Archive for the ‘Tobacco’ Category

Scared of Receding Gums? Here’s What You Should Know

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

scared receding gums

Worried that your gum line is gradually eroding? There are ways to help.

Gum recession, where the margin of gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, is a fairly common dental problem. Most people don’t realize they have it because it occurs over a long period of time. However, when gums pull back and expose more of the tooth, pockets start to form between the teeth and the gum line. This makes it easy for disease-causing bacteria to accumulate.

Causes of gum recession
The first way to take action is to know what triggers gums recession.

Periodontal diseases: Periodontal diseases, such as gingivitis (early stage gum disease) and periodontitis (late stage gum disease) are the main causes of gum recession. These bacterial gum infections destroy tissue and supporting bones that hold your teeth in place.

Aggressive tooth brushing: People who hold their brushes too firmly and scrub too hard or the wrong way may cause tooth enamel to wear away and gums to recede. It’s also important to replace toothbrushes or tooth heads for electric toothbrushes every two to three months, since bacteria can start to gather on bristles.

Inadequate dental care: Not visiting the dentist enough combined with insufficient brushing and flossing fosters plaque buildup, which turns into tartar, the hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

Genes: Due to genetic factors, some people are more susceptible to gum disease. Research suggests that 30 percent of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, no matter how well they care for their teeth.

Tobacco products: Cigarettes, cigars, chew and other tobacco products are a big culprit of gum disease, since the chemicals create sticky plaque that damages teeth. In addition, it may cause dry mouth, tooth decay and smoker’s breath.

Hormonal changes: Varying hormone levels associated with life events such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy or menopause can make gums more sensitive and vulnerable to gum recession. (more…)

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Gum Disease (One of the Major Causes of Bad Breath) Myths

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

gum disease myths

Many people fail to treat gum disease, even though it can cause severe damage if left untreated.  This is probably because most people fail to understand how serious gum/periodontal disease can be.   Statistics say that around 75%-80% of people have a for of gum disease, ranging from mild to severe. 

Here are some common MYTHS that you need to discard:

1.  Bleeding gums are not a big deal.  FALSE!  Many gum symptoms (i.e. bleeding/receding/red/swollen gums/bad breath) are all key signs that you might have periodontal disease.  If you notice that certain foods, flossing, and/or brushing can cause your gums to bleed, it’s best that you go to the dentist and get a diagnosis.  Gum disease not only can lead to tooth decay and loss, but it may help instigate disease in the heart, diabetes, and so on.  It may also be a sign of other serious issues in your body!

2.  Flossing every day is not important.  FALSE!  A good oral hygiene regimen requires that you floss on a daily basis as one of the main ways, besides brushing, to prevent gum disease.  Allegedly, only 13.5% of Americans floss that often.  Not a good sign! 

3.  Periodontist visits are intimidating, and they’ll pull your teeth if you go in for treatment.  FALSE!  Experts on gum disease have received specialized training to help with your dental problems– everything from the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease.  Also, technology and treatments are always improving, so visits are becoming more and more comfortable.  If you avoid gum disease treatment, the gums will continue to recede and you’ll lose your tooth naturally. 

4.  Once a tooth is lost from gum disease, you can’t get it back.  FALSE!  Gum disease may be one of the main causes of tooth loss in people over age 18, but periodontists are extremely knowledgeable in placing dental implants.  These are artificial tooth roots that are inserted into the jaw to hold a replacement tooth.   Dental implants have a 98% success rate, and according to surveys, over 70% of people are extremely satisfied with the results of their dental implants. 

5.  Practicing poor oral care is the only way to get gum problems.  FALSE!  Neglecting your oral hygiene can definitely be a reason for gum disease progression, but other important factors need to be acknowledged.  Tobacco use, stress, a poor diet, and even genetics can alter how your body reacts to bacteria in the oral cavity. 

6.  Gum disease gets better on its own.   FALSE!  With the right care, it may clear up eventually, but it is an infection that needs immediate attention.  Just imagine if you had these open sores on your skin–just because it is in your mouth doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

7.  Bleeding gums are normal.  FALSE!  There is a reason as to why your gums are bleeding.  It does happen to almost everyone, but there has to be an actual injury to the gums causing them to bleed.

So, all in all, these statements are NOT true, and gum disease is something that you need to treat ASAP. 

Source:  The Mouth Doctor, Perio

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Secrets from Dentists

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

kids bad breath

There are many things that people may not realize regarding oral care and its relationship to overall health.  Dental health is a very important thing and should not be neglected.  Here are certain things that you may not have known about dental care and dentists:

Pay More Attention

  • Just because your mouth may not hurt, does not mean it is healthy. 
  • Your oral health can affect the rest of your body
  • People with HEALTHY gums should go to the dentist twice a year.  Most people do not.  If your gums are NOT healthy, you should go even more. 
  • People tend to brush their front teeth more, and many people have periodontal disease in their back teeth because of this
  • People tend to spend around 2-3 minutes total brushing per day, even though proper oral care requires at least ten minutes of brushing and flossing each day.  Kids tend to spend even less time than adults. 

Bad Breath

  • Chewing gum or mints is not going to cover up the smell from smoking cigarettes.  This is because the smell is deeply ingrained in the mouth and gum tissues.
  • Most dentists won’t tell you if you have halitosis unless you ask.
  • People need to floss since brushing does not go deep into the gums.  If a person brushes and flosses properly, gets regular cleanings, and STILL has bad breath, then he or she should check into diet and health complications.

Children’s Teeth

  • Dentists may secretly blame parents when their kids’ teeth go bad.
  • Cavity-causing bacteria CAN be spread from person-to-person via saliva.  This includes parents to children– if a parent tastes a baby’s food, and puts the same spoon back into the baby’s mouth, the baby is at risk.
  • Children with dental problems, like toothaches, tend to have more problems in school.
  • There’s a significant risk of infection with any kind of mouth piercing if it is not performed in a sterile environment.  Also, tongue piercings tend to chip the front teeth.

Patient Concerns

  • Having metal fillings removed can release more mercury than leaving them in.  Metal fillings are much more durable than tooth-colored fillings.
  • People are exposed to more radiation standing outside for an hour than they are when they have dental X-rays taken.
  • People are getting teeth pulled that don’t need to be just because they can’t afford to fix them.
  • Very few insurance companies cover dental implants, even though they’re better than dentures
  • Teeth that are not aligned correctly can cause migraines
  • Bleeding gums is one of the first signs of diabetes
  • Did you know that teeth get whiter when they dry out?  If you go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened, and your mouth is left open for an hour, the teeth could be two shades whiter from dehydration alone. 
  • Cosmetic dentistry only works in a healthy mouth.  Always treat your gum disease first.
  • When you go to the dentist, check to see if the magazines in the waiting area are up-to-date…this shows if they pay attention to detail.

Here is an interesting quote by dentist Damian Dachowski: “When someone meets you for the first time, the first thing they notice is eyes. Second is teeth, and third is hair. But people spend way more money on their hair than their teeth.”

Source: Reader’s Digest

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Tobacco, Gum Disease, and Bad Breath

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

We all know that cigarettes cause bad breath, right?  As a rule of thumb, the more you use chewing tobacco, the more likely you are to have bad breath.  Not only can chewing tobacco cause cancer and other health issues, but it has a strong link to foul breath also.

Tobacco use is indeed linked to periodontal disease (gum disease, gingivitis) because it causes the gums to lose some of their ability to adhere to the teeth.  They start pulling away from the teeth and then receding, which exposes dentin and creates pockets between the teeth/gums where bacteria can grow. Exposed dentin is very sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, which also makes it sensitive to tooth decay, with building oral bacteria producing foul-smelling sulfur compounds.  These sulfur compounds cause halitosis, which is one way how tobacco can cause bad breath.

Periodontal disease can take a long time to develop, but bad breath can be caused by tobacco in more immediate ways.  Tobacco causes the saliva in one’s mouth to decrease, which allows oral bacteria to proliferate.  The anaerobic bacteria (that produce the sulfur compounds) can grow out of control without enough saliva in the mouth.

All in all, you will much more likely have bad breath if you use tobacco continuously.  Furthermore, you will more likely develop gum disease, oral infections, and even mouth cancer.  Believe us on this– your life will be much easier in the long run if you choose to avoid tobacco.

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