3 Warning Signs of Gum Disease

gum diseaseOver 42% of Americans over the age of 30 who still have at least one tooth also have some form of periodontal disease. While gum disease is often just blown off in today’s society with the promise to brush more often or eat less sugar, there’s often far more to the condition. The truth is, gum disease is categorized into three stages and only the earliest stage of gingivitis is easily treated and reversed primarily by stabilizing or improving home dental habits. Undiagnosed or ignored, periodontal disease spreads rapidly and can lead to edentulism and several bodily diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Fortunately, if caught quickly enough your Fort Lauderdale Dentist can treat and reverse the condition. But what are some obvious warning signs of gum disease?

 Sore, Inflamed or Bleeding Gums

Gum tenderness or mouth soreness can occur for a number of reasons including eating or drinking acidic items, sports injuries, or even simply brushing your teeth too hard. But if your gums are regularly inflamed or bleed often, it’s usually a sign that bacteria has built up beneath your gums. This is especially the case if your gums are sore or bleed often while brushing your teeth. Sore, inflamed, and bleeding gums are usually the first signs of gingivitis–the first stage of periodontal (or gum) disease. Brushing harder isn’t the cure, but brushing smarter is. Your Fort Lauderdale Holistic Dentist can help stop and reverse the disease easily at this point.

Sensitive Teeth

Sudden or consistent tooth sensitivity is also a sign of gum disease, especially moderate-to-advanced stages. Tooth sensitivity may simply be due to weakened enamel and temperature changes due to cold or hot food or drinks. But if it’s an ongoing situation or gets worse, look deeper. Your teeth may be cracked, allowing bacteria to slip inside and eat away at the dentin or your gums may be receding and exposing tooth roots. Exposed roots allow bacteria to burrow inside the gums easier and attack the teeth at the roots where they’re most sensitive. The results can include discomfort, pain, sinus problems, headaches, and tooth damage or loose teeth. Your Fort Lauderdale Holistic Dentist should be contacted as soon as the sensitivity issues are discovered to diagnose the problem and begin necessary treatment.

Gum Recession or Pockets

Gum recession tends to be an indicator of age and can be brought on by vices such as smoking or making poor dietary choices. But it’s also a major sign of advanced gum disease or periodontitis. The advanced stage of gum disease can also provide signs of gum pockets. These pockets are actual spaces between the gum tissue and the teeth. The pockets allow bacteria to invade, thrive, and breed while decaying the teeth and gums further. Infections occur regularly at this point and the gums may continually bleed or fill with abscess-like puss. Even if you can’t personally see the pockets, they may still be present and even cause tooth loss. Your Fort Lauderdale Holistic Dentist can easily determine the stage of gum disease, either reverse it completely or treat it to stop it in its tracks and discover and potentially reverse any other issues simultaneously. 

3 Ways Alcohol Can Damage Your Oral Health

oral healthAmericans love their celebrations, and many live for the moments they can let their hair down, socialize, and connect or relax with friends and loved ones. Alcohol is a main attraction and theme in many of those celebrations as proven by the fact that over 86% of American adults admit to drinking at some point in their lives, while over 70% of Americans drink at least once a year and over 56% drink alcohol at least once a month. Holidays are huge lures for alcohol enjoyment, and as winter melts into spring St. Patrick’s Day promises to provide plenty of Irish luck, comradery, and loads of green Guinness to boot. Unfortunately, your teeth can suffer as a result if you’re not careful. But how can alcohol damage or threaten your oral health

Stained Enamel and Beyond
Some alcoholic favorites such as red wine, sangria, and dark liquors such as whiskey and rum contain dyes or tannins that stain easily. Natural enamel is strong enough to withstand normal life challenges. But alcohol contains acids and sugars that can break down the tooth surface, cause it to weaken or crack, and eventually seep beneath the surface to stain from the inside-out. Limit dark alcohol consumption when possible, use whitening toothpaste regularly to combat those negative forces, and reduce mouth acids by drinking plenty of water to rinse away the tannins.

Plaque and Cavities
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day per men is considered moderate alcohol use. Of course, that limit is seriously challenged and often ignored completely on St. Patrick’s Day when almost 820% more Guinness is consumed globally. Those estimated 13 million pints during that one day can do a real number on consumers teeth. Heavy or binge drinking leads to extra mouth acids and sugars which can quickly cause gum disease, mouth sores, and extra decay-causing bacteria. Unattended, those culprits leave behind sticky plaque (the bacteria’s waste product) as they proceed to burrow and eat through your teeth. The result can be a nasty oral health disaster full of cavities and decay.

Oral Cancer
Alcohol abuse is defined as consuming more than 21 drinks per week, and while that may seem like an insane amount it can easily occur during holidays or celebratory times. While alcohol is a liquid, excessive usage actually causes dehydration within the body. Smoking does the same thing. Whether combined or used alone, excessive alcohol intake can encourage disease-causing bacteria to invade the mouth. Unhindered by saliva and enzymes to wash those pathogens away, they can enter the bloodstream through the soft tissue in the mouth, damage cell walls, and result in oral cancer. Left untreated, cardiovascular disease can occur as well. Fortunately, a call to your Red Bank New Jersey Dentist  can get you set up for a thorough check-up, cleaning, and any necessary treatment to stop existing damage in its tracks and even reverse it so you can celebrate life via better oral health.

What You Need to Know About Oral Health in Your 40′s

preventive dental careDepending on gender and a slew of life choices, the average American can expect to live well into their 70s. Yet while it may come to no surprise that the 40s may be considered the new 20s according to some social research, try telling that to your body. Modern middle-agers are healthier and more effervescent than ever but life can truly take a toll, especially on your oral health. Fortunately, you can easily get the jump on those changes if you know what to expect regarding your oral health in your 40′s.

Old Fillings Will Need to Be Replaced
Over 90% of Americans between 20 and 64 have dental cavities in at least some of their permanent teeth. So, it’s pretty likely that you will have fillings by the time you reach your 40s. If you’ve had fillings for a considerable amount of time, chances are those are silver amalgams. While those types of fillings are strong and provide fast treatment, they also contain 50% mercury by weight. Amalgams don’t affect everyone equally, but the metal used is not biocompatible to the human body and may lead to some serious bodily and dental health issues. Fortunately, your Moorestown Dentist can replace amalgams with tooth-colored fillings to improve your health and extend your smile for years to come.

Gum Disease Is No Laughing Matter
Gum disease is a serious condition that can destroy your smile and lead to chronic or even fatal diseases if left untreated. Gingivitis is the first stage which is easily corrected and reversed with proper home oral health care dental cleanings. However, it advances so easily that half of Americans over the age of 30 have periodontal disease, the most advanced stage of gum disease. The advanced stage progresses slowly, so there are several obvious warning signs including infected pockets in the gums, bleeding gums, loose or missing teeth, severe inflammation, and excessive decay. In most cases, however, your Moorestown Dentist can diagnose and treat gum disease before it becomes a serious problem.

Teeth Grinding is More Than a Bad Habit
Stress can affect anyone regardless of age, but when it settles in the mouth and causes repetitive clenching or grinding of the teeth, it often progresses to a condition known as TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jawbone to the skull and acts as a sliding hinge for easy and pain-free talking, eating, and general facial mobility. When stress causes the teeth to clench or grind and wear down that joint can become loose or locked and lead to extreme pain and bite issues. A simple treatment from your Moorestown Dentist may be all it takes to correct this issue.

Regular Checkups Are Important
The general rule of thumb is to visit a dentist twice a year, but over 100 fail to do that even once annually. Regardless of how strong your home hygiene habits are, a thorough dental exam is the only way to achieve preventive dental care that can diagnose and treat impending issues or reverse high-risk concerns. Dental check-ups are especially important if your teeth are sensitive to temperature, you’ve had any dental treatments in the past, you have persistent dry mouth or bad breath, you’re a smoker, or if you have any oral pain or bleeding gums. A call to your Moorestown Dentist can help you get the preventive care you need to avoid potentially serious problems in the future. 

Resolutions for Healthy Teeth in the New Year

preventive dental careAs the holiday season comes to a close, Americans are considering new goals for the new year. But fewer than 10% actually reach their resolutions within the year they’re set. Whether saving money, finding love, or losing weight, the top resolutions almost always involve extreme or advanced expectations for self-improvement. And that’s a major reason for such high failure rates of annual resolutions. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. Specific preventive dental care efforts can go a long way towards significantly improving your life during the upcoming year. But what are some of the easiest and most effective options?

Commit to Better Home Oral Health Habits
Brushing twice a day is essential for cleaning teeth and gums while minimizing plaque and bacteria build-up. But it’s not enough on its own. Flossing is also an important element of proper dental care. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 40% of Americans don’t floss daily and 32% never floss. The problem with that decision is that food sticks between teeth and provides plenty of sustenance for bacteria and decay. Even the priciest electric toothbrush can’t get between teeth to remove built-up food and plaque, but a $1.50 pack of dental floss or floss sticks can. So brush twice a day and floss once daily to keep your teeth healthy at home.

Improve Your Diet and Cut Back on Sugar
Weight loss is a major goal for many Americans, but you don’t have to lose 50 pounds to reach some significant resolutions and improve your preventive dental care in the process. The bacteria in the mouth thrive on refined sugar, so the more sweets, sodas, desserts, processed food, and even alcohol you consume, the more decay you’re at risk for developing. There’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat, dessert, soda, or a glass of wine. But increasing natural foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and increasing water intake help increase saliva and enzyme levels in the mouth which, in turn, flush away extra plaque and bacteria between brushings.

Become Victorious Over the Vices
Implementing better food and beverage choices can take care of a lot of food addictions and alcohol habits, but what about smoking? Fewer Americans light up nowadays, but it’s still a bad habit that weakens the immune system and leads to dental issues over time. In fact, those who smoke are twice as likely to develop gum disease, lose their teeth, and even develop oral cancer as a result. The best thing to do is never start smoking. But if you do smoke, quitting is the first step. Increase water intake, brush and floss daily, and make sure you visit your dentist regularly to catch and reverse any unexpected issues.

Schedule Check Ups with Your Johns Creek Dentist
Improving home habits, cutting the vices, and changing your diet go a long way towards improving your life. But dental issues can still arise and once trouble starts, it can spread quickly. Visiting your Johns Creek Dentist twice a year adds an extra protective layer to your preventive dental care and can help ensure you keep smiling throughout the year. Give us a call to get that ball rolling on a healthier new you for the New Year.  

Fall is the Best Time for a Dental Check Up

dental check-up Summer’s an exciting time for kids and parents alike, but it often feels too short… at least on the kid end. By the time the nights start cooling and the weeks of freedom head toward fall, parents tend to scramble to get everything ready for the new school year. The warmer months are popular times for preventive dentistry appointments, yet as over 50 million kids prepare to head back to school, summer appointments fill quickly. It’s easy to push those dental appointments to the end of the to-do list, assuming you’ll get to them eventually. Of course, waiting too long can lead to all sorts of extra unnecessary issues. The truth is, fall really is one of the best times to get a jump on your household dental check-ups. But why is that the case?

A Better Smile Leads to Success
Research proves time and time again the mental powers behind a good smile. From decreasing depression to being an addictive quality in others, the act of smiling alone can be a life changer. Kids are especially pressured at the beginning of a new school year to fit in and stay uplifted in order to succeed. And their smile or lack thereof plays a big role in the final outcome. New schools, classes, friends, and social opportunities all create a sense of welcoming or foreboding to the typical adolescent. The more confident they are, the more they’ll smile… and vice versa. And it’s not just kids. A healthy smile increases trust and sets a great first impression between adults which can translate to better social, romantic and professional opportunities and success.

The Kids Can’t Play without the OK
Team sports and activity-based extra-curricular options are rites of passage for many kids. But they can be dangerous without proper safety equipment. Moreover, active or rough play can damage not only expensive orthodontic materials but also existing teeth and sensitive mouth tissue during treatment. The last thing anyone wants is to lose their teeth or extend their dental treatment for months or years due to trying to cut corners or shave a few bucks on the cost of upfront athletic equipment. Therefore, most dentists strongly suggest at least wearing a mouth guard while playing sports. In fact, many school athletic programs nowadays require preventive dentistry check-ups and proof of mouth protection prior to letting the kids play.

It’s Treat Season
The end of summer doesn’t mean festivals are over… not by a long shot. Tons of festivals occur in fall and sweet, sticky treats are often a major part of the fun. Unfortunately, those sweet baked goods, sugary sodas, and sticky confections can wreak havoc on dental health and existing orthodontic procedures like braces, bridges, and fillings. On top of that, over 75% of U.S. homes pass out or otherwise participate in Halloween candy hauls. And over 70% of parents share in their kids’ goody bags. Preventive dentistry in the form of cleanings, full exams, and general check-ups are essential to maintaining proper dental health for a lifetime. Call your Manhattan dentist when you’re ready to prioritize your family’s smiles.

5 Summertime Dental Tips for Kids

dental tipsThe 12 weeks of summer break offer freedom and fun to over 55 million school-age children nationwide. But those 84 days of adventure can lead to more than giggles, sunburn, and scraped knees. Ignoring, avoiding, or postponing dental needs during summer break can lead to disastrous consequences that can permanently damage your child’s smile. While homework, schedules, and uniforms may be put on hold, proper dental care and attention must continue. Fortunately, protecting your kid’s smile during summer vacation is easy if they follow a few simple but effective dental tips.

Continue Or Improve Oral Hygiene Habits
Brushing teeth in the morning before school starts is an easy habit to maintain. But once summer hits, schedules change quickly and throw everything off. It’s easy for dental hygiene habits to be forgotten as sleep and play routines adjust. Your kids may still be asleep when you leave for work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still monitor their dental behaviors. Leave reminders. Enact reward systems. Even load fun game-like dental apps on their phone. It will make summer brushing a blast.

Go Toothbrush Shopping
According to industry experts, you should be changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months. So chances are, everyone in the household is just about ready for a new toothbrush. Even if they’re not, they’re generally cheap enough that making summer toothbrush shopping an annual family event can keep your kids and their dentist smiling through the summer. Let the kids pick out their own to keep them motivated. And if the budget allows why not pick up some new floss and some fun rinse options? Make your kids feel like they have a say in every step of the process and oral hygiene won’t feel like a chore. 

Watch the Sugar Intake
Summer is guaranteed to offer plenty of chances to rot your kids’ teeth. From Popsicles and soda to festive deserts and even gum, sugar’s bound to be easily obtained. Fortunately, you can offset those cravings by keeping the right food on hand. Instead of loading the freezer with confection, opt to freeze some cotton candy grapes. Keep plenty of fruit and veggies in the crisper. And make sure your kids primarily drink water and milk throughout the day. While cutting all sugar is practically impossible, a few simple tweaks can make a huge difference. 

Use Mouth Guards for Summer Sports
Over 5 million teeth are avulsed annually at a lifetime cost of anywhere between $5,000 and $20,000. Many of those teeth are injured or knocked out during summer sports. But using a simple device can help decrease the risks of dental injury so everyone can continue having fun. Risks of orofacial injury in sports are almost 200% more likely without the use of a mouth guard. Both the International Academy of Sports Dentistry and American Dental Association recommend mouth guards for almost 30 different activities. And since they can be easily and affordably obtained via your dentist or even at a box store, there’s no reason not to stock up.

 Schedule Your Dental Visits Early
The ADA recommends bi-annual dental visits for each family member to keep everyone’s teeth healthy and strong. Most parents opt to wait until the end of the summer to schedule their kids’ appointments. But that can create quite a jam for a busy dental team and extra stress for families busy with back-to-school errands and obligations. Scheduling the appointments with your Johns Creek dentist in early to mid-summer can ensure your kids’ teeth are fresh and ready for fall. And you can even pick up the mouth guards and summer health tips needed to keep everyone active and safe all summer long.

5 Smile-Friendly Tips for Summer Dental Care

summer dental careSummer freedom and fun can do a real number on your family’s schedules and personal habits. All that free time can specifically create havoc on oral hygiene habits. After all, sleeping in and late nights may be highlights of the season, but your kids’ teeth will likely suffer the consequences if they’re not careful. The last thing anyone wants is a mouth full of decay and potentially damaged teeth upon starting the new school year. Fortunately, it’s easy to protect your teeth if you’re diligent and follow five simple rules for summer dental care.

Go on a Dental Shopping Adventure
The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3-4 months, so chances are at least someone in the household needs a new one. Even if they’re not quite worn, summer’s still a good time to reinforce the habit while focusing on the fun element. An easy way to achieve this is to take your kids shopping and let them pick out their new equipment. From superheroes to princesses or even just funky color combinations, everyone’s bound to find the perfect new toothbrush to keep their dental habits strong all summer long.

Schedule Daily Oral Health Care for the Entire Household
Most dentists agree that brushing should be done for at least two minutes twice a day. If you’re able to do it three times per day, even better. Once in the morning, or whenever they finally roll out of bed, and again at the end of the day is a good plan for ensuring it gets done. Flossing should be done once a day. Leave reminders on the refrigerator, have daily text check-ins for verification, or even create a reward chart so there are some fun prizes linked to good check-ups.

Stock Your Kitchen with Summer-Friendly Snacks
Play dates, overnights, and beach or pool adventures provide plenty of access to poor food choices and sugary treats. Candy, cookies, soda, and even a pizza binge can result in an acid attack on the teeth. But when healthy snacks and options are available at home, there’s less chance your kids will have so much junk food on their minds. Keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh produce like baby carrots, berries, and baggies of fresh goodies ready to grab and go on a moment’s notice. And encourage water and milk as their main beverage options instead of sugar-laden drinks like soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks.

Prepare and Prevent Dental Emergencies
Water fun, sports, and bike riding increase in the summer, but so do the injuries. Over 5 million teeth are avulsed annually nationwide, and many of those occur during summer play. Talk to your kids about the importance of following pool rules and street rules. Make a curfew and house rules to ensure everyone’s where they’re supposed to be at a reasonable time. And stock up on mouth guards to help avoid or minimize orofacial injuries.

Schedule Your Back-to-School Dental Visits Early
A back-to-school dental exam is a great way to ensure your kids’ teeth remain clean and strong. And some schools actually require the exam prior to returning for the school year. Regardless of whether your school requires or simply recommends the option, it’s still important to fit it into your summer schedule. But you certainly don’t have to wait until a few weeks before school resumes. Schedule your appointments early with your Moorestown Biomimetic Dentist to beat the inevitable August rush and get some tips from the pros for ensuring the entire family keeps smiling all summer long.