Posts for tag: gum disease
Tooth decay is a highly destructive dental disease, responsible along with periodontal (gum) disease for most adult tooth loss. And we become even more susceptible to it as we get older.
One form of decay that’s especially prominent among senior adults is a root cavity. Similar to a cavity in the crown (visible tooth), this form instead occurs at or below the gum line in the roots. They happen mainly because the roots have become exposed due to gum recession, a common consequence of periodontal (gum) disease and/or brushing too hard.
Exposed roots are extremely vulnerable to disease because they don’t have the benefit of protective enamel like the tooth crown, covered instead with a thin and less protective mineral-like material called cementum. Normally, that’s not a problem because the gums that would normally cover them offer the bulk of the protection. But with the gums receded, the roots must depend on the less-effective cementum for protection against disease.
Although we treat root cavities in a similar way to those in the crown by removing decayed structure and then filling them, there’s often an added difficulty in accessing them below the gum line. Because of its location we may need to surgically enter through the gums to reach the cavity. This can increase the effort and expense to treat them.
It’s best then to prevent them if at all possible. This means practicing daily brushing and flossing to remove bacterial plaque, the thin, built-up biofilm on teeth most responsible for both tooth decay and gum disease. You should also visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and advanced prevention methods like topical fluoride to strengthen any at-risk teeth.
You should also seek immediate treatment at the first sign of gum disease to help prevent gum recession. Even if it has occurred, treating the overall disease could help renew gum attachment. We may also need to support tissue regeneration with grafting surgery.
Root cavities are a serious matter that could lead to tooth loss. But by practicing prevention and getting prompt treatment for any dental disease, you can stop them from destroying your smile.
If you would like more information on diagnosing and treating root cavities, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Cavities: Tooth Decay near the Gum Line Affects Many Older Adults.”
If you think gum disease only happens to the other guy (or gal), think again. If you’re over 30 you have a 50-50 chance for an infection. After 65 the risk climbs to 70 percent.
Fortunately, we can effectively treat most cases of gum disease. But depending on its severity, treatment can involve numerous intensive sessions and possible surgery to bring the disease under control. So, why not prevent gum disease before it happens?
First, though, let’s look at how gum disease most often begins—with dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles built up on teeth and gum surfaces. If plaque isn’t consistently removed through daily brushing and flossing, it doesn’t take long—just a few days—for the bacteria to infect the gums.
While it’s not always easy to detect gum disease early on, there are signs to look for like red, swollen and tender gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss, and bad breath or taste. The infection is usually more advanced if you notice pus-filled areas around your gums or loose teeth. If you see any of these (especially advanced signs like loose teeth) you should contact us as soon as possible.
Obviously, the name of the game with prevention is stopping plaque buildup, mainly through daily brushing and flossing. Technique is the key to effectiveness, especially with brushing: you should gently but thoroughly scrub all tooth surfaces and around the gum line, coupled with flossing between teeth.
To find out how well you’re doing, you can rub your tongue along your teeth after you brush and floss—you should feel a smooth, almost squeaky sensation. You can also use plaque-disclosing agents that dye bacterial plaque a particular color so you can easily see surface areas you’ve missed. You can also ask us for a “report card” on how well you’re doing during your next dental visit.
Dental visits, of course, are the other essential part of gum disease prevention—at least every six months (or more, if we recommend) for cleaning and checkups. Not only will we be able to remove hard-to-reach plaque and tartar, we’ll also give your gums a thorough assessment. By following this prevention regimen you’ll increase your chances of not becoming a gum disease statistic.
If you would like more information on recognizing and treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Gum Disease Gets Started.”
Don’t let gum disease affect the health and appearance of your smile. We can help!
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. This may be startling to hear but before you panic, it’s important to know that gum disease can be managed effectively with the help of our Williston, VT dental team Dr. Gabriel Mannarino and Dr. Holly Halliday. Find out the most common treatment options when it comes to helping alleviate your gum disease symptoms.
There are a variety of both surgical and nonsurgical options to help treat your gum disease. The type of treatment our Williston periodontist chooses will depend on your general health, how advanced your gum disease is and how well you’ve responded to other earlier interventions.
Here are some of the nonsurgical treatment options for gum disease:
A professional cleaning: These six-month checkups are vitally important because it gives our dentists a chance to remove plaque and tartar buildup and keep teeth looking and feeling their best. If tartar is found above and even below the gumline this can lead to gum disease and will need to be removed. However, the only way to remove tartar is through a professional dental cleaning. While these cleanings aren’t designed to actually treat those with active gum disease it will be highly recommended that you come in more regularly for these cleanings if you are showing some symptoms of gum disease.
Scaling and root planing: This is the most common and effective way to treat gum disease without the need for surgery. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia. During this treatment, we will remove plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line, and even smooth down certain rough areas of the tooth roots. By smoothing out the tooth roots we can prevent an increased buildup of harmful bacteria.
In cases where gum disease is more advanced, the only real option may be to get surgery. Common gum disease surgeries include:
Flap surgery: While under local anesthesia, our Williston periodontist will make a small incision in the gums and lift the flap so that they can remove tartar buildup. In some cases, rough spots in the bone may be smoothed down to prevent overgrowth of bacteria. When complete, the gums are pulled taut around the tooth and stitched back up.
Bone or soft tissue grafts: These grafting procedures may be necessary if gum disease has become so serious that it has caused the gums to recede or has caused bone loss. Through these grafting procedures, we can facilitate the regrowth of bone and tissue, making both the jawbone and gums stronger and healthier.
If you have questions about how to treat your gum disease in Williston, VT, then don’t waste any time. Call Williston Dental Team today to schedule your periodontal consultation.
The meaning of the word "periodontal" can be determined by breaking it up into two sections: "peri" means "to surround" and "dontal" pertains to the teeth. Therefore, your periodontist specializes in the treatment of problems with the area around the teeth - in particular the gum tissue. The periodontists at Williston Dental in Williston, VT - Dr. Gabriel Mannarino and Dr. Holly Halliday - work in this branch of dentistry to keep their patients' teeth and gums healthy. Learn more about how periodontists help your smile here.
Also called gum disease, periodontal disease is a progressive problem caused by decay. While teeth sustain cavities in response to the bacteria from plaque formation, the gums respond in a different, but just as predictable way: by becoming swollen, red and tender. Mild gum disease, called gingivitis, is very common; it's estimated that 75% of American adults have it. However, it's when gingivitis is allowed to progress to periodontitis that major problems can develop. Bad breath, bleeding gums and loose or missing teeth are all aspects of this preventable disease. Fortunately, both forms of gum disease are treatable when they are managed by a professional like your Williston periodontists. Deep cleaning sessions, antibiotics and other procedures can stimulate new growth and strengthen the existing gum tissue.
Because the process of placing dental implants is so focused on the gum tissue, periodontists make natural experts for this type of restorative dentistry. Your periodontist knows exactly where to place the implant's post beneath the gums to maximize stability, and will monitor the health of the gum tissue to determine when the rest of the implant - the abutment and crown - can be placed.
You do not need a referral to visit a periodontist. We encourage you to contact Williston Dental in Williston, VT with any questions or concerns you may have about your teeth and gums. Our trained professionals will be happy to help!
Is there a link between periodontal (gum) disease and cardiovascular disease? Medical researchers are endeavoring to answer this intriguing question, but early findings seem to say yes. If it bears true, the findings could advance treatment for both diseases.
There is one thing that can be said for certain: inflammation is a factor in both diseases’ progression. Gum disease begins as an infection caused by bacteria growing in plaque, which is made up of bacteria and a thin film of food remnant that adheres to tooth surfaces. The body responds to this infection through tissue inflammation, an attempt to prevent the infection from spreading. Likewise, inflammation appears to be a similar response to changes in blood vessels afflicted by cardiovascular disease.
While inflammation is part of the body’s mechanism to heal traumatized tissue, if it becomes chronic it can actually have a damaging effect on the tissues intended to benefit. For patients with gum disease, chronic inflammation causes connective tissues to detach from teeth, leading eventually to tooth and bone loss. Similarly, inflammation damages the linings of blood vessels in cardiovascular disease patients.
Researchers want to know what role bacteria may also play in the progression of cardiovascular disease. Initial studies seem to indicate that proactively treating the gum disease by removing all plaque from oral surfaces in patients with both conditions does appear to improve the health of diseased blood vessel linings. Whether this could ultimately reduce the occurrence of heart attack or stroke still needs to be ascertained.
As we learn more about the possible connections between these two diseases, there’s hope it will lead to new advancements that could improve health outcomes for both. It may prove to be the case, then, that maintaining a healthy mouth promotes a healthy heart, and vice-versa.
If you would like more information on the connection between gum disease and heart disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Inflammation and Heart Disease.”