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All Posts Tagged: Gum Health

gingivitis-Treatments dentist port washington ny

Gum Disease: Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Causes of gum disease

Gum disease is also known as periodontitis and refers to inflammation of the gums (also called gingiva) which may become severe and cause loss of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. This process starts as a sticky film known as plaque that is constantly created on your teeth when the bacteria in your mouth mix with saliva.

This bacterial plaque accumulates on your teeth and turns the sugary and starchy foods you eat into the energy they need and create acids as a by-product. The sticky nature of the plaque keeps this acid attached to your teeth’s surface and causes the gradual breakdown of your tooth enamel. Most of these acids are created after eating each meal or snack; your teeth will tend to build up more plaque in as little as 20 minutes.

The bacterial acids which destroy the tooth enamel will also create an infection in your gingiva and the bone around your teeth. If this bacterial plaque is not removed from the teeth it hardens into a substance called tartar. The build-up of tartar creates an environment in which bacterial plaque can thrive.

The build-up of tartar and plaque causes the following signs and symptoms:


• Cavities – Holes is in the teeth that destroy the structure
• Gingivitis – includes bleeding, inflamed, sore, and swollen gingiva
• Periodontitis – damage to the bone and ligaments that support the teeth and results in tooth loss
• Bad breath – known as halitosis
• Pain, abscess, and inability to use the teeth
• Serious health problems ranging from preterm labor to heart disease.

The first stage of periodontitis is referred to as gingivitis. When this occurs the gums become swollen, sore, red, and may bleed easily because of the plaque attaching to the gumline of the tooth and causing inflammation around the teeth.

When plaque and tartar buildup is not removed from underneath the gumline, the bacterial toxins will start attacking the ligaments and bones that surround the teeth.

As periodontitis becomes more advanced many severe related conditions are experienced. Common signs and symptoms include:
• Bad breath odor
• Loose teeth
• Gaps between the teeth and gingiva
• Tooth sensitivity
• Shiny looking gums
• Gums are reddish-purple or bright red
• Gums are tender to the touch but otherwise painless
• Brown green-white or yellow hard deposits on the teeth
• Shifting teeth
• Swollen, sore gums

Prevention of periodontitis

Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent periodontitis. At times some additional medical and dental treatments may be necessary.

Good oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth at least twice every day after meals and before bed for about 2 minutes each time. Manual or electric toothbrushes can be used depending on your preference.

Using a soft bristle toothbrush is recommended and attention should be paid to the plaque at the gumline. You should replace your toothbrush frequently, and when it becomes worn or frayed. Worn toothbrushes will not clean properly and may harbor bacteria.

Use an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing your teeth to aid prevention of bacterial growth and to decrease inflammatory reaction in the mouth.

Using fluoride toothpaste helps protect and strengthen your tooth enamel and protects against bacterial acids. Your dentist will advise you of different sources of fluoride you may use including fluoridated water, mouthwashes, and supplements.

Floss your teeth or use interdental brushes daily, before brushing your teeth. If the spaces between your teeth are too tight for you to use interdental brushes, flossing is a good alternative.

Your dentist will advise you of the best way to floss your teeth if you are unsure. Care should be taken not to floss too aggressively as doing so will damage the gingiva. Regular flossing removes debris and plaque from hard to reach areas in the mouth before the plaque hardens into tartar.

Eating a healthy diet that is low in refined sugars will help reduce the quantity of sugary starchy foods available for bacteria to thrive on and produce acids that cause periodontitis and tooth decay. A healthy diet consists of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and whole grains.

Non-surgical gum treatments are also available, so speak with your 3V Dental dentist or hygienist for more information.

Complications of smoking

Smoking puts you at great risk of developing periodontitis regardless of the form of tobacco you use. Cigarettes, pipe, and smokeless tobacco all raise your risk of developing periodontitis. The more cigarettes you smoke, and the longer you smoke the greater your risk of developing periodontitis.

Smoking weakens your body’s immune system and makes it harder to fight periodontitis. In addition, it prevents proper dental treatment – as much as 90% of patients who do not respond to periodontitis treatment are smokers.

Extra Care should be taken when cleaning around uneven surfaces such as crowns dentures, fillings crooked teeth, and closely-packed teeth. These areas may be challenging to clean and they could easily accumulate plaque and tartar.

Regular professional cleaning is important to remove plaque and tartar buildup around your teeth and under the gumline before they develop periodontitis conditions. At these cleanings, your dentist will examine the condition of your gingiva and teeth and will detect and treat any gumline or tooth decay issues before serious problems develop.

Non-Surgical Treatments of periodontitis

When you receive a diagnosis of periodontitis, the first attempt to treat the infection would be with non-surgical methods. The main purpose of treatment is to remove plaque and tartar from pockets formed around the teeth and to stop further destruction of tissue and bone.

Scaling and cleaning

Scaling is done to remove tartar and plaque buildup and to restore periodontal health. Your dentist will perform this procedure to remove the infection from below the gumline.

Root planing is done to smooth rough areas on the roots of the teeth. This is done to prevent the build-up of bacteria within the rough patches where they may cause periodontitis.

It may take one to two visits to your dental doctor’s office for the scaling and healing process to be completed depending on the amount of plaque and tartar buildup in your mouth.

It is normally recommended to visit your dentist at least twice a year for cleaning depending on your plaque accumulation.

Use of medications

There are many medicated types of mouthwash and antibiotic treatments available to help control bacteria and to treat periodontitis.

Surgical Treatments for periodontitis

Treatment for advanced periodontitis. When non-surgical treatment and good oral hygiene are not effective in treating periodontitis, surgical options will need to be explored.

Flap surgery is used to remove plaque that has accumulated in deep pockets or to decrease the size of the pockets to make their cleaning easier. This is done by lifting back the gums and scraping out the tartar. The gingiva is sutured back so they fit very close to the tooth. Once the surgery is completed the gingiva will heal with a tight fit around the tooth. This will give the teeth a longer look than before.

Tissue and bone grafts are performed to help regenerate gum and bone tissue that has been destroyed. Synthetic or new natural bone is placed where the bone was lost to promote bone growth.

A soft tissue graft may be suggested and this usually involves using tissue from another part of the mouth using synthetic material to cover exposed tooth roots.

The success of these surgical treatments depends largely on how advanced your periodontitis is, and how well you adhere to a good oral hygiene program, including other factors such as whether you are smoking or not.

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non surgical gum treatments port washington ny

Improve Your Gum Health with These Simple Tips

We often think of brushing teeth and flossing as an essential routine for cosmetic reasons. However, we often overlook the care of our gums. Is taking care of gums different than caring for our teeth? If so, how do we maintain healthy gums? At 3V Dental we pride ourselves on oral health care, and love to share easy, helpful information that might help improve your oral health. Below are some easy tips, from our Port Washington Dental Team, to follow for improved gum health!

Reduce Bad Habits for Improved Gum Health

There are definitely substances that can increase your risk of gingivitis, even with regular dental visits and cleanings. For example, sugar can contribute to poor oral health. This is because the bacteria that help form plaque love sugar. Reducing the amount of sugar you consume will greatly improve your oral health in a natural way. Another important fact to consider is that tobacco consumption greatly increases your risk of gum disease. Ceasing tobacco use will make oral care easier and have the added benefit of cosmetic improvements.

Keep A Regular Dental Routine

You can’t expect to have healthy gums if you aren’t making a concerted effort to remove plaque. The truth is that our mouths are the perfect environment for many bacteria to thrive in. They are at a warm temperature and have foods, like sugar, that bacteria can feed off of. This is precisely why we’re always preached to about brushing and flossing. Brushing twice a day will certainly help you to keep a clean mouth but if you’re able to brush after every meal or after consuming harmful substances, it will help even more. Many people admit to skipping the flossing part of their daily routine because it can be a bit more time consuming. However, if you aren’t flossing your teeth on a daily basis, you’re allowing bacteria to settle in the crevices of your teeth. Ultimately, this will deteriorate the health of your mouth by causing cavities or gingivitis.

Many people also benefit from the daily use of an oral rinse. These can be helpful because they can reach additional areas you may have missed and break down bacteria that may be opportunistically hiding. You should always consult your dentist for personalized recommendations about oral care products because sensitivity level, bone health, and implants should all be considered. In general, most dentists will recommend a toothpaste with fluoride because they will be the most effective in eliminating bacteria.

Schedule Regular Oral Health Exams

You may pride yourself on how well you maintain your oral care routine at home. You may brush, floss, and rinse like clockwork and never have suffered a cavity. It is still critical that you maintain a routine with your 3V dentist for a cleaning though. With the latest technology, and dental equipment, our dentists can approach your mouth from an outside perspective. This allows them to achieve a deeper clean than even a flawless routine can achieve. Did you know that 3V Dental also offers non-surgical gum treatments? For more information, see here.

Improve Gum Health Naturally

The consumption of vitamin C can help you to prevent disease. Most people are aware that vitamin C can help you fight minor illnesses like the common cold by boosting your immune system. It works pretty much the same way for oral health. The healthier your gums are to begin with and the more prepared the immune system is, the better it will be at combating bacteria. Vitamin C also strengthens soft tissue, which is what largely what your mouth is made of. It is important to note that if you’re between appointments and are concerned about infection, check the area for redness, swelling, tenderness, and test the attachment to the teeth. These can all be warning signs of infection.

Gum health should be important to you and your family, so take pride in understanding the factors that may affect your gums and oral hygiene. Be sure to schedule a yearly visit to our Port Washington dental office at minimum for healthy teeth and gums!

Our Port Washington Dental Office Contact Information:

91 Main St.
Port Washington, NY 11050
**Additional 5 hour parking available around the corner.
(Make a right directly after Carlo’s Pizza)**

Phone :516-944-7000

Fax :516-944-4003

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signs of gum disease dentist port washington ny

The Importance of Gum Health

Maintaining healthy gums is not only paramount to exhibiting aesthetically-pleasing personal qualities such as a nice smile but also may have far reaching consequences in determining an individual’s overall health and well-being in both the near and distant future. This short article will highlight several ways in which the gums can impact general bodily health. Remember, our Port Washington dentist office specializes in oral care and gum health. Be sure to schedule your annual checkup with one of our dentists today for a full screening on gum health!

Oral Health

Failure to regularly perform oral care maintenance actions like tooth brushing, utilizing floss to remove food and other particles that may collect between the teeth and receiving regular and thorough dental and periodontal checkups can precipitate two types of gum infections known respectively as gingivitis and periodontitis. Though considered a mild oral malady, gingivitis can elicit several bothersome symptoms such as gums that are swollen, red, sensitive and easily susceptible to bleeding. Should this disease not be adequately managed, it could be the harbinger of the more serious oral ailment periodontitis, which precipitates more painful manifestations of the symptoms associated with gingivitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Nutritional Intake and the Impact on Your Gums

Should gum disease progress, a stricken individual might notice pain while eating and drinking or may find performing actions like chewing difficult. In instances where he or she has experienced a significant degree of tooth loss, consuming certain foods altogether might be challenging. Prolonged eating challenges might precipitate problems that could one day manifest in a host of nutritional deficiencies and other diseases.

Prevent Infection with Improved Gum Health

People with gum disease often have an increased concentration of bacteria circulating throughout their mouths. In some cases, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems, this bacteria can spread beyond the mouth, enter the bloodstream and potentially cause infection to a vital organ or bodily region.

Prevent Heart And Circulation Problems with Better Gum Care

Scientific studies conducted have shown the bacteria that enters the bloodstream via the oral route may also precipitate inflammation, or swelling in the areas of the body in which it collects. One region these microbial organisms are believed to collect is in and around the blood vessels in the heart. Eventually, this process could lead to atherosclerosis, or a hardening of the arteries, which may contribute to heart attacks and interrupted circulation.

Diabetes May be Prevented

Other scientific research has concluded that uncontrolled blood sugar may lead to oral maladies. Diabetes typically causes a thickening of the blood vessels which can result in a decrease in the body’s ability to eliminate waste products such as the plaque and bacteria that builds up on teeth.

Other Conditions

Poor oral care is also believed to potentially contribute to other medical conditions such as premature birth, respiratory ailments, and low birth-weight in infants born to stricken mothers.

How Gum Disease Can Be Avoided

The best way to avoid oral maladies is to devote significant attention to maintaining oral care. Most dentists recommend brushing of the teeth at least several times per day and flossing after each meal. In addition, dentists and periodontists recommend that their patients receive routine oral and periodontal checkups. However, should any significant dental or periodontal malady develop, patients might need to prevent the spread of such ailments by undergoing more aggressive forms of non-surgical gum treatments such as gum laser treatments.

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