Periodontal disease is no laughing matter. Studies reveal that there’s a strong link between gum disease and certain cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. Sadly, despite the call to commit to proper oral health, a lot of Americans are guilty of not doing what they’re supposed to in order to protect their gums and teeth.
A study titled “Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States 2009 and 2010” reveals that around 64.7 million American adults have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis. Among adults 65 years old and older, the prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent. This study only goes to show that a significant percentage of Americans are at high risk of severe health complications due to gum disease.
Gum disease is typically caused by the following factors:
Poor health due to smoking or tobacco use
Hormonal developments such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause in women
Stress (that weakens the body’s autoimmune system, which is responsible for fighting off infection and diseases)
Bruxism (tooth grinding and clenching)
Malnutrition (not getting the necessary nutrients for gum health)
If you’re suffering from any of the aforementioned conditions, it’s quite likely that you have some type of gum disease. Commonly, for women going through hormonal development, the case is rather mild; after pregnancy, gum disease eventually goes away.
However, immediate dental attention is required if the following symptoms manifest:
Frequent gum bleeding
Increasing gaps or spaces between teeth
Persistent bad breath
Pus around the teeth (infection)
Redness and puffiness of gums
Soreness and tenderness of gums
All of these are advanced gum disease symptoms, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. Once you have any of these symptoms, it’s imperative to go for a checkup. Your dentist will be able to explain what your mouth is going through and inform you of what needs to be done to restore the healthy condition of your mouth.
There are effective treatments for severe gum disease. You can even restore the healthy appearance of your gums and teeth through surgical restorative dentistry.
Treatment, however, can take some time. It will include different dental solutions, as well as various lifestyle changes. Typically, the dentist needs to see the effects of certain procedures and lifestyle changes first before proceeding with the rest of the treatment. Your dentist can educate you thoroughly about all of these, so don’t delay — set an appointment for a checkup right away.
Do your gums often bleed? That probably happens often because of certain practices. It may also be due to health conditions that you’re not aware of. If you wish for your mouth to be healthier and for bleeding to stop, it’s crucial to know the real causes.
So, what usually causes bleeding gums?
You floss too hard.
Flosses can often cut through the fleshy tissues of your gums if you don’t know how to handle them properly. Also, there are flossers that really are too sharp, so even if you’re careful, they cut your gums anyway. Get instructions from your dentist on how to properly floss to prevent injuring your gums, or how to be more meticulous in choosing flossers for your teeth. Perhaps invest in sonic air floss, which uses a strong jet stream of water instead of a waxed string to dislodge food debris between teeth and gums.
Brushing too thoroughly with a hard-bristled brush.
If you think a hard-bristled brush performs better in getting rid of food particles, bacteria and germs in the mouth, you’re wrong. Such a toothbrush can leave scratches on your teeth’s enamel and they can also cut your gums especially if you brush too hard. Use a soft-bristled brush instead and brush more gently to prevent scratching both your teeth and gums.
You’re using a mouth appliance that doesn’t fit well.
The wrong fit of mouth appliances (such as dentures and mouth guards) can constantly put pressure on teeth and gums, and this can lead to bleeding. They can also move out of place, especially when you’re eating or talking, which can injure your gums. This is why it’s imperative to visit your dentist regularly and have him check the fit of the mouth appliance you’re using.
You don’t brush regularly.
Not brushing regularly encourages the proliferation of disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. Gum bleeding is one of the symptoms of periodontal disease and if this gum disease is not treated right away, it’s not just gum bleeding you’ll experience — you may lose your teeth eventually as well.
You’re taking medication.
There are certain drugs for the treatment of certain illnesses that have a blood-thinning effect. If you take these regularly, gum bleeding is always a risk. Therefore, you should consult your physician on what you can do to reverse this side effect of your medication, or perhaps have him recommend a different drug that doesn’t have this particular side effect.
Last February 19 and 20, 15 international specialists with years of knowledge and experience among them assembled in Madrid for the Perio-Diabetes Workshop led by the European Federation of Periodontology and the International Diabetes Federation to tackle one of the biggest health issues in the society today:
The relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease.
While diabetes is characterized as a complex disease that involves deterioration or complete inability of an individual to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is defined as the inflammation and irritation of the gum line.
More often than not, both illnesses result in more severe problems such as bone corrosion and teeth loss.
A group of experts have worked together to finally solve this massive dental dilemma.
During the workshop, it was discussed that patients who have periodontitis are also the ones who are most likely susceptible to pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Those who have diabetes, on the other hand, are very much prone to acquiring periodontal disease. People who suffer from periodontitis and other gum diseases find it difficult for their bodies to keep their blood pressure normal.
Now that it has been revealed that there is actually a strong resemblance between periodontal disease and diabetes, it is important that you also know how to treat or manage both conditions.
For those with periodontal disease, it has been shown that self-performed oral hygiene at home is an effective practice. By simply establishing a habit of regular brushing and flossing, you can save yourself from one of the most severe dental diseases.
Based on the workshop’s conclusion, diabetes can be treated while one practices self-care techniques for periodontal disease. The length and type of treatment varies from one patient to another, depending on the level of their infection. As a rule of thumb, it is still always the best option to consult a Prescott, AZ dentist to assist you throughout the procedure.
As for diabetes, there are injections prescribed by doctors that can help pump one’s bloodstream with enough insulin to treat diabetes. As expected, addressing diabetes also creates an impact on periodontal disease as both of them heal at the same time. It is important to know that the condition should be treated with utmost urgency, as more serious complications to one’s health may arise if left untreated for a long time.
If you think smoking is bad enough because it destroys your lungs, then you haven’t gotten to the most obvious effects yet.
Tobacco and cigarettes contain tar and nicotine that build up inside your mouth. These gather in between teeth, allowing more bacteria to take refuge in these spaces and attack the surrounding teeth. Since there are about 600 bacterial species that make up the oral microbiome, just imagine how much the act of smoking further aggravates the problem by boosting the growth of the bacteria.
One of the most important things to understand about how smoking affects your mouth is that it also has other effects on your teeth. When plaque or tartar accumulate and harden around your teeth, for example, they create stains, usually yellowish and black in color, that can give you a less attractive smile.
The stains can be very difficult to remove and often cause damage to the surface of your teeth as well. Your teeth are coated with a protective layer called enamel; once the enamel is damaged, bacteria can freely contaminate and infect the core of your teeth, which eventually leads to rotting and extraction.
Another serious effect of smoking is gum disease. Because the nicotine coats the teeth and gums in plaque, oxygen is blocked from properly reaching the bloodstream. This prevents gums from healing as fast as it can, causing in the further development of different kinds of oral diseases. Although smoking can severely damage one’s dental condition, there are ways that can help you treat the damage it has done on your gums and teeth.
Brushing and flossing the right way
Brushing your teeth and flossing should be done the right way in order to achieve optimal results. Brushing three times daily and flossing after every meal is the typical advice, but keep in mind that you also have to do these correctly — you have to use the right strokes and perform the right procedures to remove every bit of tartar stuck on the surface of your teeth. By making a real effort to make a habit out of brushing and flossing regularly, you prevent the cavities from spreading further to your other teeth.
Installing crowns or veneers
When the degree of staining on your teeth is too serious too remove, you can simply cover it up with dental crowns or veneers. These dental solutions can be easily installed by your dentist and would not take too much time to accomplish. They serve as protective coverings and come in a porcelain white color to improve not just function of the teeth, but also their appearance.
Do not allow your teeth to deteriorate and completely lose their beauty. Visit a Prescott, AZ dentist today; these credible dental experts have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to help bring back the perfect smile you lost from smoking.
Written by Horizon DDS, March 22nd, 2017 | Comments Off on How Smoking Affects Your Mouth (and Ways to Treat This)
After brushing, you check your teeth and gums in the mirror and you notice something unusual. It’s either your teeth have become longer or your gums have become smaller.
What’s happening here? The answer: gum recession.
Gum recession is a condition wherein the area where the teeth and gums meet pulls back. When this happens, more of the tooth becomes exposed. This also creates what a Prescott, AZ dentist calls pockets which can leave your teeth and gums vulnerable to the build-up of bacteria. Left unchecked, gum recession can lead to damage to the supporting tissues and bones, and eventually, tooth loss.
Gum recession is fairly common and most people do not know they have receding gums until the condition has progressed to a more advanced stage.
There are, however, a few signs that indicate that a person has receding gums. These include increased tooth sensitivity and longer-looking teeth.
What causes gum recession?
There are several possible causes of gum recession.
Periodontal or gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession.
This bacterial infection destroys both the gum tissues and the supporting bones of the teeth.
Another common cause of this condition is poor oral hygiene.
If you fail to properly and regularly brush and floss your teeth, plaque can easily build up in your mouth and eventually form into tartar.
But sometimes, too much of a good thing can be bad. Take brushing, for example. If you brush your teeth too hard or if you do not brush your teeth properly, you risk wearing away the enamel on your teeth and cause your gums to recede.
Some people have receding gums simply because they are genetically predisposed to suffer from this condition.
According to some estimates, about 30 percent of people will get receding gums even if they take great care of their teeth and gums.
Pregnant, menopausal, and young girls undergoing puberty are also vulnerable to gum recession as changes in their hormones adversely affect their gum tissues.
Cigarette smokers and people who use tobacco products are also highly likely to have receding gums. This is because these people have more plaque on their teeth which can cause gum recession.
If you have bite problems or crooked teeth, you are leaving yourself vulnerable to gum recession if you do not seek the appropriate treatment. Your condition places too much force on the gums and bones which may cause recession. The same thing can happen to people who clench and grind their teeth.
Gum recession may also be caused by piercings on the lip or tongue. When your body piercing jewelry rubs against your gums, this can cause irritation and eventually gum recession.
Gum recession is a serious concern and you should immediately see your dentist for the appropriate treatment.
Written by Horizon DDS, March 09th, 2017 | Comments Off on What Causes Gum Recession?
How Do You Detect Gum Disease Symptoms? — How Does It Manifest?
Improper oral hygiene is the top cause of gum disease. When you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly and in the right way, bacteria in plaque (the sticky film that forms on the teeth) proliferate, turn into tartar, and affect the health of your gums.
When this happens, brushing and flossing will no longer be able to do much and you will need your dentist to perform deep dental cleaning and recommend specific oral health products, as well as treatments to completely cure gum disease and prevent it from recurring.
Listed below are the most common signs and symptoms:
Appearance of pus (a clear indication of infection) surrounding the teeth and gums
Bad breath or bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away even with frequent brushing and rinsing with a mouthwash
Change in the way partial dentures fit
Difficulty in chewing food due to sharp or dull tooth and gum pains
Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing, or even with contact with “tough” food
Loose teeth accompanied by a receding gum line and a change in the appearance of how teeth are aligned or positioned
Persistent sensitivity of both gums and teeth to cold or hot temperatures
Swollen, red or tender gums
The severity of these signs and symptoms are directly linked to the severity of the gum disease. If you only have the mildest case of gum disease (also known as gingivitis), many of these signs and symptoms may not be evident. However, if you already have periodontitis or advanced periodontitis, all of the aforementioned manifestations will be present, along with a few other discomforts.
How can you prevent gum disease?
Gum disease in its early stage can easily be treated because the teeth and gums are not affected much yet. However, once teeth become loose and gums have receded, there’s no way of easily reversing these damages, says a Prescott, AZ dentist. If you wish to restore your teeth and gums, advanced restorative procedures such as surgery and dental implants will need to be carried out.
Therefore, if you start seeing and experiencing any gum disease symptoms, change your oral care habits and do set up an appointment with your dentist right away. Gum disease is an urgent health issue — it is known to spawn other health complications. Immediate and appropriate dental care from your Prescott Valley dentist is key to resolving this dental problem. Contact your dentist at Horizon Dental Group to learn additional effective ways to prevent gum disease.
Written by Horizon DDS, February 14th, 2017 | Comments Off on Gum Disease Symptoms | What Are the Signs?
A toothache is a kind of pain that’s just impossible to ignore. Anybody who has experienced this pain will tell you that there’s simply no way of functioning normally when your teeth and gums are throbbing. It’s the equivalent and sometimes feels like a migraine.
When your tooth is aching, you simply cannot avoid worrying about it — you won’t be able to prevent your brain from thinking about all the possible reasons why you’re in such pain and how you can be free from it. However, not all toothaches are really that worrisome – sometimes, the causes are not anything too serious and life-threatening. So, when to worry about tooth pain — as in really worry?
Tooth pain caused by decay and cavities definitely hurt, but they’re not included in the list because they have easy solutions (fillings, root canal and crowns, and extraction). The truly worrisome reasons for tooth pain are the following:
While this can be treated by a dentist easily, (though it will require a long process,) there are serious complications that may arise due to periodontal disease. Therefore, this needs to be treated properly and as soon as possible in order to prevent potential complications.
This can cause severe toothaches and swelling and it’s usually due to common dental issues not being treated appropriately right away. Like periodontal disease, this can lead to serious complications if left untreated. The complication may prove fatal, especially if it’s accompanied with fever. It’s worth mentioning as well that a tooth infection is never a laughing matter as the mouth is in close proximity to the brain; infection can easily find its way to the brain and that will certainly have an impact on the organ.
TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
This can cause great physical discomfort and a person’s quality of life can become diminished because of it. It’s imperative for people with TMJ to get dental surgery in order to get rid of persistent pains and chronic inflammation that make everything from talking to eating extremely difficult.
The issue with this one is that it’s not a problem with the teeth and gums; however, it makes the gums swell, and there’s this persistent throbbing pain from the mouth that radiates to the ears and the head. The pain will persist until the right medication is provided.
People with heart disease may experience severe tooth pains, which are accompanied with light-headedness and/or sweating. When these physical discomforts are experienced, have yourself checked by a dentist right away to prevent a full-blown flare-up of the disease.
For any kind of physical pain, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Whether the reason is something serious or just typical dental issues, it’s better to know what it is so you can do the appropriate thing and finally find relief from the ache.
If you find yourself suffering from tooth pain it’s important to see your Prescott dentist at Horizon Dental Group today.
Written by Horizon DDS, November 30th, 2016 | Comments Off on Signs You Need to Worry About Tooth Pain
Most people think that they do a good job of taking care of their teeth. This is often why many adults avoid the dentist. We certainly do not think we will ever need dentures now or in the foreseeable future.
However, available data indicates that the use of dentures is quite prevalent. More than most people may think. Fortunately, if you take care of your teeth and gums, you can effectively reduce your risk for tooth loss. This seems like a simple concept but tooth loss is very common is Prescott Valley. Many patients come to us when it is too late to save those infected teeth.
When are dentures necessary? Here is a list of factors that can contribute to tooth loss.
You don’t visit your dentist regularly
Experts recommend visiting your Prescott Valley dentist at least twice a year. For many people, this recommended number of visits may seem too much. However, when you visit your dentist on a regular basis, small problems can be identified and remedied thus reducing risk for tooth loss and the need for dentures. Think of it in comparison to changing the oil on your car.
You are suffering from gum inflammation
Gum disease, which can range from gingivitis to periodontal disease, is fairly common among adults. In fact, gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss and affects three out of four people at some point in their lives.
Fortunately, once gum disease is detected and correctly treated, your risk for tooth loss goes down substantially. However, if you leave your gum disease untreated, it can progress to bone loss which in turn can lead to tooth loss.
Your teeth are shifting
When your teeth become loose and shift position or if you notice that the gap between your teeth seem to be getting wider, you might be suffering from gum disease. In fact, one of the signs that you have advanced gum disease is loose teeth. In some cases, loose teeth need to be extracted.
You’re suffering from severe toothaches
Toothaches are often a sign that a teeth is decayed. In some cases, the affected tooth can still be saved with dental fillings. However, if the decay has become extensive, the tooth needs to be removed and be replaced by dentures.
You have a few missing teeth
If you have a few missing teeth, the remaining teeth need to work harder and fill in for the loss teeth. This leads to added pressure to your remaining teeth and an increase in your risk for losing more teeth. In this situation, your dentist will recommend the use of prosthesis to relieve some of the pressure on your remaining teeth.
You’re frequently suffering from indigestion
One possible culprit for your digestive problem are your teeth. If you can’t chew your food properly, you tend to swallow larger pieces of food which makes things more difficult for your stomach. People who have a hard time chewing their food often suffer from sore or cracked teeth which are often signs of a bigger dental problem.
You’re embarrassed about your smile
Some patients wear dentures before they even need these due to aesthetic reasons. In fact, wearing dentures can positively affect a person’s confidence. However, this option is not for everyone.
Consult your dentist in Prescott at Horizon Dental Group to determine whether wearing dentures is the right option for you.
Written by Horizon DDS, November 28th, 2016 | Comments Off on Factors That Lead to Tooth Loss
Gum Recession Treatment | What is Gum Recession and How is it Treated?
Gum recession is a condition wherein the tissue around the teeth begins to pull back or recede, exposing the roots.
Receding gums are often a sign of a bigger problem like gum disease. Left untreated, receding gums can pave the way for bacteria buildup which can eventually lead to tooth loss.
Gum recession occurs on a gradual basis which is the key reason why most people are unaware that they are suffering from the condition. Receding gums may be caused by different factors, the most common of which is periodontal or gum disease where bacteria infect the gums.
A substantial number of people suffering from receding gums can blame their genes for their condition. That means that despite their best efforts to take good care of their teeth and gums, there is still a high likelihood that they’ll get receding gums. Women, on the other hand, are particularly susceptible to gum recession during puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
Poor oral hygiene can lead to the buildup of plaque which can eventually lead to the formation of tartar. In turn, when tartar continues to build up, the gums recede. On the converse side of the coin, being too zealous in cleaning your teeth and gums (specifically, if you brush too hard) can cause you to damage the teeth and gums. Other causes of gum recession are smoking, bruxism or teeth grinding, having crooked teeth, and having piercings on the tongue or lips.
What’s the treatment for receding gums?
Gum recession treatment often begins with deep cleaning. This procedure removes bacteria and can stop the gums from receding. However, if the gum recession is in the advanced stages, your dentist may recommend gum surgery.
Also known as gingivoplasty, gum surgery is classified into three types. In pocket depth reduction, the pockets that have formed between the gums and the teeth are removed by folding the gum tissue and placing that over the roots of the teeth.
During the gum recession treatment procedure known as regeneration, lost bone is replaced by injecting protein which facilitates the growth of natural bone. This procedure is often used in conjunction with pocket depth reduction.
Finally, soft tissue grafts entail the use of skin taken from another area in the mouth which is then placed over the receding gums.
Your Presott dentist at Horizon Dental Group may also recommend the use of supplements like vitamins C and D, Coenzyme Q10, and tea tree oil which can aid in healing receding gums. If you wish to avoid gum recession altogether, it is crucial to take proper care of your teeth and gums and to avoid habits like smoking which can undermine your oral health
Written by Horizon DDS, October 25th, 2016 | Comments Off on Gum Recession Treatment | What Should You Expect?
But how do you get gingivitis? Gum infections arise when the microorganisms in your mouth enter an area that is susceptible to infection and begin multiplying. Typically, these microorganisms hide in the space between the teeth and gums. And when these microorganisms are not removed, they can cause serious dental problems like tissue breakdown, periodontal pockets and infections.
According to studies, about half of adult Americans have a mild case of gum disease known as gingivitis. Furthermore, it is estimated that somewhere between five and 15 percent of adult Americans have an advanced form of gum diseases known as periodontitis. The main reason behind this relatively small number is because patients who regularly visit their dentists are made aware of their condition and their dental care professionals are able to contain the problem before it worsens.
If you have periodontitis, the area between the teeth and gums become affected as the nearby tissue begin to break down. In turn, when the tissue becomes damaged, the area between the teeth and gums develops pockets where bacteria are stored, which eventually leads to gum infection.
Don’t Hesitate To Visit Your Prescott Valley Dentist
At the first sign of gum infection, it is highly recommended that you visit the dentist as soon as possible. Symptoms include swollen, tender or bleeding gums, pus coming out of the gums, bad breath, loose teeth and receding gums. If you notice anything different with your bite, that may also be one sign of gum infection.
How is gum infection treated?
There are a few options when it comes to treating gum infections. Which treatment will be used for you will depend heavily on the severity of your infection. Among these, the most common ways to treat gum infections are antibiotics, root planing and scaling, and surgery.
In an antibiotic treatment, your dentist can either prescribe an antibiotic pill or administer an antibiotic injection on the affected area. Root planing and scaling is often used for more advanced cases of gum infection. Here, the areas between the gums and teeth are thoroughly cleaned. Finally, surgery is recommended as a last resort. Under surgery, there are a few additional options including flap procedure and gingivectomy.
If you want to avoid gum infection, your best defense is practicing good oral hygiene habits including regular brushing and flossing and visits to your Prescott Valley Dentist.
Written by Horizon DDS, May 26th, 2016 | Comments Off on How Gingivitis is Treated