Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually lead to the destruction of the support of your natural teeth. These diseases affect more than 80% of Americans by the age of 45.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce enzymes and toxins which injure the gums. Injured gums turn red, swell and bleed easily.
If this injury is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.
Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar).
This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.
If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Pain is usually not present until damage from this disease is very advanced.
Research has shown that gum disease can influence heart disease and other health conditions in negative ways. They suggest that gum disease could even be a more serious factor in heart disease than smoking, cholesterol, hypertension and age. One reason for this is the fact that the bacteria found in diseased gums can come loose and move throughout the body. When this bacteria reaches arteries it can cause arterial plaque to build up and harden which in return adversely affect blood flow.
It is recommended to brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes at a time. Most people fall short when it comes to how many times a day one brushes as well as the length of time one takes to brush his or her teeth. Two full minutes might seem like a long time to do something as simple as brushing your teeth but the easiest way to hit this time is to divide your mouth into four sections (top-left, top-right, bottom-left and bottom-right) and give each section a good 30 seconds of brushing. In no time, you'll hit your two minutes and be left with a healthy and clean smile.
To properly brush your teeth, angle your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline of the outer surface of your teeth and while using short gentle strokes, sweep away any plaque that's build-up at the base of your teeth. Pay attention to your gumline and make sure to thoroughly brush around dental fillings, crowns and any other dental restorations. Now do the same thing but to the inner surfaces of your teeth and along the inner gumline. Next thoroughly brush the biting surfaces of your teeth again paying special attention to any dental restorations you might have to ensure they're cleaned of any plaque and food build-up. Finally brush the surface of your tongue to remove bad-breath-causing bacteria and gain that clean mouth feeling.
If you do not regularly brush your teeth, it can be common for your gums to bleed as the bacteria pockets open up and get cleaned out. Bleeding gums will go away after a very short time of regular brushing and flossing.
Don't Overdo It
You actually CAN brush your teeth too much. Brushing more than three times a day doesn't mean you'll have even cleaner teeth or even healthier gums. Brushing too much can actually damage your gums and wear down tooth enamel which can actually cause additional dental issues.
Flossing removes bits of food and any plaque build-up that is caught or stuck in the tight spaces between teeth and just below the gumline where a toothbrush cannot easily reach. Proper daily flossing combined with regular brushing is one of the easiest things you can do to prevent cavities and gum disease.
Floss is cheap, so don't be stingy. Wind about 18 inches of floss evenly around each of your middle fingers until one to two inches of floss is left between the two finders. Using your thumbs and index fingers, firmly grip the floss and slide the floss between your teeth. Curve the floss around the base of your tooth while using a gentle up-and-down motion, remove food particles and any plaque build-up between the two teeth. Take special note to make sure the floss reaches just below the gumline to ensure proper and thorough cleaning.
Repeat this step for all of your teeth and unwind a clean section of floss between your fingers as you move between teeth.
NEVER "saw" at your gums with dental floss or force the floss between teeth as this can damage gum tissue and be extremely painful.
Healthy gums are generally pink and anchor the teeth firmly in place.
Our office provides smile makeovers to achieve the beautiful, natural look you seek. We can reshape your natural teeth to make them straighter and more youthful. Our office is easily accessible and makes it convenient to those living near White Plains to get the care they deserve.
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One of the earliest stages of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis causes the gums to become swollen and bleed due to the toxins, enzymes and plaque byproducts that are created. In order for your gums to return to a healthy state, treatment from one of our dentists is required in addition to proper oral hygiene.
Moderate gum disease is when the tooth's bone tissue starts to deteriorate. Periodontitis occurs when plaque byproducts destroy the tissues that anchor your teeth in the bone. The gums deteriorate and begin detaching themselves from the teeth forming gum pockets, which allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. This causes the roots of the teeth to become susceptible to decay. Generally, patients notice an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold and to touch.
With severe periodontitis, a radical amount of gum tissue and bone tissue is lost. Usually, teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone. Teeth become loose and may even need to be extracted. This causes difficulties in normal everyday chewing and biting habits. If advanced periodontal disease is left untreated, patients run the risk of other serious health problems.
Teeth that are suffering damage from gum disease will always be more sensitive to cold and if you avoid cleaning them due to this sensitivity, it can only make the problem worse.
After dental treatment, some teeth may be more sensitive because this is their way of dealing with injury. Injuries to teeth such as cavities, gum infection and jaw clenching can damage the nerves in a tooth. The sensitivity should not last long after treatment as long as your teeth are kept clean, otherwise the sensitivity is likely to get worse. If your teeth are ever extra sensitive, please consult with our dentists as this could be a sign that you need a root canal or gum tissue treatment.
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