What to Do with Your Dental Emergency | Snohomish Dentist

rooth canalLife happens. Sometimes our teeth are the victims of an emergency. Cracked teeth are natural accidents that happen to the best of us. You made a dental appointment to fix it, but it isn’t for a couple of days. What do you do in the meantime? Here are the top three dental emergencies and how to handle them:

Toothache. If you find that you have a lot of pain around a certain tooth, you may have an abscess or exposed nerve from a filling or crown. If this is the case, try swishing with a warm salt water rinse and see your dentist as soon as possible. You may need to have a root canal or the tooth extracted entirely.

Broken or chipped teeth. Chipping your tooth is unfortunate, so if this happens, find as many pieces of the tooth you can and rinse them (and your mouth) with warm water. If your mouth is bleeding, gauze may be necessary. If the pain is extreme, try using a cold compress on the area to help relieve any pain.

Missing teeth. Nothing is worse for your smile than knocking out a tooth. Fortunately, if you can find said tooth, there may be a chance to fix it. Pick up the tooth but the crown, as opposed to the root. Rinse off any debris, but don’t scrub it. If you can, try inserting it back into your mouth. If not, put it in a glass of milk or warm salt water until your appointment.

For more information regarding dental emergencies, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

What Are Implant Supported Dentures?

close up smile red lipstickAn implant-supported denture is a type of overdenture attached to and supported by implants. This makes them much more stable than regular dentures because they don’t rest on the gums.

Implant-supported dentures are often recommended for patients who no longer have any teeth, but have enough bone in their jaws to support the implants.

While implant-supported dentures can be made for both the upper and lower jaws, they’re usually only made for the latter. This is because the lower jaws are where regular dentures tend to be less stable.

Different Types of Implant-Supported Dentures

The two different types of implant-supported dentures are bar-retained and ball-retained. They’re both made of an acrylic base to look like gums, to which natural-looking teeth made out of either acrylic or porcelain are attached to.

  • Bar-Retained Dentures – Two to five implants are placed in your jawbone. Then, a thin metal bar that’s curved the same way as your jaw is attached to the said implants. Fitted are clips and other types of attachments to either the denture or the bar, sometimes to both. The attachments then ensures the proper and secure fit of the denture over the bar.
  • Ball-Retained Dentures – Also known as stud-attachment dentures, these dentures are composed of metal attachments in the jawbone that’s fitted onto another attachment on the denture. The attachments are ball-shaped and are fitted onto the sockets found on the denture.

The Process

Implants are usually placed in the jawbone at the front of your mouth. This is because there’s usually more bone in the front jaws than in the back, even if teeth have already been missing for a long time. There’s also not as many nerves and other structures that could be damaged in the front jaw.

The whole process can take as short as five months, but can also last for more than a year. This is because of the many factors that could affect the whole process, such as surgery, placement of the denture, bone grafting and other preliminary procedures.

There’s usually two surgeries involved in the process. The first one is for the placement of the implants in the jawbone. The second, which comes three to six months after the first, then exposes the tops of the implants.

In rare cases, a one-stage procedure is applicable. In this procedure, the dentist places both the implants and supporting bar in one step, significantly cutting down on the treatment time. Although the one-stage procedure sounds quite risky, the success rate is surprisingly quite high.

What to Expect from Implant-Supported Dentures

Fortunately, implant-supported dentures are much more stable than regular dentures, making them well worth the risk. They’re also more comfortable to wear and less likely to interfere with how you speak or eat. You also don’t have to make as many adjustments to what you can or cannot eat as well. However, hard or sticky foods are still prohibited to prevent damage to the denture.

If you feel that you may benefit from implant supported dentures,  contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.

Is Tooth Decay and a Cavity The Same Thing?

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669No, tooth decay is not the same as a cavity. However, tooth decay can cause cavities.

Tooth decay, or also referred to as dental caries, start as plaque, the sticky film that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria found in plaque produces acid that, if left unchecked, can destroy the surface of your teeth. The acid can eventually cause your tooth to decay, which can also lead to it creating a hole in your enamel and this is how you get a cavity.

Fortunately, decay and its effects are both preventable and reversible. Of course, that only is true if it is caught early enough, or if you practice good oral hygiene at home. The former requires the help of a dental professional, as only they can help stop the decay from progressing further and allow your teeth enough time to repair itself.

Tooth decay is often treated or prevented via any one of the following methods:

  • Fluoride gel or varnish may be applied to the teeth to help boost remineralization and help the affected teeth repair itself.
  • Powerful antiseptic gel or varnish may also be applied to reduce the levels of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which can help slow down the demineralization process.
  • Liquid composite sealants can also help by creating a physical barrier between your teeth and the bacteria.

Unfortunately, once tooth decay has caused a cavity to form, the emphasis of treatment changes from prevention to restoration. This is because cavities are irreversible and the tooth simply just cannot repair itself anymore. The only option is for the dentist to repair the tooth by cleaning out the affected area and filling the hole.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

While dental technology certainly has come a long way over the years and dentists are now better equipped than before to handle tooth decay and cavities, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just allow yourself to have any one of the two.

Cavities, for one, are irreversible. Even though it can be treated via fillings, crowns, and root canals, having cavities puts you at risk of having a tooth extracted, which only creates even more problems for you to deal with.

As such, it’s important that you start taking better care of your teeth and gums by making sure that you do the following:

  • Brush your teeth properly. Do it gently, do not be overly aggressive and switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush at least twice a day, floss at least once, rinse after every time you brush and/or floss your teeth. Repeat.
  • Avoid going for many hours without brushing your teeth. If you’re going to go more than half a day without brushing your teeth, keep yourself hydrated and chew sugarless gum. Doing both helps stimulate saliva production in your mouth, which is your body’s natural means of cleansing itself of bacteria and plaque.
  • Visit your dentist every 4-6 months, not when you’re just feeling pain in your mouth and/or teeth. Doing so helps make sure that your teeth are properly and thoroughly cleaned often, as well as monitored carefully. Also, since you visit the dentist often, any possible dental problems are caught and treated early on, preventing any possible irreversible damage to your teeth.

Follow these tips and your teeth are sure to be well-protected from tooth decay and cavities.

If you feel that you may be suffering from a cavity or tooth decay,  contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

 

Where Should I Keep My Toothbrush?

ToothbrushYour toothbrush is your best weapon against tooth decay and gingivitis, so it only makes sense that you’d want to keep it clean at all times. Doing so can go a long way in helping keep germs and contaminants away from your toothbrush, and eventually, your mouth.

Ensure Enough Airflow

A simple toothbrush holder should be enough to keep a toothbrush safe and clean. However, make sure that you use a toothbrush holder that allows the brushes enough open air to dry well. A closed container will only make your brushes take more time to dry, encouraging bacterial growth as they tend to grow faster in damp conditions.

For an even better solution, you can use a medicine cabinet. This way, you can close the cabinet and ensure that there’s enough airflow for the toothbrushes to dry quickly. Though, be sure keep the amount of bacteria and microbes inside at a minimum by cleaning the cabinet frequently.

Keep It Away from The Toilet and Sink

The toilet and sink are two of the worst places where you can put your toothbrush in. Even a few feet away from either of the two is just a way to invite germs to your toothbrush. The former is a bad idea because the toilet can create an aerosol effect where the particles of germs travel through the air after each flush, and those germs could travel to your toothbrush. The latter is also not a good idea as soap and dirty water from hand washing may splash onto the toothbrush.

Again, a medicine cabinet comes to mind as a safe and clean place to store your toothbrush. Or, if you’re short on space, consider using a wall-mounted toothbrush holder that’s placed a few feet above the sink to prevent splashing, and a meter or so away from the toilet.

Do Not Share

Never ever share a toothbrush with anyone you know, no matter how close you are. For families, it’s important that each member has their own toothbrush, each with its own unique style and color. This is to prevent the accidental swapping of the toothbrush and passing of bacteria.

Also, make sure that your toothbrush does not touch others while inside the container to prevent the spread of bacteria from the other brush to yours.

Keep The Storage Containers Clean

Wherever you choose to place your toothbrush, what’s important is that you keep it clean at all times. Doing so can help prevent the build-up of dust, germs, bacteria and all other contaminants that may transfer over to your toothbrush.

Depending on the container you choose, you can simply wipe them down every day or every other day, or you can throw them into the washer to have them washed.

In addition to keeping your toothbrush and its storage container clean, be sure to change your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months to ensure it is doing a proper job. Also, be sure to always follow a daily oral hygiene routine that should include brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

You shouldn’t forget to visit the dentist every six months as well, for oral exams and professional cleanings. Contact Ted Haines, DDS today for an appointment at 360-568-8577 or through the website at www.tedhainesdds.com.

What Is Dry Mouth and How You Can Prevent It

close up smile red lipstickDry mouth, or also known as “cotton mouth”, is a rather common condition where the body is not able to produce enough saliva. This leaves the mouth lacking of moisture and feeling dry. Everyone can have dry mouth every now and then, especially if they are nervous, upset or under constant stress. Dry mouth may also be a side effect of certain medications or drinking too much coffee. Or, it may also be the result of an underlying and possibly undiagnosed medical condition.

When it comes to dry mouth, it’s important to know what caused it. This is because taking care of the underlying cause is the only way to know the best remedy for your particular case of dry mouth. There are, however, things that you can do to relieve yourself of dry mouth temporarily, and even prevent it.

  • Chew sugar-free gum or suck on sugar-free hard candies. Either of the two can help stimulate the flow of saliva. Be careful, though, as Xylitol, an ingredient found in sugar-free gum and candies, have been found to cause diarrhea or cramps if one consumes a large enough amount.

 

  • Don’t drink coffee too much. Try your best to limit your daily caffeine intake. This is because caffeine has been known to make the mouth drier.

 

  • Use alcohol-free mouthwashes. Mouthwashes containing alcohol as an ingredient can cause the mouth to dry, so try to stay away from those.

 

  • Stop tobacco use. Whether smoking or chewing, stop all sorts of tobacco use if you want to remedy and prevent dry mouth.

 

  • Avoid both sugary and acidic foods. Any food that’s full of sugar and acids can increase your risk for tooth decay, as well as dry mouth.

 

  • Brush regularly and use fluoride toothpaste. While this is more to help take care of your teeth than treating dry mouth, it’s been known that those with healthy teeth and gums rarely, if at all, suffer from dry mouth.

 

  • Drink water regularly. Most of the time, the recommended eight glasses of water a day is not enough. Try drinking two, three, or even more glasses than the recommended number if you can.

 

  • Use mouthwash designed for dry mouth. Mouthwashes containing Xylitol are designed for those with dry mouth, and at the same time, offer some degree of protection against tooth decay.

 

  • Breathe through your nose. Some people breathe through their mouth, which can make leave their mouth feeling dry. If you’re one of those types of people, make an effort to breathe through your nose and see if it helps.

 

  • Use a room humidifier. Using a room humidifier can help add moisture to the air at night, which can help prevent your mouth from drying up when you wake up.

Most, if not all, of these steps should help improve your condition, if not eliminate it. However, if symptoms persist, consult with Dr. Ted Haines. Dr. Haines offers dry mouth reducing items at his office and can work with you to see which items are a best fit for you. Call today at 360-568-8577. Visit our website at www.tedhainesdds.com.

How Custom Whitening Trays Can Help Improve Your Smile

teeth whitening trayIf you avoid smiling as often as you’d like because you’re afraid you’d be embarrassed by how yellow your teeth are, you’d be glad to know there are safe and simple options available to help you with your problem.

A common procedure used to whiten teeth is a bleaching procedure using custom whitening trays. The procedure is very effective and most important of all, costs significantly less than the typical cosmetic dental procedure.

Why Custom Trays?

Many over-the-counter whitening trays are available and you can use them without having to consult your dentist. However, they are not as effective, nor as safe, as the custom-fitted whitening trays made by dentists.

One risk that comes with the use of over-the-counter whitening trays is that the tooth-whitening gel may leak out of the trays. This can cause irritation to your gums. Also, the trays don’t fit specifically to your mouth, which means that it won’t be able to whiten your teeth as effectively as a custom-fitted one would.

What To Expect

Before the dentist can make your custom trays, your dentist will have to clean and treat your teeth of any existing dental problems. Once finished, the dentist can then proceed to creating your custom tray, or sometimes referred to as custom bleach splints or stents.

The process starts with your dentist taking an impression of your teeth, using the resulting mold to create the trays. This typically takes a couple of days, so you’ll be asked to come back again for a second visit after the dentist finishes taking the impression.

After finishing the custom tray, your dentist will then instruct you to wear the trays for up to four hours a day for a week, or two at most. You’ll also have to place small amounts of bleaching solution into the clear trays every now and then for optimal results.

During this time, you should notice your teeth start to whiten gradually and after completing the process, you should enjoy significantly whiter teeth than before. However, to maintain their look, you’ll need an occasional treatment every now and then.

As for side effects, the only problem commonly reported is minor tooth sensitivity throughout the process. However, the sensitivity usually disappears a few days after the whole whitening process is finished. If the sensitivity persists, patients are advised to go back to their dentists to check for the underlying cause.

Keeping Teeth Bright and Shiny

The best way to maintain the teeth’s brilliant and shiny look is to take proper care of it, which includes doing the following:

  • Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. If you want, you can ask your dentist for advice on the use of whitening toothpastes.
  • Flossing daily.
  • Avoiding stain-causing food and drinks, such as coffee, carrots, blueberries and so on.
  • Visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleaning.
  • Abstaining from chewing or smoking tobacco.

If you’ve been wishing that your teeth were a little bit brighter and whiter, then it may be time for you to talk to your dentist about custom whitening trays to help give you that bright and shiny smile that you’ve always wanted.

If you are interested in custom whitening trays, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information regarding teeth whitening.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.

Proper Dental Implant Care and Maintenance

dental implantsDental implants are used in people who are missing one tooth or many teeth. It works basically like the natural root of the teeth, only that it’s made out of titanium. It is surgically placed in the jawbone, allowing dentists to mount either the replacement teeth or bridge onto the said area.

The main advantage of implants is comfort and durability, thanks to the quality of the material it is made of and how the surgical procedure all but ensures that the implant doesn’t come loose, unlike dentures. Also, unlike dental bridges, dental implants do not need to use the adjacent teeth as anchors, making them better for oral health in general.

Tips for Proper Oral Care with Implants

To be a candidate for dental implants the patient must have healthy gums and the necessary bone to support the implant. The latter is especially important, as without it, it would be near impossible to place the implants unless the patient opts for a bone graft procedure or a sinus lift.

Given the procedure’s high success rate, dental implants are considered the ideal procedure for those who are looking for a more durable means of replacing lost teeth.

Durable as implants are, however, they will not last as long if not properly taken care of and these few steps will help make sure that your implants lasts for a long time.

  • Establish a proper oral care routine at home. The ideal home oral care routine includes brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes each session and flossing AT LEAST once. If possible, try to rinse with a mouthwash as well, to further rid your mouth of plaque and bacteria. It is also recommended for patients with implants to use brushes with bristles thin enough to be able to slide in between the teeth. This feature allows these toothbrushes to clean the nooks and crevices around the implant, leading to a more thorough clean.
  • Abstain from alcohol and tobacco. Regular smoking can lead to the weakening of the bone structure and may also increase the chances of implant failure. That and the wide slew of health risks that come with smoking is more than reason enough to stay away from it. The same can be said for regular or daily consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid chewing on hard food. Most people have a habit of chewing on hard food items, such as candy, ice, bottle caps and others. Those with dental implants should avoid doing so as it can lead to the premature breaking of the crown and may even damage the implant itself.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. Regular dental exams and professional cleaning every three to six months can help make sure that your teeth and gums, as well as the implant, are in good condition.

Just how long your implant lasts depend a lot on how well you’re able to take care of your oral health. Follow the tips above and you’re sure to enjoy a healthy, cleaner mouth and an implant that lasts for years, if not decades!

If you’re looking to replace your missing tooth with a dental implant, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.

10 Common Dental Myths Debunked

selfieThere seem to be a whole lot of things regarding dental health and care that most people believe in that aren’t actually true.

Now, it would be okay if believing in such dental myths didn’t carry negative consequences, but they do. And in many cases, most people don’t even know that what they believe in and their practice is or can be detrimental to their oral health.

That being said, it’s now time that we drill out the truth and debunk these so-called dental myths that a lot of people seem to regard as the truth.

  1. Sugar is the main reason for tooth decay

While sugar certainly plays a huge role, it’s not exactly the only suspect. It’s not even the main one. Rather, the acids produced by the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouth are to blame for plaque buildup, which if left unchecked can lead to tooth decay.

  1. Your teeth are healthy as long as they’re white

While white teeth are pretty to look at, they’re not exactly an accurate barometer for one’s dental health.

The truth is, the natural color of the teeth varies from person to person and there are those with perfectly healthy teeth, but at the same time, theirs may be darker than those whose teeth aren’t as healthy.

  1. Mercury fillings pose no health risk

Majority of fillings used in many dental procedures are made out of mercury and most people don’t seem to have a problem with this. This is wrong, because mercury can leech out into the mouth and is associated with certain diseases, mainly autoimmune and chronic ones.

Those with silver fillings who suffer from bruxism, or those constantly grind their teeth, or drink carbonated beverages regularly, as well as those who chew gum are at a higher risk for developing complications resulting from mercury fillings.

  1. Milk teeth don’t really matter much

While it’s true that they do eventually fall out, the state of the milk teeth or specifically, a child’s oral health at the age of 12 is a good means of predicting the shape of their oral health later on in their life.

  1. Bleaching is bad for the teeth

In years past, bleaching was dangerous to the teeth because the materials used were acidic and would cause the premature breakdown of enamel. These days, though, the materials used are PH neutral and are safe for the teeth.

Still, it is advised to avoid using high concentrations of bleaching material too often as doing so can traumatize or shock the tooth.

  1. Brushing the gums is not advisable

The cleaner the entirety of your mouth is, the less likely there will be plaque and the higher likelihood of complications such as inflammation, gingivitis and gum disease are prevented.

This just means that you should not only brush your teeth, but also your gums and tongue as well. Though, you may want to take it easy and use a soft-bristled toothbrush and not brush as hard so as not to cause bleeding.

  1. Pregnant women should just ignore bloody gums

While there is such a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, which may cause bleeding gums, it still is not reason enough to dismiss it.

If you’re pregnant and you find your gums suddenly bleeding, do not dismiss it and make sure to have it checked by your dentist.

  1. Flossing and rinsing are not important for good oral health

Flossing is a necessary extra step to prevent the build-up of bacteria on the teeth, mainly in the areas where brushing alone can’t reach. The same goes for rinsing.

Take note of the word “necessary”, because most people think that brushing alone is enough to maintain good oral health.

If you want your teeth to be as clean and as good-looking as it is healthy, make sure to regularly floss and rinse with mouthwash in addition to brushing your teeth.

  1. Bad breath is a sign of gum disease

While it is possible that bad breath may indicate that you have gum disease, it could be a sign of other health complications.

The best way to know is to set an appointment with your dentist and if your mouth checks out as perfectly healthy, then you may want to consult your primary physician.

Bad breath can be a sign of a number of digestive issues, such as acid reflux or bowel obstruction.

  1. Diet has no effect on oral health

Believe it or not, diet is just as important for maintaining a healthy set of pearly whites as it is for having strong, well-developed bones.

If you want to have a healthy set of teeth, practice eating right and start avoiding things that aren’t just bad for your teeth, but also bad for your overall health.

There you have it, ten commonly believed myths that are in dire need of debunking.

Remember, to avoid any oral health issues, be sure to take note of what’s said above and make your mouth health a priority. This means setting regular appointments with the dentist for checkups and professional cleaning, as well as regularly brushing, flossing and rinsing one’s teeth with mouthwash.

Be sure to make your oral health a priority, and contact Dr. Ted Haines DDS at 360-568-8577 to schedule a check-up or visit www.tedhainesdds.com to learn about the services offered by Dr. Haines and his team.

Dr. Ted Haines of Snohomish, WA proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

What Can Cosmetic Bonding Do For Me?

woman smileThe very first moment you realize that you have a chipped tooth will undoubtedly make you feel uneasy. It will also surely make you feel like not smiling. Though, esthetics and self-confidence issues aside, leaving a tooth chipped can also cause pain down the line, making it important to have it fixed as soon as possible.

For that, there’s tooth bonding, a relatively simple and comfortable cosmetic procedure that’s meant to benefit those with broken and weakened teeth.

By definition, bonding involves the application of a plastic or composite resin to repair any chipped, fractured, decayed and discolored tooth, resulting in teeth appearing longer. It’s also considered as the more esthetically pleasing alternative to amalgam fillings.

When compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, bonding is one of the few that produces not only esthetically pleasing results, but also quick and long-lasting ones.

If you’re interested in cosmetic bonding, here are a few benefits you can expect from it, a few proper care tips and the overall flow of the procedure.

How Cosmetic Bonding Works

First things first, while cosmetic bonding is definitely effective in helping you achieve a better-looking smile, it’s not your only treatment option, nor does it fit in all cases.

Cosmetic bonding works best on your front teeth, or those that only need minor repairs.

For more serious cases, your dentist may suggest a different treatment option, like a veneer or crown. Though, before your dentist can decide and help you choose, you’ll have to have your teeth checked first.

Now, for the actual procedure.

Before your dentist can apply the resin, the affected tooth has to be roughened up first for better adhesion. This is usually done using a dremel-like tool and depending on just how severe the crack or chip is, the dentist may choose to numb the area to make sure you’re comfortable all throughout.

While your teeth are being roughened up, a dental assistant usually mixes the resin to make sure that it matches your teeth’s color. Once finished, the resin is applied and shaped by the dentist.

During this time, a special light is used to harden the resin and you may be asked to bite down a few times to check if there’s any excess resin that has to be smoothened away.

The overall process is repeated until the chip or crack is gone.

Practicing Proper Oral Care

Cosmetic bonding is known to not last as long as veneers, but it is possible to enjoy it for more than a decade before it wears out.

Also, something to take note of is that bonding doesn’t resist stains quite well and generally do not respond to whitening treatments. This makes it very important to follow a healthy daily oral hygiene routine to maintain the bonding’s clean, bright look.

Additionally, you may also want to start avoiding stain-inducing beverages, such as tea, coffee and red wine.

A bit more expensive, but reliable and overall, much more esthetically pleasing, tooth bonding is a great treatment option for small, yet necessary repairs to your teeth.

So, what are you waiting for? Beautify the areas of your smile that make you feel self-conscious and be a much more confident you as soon as you walk out of the dentist’s office.

If you would like more information regarding cosmetic bonding, contact Dr. Ted Haines DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com to learn more.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodville, and surrounding areas.

Fighting Periodontal Disease – Keeping Your Teeth Healthy and Clean

periodontal small

Gum disease hits almost everyone. Though, middle-aged adults are the ones who typically suffer from some form of it. In its earliest form, gum disease or periodontal disease will lead to swelling and bleeding gums. If left untreated for a long time, gum disease can and will lead to loss of teeth.

The point here is if you’d like to keep your teeth the way they are, complete and beautiful to look at, you better start taking better care of them.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is widely recognized as the result of dental plaque build-up in your mouth and teeth. While plaque is a sticky substance that naturally forms on the teeth, its build-up can be prevented by regularly brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. If left unchecked, however, plaque build-up will cause your gums to start bleeding or swelling, an early sign of gingivitis. In worse cases, your teeth will slowly start becoming loose, a sign of severe periodontitis.

There are also cases where the plaque hardens or calcifies over time, turning into calculus or better-known as tartar. The tartar attracts even more plaque, which in turn causes your dental problems to grow even worse than it already is.

The Different Risk Factors Involved

While regular visits to the dentist on top of proper oral hygiene are both equally important, it’s also important for you to know the different risk factors involved in keeping your teeth healthy and free of periodontal disease.

  • Genetics – Some people are genetically predisposition and more prone to suffering from periodontal disease more than others. Though, practicing good oral care can help control and even prevent the disease.
  • Regular consumption of tobacco and alcohol – Smoking can either lead to periodontal disease or make it worse. The same goes for alcohol. Avoiding regular consumption of both substances, especially tobacco, can help keep gum disease under control.
  • Misaligned and crowded teeth – Misaligned and crowded teeth promotes plaque and tartar formation, something that we all already now know will eventually lead to gum disease. And, while orthodontics can help fix both problems, having braces and bridgework isn’t exactly all good news either as both procedures make it more difficult to brush or floss teeth. Consult your dental practitioner ASAP and ask for help on how to best brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Stress – Stress weakens your immune system, making it less likely that your body can fight against bacteria. Living a stress-free of a life as possible is key to controlling and preventing gum disease.
  • Puberty and Pregnancy – Going through puberty or pregnancy can temporarily put you at risk of periodontal disease or make it worse. The same goes for menopause or basically, any other condition that makes your body’s hormone levels fluctuate.
  • Medication – Medicines with side effects that include dry mouth may make you more susceptible to gum disease. The lack of saliva encourages the formation of plaque, resulting in tooth decay. There are also certain medicines that cause enlarged gums, encouraging the production of plaque even more.
  • Diseases – Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV all are diseases that have been linked to increased risk for periodontal disease. Though, like with genetics, proper oral care and help from a good periodontist can help make periodontal disease more manageable, or even prevent it from happening.
  • Malnutrition – We all know that proper nutrition and diet is good for our overall health and oral health included. Also, the lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as in the case of scurvy, which is often the result of severe vitamin C deficiency, can cause bleeding gums.

 

Periodontal disease is preventable. Make an appointment today with Theodore Haines DDS for a check-up and cleaning to make sure your gums stay healthy. Call 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines of Snohomish, CA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.