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    Spot Early Signs of Gingivitis

    Last updated 3 years ago

    If your gums are red or swollen, or if they bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth, you may have gum disease. Approximately 50 percent of adults in the United States have some type of gum disease, and gingivitis is among the most common.

    If you have gingivitis, your bleeding and irritated gums are caused by a buildup of bacteria around your gums and between your teeth. Although bacteria often associated with poor oral hygiene is the main cause of gingivitis, other factors such as a chronic illness, a compromised immune system or pregnancy can make you more susceptible.

    Gingivitis is rarely painful when it first develops, so it is important to examine your teeth and gums daily while flossing to look for early signs of trouble.

    • Check your toothbrush. If you see pink on the bristles, your gums may be bleeding from the slight pressure of tooth brushing, which may indicate the early stages of an infection.
    • Check your gum color. Gums in the early stages of gingivitis may look dull and red rather than bright and pink
    • Check your gum texture. Gums in the early stages of gingivitis may appear soft and swollen. Healthy gums should be fairly firm and they should not be pulling away from the teeth.

    If you are not able to do it yourself, please call our office and we will set up an examination with our doctor.

    Causes of Tooth Grinding And Tips On How To Stop It

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Do you ever wake up with an achy jaw or a headache, or notice popping or clicking in your jaw when you open and close your mouth? If so, you may be grinding your teeth at night. Teeth grinding need not become a serious dental problem, but in severe cases it can cause misalignment of teeth, which can promote gum disease.

    Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, most often occurs at night. Although it is often linked to stress, bruxism can be caused by sleep disorders or by mechanical problems with the teeth, such as missing or broking teeth or a misaligned bite.

    It’s important to tell our dentist if you think you have been grinding your teeth so he or she can pay special attention to signs of damage to the tooth enamel. Many people have bruxism that is mild and doesn’t need a specific treatment, but if the clenching or grinding is severe, a dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night to protect your teeth and help prevent further damage.

    If your bruxism is due to physical problems such as misaligned or broken teeth, our  dentist may have some suggestions for how to correct these problems with crowns or braces, or other techniques that may help resolve the grinding. If your bruxism is caused by stress, it’s important to try to identify the stressors and try to find ways to relax, including jaw-specific physical therapy, meditation and exercise. For some tooth grinders, muscle relaxants help control the problem.

    In some cases, teeth grinding isn’t due to stress or poor tooth alignment. Bruxism can be a side effect of neurological disorders such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Certain types of psychiatric medications, including antidepressants, also can trigger bruxism.

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    Last updated 3 years ago

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    • My partner and I have been coming here for many years, and we have both  been very impressed with the quality of care and the friendliness of the staff.

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    Saliva is Your Friend

    Last updated 3 years ago

    Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is more common than many people realize. You may joke about bad breath, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, but it’s an important oral health issue. Bad breath can be more than an embarrassing social problem—it can be a sign of disease or illness.

    Saliva is Your Friend

    Less saliva means that your mouth is more susceptible to plaque buildup, which can create an unpleasant smell on your breath. Pay extra attention to any of the following circumstances that can reduce the saliva in your mouth and promote bad breath:

    • Drinking alcohol. Alcohol-containing beverages may promote a dry mouth and cause bad breath. So don’t forget to floss after an evening out on the town, no matter how much you’re tempted to hop into bed and forget about it.
    • Early morning. Saliva stops flowing while you sleep, so you may be prone to bad breath in the morning. If so, mornings may be the best time for your daily dental flossing.
    • Being hungry or thirsty. When you’re dehydrated, there’s not as much saliva in your mouth, so you’re prone to bad breath and increased bacterial buildup. Drink enough fluids and remember to floss. Also, remember that chewing food increases the saliva in your mouth, so if you’re skipping meals or dieting, you may develop bad breath.

    If you’re dieting and eating less frequently, a mint floss can not only help bad breath by removing bacteria, it may help you with your diet by providing a fresh taste in your mouth that makes you less tempted to snack. People who are following extremely low carbohydrate diets also sometimes report bad breath, but these reports are anecdotal. If you’re on a low-carb diet, or any restrictive diet, you may be promoting bad breath. If you must restrict your food intake and eat infrequently, drink plenty of water to help maintain the level of saliva in your mouth to help prevent bad breath in addition to following a good oral care routine.

    Beat Your Bad Breath

    Last updated 3 years ago

    If you suffer from chronic, severe bad breath, also known as halitosis, it's important to identify the cause so you can determine an effective treatment.

    Halitosis has many causes, including the following:

    • Tobacco use. If you smoke, quit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you are ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
    • What you eat, or don't eat. Certain foods, such as garlic, contribute to bad breath, but only temporarily. Once they are absorbed into the bloodstream, the smell is expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.
    • Dry mouth. If your mouth is extremely dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth.
    • Infections. Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may indicate an infection elsewhere in the body. If you have chronic bad breath and your dentist rules out any oral problems, see your doctor for an evaluation. Bad breath can be a sign of a range of conditions including respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis or bronchitis, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so it's important not to ignore the problem.

    The best way to improve bad breath is to follow a thorough oral care routine including twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath. Mouthwashes only improve bad breath for the short term, and if you have a chronic problem, our dentist may suggest an antimicrobial rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.

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