Gingivitis or gum disease can be painless, but is easily recognized by redness, swelling and bleeding of the gums and teeth. If you have persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, this may also be a sign of gum disease. Lose teeth or teeth that are overly sensitive to hot or cold temperatures can also be a red flag.
Luckily, gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease and it is reversible. By definition, there is no loss of the bone that supports the tooth. It is almost always preventable with sound daily oral self-care. If it treated early, gingivitis can be eliminated. However, if it is left untreated, it can progress into a more serious form of periodontal disease which affects not only the gums but the bone as well.
The first place to combat gum disease is in your own home. As mentioned earlier, sound daily oral self-care is the biggest step to treat or reverse gum disease. However, a professional cleaning by your dentist or dental hygienist is the only way to remove plaque that has built up and hardened into tartar. A dental hygienist uses an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, tartar and food debris above and below the gum line, and hand scales the tooth and root surfaces to make them smooth and disease free. For more serious cases, gingival flap surgery may be performed to reduce periodontal pockets, as well as bone grafting to restore lost bone.
Bleeding gums, one of the signs of gingitivits, are a sign of infection in your moth. Your gum tissues should never bleed. It is not normal to have blood appear on your toothbrush after normal brushing. Because gingivitis does not generally hurt, you may not know you even have it. Gingivitis can be localized around a few teeth or generalized (around multiple teeth). As a result, gingivitis is most seen in patients who do not brush and floss daily.
Let us help you eliminate gingivitis. A good professional cleaning and education on how to better care for your teeth and gums will be crucial for your long term oral health. It may take more than one appointment to get you back into shape, but if you keep your teeth and gums clean, they can be health and trouble-free for your whole life. Call us today to schedule a cleaning or consultation!
Soda pop is one of the most popular drinks in the world—and it’s also one of the worst drinks for your teeth. While soda can be a delicious and refreshing beverage, dentists know that it can also wreak some serious damage on your teeth, especially if you partake in common soda habits that are surprisingly damaging to your overall oral hygiene. If you want to make sure you reap all the health benefits of oral health, make sure you consider the following ways that soda impacts your teeth and what you can do to prevent damage before your next dental cleaning.
The food colorings used in soda can stain your teeth in a similar manner that wine and coffee stain your teeth. Teeth whitening may be required after years of exposure to soda, especially darker sodas which use darker food colorings. However, make sure you consult a dentist before teeth whitening due to soda, since frequent soda exposure has likely impacted your enamel and could lead to heightened sensitivity during whitening.
One of the most serious ways that soda affects your teeth is through the erosion of your tooth enamel. Soda is highly acidic, so when soda comes in contact with your teeth, you are exposing your enamel to damaging acids. These acids will erode the enamel on your teeth, increasing the chances for tooth decay, increasing sensitivity and reducing the protective layer of enamel that is essential for good oral hygiene.
Notably, soda doesn’t just damage the outermost layer of your teeth—it can affect the next layer, dentin, which seriously increases the risk for tooth decay. Soda can even damage composite fillings.
The second serious way that soda can impact your teeth is through the development of cavities. Sodas often contain high amounts of sugar which will come in contact with your teeth when you drink a can or glass of soda. This sugar exposure creates a fertile breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. Even sodas with no sugar can lead to cavities, due to the fact that the acidic damage soda causes to enamel weakens the protective layer that helps prevent cavities in your teeth.
How to prevent soda damage
Ideally, the best way to avoid soda damage is to not drink it at all. However, for many people this isn’t a realistic step. You can do a few things to reduce the chances of damage to your teeth due to soda consumption, including:
• Limit yourself to one soda drink per day
• Drink the soda quickly; every single time you expose your teeth to a sip of soda, you are increasing the damage to your teeth. Soda will do less damage if you drink it quickly in one sitting than if you spread the soda out over an hour or two or throughout the day.
• Use a straw when drinking soda; this will help keep some of the acid and sugar from coming into contact with your teeth
• Rinse your mouth with water after drinking; rinsing your mouth out with water after drinking soda will help remove some of the sugars and acids on your teeth.