Dental Visit

Periodontal Disease

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, also commonly referred to as gum disease, is when bacteria infect your gums and mouth. “Peri” means around, and “odontal” refers to teeth. Periodontal disease can affect any part around the teeth including the gums, roots, ligaments, and bone.

I thought gum disease was called gingivitis?

Gingivitis, another result of bacteria in the mouth, usually comes before periodontal disease. Gingivitis refers to the early stages of bacteria, which manifests itself in plaque buildup around the teeth. This causes the gums to often bleed during brushing or flossing.

What causes periodontal disease?

Plaque causes periodontal disease, but there are some other common risk factors including:

  • Poor oral hygiene: lack of brushing and flossing make periodontal disease easier to develop
  • Genetics: things such as family history or having crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean can contribute to development of periodontal disease
  • Habits: smoking or chewing tobacco make it harder for the gums to repair themselves
  • Hormones: changes that occur in puberty, pregnancy, etc. can make periodontal disease easier to develop
  • Illness: some illnesses such as cancer or diabetes can put you at higher risk for periodontal diseases. The medication you take can contribute as well.

What happens if I have periodontal disease?

If your gingivitis is left untreated, it can (but not always) develop into periodontal disease. If it does progress, the inner layer of the gum will pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. These pockets can become infected because they easily collect germs and debris. Toxins, produced by the bacteria as well as enzymes in your body trying to fight the bacteria off, will begin to break the tissues and bones that hold your teeth in place. This deepens the pockets formed earlier and destroys everything that anchors your teeth in place. This causes your tooth to become loose and eventually fall out.

How is periodontal disease treated?

Treatment varies from person to person, but can range from therapies to stop bacterial growth to surgery to restore tissues. The goal of all treatments is to reduce the infection and stop the disease from further development. The best treatment is to see you dentist as soon as possible if you think you may have periodontal disease.

Dry Mouth

Struggling with Dry Mouth

There is nothing worse than dry mouth. While it is normal to experience dry mouth sometimes, when dry mouth becomes a constant or recurring issue, it is time to talk to your dentist and get informed about why it may be occurring.

First, it is important to understand that dry mouth itself is not a serious issue, but it can be a sign of other more serious issues. For example, if you have poor oral hygiene and rarely visit the dentist, you are more likely to experience dry mouth. This is likely due to the fact you are more likely to develop tooth decay that leads to decreases in saliva.

Plus, when you have dry mouth, a general issue is that there is less saliva in your mouth, and saliva is important to cleaning your mouth. Saliva helps to neutralize acid in your teeth to prevent enamel erosion which leads to teeth sensitivity, cracks, chips, and more. It also cleans your mouth and helps you breakdown and digest food.

There are many reasons for dry mouth though beyond simple tooth decay. Some medication and health conditions can cause someone to experience dry mouth. If you visit your dentist and there is no sign of tooth decay, you should visit you general physician or doctor to ensure there is no bigger, underlying medical issue.

However, the number one thing you can do to prevent dry mouth is regularly visiting the dentist and regularly practicing good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth and flossing. If you are concerned that you have issue with dry mouth, be sure to contact your dentist for more information.

Masters Dental

The Cure To Bad Breath

Worried about your breath? Having bad breath can affect everything from your love life to your interview skills. Bad breath makes everyday activities nerve wracking and embarrassing. If you’re suffering from bad breath, we are here to help.

Before you can cure your bad breath, you must figure out what is causing it. Everyone has morning breath every once in awhile, or a smelly mouth after eating garlic or onions. Brushing and mouthwash cover up these odors, but they don’t actually go away until the foods have passed through your body. However, some people have bad breath that won’t go away. Halitosis is the medical term coined for bad breath, affects about 30% of the population. This can be caused by many different factors.

One of the most common factors of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you neglect brushing and flossing, food particles may remain in your mouth for an extended period of time, allowing bacteria to flourish and grow. The bacteria develop into plaque, which will harden and become difficult to remove. Eventually, this will develop into gum disease, which could release an odor, contributing to halitosis.

Another cause for bad breath could be dry mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by many different factors, but a few common causes include smoking, breathing through the mouth, and a side effect of some medications. Dry mouth can cause odors because it reduces saliva flow. Salvia washes away dead cells in the mouth, neutralizes the acids produced by plaque, and moistens the mouth. Without it, bad breath will persist.

So how do you cure bad breath? We recommend seeing your dentist immediately to get a proper diagnosis if you notice recurring bad breath. Your dentist can provide the appropriate treatment depending on what is causing the problem. There are a few healthy habits that will help you prevent bad breath in the future:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Brush twice a day and floss at leas once a day
  • Replace your toothbrush every few months
  • Don’t forget to clean your tongue!
  • See your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings
  • Eat a fiber-rich diet
  • If you wear dentures, clean them once daily at a minimum
  • Try alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid drying medications (diuretics, pain relievers, etc.) unless medically necessary

If you have any other questions about halitosis, feel free to contact us today!