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Three out of four adults have some form of gum, or periodontal, disease. Often, the initial signs of gum disease are mild. In many cases, people may not realize they have a problem. Unfortunately, this condition can wreak havoc on your oral health and overall wellbeing. Gum disease has been linked to serious health issues like cardiovascular illness, increased risk of stroke, diabetes complications, and pre-term birth.
What causes gum disease?
Plaque and tartar build up are the main culprits when it comes to gum disease. Certain factors can increase your risk for gum disease, including genetics, tobacco use, hormones, and chronic illnesses.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Often, gum disease silently creates problems in your mouth. Typically, patients experience red, swollen, or bleeding gums. As the disease progresses, you may notice more serious concerns like persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and gum recession.
What are the levels of gum disease?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. At this point, the damage is still reversible. If it progresses to periodontitis, the bone and tissue in the infected area of the mouth break down and may ultimately result in tooth and bone loss.
How can I prevent gum disease?
You can take several steps to keep your mouth healthy. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly to remove food and bacteria from your mouth. Scheduling regular checkups will give your dentist a chance to evaluate your mouth and look for anything out of the ordinary.
Because many people don’t enjoy dental visits, they put them off, which can make oral health issues worse. Modern dentistry enables dentists to correct problems and transform any smile. With the sedation options available, you can rest comfortably while your dentist gives you a healthy, vibrant smile.
Discolored or stained teeth
Brushing alone may not remove discolorations cause by tea, coffee, tobacco, or even age. Professional teeth whitening can penetrate stains and lighten teeth up to 10 shades. You can choose from in-office or take-home kits.
Chips and gaps between teeth
With minor cosmetic issues like jagged teeth or space between front teeth, cosmetic bonding can produce beautiful results. In just minutes, your dentist can mask small imperfections with composite resin materials and a curing light.
Mild tooth decay
When you develop cavities, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue and restore the area with a filling. Most dentists currently place all-white fillings because they require less removal of healthy tissue and they won’t compromise your gorgeous image.
Cracked or fractured teeth
For teeth that have sustained extensive damage, you will probably need a dental crown. Also called a cap, a dental crown covers the remaining tooth structure above the gum line, re-establishing the strength and stability of the injured tooth.
If you have lost teeth due to trauma or disease, your dentist may suggest dental implants. Designed to create an artificial tooth root and crown, a dental implant looks and functions like your original dentition. Dentures and partial dentures are also available to give you a complete smile.
Schedule your next visit at Comfort Dental Weymouth today! Cosmetic and Implant Dentist in Weymouth MA
It’s important to keep all your permanent teeth. Without a complete smile, you risk gum recession, dietary restrictions, and further tooth loss. By identifying common contributors to tooth loss, you can protect your teeth. Certain factors can influence tooth loss, including:
Developing cavities can weaken your teeth and make you susceptible to tooth loss, especially if you allow the decay to grow. When deep decay compromises the tooth, you may need a root canal, or worse, an extraction. If you suspect that you have a cavity, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease
The number one cause of tooth loss in American adults, gum disease often begins with mild symptoms such as swollen or bleeding gums. This early form of the disease is called gingivitis. Once gum disease progresses to periodontitis, gum recession, bone degeneration, and tooth loss may occur.
Lack of Dental Care
Seeing the dentist for twice yearly checkups allows the doctor to monitor your whole mouth and look for signs of trouble. Catching small problems, like cavities, before they escalate can help prevent tooth loss.
Poor Oral Hygiene
One step you can take to keep your teeth healthy is to take good care of them. Make brushing twice a day and flossing often a priority.
Certain Chronic Conditions
Individuals with medical issues such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher than average chance of developing gum disease, which can increase your odds of losing teeth.
When you look your best, you feel better about yourself. One way to improve your appearance is to achieve a bright, radiant smile. You can lighten stains and whiten your smile through a variety of choices. Consider the following tips to boost your confidence and enjoy lasting brilliance:
Make daily care a priority
Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly will help remove food debris and surface stains. If you brush right after you eat, you will have even better results.
See the dentist regularly
During your twice yearly checkups, the hygienist will clean and polish your teeth, which will restore some brightness to your smile.
Stay away from dark beverages
Cranberry juice, grape juice, and red wine might taste great, but they can discolor teeth. To be safe, rinse your mouth after you finish your drink. Watch out for coffee and tea as well.
Kick the nicotine habit
Smoking is a top contributor to teeth stains. Tobacco produces brown stains that infiltrate the grooves and pits of tooth enamel, making these discolorations hard to remove.
Try home remedies
Baking soda, strawberries, and crunchy foods can all help turn up the wattage on your smile.
Choose different toothpaste
Certain toothpastes have mild abrasives or polishing agents that erase superficial stains. Because they don’t contain bleach, these products won’t alter tooth color.
Consider teeth whitening
If you aren’t happy with your smile, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening. At Comfort Dental Weymouth, we offer in-office or take-home whitening options that will penetrate stains and produce stunning results.
Gathering the latest information about dental care will allow you to enjoy a vibrant smile. Armed with the right knowledge, you can protect its longevity and beauty. Review these questions and answers to learn more about common dental health concerns.
How do I prevent cavities?
Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria and plaque that develop on our teeth. Protect yourself from cavities by brushing and flossing daily, scheduling regular checkups, and eating a healthy diet.
Is flossing everyday really important?
When you brush, you clean about 80 percent of your teeth and gums. The other 20 percent isn’t taken care of, which can result in issues like decay or bad breath.
Do problems in my mouth affect the rest of my body?
Absolutely. Gum disease can not only damage your oral health, but it can contribute to bigger health concerns. Evidence has been found to connect gum disease with osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, pre-term birth, and increased risk of stroke.
Are checkups really important?
Even if everything seems fine, you need to see the dentist twice a year. These appointments allow your dentist to evaluate your teeth and gums to look for problems that you may not see. Cavities, gum disease, and even oral cancer can start with few symptoms, but your dentist will know what to look for.
How can I update my smile?
Cosmetic dentistry offers patients a variety of options to correct flaws and create a radiant image. Teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and bonding can produce flawless results. Schedule a consultation with a skilled cosmetic dentist to explore your options.
From the time we are young, our parents teach us to brush and floss our teeth so that we won’t get cavities. Most people believe certain “facts” about cavities and how they actually develop. Unfortunately, not everything we learn is true.
Fact or Fiction: Sugar causes most cavities.
Reality: Actually, this statement is both fact and fiction. The acid produced by bacteria in your mouth is what causes cavities. Eating foods high in carbohydrates increases the bacteria in your mouth, resulting in greater acid production, which leads to a greater chance of tooth decay.
Fact or Fiction: Kids get more cavities than adults.
Reality: In the last 20 years, thanks to fluoride and better preventive care, tooth decay in school-aged children has decreased. On the other hand, senior citizens have seen a rise in the incidents of cavities, possibly because of changes in their mouths that come with aging, including dry mouth and issues with gum health.
Fact or Fiction: You must replace old fillings.
Reality: Most restorations do have a life expectancy, but it depends on a variety of factors such as tooth wear, hygiene habits, and location. Plan to replace an old filling if the restoration breaks down, a cavity develops around the filling, or the tooth fractures.
Fact or Fiction: If I get a cavity, I will know it.
Reality: Because tooth decay starts out small, most people don’t realize they have a problem until the cavity gets bigger and causes damage to the nerve. Routine visits to the dentist enable your doctor to check your mouth and catch small cavities before they create larger oral health issues.
Cosmetic dentistry is the name for any type of dental work that improves the patient’s overall dental aesthetic appearance. It can include treatments such as bonding, tooth implants, dental crowns and bridges, resin composite or porcelain veneers, gum grafts and/or the removal of the gum tissue or tooth structure. Braces and tooth whitening are also considered cosmetic dental procedures.
Over the years, advancements in cosmetic dentistry materials have given more options than ever for patients seeking a smile makeover. Porcelain and zirconium have lasting strength, and are both excellent at reflecting light, allowing for the most natural cosmetic restorations available. Because each patient’s teeth are different, other materials such as gold, palladium, or resin composite could be the best choice. Your cosmetic dentist will guide you in making a choice.
Dental crowns and bridges can be made of metal, including palladium or gold alloys, or base-metal nickel or chromium alloys. Metal provides the longest-lasting of the crown and bridge materials with regard to wearing down. They are not known to break or chip, and they do not affect the opposing teeth over time. Their metallic color is their greatest drawback, and they are most suitable for back teeth, where they can be hidden.
Porcelain can be fused to different metals, allowing for a very natural look for crown or bridge cosmetic dentistry treatments. They can chip over time, and discoloration can occur at the gum line if any metal other than zirconium has been used. Dental composite resin crowns and bridges are a popular choice, but can also chip over time. All-porcelain and all-ceramic dental crowns and bridges look the most like your natural teeth, and are the most natural-appearing of the available cosmetic dentistry materials.
Veneers can be made from composite resin materials or from porcelain. Porcelain appears more natural than resin materials, and resists stains better over time. Resin veneers tend to be thinner than porcelain veneers, and will require less shaving of the natural tooth before application.
When the structure of a tooth is compromised, you may need more than a filling. Often, your dentist will restore the stability, appearance, and function of the tooth with a dental crown. Also referred to as a cap, a dental crown will fit securely over the remaining tooth structure, covering the entire area above the gum line.
What types of crowns are available?
All-ceramic crowns are generally good for any teeth visible when you smile so that no one will notice your restoration. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are employed in areas where the crown will be visible but more strength is needed. Gold crowns are often chosen for back molars, which must withstand strong chewing forces. Usually, your dentist will determine the type of crown to place based on location and chewing pressure.
What is the process for getting a crown?
If you need a crown, your dentist will first remove the damaged tissue and reshape the tooth. Then, the doctor will take an impression of the tooth for the dental lab that will fabricate your new crown. At this first appointment, your dentist will also create temporary that you will wear until the permanent restoration arrives from the lab. Once the dental office receives the final product, you will return for permanent placement.
How long will my crown last?
Although it’s a nice idea, your crown won’t last forever. With good home care and regular dental visits, the restoration should last 10 to 15 years.
Do I have to have a root canal if I need a crown?
Not necessarily. You will only need root canal therapy if the pulp has been damaged and caused an infection to build up inside the tooth. When you have a root canal, however, you will need a crown to stabilize and protect that tooth after the procedure.
One of the most common birth defects found in infants, a cleft lip or cleft palate malformation occurs when the developing facial structures don’t close properly. In these cases, there is an opening in the upper lift, roof of the mouth, or in both places. Roughly one out of every 700 babies is born with cleft palate issues.
Problems with cleft lips and cleft palates can happen on their own or in relation to other conditions. Although no exact cause has been identified, most doctors believe cleft lip and cleft palates result from genetic factors or exposure to harmful substances, like illegal drugs or certain viruses, in utero. Many times, the exact cause of the cleft problem is never identified.
Because a cleft lip and/or cleft palate can interfere with a child’s ability to eat, speak, and even breathe, parents and doctors must form a treatment plan almost immediately. Surgery on a cleft lip can be performed on babies as young as 10 weeks old. Usually, cleft palate repair happens later, between six and 18 months of age. Follow up treatment and surgeries may occur for many years.
Through out this time, the patient may require special services to address speech, dental, psychological, and other issues. Finding a good dentist to join your child’s time is critical. For example, a child with a cleft lip needs regular checkups, but he or she may also need early evaluation because cleft malformations can generate missing, crooked, or partially formed teeth. As well, an orthodontist can evaluate facial growth and development, particularly the jaw area.