How Is Gum Disease Treated?

Gum Disease

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Poor dental health has been linked to negative effects throughout the body, such as an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious health conditions. If you suspect that you might have gum disease, it is important to seek professional help immediately. If you are not able to seek medical treatment right away, for whatever reason, there are things that you can do at home until you are able to get in for professional help.

Signs of Gum Disease

Knowing the signs of gum disease is imperative to being proactive with treatment. If you have neglected regular dental checkups then it is unlikely that you will recognize the signs of gum disease until you are already in advanced stages of it. Warning signs that may be experienced include (but are not limited to) bleeding gums when flossing, eating, or brushing. You might also take notice that your gums appear to be receding, as a result, your teeth will appear to be longer. Sores that develop in the mouth, on the gums or between the teeth are also a sign of advanced gum disease.

Home Treatment

Gum disease is a very serious condition that should be treated by a professional, as professional help is the only way to cure gum disease. However, it is not always possible to get into see a dentist immediately and so knowing what actions that you can take to prevent gum disease from worsening is therefore critical.

To help reduce the chances of advancement and to help lessen your symptoms of gum disease you first should make sure that you are flossing and brushing at the very least twice a day. This reduces plaque buildup. You should also rinse your mouth after each brushing/flossing session with a mouthwash that is used to treat gingivitis. Your primary care physician can write you a script for an antimicrobial mouth rinse, also there are similar strength rinses available over the counter. Last, be sure to watch your diet. Avoid sugary drinks and foods that will ultimately contribute to the tooth decay that you might be experiencing.

Which is Better for Your Mouth, Implants or Dentures?

dentures vs dental implants

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Statistics provided by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons show that roughly 70 percent of American adults between the age of 35 and 44 have at least one tooth missing due to tooth decay, an accident, dental fractures or gum disease.

With such a high percentage of our population in need of replacement tooth options one would expect some pretty decent replacement solutions. The good news is that there is no need to go through life missing a tooth because there are plenty of restorative options available. Among the two best and two most common, are dental implants and dentures.

Dentures

Dentures are essentially false teeth. The quality of dentures has much improved over the years, but they are still not an ideal replacement option for everyone. This is true for many reasons, for instance, if the denture is not secured properly with a denture adhesive, then the denture itself might slip out of place while speaking or eating. Not only is this rather embarrassing, but it can also be harmful to the existing teeth. If a partial denture is not fitted properly it can easily promote decay and infection. This in and of itself increases the odds of having to place fillings in the adjoining, or abutment, teeth.

Overall, dentures are the best solution for those individuals whose jaw or gums are unhealthy or weak.

Dental Implants

Conversely, if you have one or two teeth missing and your jaw and gums are healthy, you will likely benefit more from dental implants. Dental implants are a replacement option for patients missing teeth that wish to have their solution implanted directly into the jawbone. Dental implant surgery offers a far more natural looking and functioning tooth replacement option for patients looking to restore the natural brilliance of their smile.

Not only do dental implants appear to be more natural to the eye, as well as function more naturally for the patient, they also offer a nearly permanent solution for the patient. Individuals who practice proper oral hygiene can expect that their dental implants will last 20 years or more.

Dental implants are most popular for those individuals missing one or two teeth, but can also be a solution for patients who have more than two teeth missing and are looking for a more natural alternative to dentures. That said, as long as your jaw and gums are healthy, dental implants may offer the best replacement option for you.

What Happens If Your Dentures Don’t Fit Right?

dentures

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The science behind dentures is very basic, they should not cause pain and they should be comfortable. If you are noticing that your dentures fit uncomfortably or if they are causing pain, then this is a sign that they do not fit right and it is time for a checkup with your dentist.

Dentures should fit snugly on the gums and not slide around. Pain from dentures comes as a result of an ill-fitting prosthesis as it rubs against the gums, which in turn causes swelling and soreness in the mouth. This is when problems can arise. Left untended to or untreated, the pain that is associated with the ill-fitted denture will cause increased pain and will lead to an increased chance of infection.

Pain caused by improperly fitted dentures can easily be prevented, as can the problems that are associated with it. By visiting your dentist regularly for checkups, cleaning and relines, and also by having your denture rebuilt every 5 to 7 years you can help to ensure a long-lasting healthy life of your dentures.

Why Do My Dentures Not Fit Right?

Regardless of whether or not your dentures fit right in the beginning, the fitting is likely to change over time, this is only natural. Normal wear and tear can affect the way that the denture fits as the piece may have become slightly altered. Additionally, it is likely that your mouth too has changed. Patients with missing teeth experience 1mm of bone loss every year, which results in the shrinking of the jaw. Once the mouth has changed and dentures now fit improperly, the rubbing against remaining bone will actually cause more bone loss.

Bone atrophy or bone loss that occurs under a denture is inevitable. With the shrinkage of the jaw and natural changes that occur within the gum tissue there is really no way to prevent ill-fitting dentures, which can lead to pain, decay and infection. Seeing your dentist regularly will help you to better manage the symptoms that might arise due to an ill-fitting denture and help to keep you more comfortable and satisfied with your replacement solution.

If you are tired of your poorly fitting denture, there are other solutions available to you, for instance, dental implants, which are surgically installed into the jawbone itself resulting in the most natural looking and functioning replacement option available.

The Perks of Getting Dental Implants

Dental Implants

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Over time, chances are, a person will lose one or more of their teeth. This is backed up by statistics. Studies have shown that by the age of thirty the majority of people in the United States have lost at least one tooth. By the time a person hits retirement age, almost all have lost one or more teeth.

What Happens When Teeth Are Broken or Missing

There are many reasons why a person will have lost or damaged teeth. Age, disease, decay, injuries and accidents are some of the common reasons that this happens. When a person loses teeth, they have a few different options. They can choose to live without the teeth or with the broken teeth. This can affect the way they eat, chew, smile and feel about themselves.

A more common option is to turn to dentures. Dentures, both full and partial are removable fake teeth that can restore a person’s ability to do things in a fairly normal fashion. Dentures can be a pain to take care of and do not always work the way that a person wants them to.

An option that is growing in popularity is getting dental implants. Dental implants require an implant to be placed into the bone where a tooth is missing. Once the bone and skin has regrown around the implant a crown is connected to the implant. Implants can be costly with prices ranging from $1,000 up per tooth. The cost may detract some, but the benefits will often convince a person it is worth the money.

Benefits of Implants

There are many different benefits that dental implants offer:

  • A permanent solution – Implants are just like the teeth they replace. They are not removed. They are cared for the same way. When they are done right implants can last for many years and can provide a person with something that feels just like their natural teeth.
  • They work the same as natural teeth – Other methods to replace teeth are often easy to spot and do not always function the way a person wants. Dentures can slip and fall out. Certain types of foods have to be avoided. Implants work the same way as natural teeth. A person can eat what they want and do what they want with implants without having to change the way they do things.

Implants are an investment – A person should not think of implants as being more expensive than other methods. They should consider them as investments in themselves. It is up to the individual to decide if they are worth the investment.

The Best Methods for Whitening Teeth

teeth whitening

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One of the first things that people are judged on is their smile. How easily does a person smile, what makes them smile, and often, how white is their smile? White teeth are a symbol of health and beauty. The problem is that maintaining white teeth is not always as simple as it may seem.

The Reasons to Whiten Teeth

Teeth can be discolored by many things. Age, the environment, disease, smoking, the food that is eaten and other reasons can all cause a person to lose their pearly white smile. Once a person has lost that bright smile, they may start to look for ways to get it back. These are some of the ways and how effective they can be for whitening teeth.

  • Brushing the teeth with regular toothpaste – This is a basic part of good dental health, but it also pays a role in how white the teeth are. Brushing after eating is one of the ways to prevent any food from staining the teeth. Flossing can also remove any particles that could discolor the teeth. Most importantly, brushing on a regular basis is a way to prevent any type of diseases that can impact the color of the teeth.
  • Brushing with Whitening toothpaste – There are some toothpastes that advertise themselves as whitening formula. The whitening toothpaste can help with any stains on the surface of the teeth in much the same way that regular toothpaste does. It may be a little bit better at removing the stains on the surface, but it cannot help with any discoloration below the surface of the tooth. Some whitening toothpastes contain a chemical which will give the illusion that the teeth are not as yellow.
  • Home Teeth whitening kits – The home kits can come in the form of a gel or more often strips. The gel is applied to an apparatus that fits over the teeth. The strips are applied directly to the teeth. They generally have a peroxide based chemical that can change the shade of the teeth slightly. They will have to be reapplied on a regular basis to keep the teeth as white as possible.
  • Professional Teeth Whitening – Going to a professional for teeth whitening will get the best and longest lasting results. Dentists use a light activated whitening process that can produce results that are 3 to 8 times better than home whitening strips. It last longer, up to a few months, and gets better results and may be the best way to whiten teeth.

Should You Whiten Your Teeth?

Teeth Whitening

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Looking for a brighter, whiter smile? Before whitening your teeth, discuss the process with your dentist. There are certain risks associated with at-home teeth whitening that should be addressed prior to whitening to avoid any permanent damage to the teeth or gums. Such risks include damage to the roots of the teeth and tooth sensitivity. If your dentist suspects that you will incur sensitivity issues while or after whitening, then he may be able to recommend specific procedures or products that will lessen the discomfort associated with tooth sensitivity. Not only that, but your dentist can check for signs of root damage prior to whitening and recommend the best route to take to avoid further root damage if it exists prior to whitening.

Should I Bleach My Teeth or Not?

Teeth whitening is a popular demand among dental patients. After all, who does not want a pristine sparkling smile? Over time, diet and lifestyle choices can take a toll on the color of the teeth, resulting in stains to the surface. Regular cleanings at your routine dental checkups will often remove the majority of external stains; however, in some cases, stains may remain. Hence, you might get the itch to whiten your teeth.

In general, discolored or yellow teeth will respond well to teeth whitening attempts. However, teeth that are stained more of a brownish hue may not respond so well to whitening; and teeth that are stained grey as a result of taking tetracycline, that are caused by smoking or fluorosis (too much fluoride), will most likely not dramatically change in color regardless of tooth whitening attempts. Additionally, if you have tooth-colored fillings or have had tooth bonding, then tooth whitening may not produce dramatic results in terms of whitening.

For these reasons, if you can relate to any of the above scenarios then you may want to discuss alternatives to whitening with your dentist, such as dental bonding or porcelain veneers. If you decide to move forward with whitening and have discussed it with your dentist, remember that daily oral habits such as flossing and brushing as well as regular dental checkups, will keep your smile looking brighter and whiter, longer.

Making Brushing Your Teeth Fun for Kids

brushing teeth

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Are you tired of resistance and tears when it comes time for teeth brushing in your house? Ready for a solution that gets your kids excited about brushing and eager for the next session? Great, then keep reading as we share some simple, yet effective ways to keep your children engaged when it comes to keeping their teeth clean.

Unfortunately, the art of explanation does not always work with children at brushing time and so you might find that practicing proper oral hygiene is a bit of a challenge – you are not alone. It generally proves pretty difficult to drag children away from the fun and games to take care of their chompers; however, it is possible. How, you might be wondering? The answer is simple – make if fun. Easier said than done, right? Not really. Try these simple steps to help bring a little fun and playfulness into brushing time.

Play Games

Sounds reasonable, right? Sure it does. What kid does not love playing games? Try something simple and silly like letting your child brush your teeth or cheering with every tooth that you get good and clean. Count the teeth and announce as each is sparkling and shiny. Maybe give your child a play toothbrush to let them brush their ‘lovies’ teeth with while you brush theirs. Download fun music apps that play two minutes of toddler tunes or something of that nature. There are also brushing racer apps that might prove useful.

Make It Special

The easiest way to get your child excited about brushing is to make it special. Letting them pick their own toothbrush and toothpaste is often very effective in this manner. Maybe it is Hello Kitty, Spiderman or My Little Pony – whatever it is, make sure that you are just as excited as they are when you finally find their favorite character on a toothbrush or tube of toothpaste. There are also DIY kits available that allow kids to design and decorate their own toothbrushes for those art inspired wee ones. Brushing your teeth with your child, or doing it as a family might also prove helpful in making the time more special and enjoyable.

Offer a Reward

Anyone who has ever had a toddler will tell you that there is nothing wrong with a little bribe here and there, within reason of course. If nothing else works, pull out the big guns and offer rewards. Positive reinforcement has a remarkable ability to encourage good behavior and cooperation in the bathroom at brushing time. Maybe it is a sticker, a special treat for breakfast or just letting them pick the night time story to read – whatever it is, make sure it is special to them.

Be creative and follow your instinct. With a little effort you might even find that eventually your child looks forward to brushing time! Teeth cleaning should be fun for your child, not a chore. So do your best to encourage good dental practices whilst still making it the best part of the day!

How to Care for Your Dental Implants

Dental implants

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Dental implants are a cosmetic procedure that is used to fix broken, chipped, or missing teeth. They are a great alternative to dentures that many people are taking advantage of. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for any missing teeth, but they do have certain drawbacks.

The Downsides of Dental Implants

The first thing that people learn about dental implants that will scare them off is the price. They can cost anywhere from $1,000 and up for each implant that is needed. A full replacement with implants can cost more than $30,000. That is one of the main problems, but it is not the only. Although dental implants are often thought of as permanent replacements, that is not always the case. They do not have to be removed and cleaned like dentures, but they are also not going to last forever. The crown placed on top of the implant may need to be replaced every 10 years or so. While the implant can stay in place, the tooth placed in the implant will have to be replaced for some.

Caring for the Implants Makes Them Last Longer

The key to getting a good return on any investment is to make it last as long as possible. That is the same with dental implants. The longer they last, the less expensive they may seem. In order to make them last, a person must learn the proper way to take care of them. Care can be broken down into short-term and long-term.

  • Short-term – A dental implant is a surgical procedure. Proper care after the surgery to put the implant in place is important. That means keeping the surgical area clean while it heals. This requires following a diet that will not put the wound at risk. It can also mean rinsing the mouth out on a regular basis until the implant is fully in place. The bone and skin have to grow around the implant to hold it in place before a crown can be put in.
  • Long-term – Long term care of an implant is much simpler than the care after surgery. The crown is treated just like any natural tooth. Regular brushing, flossing and visits to the dentists for cleaning and annual checkups are the basic of oral hygiene. There is no need to do anything different once the implant has been completed.

How Drinking Water Helps Keep Your Teeth Clean

water

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Your teeth are like a blank canvas. Therefore, what you choose to put in your mouth will subsequently show up on your teeth. So, if your diet consists of copious amounts of coffee and red wine by the bottle full, or you choose to partake in unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, then you can expect that your canvas will no longer be blank. Instead of a mouth full of pearly whites, your teeth will likely be an unpleasant shade of anywhere from off-white to brown and sometimes grey.

That being said, a good rule of thumb is that if goes in dark it will probably stain your teeth. However, most stains are easily removed. Luckily, there is much that we can do in order to maintain a dazzling smile. From brushing at least twice a day up to after every meal if possible, flossing, getting regular routine cleanings and even being conscious of our diet, the brilliance of your smile truly is in your hands.

The Secret to Clean Teeth

Want to know the secret to a clean, sparkling smile? Water. That’s it. Water. Water plays such an incredible role in the life of the human race. From making up 72 percent of the Earth’s surface area to an average 65 percent of the human body, water plays a critical role in nearly every aspect of our lives. One area in which water is essential and particularly useful, but that is often overlooked, is in its ability to keep our teeth clean.

It is recommended that the average healthy adult consume at least 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day. Water not only helps to encourage an efficient digestive system, helps you to lose weight, and also hydrate your skin, but it also cleans your teeth. The more water that you drink, the more bacteria and germs that you wash away from your teeth. Flushing bacteria away from your teeth and out of your mouth means a cleaner mouth overall by way of fewer cavities, less risk of gum disease, fresher breath and of course whiter teeth.

How Do Your Teeth Become Discolored?

Stained teeth

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Your teeth can easily become discolored if you are eating or drinking foods or drinks that stain. Think of your teeth as a porous plate with foods sitting on them. The longer those foods sit on that plate, the more they are going to stain. Your teeth are quite similar. They are porous, so the longer that things that could stain sit on them, the more stained they are going to appear. Here are some of the things you need to know about the stains you may start seeing on your teeth.

Lots of Foods and Drinks Stain Your Tooth’s Enamel

Things that people think of as mundane and everyday can quickly and easily stain your teeth. Things like berries are notorious for leaving behind stains, especially berries like raspberries and blueberries. Coffee is another common cause of tooth staining. If you commonly have foods or drinks that contain staining ingredients, then you need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to bypass the staining process and keep your teeth bright and white.

How to Avoid Stains on Your Teeth

Since your teeth are porous, they can absorb nearly anything that comes into your mouth. The best way to avoid having those stains set in on your teeth is to take care of your teeth properly. This means brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice each day, using mouthwash at least once each day, and seeing your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months.

On top of proper dental care, you also need to minimize your tooth’s exposure to staining foods and drinks. As soon as you have something that could stain your teeth, brush your teeth, or at the very least, swish some water in your mouth to reduce the chances of staining if you aren’t able to brush immediately. Drinking things through a straw can also help reduce the contact with your teeth, minimizing the stains you get.

Take the time to care for your teeth and eat things that are not as likely to damage your teeth. Avoid foods that you know cause stains, and brush after every meal that you are able. That can help you avoid stains on your teeth, and keep them healthy and bright.