Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Facts About Gum Recession

Gum Recession
People of all ages can suffer from gum recession.  It is a fairly common phenomenon but can cause discomfort none the less.  Many patients don’t even realize that they have receding gums until they start to experience more tooth sensitivity. 
We treat patients with this and other oral health concerns.  Our goal is to educate patients so that they can practice preventative care at home and in between visits.  By properly caring for your teeth, you can slow the symptoms down and start to feel better.
What is gum recession?
When the gum tissue surrounding your teeth wears away, they are receding.  At first, it may not be very noticeable but over time you will see more of your tooth and may eventually start to see your roots.  Gaps can appear between the gum line and your tooth.  This is the perfect spot for bacteria together, which will cause further problems.
What will happen if I don’t treat this?
You could lose your teeth.  If gums recede too far, bacteria will build up and start to attack your teeth and root system.  This will weaken them and can lead to tooth loss.  It is far better to treat your gums and avoid this scenario.
Why does this happen?
Gum disease is a major cause, but there are multiple other reasons for your gums to recede.  This includes genetics, brushing too hard, not getting dental care, smoking, hormonal changes, grinding your teeth, crooked teeth, and piercing your tongue or lip.  Some of these things, like genetics, cannot be avoided.  You can, however, quit smoking or take out a piercing.  If grinding your teeth is the problem we can create a mouth guard that will protect your teeth at night. 
How do I prevent this?
Start by using the right toothbrush at home.  We recommend an electric one that provides excellent brushing without a lot of pressure.  Heavy, aggressive pressure can cause hurt your gums so this is the easiest way to clean your teeth.  You should brush your teeth a minimum of twice per day and floss daily.  This will help to prevent bacteria build up.  It is also important to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.  If your gums have already started to recede the mouthwash can attack bacteria in the more exposed areas.
Twice a year you should visit the dentist for a proper teeth cleaning so that we can remove built up plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
What are my treatment options?
We can deep clean your gums by carefully removing any bacteria or plaque that has built up underneath the gum line.  This is also called tooth scaling and root planning.  Antibiotics are also prescribed to eliminate any lingering bacteria.  If the recession is severe you may need to have gum surgery to eliminate the pockets, regenerate your gum tissue, or to create more tissue with a skin graft. 

In order to determine the best course of treatment, it is important to schedule an appointment where we can inspect your gums and discuss a treatment plan.  Working together we can help to improve your oral health and eliminate any discomfort you may be feeling. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Implant Dentist Restores Your Teeth

Implant Dentist
If you have lost a tooth, turn to an implant dentist for a permanent solution.  Teeth can be lost for a variety of reasons including injury, accident, tooth decay, and old age.  Dentures are a viable solution, but they do not have the ease of use that implants have.  Once installed, implants function like natural teeth, making them easy to care for.
Here is how the process works.

1.       Consultation Appointment.  In order to determine if you qualify for implants, schedule an appointment with the Perio and Implant Center.  We will review your overall oral health to determine if you are a good candidate. 
2.       Correct Oral Health Concerns.  If you have cavities in existing teeth, need a root canal, or other dental procedure this must be done before starting the process.  It is important for your teeth and gums to be in the best health possible.
3.       Teeth Created.  Your new teeth will be created in a lab.  They will be perfectly sized and colored to match your existing teeth.  We recommend having a teeth whitening procedure completed before your new teeth are made.  This way the synthetic teeth will be made brighter and whiter to match your new sparkling teeth.
4.       Oral Surgery.  A metal piece is inserted under the gum line where your new tooth, or teeth will go.  This metal piece is secured to your jaw bone.  Over time, it will fuse to the bone, which creates a completely sturdy root system.  How long this process takes is based on how your body responds but it is safe to plan for a few months.
5.       Root System Completed.  Once the inserted metal piece has fused to the bone, a second metal piece will be attached at the base of your gum line.  This is what your new tooth attaches to.
6.       Tooth Attached.  Your new tooth, or teeth, will be attached and positioned perfectly.  The dentist will typically make any last minute corrections prior to finally securing the tooth in place.  This is to ensure that each tooth is a perfect match for you face.
7.       Rest.  It will probably take a few days for you to feel comfortable and any swelling to go down.  Use ice and eat soft foods during the healing process. 
8.       Caring for your teeth.  The best thing about your new teeth is that once your implant dentist has completed the procedure they will look amazing.  Your new teeth will be bright, white, and straight.  They are very easy to take care of because they function like natural teeth.  This means that you can brush and floss like you normally would, without taking any extra steps.

If you are ready to transform your smile, we can help.  Implant dentistry has come a long way and is continuing to provide relief for patients that want a natural beautiful smile.  The process takes time but is completely worth it because once done, you won’t have to worry about your teeth anymore.