Archive for August 2013

3 Steps to Preventing Gum Disease

Did you know that over three-quarters of Americans have some sort of gum disease? Don’t want to become one of the numbers? Here are three things you can do:

1. Daily Dental Brushing and Flossing

In most cases, you can avoid gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis by following good dental care for gums and teeth at home. That includes brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once a day. You might also want to consider getting an electric toothbrush as some Boise dentists think they make good teeth and gum health easier.

2. Avoiding Foods and Substances Associated with Gum Disease

What you eat can also affect your chances of getting gum disease. Smoking or chewing tobacco, for example, can highly increase your risk of gum disease. Poor nutrition also has an effect on gum disease, and it’s not just the sugary foods. An unbalanced diet lowers your immune system, and a lower immune system puts you at a higher risk of gum disease.

3. Regular Boise Teeth Cleaning and Other Preventative Appointments

Image via Flickr by Dr Parveen Chopra

As a part of your preventative health, many dental insurance companies include an annual or semiannual teeth cleaning appointment. During this appointment, our Boise dentists and other dental staff will give your teeth and gums and nice and deep clean, rooting out any hiding bacteria and cutting short any gingivitis or gum disease that was trying to start. By regularly keeping up with these appointments, we can work together to keep your mouth clean and healthy.

During these cleaning appointments, we also check for gum disease, cavities, and a list of other issues. By keeping these preventative appointments, you can catch problems—including gum disease—early.

It can be hard to keep up with your Boise dental and gum health—do you have a routine or trick that helps you keep up with your teeth and gum health?

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What Is Gingivitis?

What Is Gingivitis?

You’ve heard a lot about gum disease from our Boise dentists and others, but what is it really? We’ll answer a few questions below.

So, What Is Gingivitis?

The simple definition of gingivitis is “inflammation of the gums.” It is the first stage of gum disease. If left untreated, it can become the more serious gum disease, periodontitis.

How Is Gum Disease Like Gingivitis Caused?

The most common reason a patient gets gingivitis is from dental plaque. Dental plaque is the bacteria that coat your teeth which you brush away when you brush and floss. Without regular brushing and flossing, this plaque will build up and eat away at your teeth enamel and can begin to irritate and inflame your gum tissue as well.

There are a few other things that can increase your chance of getting gingivitis, and those include changes in hormones, smoking, or different medications.

What Are the Symptoms of Gingivitis Gum Disease?

Image via Flickr by AJC1

If you have gingivitis, your gums may be red or purple and sensitive to the touch. They may also bleed easily when brushed or flossed. They may also be swollen or receding, making your teeth look longer.

How Is Gingivitis Treated?

Since gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, it is fairly easy to treat. The first step after diagnosis is a thorough Boise teeth cleaning by your dentist to get rid of the plaque causing the inflammation. Once that is done, the best way to continue treatment is through daily caring for gums by you, the patient, when you are at home. This includes regular, twice-daily brushing and flossing. You may also consider getting an electric toothbrush since they tend to do a better job than a regular toothbrush. Our Boise dentists may also suggest follow-up appointments to make sure that the inflammation has gone down.

What are your other questions about what is gingivitis? Call up our Boise dentists, or stop in our Boise dental office!

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5 Signs of Gum Disease

Wondering how to know if you have gum disease? Here are five signs that could mean you have a gum disease:

1. Bleeding, Red or Swollen Gums

Summit dental 2013 08 healthy gumsIf gums are infected, you might notice that they look and feel irritated. Redness and swelling is common. Gums may also bleed regularly when eating, brushing, or flossing.

2. Receding Gums

When a patient’s gums are infected, they may also notice gradual gum loss as the bacteria and infection eats away at their gums and enamel. This will happen slowly, so you may not notice the change day to day. Our Boise Dentists and hygienists, however, have a trained eye and can recognize the gum loss. Yet another reason to keep your annual dental check-up!

3. Perpetual Bad Breath

Have you noticed that your breath is always stale or smelly? While brushing your teeth regularly and brushing your tongue can help, gum disease can trap the bacteria in your mouth that gives you bad breath. If you can’t seem to get rid of bad breath, it’s probably time to see our Boise dentists about gum disease.

4. Painful Chewing and Sensitive Teeth

Gum disease affects a lot more than just your gum health. The infection caused by the disease can also eat away at tooth enamel, making your teeth much more sensitive and even causing pain when chewing. Our Boise dentists can check for dental disease and can also recommend a special toothpaste that will help protect sensitive teeth.

5. Loose Teeth and Gum Disease

As gum disease irritates and eats away at your gumline, it can undermine your teeth’s stability. A higher gumline can leave a tooth root exposed. Not only can this be painful, it can also loosen its hold in your jaw. Untreated, the tooth can continue to loosen and even become infected.

Do you recognize one or more of these signs? Regular brushing and flossing can help you keep good gum health and prevent gum disease, but if you are exhibiting more than one of these symptoms, it might be time to drop by our Boise dental office for an appointment. We’d be happy to help!

 

 

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Straightening and Aligning: #4 of 4 Areas of Boise Cosmetic Dentistry

Sometimes you can only do so much with porcelain veneers, teeth whitening, or gum shaping when looking at Boise cosmetic dentistry. In these cases, it’s time to call in a Boise orthodontics office for a dental fix. Thankfully, we have a good relationship with several Boise orthodontics in the area and are more than happy to give you a recommendation.

Boise Orthodontics: Braces

Image via Flickr by monica y garza

Braces can fix everything from too-crowded teeth to a crooked or turned tooth, among many other things. Braces from a Boise orthodontics office may also be necessary before getting a dental implant as braces will help shift your other teeth to make room for the implant. Braces aren’t just for kids, either. Adults often need them if their teeth have shifted since they were kids or if they never had the braces they needed. Invisalign braces can work to straighten teeth without the bulky brackets and wires as well for those who are self-conscious. Once teeth are straight and healthy, you still may want porcelain veneers to correct any imperfections in shape or color, but you need to start with the Boise orthodontics office.

Retainers: The Underappreciated Dental Fix

Braces aren’t the only way to correct crooked teeth. Many times a retainer will suffice for something like an underbite. And once teeth are straightened with braces, a retainer will make sure the teeth stay in the right place. You still have to wear your retainer, however, or your teeth may shift and all that work you went through with braces can be undone rather quickly if you don’t follow the instructions from our Boise dentists and their colleagues.

Dental Care with Braces or Retainers

Dental care is especially important when straightening your teeth because the extra dental hardware is a magnet for gathering food particles and bacteria. If you have braces, you should become a champ at flossing. With a retainer, make sure you brush your teeth extra well, especially around the gums which can become sensitive when in contact with a retainer all day. And don’t forget to floss, too!

Have you used braces or a retainer? How did you keep your teeth clean and cavity free?

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