Austin Smile Creations – Austin Dentist Blog

A blog about implant dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, general and family dentistry and a healthy living.

Archive for gum disease

Solutions for Complications Caused by Periodontal Disease

Gum disease can have far-reaching effects on your oral health and appearance. When caught early, gum disease can be prevented, but for some dental patients with moderate or advanced periodontitis, complications have set-in and started to negatively impact their smile.

Patients struggling with gum disease have options, however, for treating the following side-effects associated with the condition:

1.) Damaged or Loose Teeth – Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of debris and plaque, which hardens into tartar, below the gum line and around teeth. Tartar is dangerous because it’s difficult to remove and can eat into dental enamel, weakening teeth and causing them to loosen. In these instances, if teeth cannot be saved, it’s often recommended that they be extracted and replaced with healthy alternatives, like dental implants. Implants become a permanent part of bone in your jaw, like real teeth would be, and provide the stability of your natural dentition.

2.) Increased Pocket Size – When bacteria and debris collect below the gum line, as mentioned above, they form pockets of infection around teeth. Pockets can increase in size and cause tissue to pull away from teeth, eventually exposing roots – in cases of extreme periodontal disease – and weakening supporting oral structures.  When these pockets begin to develop, therapies to reduce their size include root scaling and planing (deep cleaning) or pocket reduction surgery, in some cases.

3.) Gum Recession – Gum recession is a concern for cosmetic and oral health reasons, as less soft tissue around teeth means that there less support for teeth to remain strong and healthy. Recessed soft tissue also make teeth look long, off-setting the appearance of your smile. Gum grafts are often used to replenish these supportive tissues and allow your smile to look naturally healthy.

4.) Build-up of bacteria –It’s important to clean away or clear out any bacteria that could cause symptoms to return.  Root scaling and planing helps smooth the roots of teeth to prevent bacteria from sticking, and anti-bacterial treatments like Arestin help flush away any remaining bacteria, so your soft tissue has a chance to recover.

At Austin Smile Creations, we use modern technology to provide comfortable periodontal care. We help our patients find solutions to complex oral health problems and regain strong and healthy smiles. Dr. Gotun performs periodontal deep cleanings and uses a dental laser for gentle care and faster post-treatment healing times. If you have any questions about periodontal therapy, please contact our office for more information.

Healthy Gums in a Healthy Body?

An integral part of maintaining overall health is good oral health. It is important to understand the connection and be able to make educated decisions regarding dental care.

Recent studies have proven that oral infections can have great impact on your body’s total wellbeing. As a matter of fact, after many years of disconnect and treating people for only a specific health problem, medical doctors are now advised to send their patients to have a periodontal assessment to be able to see the whole picture.

Cardiovascular disease, the leading killer of men and women in the United States, is a major public health issue contributing to 2,400 deaths each day. Periodontal disease, a chronic inflammatory disease that destroys bone and gum tissues that support the teeth affects nearly 75 percent of Americans and is the major cause of adult tooth loss. And while the prevalence rates of these disease states seems grim, research suggests that managing one disease may reduce the risk for the other.

For patients, this may mean receiving some unconventional advice from their periodontist or cardiologist. Periodontists now may not only inform their patients of the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with periodontal disease, but also assess their risk for future cardiovascular disease and guide them to be evaluated for the major risk factors. The physicians managing patients with cardiovascular disease may also evaluate the mouth for the basic signs of periodontal disease such as significant tooth loss, visual signs of oral inflammation, and receding gums. Read more…

Important Simple Facts About Gum Disease.

FALLACY: Tooth loss is a natural part of aging.
FACT: With good oral hygiene and regular professional care, your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. However, if left untreated, periodontal (gum) disease can lead to tooth loss. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults 35 and over.

FALLACY: Gum disease doesn’t affect overall health.
FACT: Emerging research links periodontal disease to other health problems including heart and respiratory diseases; preterm, low birthweight babies; stroke; osteoporosis; and diabetes.

FALLACY: Gum disease is a minor infection.
FACT: The mass of tissue in the oral cavity is equivalent to the skin on your arm that extends from the wrist to the elbow. If this area was red, swollen, and infected, you would visit the doctor. Gum disease is not a small infection. Its result, tooth loss, leads to a very different lifestyle—dentures. The changes in your appearance, breath, and ability to chew food are dramatic and have many other undesired consequences.

FALLACY: Bleeding gums are normal.
FACT: Bleeding gums are one of nine warning signs of gum disease. Think of gum tissue as the skin on your hand. If your hands bled every time you washed them, you would know something is wrong. Other signs of gum disease include: red, swollen or tender gums; sores in your mouth; gums that have pulled away from the teeth; persistent bad breath; pus between the teeth and gums (leaving bad breath); loose or separating teeth; a change in the way the teeth fit together; and a change in the fit of partial dentures.

FALLACY: Cavities are the number-one cause of tooth loss.
FACT: Periodontal disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss. According to the 1996 American Dental Association/Colgate survey, U.S. dentists say gum disease is a more pressing oral health concern than tooth decay by a 2-to-1 margin.

FALLACY: Treatment for gum disease is painful.
FACT: New periodontal procedures including local anesthesia and over-the-counter medications, have made patients’ treatment experiences pleasant and comfortable. Many patients find they are back to normal routines on the same day or by the next day.

Assess Your Risk of Gum Disease Here.