the brush inside your mouth won’t get you rid of the plaque and germs!

Don’t neglect the tongue and gums!

Plaque doesn’t just build up on your teeth; it also accumulates on your tongue and below your gums. So brush your tongue and ever so gently and clean your gums to avoid a host of oral health problems.

Eat right

Avoid eating too much of the sweet stuff. Try to increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and grains. Most importantly, drink as much water as you possibly can to give a mini-rinse to your mouth in between meals.

Brushing technique/equipment/habits etc.

Brush twice a day at the very least.

Use fluoride toothpaste only.

Use a soft-bristled brush and replace it every 3 months or so.

Make sure that when you brush, your toothbrush motions towards and across your teeth and gums and not in a haphazard and directionless manner.

Visit your Denver Dentist once every 6 months.

 

Adhere to these healthy dental practices to keep your teeth and gums in good shape!

Root Canal Treatment and Root Spot Inflammation

For a dentist, root canal treatment is a term that he or she often uses, but does the person in the dental chair know what will happen during a root canal? Another word for a root canal is nerve treatment. When is a root canal treatment necessary? What is root point inflammation?

The Makeup of a Tooth
A tooth or molar consists of a crown and one or more roots. The part of the root or roots that protrude above the jaw bone, but is covered by gums, is the neck. With recessed gums, you can see the lower part of the crown and later the neck. The crown is made up of an outer layer consisting of sturdy, translucent tooth enamel and an inner layer comprised of less hard dentin. The dentin controls the color of the teeth and molars. The tooth root consists of dentin that is covered with a layer of root cement. Inside the crown and roots is a room where the pulp is. The pulp consists of connective tissue containing: blood vessels, nerves and cells that form dentin.

Root canal treatment
Root canal treatment is about removing pulp from the root canal. If the pulp is infected or has died due to the inflammation, the pulp room is drilled open. A thin needle with barbs is used to remove the pulp. With a needle-shaped file, the root canal is cleaned of dead pulp and bacteria. The goal is to get a sterile channel. After all these steps, the root canal is sealed airtight.

When is root canal treatment necessary?
Treatment is necessary in all cases where the pulp is inflamed or possibly infected. In most cases, the pulp is affected by caries, but a root canal treatment can also be done if a large piece of a tooth is broken down and the pulp is exposed. If a dentist starts drilling and there is a lot of dental caries so that the root canal opens up, then root canal treatment is usually required.

Can a root canal treatment always be performed?
No, a root canal treatment cannot always be performed. In case of severe inflammation of the root point, the dentist will usually refer to a dental surgeon for efficient removal of the root of a tooth or molar and the tissue around it. This is also necessary if a root canal treatment fails and inflammation persists. It is also possible that the tooth or molar must be pulled.

Is treatment of the root canal painful?
With an anesthetic, root canal treatment is usually not painful.

How much time does the dentist need for a root canal treatment?
How long the root canal treatment takes depends on the number of root canals. You have to think about a treatment time from thirty minutes to an hour and a half.

Control photo
Usually a half-year to a year after a root canal treatment, a control photo is made to see if the inflammatory process has stopped.

Root spot inflammation
A root-point inflammation, also called periapical inflammation, is an inflammation of the tissue around the root of a tooth or molar. Inflammation of the root point occurs when caries after the tooth crown also affect the pulp in the root canal and then the root tip. In most cases, someone has no vague complaints. The dentist takes x-rays. Sometimes the inflammation is acute, and then the person has a severe toothache. If the pain becomes even more severe and throbbing, then there is an abscess. It will be examined whether treatment of the root canal is possible. If the inflammation is too strong or a root canal treatment is not successful, a root point operation is performed, or the tooth or molar is pulled.

Learn More about Root Canal Treatments
For more information about the root canal and any other dental treatment, be sure to contact our dentist today. Our friendly team looks forward to meeting you to help with your root canal treatment.

Removing a Wisdom Tooth

Removing a wisdom tooth is pretty scary. It is a routine treatment for dentists and oral surgeons, but it can be frightening for the patient. Family and friends may have told you stories about a painful procedure, not being able to eat, and being sick or inflamed. Everyone knows someone who has had such a treatment, but far more often everything goes well. To help you feel prepared, we will talk through the operation.

Step One – The Dentist
The dentist can often pull the upper wisdom teeth. This is nice because it doesn’t require a visit to the hospital. Also, dentists often have shorter waiting times and are more flexible than a dental surgeon. However, the lower wisdom teeth often cause problems. The dental surgeon usually removes these. The dental surgeon is further specialized and has other and more resources ready to remove the molars well. If you are sent to the dental surgeon for a (lower) wisdom tooth, then there is nothing wrong. Often it is just a standard procedure; the tooth can quickly come out.

Step Two – How many?
Usually, only one wisdom tooth is removed at the same time. Especially when there is no hurry, this is a better option. After pulling it is difficult to eat for some time, and the wound must be kept clean. Also, the other complaints will become worse. If multiple wisdom teeth are removed at the same time, there is usually a good reason for this. Think of decaying molars or huge ones that grow in the wrong direction. Sometimes several teeth are drawn simultaneously because it is more convenient.

Step Three – Photos Taken
Often, an X-ray is taken just before the tooth is pulled. This is to see how the tooth lies and whether there is a risk of hitting nerves. For the photo, you only have to sit still. The dentist or dental surgeon looks at the picture and determines how the tooth can best come out.

After the dentist or dental surgeon has looked at the photo and knows what has to happen, he will discuss it with you. Pay attention, the treatment may differ. From the moment the procedure starts until the moment you can leave the chair, it takes about 15 minutes, if everything goes well. However, it can also last closer to half an hour.

Step Four – The Sedation
Before the real treatment happens you are – fortunately – numb. In some cases, a general anesthetic is needed, but a local anesthetic is almost always sufficient. There are three needles in the corner where the tooth is stuck (one by one). These hurt for a moment, but this makes the rest of the treatment painless. Once the procedure begins, the dentist or dental surgeon will ask if it hurts. Be honest about this, if you feel anything more than pressure. In most cases, you will probably no longer feel anything.

Step Five – The Real Treatment
This is the part of the treatment that most people are afraid of. Your dentist will remove the wisdom tooth, and you will feel pressure on your jaw. Do you not feel comfortable? Make sure to communicate any discomfort to your doctor, we are here to help!

Soon the dentist or dental surgeon will say that you are done. You can sit upright again, and you get gauze to bite, to stifle the blood.

Step Six – Take Some Time
It is not always wise to go home immediately after the treatment. Even if you have been placed under general anesthesia, you should stay or lie down until you are fit enough. Once you have reached that stage, it is best to make sure that someone comes to pick you up. You may not feel well, or be thinking clearly. After removing the wisdom tooth, you should in any case not drive home by car.

Step Seven – Recovery
At home, it is essential to keep the place clean, to take painkillers and to take sufficient rest. Start with a sedative before the pain begins, Paracetamol and ibuprofen are suitable for this. Then cool the jaw to prevent swelling.

Finally
Removing a wisdom tooth can be annoying, but not a disaster. Many people are afraid of it, but this is not necessary. After a short time, the treatment is over, and although the pain can last for a few days, it is not as bad as constant inflammations due to poor cleaning, or the illness because the tooth grows the wrong way.

What is a Dental Implant?

An implant is an artificial root tooth implanted in the place of a natural tooth. Implants take the form of a screw inserted into the jaw bone. The implant consists of three parts: a titanium screw, a construction that protrudes above the gums, and a porcelain crown that is manufactured in the laboratory and placed over the structure.

Why are the implants of titanium, or of an alloy with titanium?
Titanium is the best material for the time being to allow the bone around the implant to attach.

Who needs implants?
People who have lost one or more teeth for different reasons or people with dentures are good candidates for implants. It is essential that you are otherwise healthy, but if you suffer from a particular disease or have a different health problem such as diabetes or osteoporosis, this does not always mean that an implant will not work for you. However, it occurs in a minority of cases that the body rejects the implant.  In these cases, we try again. It often happens that the new implant does catch on. If a patient comes to us with many failed implants, we will first propose an extensive treatment plan.

How long does it take before my teeth are ready for implants?
As short as possible! The procedure is as follows:
The patient comes to consult, and his / her wishes are discussed extensively along with a completed health declaration. Mainly the questions about cardiovascular disease and diabetes (diabetes) are essential. The Implantologist takes measurements of the patient’s teeth for the crowns, but also for the construction of the crowns.
The Implantologist makes the treatment plan. The practice manager gives you or sends you the budget, and you can go through this with her. If applicable, this will be recorded with your insurance company. If everything is in order, the patient will receive a prescription for taking an antibiotic before he comes to the treatment. The patient also signs a consent form that mentions all possible risks of implantation, as is standard for any other surgical procedure.
The treatment begins. First, the patient receives a local anesthetic. If the patient so wishes, surgery will start under sedation (a whirl) or narcosis. (For the latter two possibilities, a prior discussion is necessary, because we have to order an anesthetist.) A general anesthetic is not required for implantation, because you do not feel any pain during the treatment, and if you do feel something, we immediately stop and provide a new solution. But if you prefer a heavier anesthetic, then you can.
The teeth that are no longer functional are drawn. The implants are inserted, possibly after the gum has been cut open to expose the jaw bone. A ‘healing cap’ is placed on the implants when the gum is cut. If the gum is not reduced, sometimes the build can be set. The patient receives a temporary prosthesis on the healing cap or the body. If you already had a prosthesis, it can be used. The patient then goes home for at least one month for healing. In the meantime, your permanent prosthesis is manufactured in the laboratory. At a subsequent appointment, after healing of the wound around the implants and fouling of the bone, the fixed prosthesis is placed. The final adjustments are made.
The time between the placement of the implants and the placement of the fixed crowns /prosthesis differs per individual. The healing time in the upper jaw is usually longer. You may have to come back for different checks. This is to shorten the process for you and so that we can keep an eye on the implants.
The procedure can be carried out within one day. The patient can go home immediately after confirmation of the teeth. In all cases, you can quickly eat and drink, talk and smile. Implants make you feel like having your teeth and molars again.

How much jaw bone should I have to have an implant?
The height of the jawbone must be at least 1 cm. If this is less, an alternative solution must be sought, for example, All-on-4 or All-on-6, or bone has to be built up using a bone transplant.

Does implanting hurt?
Our patients tell us that they have not had any pain. Pain is, however, relative and differs from patient to patient. The Implantologist will do everything possible to make the patient as comfortable as possible during and after implantation. Of course, the procedure is done under anesthesia. There are different types of anesthesia, and it depends on the patients choice. The patient decides:

  • Local Anaesthesia – this is sufficient in most cases.
  • Sedation – the patient takes a sedative for the transplant. This brings the patient into a daze.
  • Intravenous Sedation – an anesthetist only administers it. We monitor the heart rate and oxygen level in the blood.
  • General anesthesia (anesthesia) – at the request of the patient. Anesthesia also takes place under the supervision of an anesthetist.

Artificial bones can be placed to improve the jaw bone. Is this correct?
Yes, that happens regularly. A natural bone of the patient can also be used. The bone transplant can sometimes be performed simultaneously with the operation, and in other cases before the transplant. In the latter case, the patient waits until the new bone integrates with the jaw, and only after the implants are inserted. The Implantologist will always discuss this with you.

What is a sinus increase?
A sinus increase is a procedure whereby artificial bone is placed in the upper jaw after the sinuses are lifted a little upwards. As a result, more space is released for the implant. The sinus increase can be performed with a cut in the gum, or without.

How can I maintain my implants?
This is very important, because the better you maintain your implants, the longer they last. After the implants are integrated into the jawbone, they become part of the patient’s teeth, just as if they were your teeth. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day between the teeth. If maintenance fails, bleeding from the gums, gingivitis (gum disease), or an uncomfortable feeling can occur.

How long do implants last?
How long they last depend on the quality of the implants, the competence of the Implantologist, personal maintenance, and the health of your teeth. There are cases where implants last a lifetime.

Understanding & Treating Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder where you stop getting the proper amount of oxygen at night when you are sleeping. There are several reasons for a person to have sleep Apnea.

It is common in overweight people, men with a barrel shaped chest, and men in general, having a thick neck, large tonsils or a nasal obstruction. It can also come from a family history of Sleep Apnea or even GERD.

There are two types of treatments that are commonly used to help treat this disorder. A CPAP machine which forces air flow pressure and a dental appliance, or mouth guard. Many people experience negative side effects from a CPAP machine such as dry mouth, feelings of confinement from the mask on their face, sinus issues and stomach discomfort. If you have experienced any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about trying a mouth device.

A mouth device can be used for someone who has moderate or mild Sleep Apnea. This is a device that you will have to go to your dentist to be fitted and will be worn at night to help with apnea episodes.

The most commonly used mouth guard is a mandibular advancement device or MAD. It looks like a sports mouth guard and will snap over your upper and lower dental arches and has metal hinges that make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased forward. The other less commonly used is a tongue retaining device that helps hold the tongue in place at night while sleep to help prevent blocking air flow.

Sleep Apnea affects us in several ways. It can lead to restlessness, day time tiredness, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and headaches. It can affect children as well and can lead to the worsening of ADHD and can affect their daily performance in school and other activities. If you are experiencing any of this problems or your sleep partner has witnessed you stop breathing, snoring or gasping for air, talk to your doctor and your dentist to figure out the best method of care.

Food That’s Good for Your Teeth

Whether we’re sitting down for dinner, digging through the fridge for a midnight snack or grabbing a quick bite to eat with some friends, our choice of foods are usually governed by our stomachs and our taste buds. Keeping a balanced diet may also come into play as well, but chances are most of us don’t really think a whole lot about what’s good for our teeth while browsing the menu.

But the fact is, there are is a plentiful array of great foods and drink that offer some superb benefits for your dental health. So the next time you dine, think about giving your teeth a little boost with these tasty (and healthy!) vittles.

Cheese

Here’s the thing about cheese that most people don’t know – it makes it really hard for plaque to prosper in your mouth. Cheese has a natural ability to raise the acidity in your mouth while increasing saliva production, making it tough on bacteria that have intentions on nibbling away your enamel. Cheese gets extra credit points for also being rich in calcium and protein – nutrients essential in strengthening your teeth.

Yogurt

Another calcium-rich dairy delight, Yogurt is naturally good for your teeth just based on nutrients alone. But it’s got another unique benefit that’s also great for your gums as well as your teeth – Probiotics. The good bacteria in probiotics make for bad company amidst the harmful microbes trying to make cavities, and often prevent them from growing or causing additional damage. Also, yogurt is super tasty – one of its best benefits – just try to avoid varieties with lots of sugar.

Green or Black Tea

Tasty treats that boost your teeth aren’t just limited to food. Drink your way to dental health with delicious green and black teas. This particular beverage contains unique, toxin-fighting micro-nutrients called polyphenols and help to mitigate bacterial growth in your mouth. Furthermore, tea has fluoride in it, adding even more protection against cavities.

Fish

For good dental health, you really want to look for the ‘fatty’ fishes like salmon. They’ve got lots of essential minerals in them, plus a healthy dose of Vitamin D. You really can’t go wrong with a good grilled salmon, and your teeth will thank you for it!

Meat

Sure, this is kind of a broad category, but most meats are an essential part of a healthy diet for you and your teeth. Red meats are especially beneficial due to the high protein and nutrients that strengthen your bones, muscles teeth and gums.

Leafy Greens

We’ve covered meat and dairy, it’s time we appeal to all you herbivores. Veggies like broccoli and spinach are packed with tons of great vitamins and minerals. Plus they’re a low calorie offering that fits nicely into just about any meal. Furthermore, leafy greens have folic acid which is widely known for numerous health benefits including oral health.

Milk

And of course, we can’t round out our list with anything but the most famous dental health consumable we all know and love – Milk. There’s a reason we drink lots of this stuff from infancy and on throughout most of our lives. We even produce milk to feed our young, making it pretty much a sure-fire nutritional powerhouse. Super rich in calcium and other vitamins, Milk strengthens our bones and teeth, fortifies our immune systems and it’s a great place to put cookies – for just a couple seconds before eating them.

When Should I take my Baby to the Dentist? (And Who’s Going to Help Me Through IT?)

If you’re a new parent or perhaps expecting the newest addition to your family soon, one question you may have on your list is “When should I start thinking about a dentist visit for my little one?”.

Surprisingly, the answer frames a timeline earlier than most parents expect. The ideal time recommended for bringing your child to his or her first dental visit is at the first sign of a tooth coming through. The reason: Cavities can happen even in just one tooth! It is important to stay proactive about your baby’s dental health.

If you do decide to wait a little longer before that first dentist visit, make sure your baby gets a checkup no later than his or her first birthday. We understand -A trip to the dentist with a young tot does not sound like it’ll be the most pleasant experience.

But don’t fret – we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves that may help abate some of those fears and help you prepare for a hassle-free dental appointment for your little one.

Throughout the first few months of your baby’s life, you’ll see a lot of opportunities to focus on good dental habits. The teething phase may be particularly tough, and there are lots of solutions and treatments available to get your child (and you!) through that tearful time. As your child progresses towards the 8-12 month mark, you’re likely to see a tooth or two make an appearance.

When you start seeing teeth, begin preparing your child for that first visit to the dentist. Explain to your child what the dentist is all about. Reading children’s books about the dentist, or watching similar videos with your child can help prepare the little one for what’s ahead.

Establishing a pleasant, positive dental hygiene routine with your child can help tremendously. Using a soft bristle baby toothbrush, you can get your child acclimated to the usual dental health regimen. You may even find it more enticing by making it into a game.

During toothbrush time, do some mouth-opening exercises with your child and explain how we have to sometimes hold our mouths open big and wide so the dentist can see everything that’s going on.

Once you and your little one feel comfortable and prepared for that first dentist visit, contact the dentist’s office and ask if you can prepare any necessary paperwork ahead of time, before you schedule the appointment. This will save a ton of time and hassle in the waiting room.

You may also want to prepare a list of questions ahead of time that you’d like to ask your dentist. If you have particular concerns about any abnormal symptoms you may have noticed, make sure to include those things on the list as well and get feedback from your dentist.

Try to schedule your appointment in the early afternoon, as it’ll make it easier to make sure your child has had nap and a lunch before heading to the dentist visit (make sure to brush after eating!). Make the trip to the dentist a fun and uplifting ride and encourage your child with a treat for being good at the dentist. Need any more tips? Have any further questions? Contact us today, we’re here to help!

Sensitive Teeth – What Causes Sensitivity and How to Control the Pain

Just about everyone has, at one time or another, endured the pain of sensitive teeth. Whether it’s triggered by cold foods and liquids or simply chewing regularly, tooth sensitivity can become a bothersome burden if left unchecked.

Did you know that our teeth are most sensitive between the ages of 25 to 30? While your age could certainly be a causative factor in your tooth pain, the sensitivity usually comes from other sources.

The most common causes of tooth sensitivity are often related to some form of damage to the affected tooth (or teeth). Here’s a roundup of the usual suspects causing your dental discomfort:

  • Chipped, cracked or broken teeth can become infected and inflamed
  • Grinding your teeth (often while sleeping) can cause wear on your teeth
  • Some Tooth-Whitening products have been linked to sensitivity
  • Acidic foods and drinks can wear away at your tooth enamel
  • Some dental procedures can cause short term sensitivity
  • Loose or lost fillings can expose sensitive parts of your teeth
  • Cavities, tooth decay and gingivitis are common culprits of sensitivity
  • Plaque build-up can reach the surface of your roots and prompt the pain

While the above list isn’t entirely exhaustive, it is prudent to practice preventative care and avoid all of the possible causes therein. Proper dental care is the surest way to avoid tooth sensitivity.

So now we know what usually causes our sensitive teeth, but you may not be able to hop into the Dentist’s chair right away – so how do you cope in the mean time?

  • Continue to brush and floss regularly
  • Use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth
  • Use a fluoride rinse after each brushing
  • Use an antiseptic mouthwash at least once per day
  • Try a soft-bristled tooth brush, or look for a toothbrush designed for sensitive teeth
  • Use a mouth guard at night to prevent teeth grinding while sleeping
  • For acute, high intensity pain from sensitivity, try an over-the-counter oral ointment

Furthermore, you may find relief in avoiding certain things that tend to cause more pain, such as:

  • Piping hot coffee or tea, soups and similar hot liquids
  • Ice-cold or frozen beverages and foods
  • Chewing hard candy, cough drops, ice and other hard crunchy foods
  • Sugary foods, sweets or chewing gum
  • Acidic foods, citrus fruits, sodas

Remember that the best solution for sensitivity is preventing it before it can manifest, which means proper dental hygiene and regular checkups with your dentist. Let us help you relieve your sensitive teeth and put the proper preventions in place today!

Why Most Americans Have Some Sort of Gum Disease

About eighty percent of all Americans have some sort of periodontal gum disease (source: American Dental Hygienists’ Association). Mostly seen in adults, the percentage of those with the disease increase as age increases. Here are a few interesting facts regarding Gum Disease from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • The condition is more common in men than women
  • 65.4% of people living below the poverty level have gum disease
  • 66.9% of people with less than a high school level education have gum disease
  • 64.2% of smokers have gum disease

It is also 100% preventable, so why do so many U.S. adults live with it? The sad truth is that the one of the primary reasons that people have gum disease is lack of motivation for home care. This is not the case for everyone; other reasons include genetics (hereditary), health related issues like diabetes, AIDS, or even hormonal changes such as pregnancy. Some reasons are self-inflicted. Smoking, stress, and poor oral hygiene are examples of these. While many hereditary or health causes cannot be prevented, the self-inflicted reasons can and should be reversed.

Gingivitis is the most common form of periodontal disease. Signs of gingivitis are swollen, red gums that can bleed. If not treated, this can lead to periodontitis that includes bone loss and even loss of teeth. There are warning signs that can let you know if your gums are unhealthy. First and foremost, check the color. Healthy gums are generally a nice pink color. If your gums are red and or swollen, you are displaying a warning sign of gum disease. Other signs include bad breath, painful chewing, sensitive teeth, bleeding gums when you brush and/or floss, or gums pulling away from your teeth.

Treating Gum Disease

As established earlier, one of the primary reasons for gum disease is lack of oral hygiene care. This should not be the case, but sadly many do not take proper care of their teeth and gums. The good news is that in the early stages of periodontal disease, the condition is reversible and treatable. The best way to prevent or reverse gum disease are two simple solutions.

  • Brush AND Floss twice a day
  • Get cleanings at your local dentist twice a year (or more as recommended)

Pretty simple, right? If you practice these two simple steps, your dental health has a great chance of being the best it can be. If you have more questions about your dental health, or think that you might have periodontal disease, make sure to schedule a visit to talk with your dentist today.