Posts for tag: gum disease
There are great health benefits to eating better, including for your teeth and gums. But to determine your ideal diet, you'll have to come to terms with carbohydrates, the sugars, fiber and starches found in plants or dairy products that convert to glucose after digestion.
Carbohydrates (also known as carbs) are important because the glucose created from them supplies energy and regulates metabolism in the body's cells. But they can also create elevated spikes of glucose in the bloodstream that can cause chronic inflammation. Besides conditions like diabetes or heart disease, chronic inflammation also increases your risk of periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection arising from dental plaque.
Many concerned about this effect choose either to severely restrict carbs in their diet or cut them out altogether. But these hardline approaches deprive you of the benefits of carbs in maintaining good health. There's a better way—and it starts with understanding that not all carbs are the same. And, one difference in particular can help you properly manage them in your diet.
Here's the key: Different carbs convert to glucose at different digestive rates of speed measured on a scale known as the glycemic index. Carbs that digest faster (and are more apt to cause glucose spikes in the bloodstream) are known as high glycemic. Those which are slower are known as low glycemic.
Your basic strategy then to avoid blood glucose spikes is to eat more low glycemic foods and less high glycemic. Foods low on the glycemic index contain complex, unrefined carbohydrates like most vegetables, greens, legumes, nuts or whole grains. High glycemic foods tend to be processed or refined with added sugar like pastries, white rice, or mashed potatoes.
Low glycemic foods also tend to have higher amounts of minerals and nutrients necessary for healthy mouths and bodies. And fresh vegetables in particular often contain high amounts of fiber, which slows down the digestion of the accompanying carbohydrates.
Eating mainly low glycemic foods can provide you the right kinds of carbs needed to keep your body healthy while avoiding glucose spikes that lead to inflammation. You're also much less likely to experience gum disease and maintain a healthy mouth.
If you would like more information on nutrition and dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Carbohydrates Linked to Gum Disease.”
Healthy gums have firm tissues and are pale and pink in color. Unhealthy gums are often puffy, bleed, and appear red due to inflammation. If blood emerges from them when you brush and floss, or your oral routine is non-existent, then it's time to visit our dentist for a refresher course.
At the Ultimate Dental Studio, Dr. Jeff Kim teaches children, adults, teens, and elderly patients how to avoid tooth decay, periodontal infections, and loose teeth. He can also recommend the best services to treat the problem if it becomes severe. In between visits to our Port Orange, FL, office, here are some tips for preventing gum disease. Also, don't forget to schedule your next appointment.
Types of Gum Disease
If you don't maintain an adequate oral care routine, gingivitis will develop over time -- leaving gums swollen and you with bad breath. When left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis. At this stage, tissues start to recede, pockets will begin to form, and cavities may arise and require fillings. Although it's possible for patients to not present symptoms of this condition. But you must know what to look for.
Dr. Jeff Kim might advise his Port Orange, FL, patients to develop the following habits to keep harmful bacteria out of the mouth:
- Quit smoking
- Nutritious dieting
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing twice a day
- Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouth rinse
You should also see a dentist regularly for professional cleanings and examinations at your Port Orange FL office to keep gum disease at bay.
When to Visit Your Dentist
At the Ultimate Dental studio, Dr. Jeff Kim and his team believe that each patient should be aware of the hidden dangers of periodontal disease. Oral care isn't easy to maintain solo, and Dr. Jeff Kim and his team are eager to help keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. We recommend you visit our Port Orange, FL, office when gums are itchy, tender, and painful. You should also visit if you haven't been to the dentist in quite a while. It's critical to continue appointments every six months to improve the quality of your teeth, gums, and general health.
For more tips on preventing gum disease as well as more information about the services provided, contact Dr. Jeff Kim of Ultimate Dental Studio in Port Orange, FL. Please call (386) 322-4867 for appointment scheduling.
While periodontal (gum) disease could ruin your dental health, it doesn’t have to. Dentists and periodontists (specialists in gums and other supporting tooth structures) have effective methods for stopping it, especially if the infection is diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages. With effective treatment, those swollen, reddened and bleeding gums can return to a healthy shade of pink.
But even if we stop the infection, you’re not out of danger. If you’ve had at least one bout with gum disease, you’re at higher risk for another infection. We will need to maintain ongoing vigilance to prevent another infection.
If you’ve recently undergone treatment for gum disease, here are 3 things you should do to keep your now healthy gums continually healthy.
Practice daily oral hygiene. Gum disease arises most often from dental plaque, a thin biofilm of disease-causing bacteria that builds up on tooth surfaces. It’s important for everyone to remove this buildup with daily brushing and flossing, but it’s even more so if you’ve already experienced gum disease. Practicing effective oral hygiene every day will reduce the presence of bacteria that could ignite a new infection.
See the dentist more frequently. The general rule for routine dental cleanings and checkups is twice a year. But you may need more frequent visits, post-gum disease. Depending on the severity of your disease, we may recommend you make return visits at two- to three-month intervals of time. These visits may also include heightened screenings to ensure another infection hasn’t taken hold, as well as procedures to make it easier to clean certain tooth areas prone to plaque buildup.
Manage other health conditions. Gum disease’s severity is often caused by the inflammatory response your body initiates to fight the infection, which then becomes chronic. This is similar to other conditions like diabetes, heart disease or rheumatoid arthritis: There’s evidence inflammation elsewhere in the body could worsen a gum infection, and vice-versa. Managing other health conditions through medical care, medication and lifestyle changes could minimize the occurrence and severity of a future gum infection.
If you would like more information on remaining infection-free after gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Cleanings.”
Gum disease is far more common than you might think. Be able to recognize the warning signs.
Everything from plaque buildup to hormonal changes can increase our risk for gum disease. Unfortunately, this disease is more common than our Port Orange, FL, dentist, Dr. Jeff Kim, would like. Not only does gum disease affect nearly half of American adults, it is also the leading cause of tooth loss today. This is why maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist every six months is absolutely crucial.
Gum Disease Symptoms
Gum disease has several stages. The very first stage, also known as gingivitis, can be reversed with the proper care. Unfortunately, gingivitis doesn’t usually cause symptoms. So how are you even supposed to know that you have gingivitis in the first place? By visiting our Port Orange, FL, dentist every six months, we can spot changes in your gums that you may not even notice.
If gingivitis isn’t detected and treated, it can progress into full-blown periodontitis or periodontal disease. At this point, you may begin noticing these top three symptoms,
This is typically the first sign of a problem. If you just started flossing again after some time away, it’s fairly normal to notice tender or bleeding gums; however, this should go away within a couple of days. If you continue to notice blood in the sink when you brush or floss, it’s time to see your dentist.
Tender, Red Gums
Healthy gums are pink and firm, so if you suddenly notice that your gums are puffy and red, this is another sign of gum disease. It’s important to improve your at-home oral care routine to prevent the problem from getting worse. This means taking a little extra time out to properly and thoroughly brush and floss. If you don’t notice your gums returning to normal within a couple of days, it’s worth scheduling an appointment.
As inflammation gets worse and pockets of infection begin to form between the teeth and gums, the gums will start to recede or shrink. You may not notice this at first; however, if your teeth suddenly appear longer than usual or you suddenly develop tooth sensitivity, then receding gums could be to blame.
Prioritize Your Oral Health
Any signs of gum disease, no matter how minor, should be checked out by a medical professional. Call your dentist, Dr. Jeff Kim of Ultimate Dental Studio in Port Orange, FL, at (386) 322-4867 to let us know what’s going on.
In many parts of the country, summer is often a synonym for "blast furnace" and can be downright hot and miserable. If you find yourself in such a climate, it's imperative that you drink plenty of water to beat both the heat and heat-related injuries. Your teeth and gums are another reason to keep hydrated during those hot summer months.
Your body needs water to produce all that saliva swishing around in your mouth. When you have less water available in your system, the production of this important bodily fluid can go down—and this can increase your risk of dental disease. That's because saliva performs a number of tasks that enhance dental health. It helps rinse the mouth of excess food particles after eating that could become a prime food source for disease-causing bacteria. It also contains antibodies that serve as the first line of defense against harmful microorganisms entering through the mouth.
Perhaps saliva's most important role, though, is protecting and strengthening enamel, the teeth's outer "armor" against disease. Although the strongest substance in the body, enamel has one principal foe: oral acid. If the mouth's normally neutral pH becomes too acidic, the minerals in enamel begin to soften and dissolve. In response, saliva neutralizes acid and re-mineralizes softened enamel.
Without a healthy salivary flow protecting the mouth in these different ways, the teeth and gums are vulnerable to assault from bacteria and acid. As they gain the upper hand, the risk for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease can skyrocket. Keeping yourself adequately hydrated ensures your body can produce an ample flow of saliva.
By the way, summer heat isn't the only cause for reduced saliva: Certain prescription medications may also interfere with its production. Chemotherapy and radiation, if targeting cancer near the head or neck, can damage salivary glands and impact flow as well.
If you have reduced saliva from medication you're taking, talk to your doctor about switching to an alternative prescription that doesn't affect saliva production. If you're undergoing cancer treatment, be extra vigilant about your oral hygiene practice and regular dental visits. And as with summer heat, be sure you're drinking plenty of water to help offset these other effects.
Even when it's hot, summertime should be a time for fun and relaxation. Don't let the heat ruin it—for your health or your smile.