Posts for tag: periodontal disease
If you want to keep your teeth, take care of them and the gums which support and nourish them. This sounds like a simple equation, and yet, many Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Are you one of them? If so, our Port Orange dentist, Dr. Jeff Kim can help. Learn more here about gum disease symptoms, treatment options and prevention.
Oral bacteria cause gum disease
It's true. If you have inflamed, bleeding gums, food residues have become the breeding ground for bacteria, leading to an infection called gingivitis, at its beginning stages, and periodontitis, when more advanced. Typically, poor oral hygiene is the reason why food residues form plaque and tartar. Also, heredity, some medications and a lowered immune system contribute to gum disease in some people.
Signs you may have periodontal disease
Your Port Orange dentist and his team look for signs of gum disease with each routine exam and cleaning performed at Ultimate Dental Studio. These signs vary in severity, but all indicate a problem which requires attention and treatment. They are:
- Dental sensitivity to biting and chewing
- Separating, loose teeth
- Darkened, dusky gums
- Bad breath which seems impossible to get rid of
- Gum pockets deeper than three millimeters (Healthy gums fit around a tooth just as your turtleneck sweater fits around your throat.)
- Sores or pimples on the gums
- Exposed tooth roots and a "long tooth" appearance
Treatment of gum disease
If you have gingivitis, the mildest type of gum disease, improved dental hygiene practices (especially flossing) and a thorough deep cleaning should heal your gums. If the disease is more advanced, Dr. Kim may recommend a deeper cleaning and root planing which smooths root surfaces and adds antibiotic medication to gum pockets.
Additionally, Dr. Kim is highly trained in periodontics. He can perform gum grafting procedures to cover an exposed root or gum surgery which debrides infected gums.
Preventing gum disease
Brushing twice a day with a soft toothbrush for two full minutes, and careful flossing reduces plaque and tartar formation. Also, see Dr. Kim semi-annually for your routine check-up and cleaning. Be sure to eat a tooth- and gum-friendly diet, and drink water to hydrate and wash your teeth and gums. Lastly, stop smoking. It degrades gum tissue rapidly.
Find out more
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that almost half of adult Americans have some degree of periodontal disease. Wondering if you are one of them? Then, call Ultimate Dental Studio for an appointment with Dr. Jeff Kim. He'll help you have your best smile ever. Phone (386) 322-4867.
Have you been putting off visiting the dentist because you're afraid that surgery is the only option for periodontal (gum) disease? Although surgery may be necessary for severe gum disease, non-surgical treatments can be very helpful if you have a milder form of the disease. Port Orange, FL, dentist Dr. Jeff Kim offers a variety of non-surgical treatments at Ultimate Dental Studio.
What types of treatments are available?
Your dentist may recommend one or more of these treatments, depending on the condition of your gums:
- Dental Cleaning: A thorough cleaning may be all you need if you've developed gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. Cleaning removes bacteria-laden plaque and tartar, two substances that contribute to gum disease.
- Scaling and Root Planing: Also called a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing removes plaque, tartar and bacteria above and below the gum line. The treatment also involves smoothing the roots, which makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to the surfaces.
- Antibiotics: Short-term antibiotic treatment helps ensure that every trace of bacteria is removed from your mouth. Your Port Orange dentist may recommend an antimicrobial rinse that will help kill bacteria or a topical antibiotic that you'll apply directly to your gums. In some cases, oral antibiotics may also be recommended.
- Bite Adjustments: Loose teeth can be an unpleasant consequence of gum disease. Luckily, your dentist can reduce the movement of the teeth by adjusting your bite. During bite adjustment, small amounts of enamel are removed, changing your bite and decreasing stress on teeth when you chew.
- Appliances: A nightguard is a good option if your loose teeth are due to nightly grinding or clenching. In some cases, you may need to wear a plastic brace or splint to support your loose teeth.
How can I avoid gum disease after treatment?
Thorough, regular brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease. If you've missed a few spots in the past while brushing or flossing, your dentist can offer suggestions that will help you improve your oral hygiene habits. More frequent dental cleanings may also be a good idea, particularly if plaque and tartar tends to build up on your teeth quickly.
Prompt periodontal disease treatment is the key to protecting your gums. Call your Port Orange, FL, dentist Dr. Jeff Kim at (386) 322-4867 if you're concerned about your gums.
It takes only a short time neglecting your oral hygiene before you begin to notice some unpleasant things with your gums: swelling, redness or even bleeding. These are all signs of gingivitis, a periodontal (gum) disease that arises from bacterial plaque, a thin biofilm that builds up on tooth surfaces when a person doesn't brush or floss.
Fortunately, early stages of gingivitis can be treated effectively with comprehensive plaque removal during one or more office visits. If, however, it's not dealt with early, it can develop into something much more serious: acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG). This form does more than leave you with unattractive teeth and gums and terrible breath — it could eventually cause you to lose your teeth.
ANUG is also known as trench mouth, a common ailment among front line World War I soldiers without access to proper dental care and hygiene. It's most prevalent today among individuals who are under a great deal of stress, not sleeping or eating well and haven't cleaned or properly cared for their teeth for an extended period of time. Tobacco smokers also seem more susceptible than non-smokers to the disease, perhaps because smoke dries the mouth and changes the bacterial environment.
Unlike common gingivitis, ANUG can be quite painful. In effect, the gum tissues begin to die (necrotize), especially the triangular peaks between teeth known as papillae. Besides the other symptoms of gingivitis, the tissues may become yellowish.
ANUG can be treated effectively. The first step is to relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation through medication. The focus then shifts to treating the underlying cause, bacterial plaque. Besides plaque removal common in any treatment for gum disease, we may also need to initiate antibiotic therapy. Metronidazole is a common antibiotic that's been demonstrated effective against the specific bacterial strain associated with ANUG. We might also combine this with an antibacterial mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine.
The final step belongs to you: to keep ANUG or any other gum disease from reoccurring, it's important for you to adopt a daily regimen of brushing and flossing, along with regular dental visits for thorough teeth cleaning and checkups. Taking this proactive approach will help ensure you won't suffer from this painful and unattractive form of gingivitis again.
If you would like more information on acute gingivitis, 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 “Painful Gums in Teens & Adults.”