YOU MIGHT THINK that gum disease is a dental health problem that only adults have to deal with. Unfortunately, teenagers and children are also at risk of developing gingivitis and more severe forms of periodontal disease.
Causes Of Gum Disease
The causes of gum disease are different for teenagers than for younger children. The flood of hormones from puberty can increase blood flow to the gums, making them more sensitive. This is more of a problem for girls than for boys, but more than half of teens have some form of gum disease.
For younger children, the main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. When plaque is allowed to build up on the teeth and harden into tartar, the gums become vulnerable to irritation and inflammation.
Signs Parents Can Watch For
Children don’t always recognize when something is wrong, so they may not come to you with a detailed description of their gum disease symptoms. However, because gum disease worsens over time, we shouldn’t wait for them to notice a problem anyway. Here are a few signs of gum disease that you can be on the watch for:
constant bad breath that does not improve with brushing and flossing
swollen and unusually red gums
bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
Gum Disease Prevention And Treatment
If your child doesn’t have gum disease, wonderful! However, there are still important steps you can take to keep their gums healthy. The most essential is to encourage good dental hygiene habits. Set an example by brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and make sure they’re following that example. Regular dental checkups are also critical for detecting problems early and giving your child professional cleanings to keep their dental health on track.
It is always better to prevent a dental health problem before it can develop, but if your child does have gum disease, you can still fight back by persevering with those good oral hygiene habits and regular dental checkups.
Together, We Can Keep Those Gums Healthy!
Childhood is an important time for oral health, because it’s when we learn the habits that will determine how healthy our teeth and gums will be for the rest of our lives. When parents and dentists work together to give kids a headstart on their oral health, they won’t just help them defeat gum disease; they’ll give them all the tools they need to enjoy lifelong healthy smiles!
WINTER MIGHT BE the coldest time of year in terms of weather, but it can also be the warmest in love and cheer thanks to that wonderful spirit of giving. Of course, we all love getting presents over the holidays, but there’s something extra special about seeing someone we care about open the presents we so carefully chose for them. That’s why our practice is taking a moment to look back on our favorite memories of gift-giving!
Looking For Fun Gift Exchange Ideas?
If you’re looking for a new gift-giving tradition to try out, take a look at a few of the ideas here. We’ve shared two of the ones we thought were unique!
“Cookie-swap packing party. Besides cookies to swap at the party, guests bring extras, along with metal tins, takeout containers, plastic boxes, and packing materials. Together, you carefully box up the extra cookies to ship to out-of-town family and friends.”
“Swap toys with Santa. Along with cookies and milk, leave (gently used) old toys under the tree on Christmas Eve for Santa to “take back to the North Pole.” (You can donate them to an organization like Toys for Tots or Goodwill.)”
If you’re trying to think of ways to teach your children the joys of giving gifts, check out this short video:
What Are Your Favorite Gift-Giving Memories?
We’d love to hear some of our patients’ best gift-giving stories, so share yours with us in the comments below or on Facebook. Whether they’re sweet or funny, we can’t wait to read your stories! We hope you make wonderful new gift-giving memories this holiday season!
Thank you for always being our valued patients and friends!
IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED TOOTH LOSS, you are not alone. In fact, more than 35 million Americans are missing all of their teeth, while 178 million are missing at least one tooth. Here’s the good news: there are solutions for you.
Dental Implants Function Much Like Natural Teeth
While there are other tooth replacement options, dental implants have many advantages over other treatments. They are called “implants” because an artificial tooth root is placed, or implanted, in your jawbone. It is then covered by a natural-looking tooth replacement. Implants are the only tooth replacement option that incorporate an artificial root, allowing them to function much like natural teeth.
The Many Benefits To Choosing Implants
Here are five major benefits to consider when deciding between dental implants and other tooth restoration options:
#1: Dental implants are convenient and long-lasting.
Unlike dentures, you don’t need to take them out to eat or clean and there’s no need to reapply them with adhesive. Implants also provide a permanent solution to tooth loss–they are built to last a lifetime if they are well taken care of.
#2: Get the look, feel and function of your natural teeth.
Dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth so you can look and feel your best. They also function like real teeth, meaning you can bite naturally and eat the foods you love without hesitation. Implants also don’t interfere with speech like some other replacement options.
#3: Oral hygiene isn’t complicated by implants.
You can take care of your teeth as usual, flossing once a day and brushing twice daily. With implants, it’s easy to maintain that bright, beautiful smile!
#4: Implants prevent bone deterioration and loss.
When you lose teeth the jawbone deteriorates, causing your face to appear sunken over time. Implants act as an artificial tooth root, stimulating the jawbone and promoting bone growth. This helps maintain the natural shape of your face and jaw.
#5: Leave your natural teeth unaltered.
Some treatment options, like a dental bridge, require grinding down other healthy teeth to support the bridge. Implants replace lost teeth but do not require any alteration of your existing healthy teeth.
Here’s A Behind-the-scenes Look At How Implants Are Made
Don’t Let Tooth Loss Keep You From Smiling
You should never let tooth loss keep you from a healthy, beautiful smile. If you have experienced tooth loss, come and talk with us today. We will consult about what tooth restoration options will be best for you, your lifestyle and health.
WE ALL LIKE to show off our personality and sense of style in the way we present ourselves, from clothing to hairstyle to cosmetics. Piercings are often an important component of personal image, but unlike clothing and hairstyles, piercings come with health risks — particularly oral piercings.
Common Oral Piercing Risks
There will always be risks associated with piercings, even the most basic earlobe piercings, such as infection or an allergic reaction to the metal. Oral piercings share those risks, and they also have a few unique ones.
Infection. The human mouth is home to numerous species of bacteria. Good oral hygiene is crucial to keep it in check, but a piercing can put that bacteria in closer contact with the bloodstream, leading to infection, pain, and swelling.
Damage and injury. It’s easy to develop a habit of fidgeting with a tongue or lip piercing, but this can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, damaged fillings, and injury to the gum tissue, lips, or tongue.
Gum recession. When the gum tissue is constantly in contact with a piercing, it can wear it away, exposing the roots of the teeth and leaving them vulnerable to decay.
Numbness. Tongue piercings can leave the tongue temporarily or permanently numb due to nerve damage. This can affect taste and mouth movements.
Drooling. Our salivary glands are activated by the presence of foreign objects in the mouth. Usually this means food, but a piercing can trick your salivary glands into working overtime.
X-ray interference. A piercing can obscure important areas in a dental X-ray, making it easier for cavities to slip under the dentist’s radar.
Oral Piercings And Orthodontics
For orthodontic patients, oral piercings are even riskier. It’s very easy for a piercing to become tangled up in braces, and this can damage the appliance and cause injuries if the piercing tears free. Even if you’re willing to accept the dangers of an oral piercing, we strongly urge you to wait until your orthodontic treatment is over.
Taking Care Of Piercings
Whether you already have an oral piercing or you’re willing to accept the risks of getting one in the future, there are ways you can minimize those risks, aside from being diligent with your oral hygiene habits. These aren’t as effective as not getting piercings or removing them, but they do help.
Keep the piercing site clean. Don’t let bacteria and food particles build up around the piercing site; make sure to rinse after every meal or snack.
Avoid clicking it against your teeth. Try to be gentle in how you move the piercing around your teeth so they don’t chip.
Make sure the piercing is secure. This will prevent it from coming loose and becoming a choking hazard.
Remove all piercings while playing sports. Any piercing becomes a hazard during intense physical activity, so make sure to take it out before workouts, practices, and games!
Signs of infection? Go to the dentist. Any symptoms like swelling, pain, or unusual redness around the piercing, as well as fever, chills, or shaking could mean infection, so go to the dentist or the doctor right away!
Let’s Keep That Mouth Healthy!
As dental professionals, our top priority will always be helping our patients maintain healthy teeth and gums for life, and oral piercings introduce a lot of unnecessary risks. If you’d like to know more about how a piercing can impact your oral health, drop by or give us a call!
We encourage you to make good oral health a lifelong goal!
THE HOLIDAYS ARE approaching, and that means it’s time to shop for treats and presents for the people we love! Often times, these treats aren’t the healthiest choices for our teeth, which is why we’ve put together some suggestions for more dental-friendly goodies to stuff in those stockings.
Wishing All Our Patients A Happy, Healthy Holiday Season!
Of course, another option would be to avoid edible stocking stuffers altogether, in favor of small toys and games that will take your children’s minds completely off their sweet tooth cravings. No matter what goes in those stockings, though, don’t forget to keep up with all those good brushing and flossing habits through the holiday season, and we look forward to seeing you at your next cleaning appointments!
IT MIGHT SEEM LIKE diabetes and oral health have little to do with each other, but this is unfortunately not the case. One of the most common effects of diabetes is, in fact, gum disease, and the two conditions can actually make each other harder to deal with. This is why we want to make sure all of our patients have the information they need about the relationship between diabetes and oral health problems.
The Basics Of Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects how the body makes and uses insulin, a crucial hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. When the pancreas can’t produce insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the body can’t use it properly (type 2 and gestational diabetes), this leads to hyperglycemia. What does this mean for the teeth and gums? Well, high blood sugar both weakens the immune system and feeds bad oral bacteria, leaving diabetics vulnerable to oral inflammation and decay.
How Diabetes Affects Oral Health
By this point, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 22 percent of diabetics suffer from gum disease, ranging from gingivitis (inflammation) to periodontitis (advanced gum disease), which threatens the health of the teeth, gums, and even the underlying bone. Bacteria from gum disease can also endanger overall health if it reaches the bloodstream, making blood sugar even harder to regulate.
Some of the symptoms to watch out for include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, gum recession, bad breath, and loosened teeth. Another diabetic symptom that increases the risk of developing gum disease is dry mouth, because saliva is crucial for regulating the mouth’s pH and washing away bacteria and food particles.
While we’re focusing on gum disease, uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to a variety of other oral health problems, including dry mouth, impaired or slower healing, burning mouth syndrome, salivary gland enlargement, more frequent and severe infections, and fungal infections.
Fighting Back Against Diabetes
The good news for our patients who struggle with diabetes is that good oral health is still within your grasp, and keeping your mouth healthy will also make your diabetes easier to control! By brushing twice a day for two minutes with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, avoiding smoking, and being careful with your sugar intake, you can keep your teeth and gums healthy.
The Role Of The Dentist
Just as crucial as your brushing and flossing routine is making regular trips to the dentist, and that might mean more than the standard two appointments a year. To play it safe, we recommend three or four yearly visits for diabetic patients. It is also essential that your doctor and your dental health care provider have the right information to be able to work as a team to keep you, your teeth, and your gums healthy.
We’re here to help you in your fight for good oral health!