Your Gums Deserve Top Dental Care
You always take good care of your teeth, but do your gums get the same attention? Many adults have some level of gum disease and aren’t even aware of it!
Dr. Anna K. Talmood and her team are committed to protecting your entire smile, including your gums. We use state-of-the-art tools and techniques to help your gum health, whether you need simple cleanings or advanced gum care. You can depend on us to be proactive and efficient in helping your smile stay healthy.
Do your gums need professional care? Contact our office and schedule your visit today.
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Better Health and Aesthetics with Crown Lengthening
Some people have what is often called a “gummy smile”, where the gum line covers more of the crown. While generally not a problem, it can make treatment difficult if a crown or filling needs placing. Many people also dislike the way it makes their smile look.
We provide solutions through crown lengthening. Also called gum contouring, this procedure uses special tools to reshape the gum line, exposing more of your natural enamel and creating the appearance of longer teeth.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is what happens when gum health is compromised. There are two levels of gum disease: gingivitis, which is inflammation, and periodontitis, which is an infection.
How Do People Get Gum Disease?
Many people believe that gum disease only happens when you don’t brush or floss regularly enough. However, your hygiene habits are only one of many factors that can contribute to gum disease. Being aware of these contributors can help you reduce the risk and protect your gum health.
These are the most common risk factors for gum disease in adults:
- Poor brushing and flossing habits (including brushing too hard)
- A diet high in sugars
- Smoking or using tobacco
- Misaligned teeth making brushing and flossing difficult
- Side effects of certain prescription medications
- Certain diseases, especially diabetes
- Hormone changes, especially in pregnancy
Is Gum Disease Serious?
Since early gum disease is easy to miss, it’s just as easy not to take it seriously. However, gum disease can be dangerous if underestimated.
Not only is gum disease the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, but it can actually negatively impact your overall health. A gum infection can even cause severe secondary infections in other parts of the body, including the heart and brain.
The best tactic is to pay close attention to your gums. Even if the symptoms don’t bother you much now, it’s far better to take care of gum disease early rather than let it progress into something much worse.
Stage One: Gingivitis
When oral bacteria turn sugars into plaque, it hardens around and below the gum line. This irritates the gums, which respond with inflammation. Inflamed gums are sensitive to temperature and touch, and bleed easily when brushing or flossing.
It’s easy to overlook these symptoms as something minor. However, gingivitis makes the gums more vulnerable to infection, leading to periodontitis.
Stage Two: Periodontitis
At this stage, the infected gums begin pulling away from teeth, creating pockets beneath the gum line that fill with bacteria. These pockets make roots vulnerable to decay. An abscess can also form in the tooth roots, causing pain and serious damage if ruptured.
Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis
If the bacterial pockets aren’t dealt with quickly, they continue to deepen. The gum tissue shrinks, and so does the jaw bone. Without the support of either, teeth become loose and will eventually fall out or need extracting.
Bacteria infecting the gums also pose an overall health risk. If they reach the bloodstream, they can cause secondary infections in other parts of the body, even the heart and brain.
Do I Have Gum Disease? 5 Important Signs to Look For
Early symptoms of gum disease can be subtle, which is why it’s important to keep an eye open for any hints of disease. Be sure to talk to the dentist if you notice any of these signs.
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen gums
- Pain in and around your teeth
- Sensitivity to pressure and temperatures
- Loose teeth
Treating Gum Disease
The first step to treating gum disease is identifying which stage your gums are in. We perform a thorough evaluation during every dental exam and cleaning, which includes checking for gum disease.
One of the most important tests is checking the depth of pockets below the gum line. We use a special probe that gently measures the depth of spaces between the gums and tooth roots. If the pockets are deep, or we detect other symptoms as well, we recommend swift treatment to stop the disease from advancing further.
Cleaning & Prevention
Stopping gum disease early requires four important components. The most important thing is the partnership between you and the dentist. We work with you to provide the care you need when you’re in our office, and the tools you need to care for your gums at home.
We use a variety of tools to spot signs of gum disease quickly, including digital x-rays and intraoral cameras.
Thorough Dental Cleanings
Using special tools to remove plaque, bacteria, and hardened tartar eliminates the irritants that cause gum disease, allowing your gums to stay healthy and continue to protect your smile.
We help you understand the importance of your daily hygiene habits, as well as which tools and techniques will help you to best protect your gums. Our team is always patient and happy to answer any questions you have about your dental health and care.
When you aren’t in the dental office, practicing good care can make the difference between gum disease and a healthy smile. Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and limiting your sugar consumption goes a long way toward keeping your gums healthy between dental visits.
Scaling & Root Planing
If gum disease is too advanced to be cared for by a standard cleaning, the next step is typically a scaling and root planing procedure. Also called a “deep cleaning”, this procedure uses special tools to remove infection and irritation below the gum line.
First, any pockets below the gums are treated with an antibiotic rinse to flush out bacteria. Next, hardened tartar is removed from the tooth both above and below the gum line. To encourage the gums to secure to the teeth once again, the surface of the tooth root is smoothed out, a procedure known as planing.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
If the pockets have grown too large, cleanings alone won’t be enough to help them. Pocket reduction minimizes these pockets, helping the gums to fit more securely around teeth and reduce chances of repeat infections.
If the gums have receded, they unfortunately won’t grow back on their own, even once the infection has been cleared. However, it is possible to restore the gum line through gum grafts. Using grafted tissue, we can rebuild the gum line, restoring your smile’s aesthetic and protecting your teeth from further infection.
How Laser Dentistry Benefits Your Dental Treatment
Our office is committed to using the most innovative technology to improve your dental care, including laser dentistry. Dental lasers have been in use for decades, and are becoming more and more favored by dentists.
As a patient, you can benefit from laser dentistry with:
- Shorter treatment times
- More precise treatments
- More comfortable treatment
- Faster healing post-treatment
- Less risk of infection
7 Tips for Protecting Your Gums at Home
Whether you’re recovering from gum disease now, or your gums are in great health, it’s essential that you care for your gums as well as your teeth! We’re committed to educating patients on the best ways to care for their smile, including their gums. Here are our best seven tips to get you started!
- Brush twice a day, especially at night.
- Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush for gentle gum care.
- Floss once a day between each tooth.
- Use a therapeutic mouthwash.
- Switch sugary foods for vitamin-rich fruits and veggies.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
- Chew sugar-free gum with xylitol.
Dedicated to Your Healthy Smile
At the dental practice of Anna K. Talmood, DDS, we’re passionate about helping our patients enjoy healthy smiles that last a lifetime. Through our commitment to high-quality dental care and our friendly and welcoming office, we strive to make every visit a positive experience.
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