Pregnancy Gingivitis

If you are pregnant and have noticed changes in your gums, you could be experiencing a condition called “Pregnancy Gingivitis”. Pregnancy Gingivitis can occur as early as the second month of pregnancy and can cause symptoms such as red, swollen and bleeding gums.  Symptoms usually peak around month eight of pregnancy and go away once the baby is born.

The exact cause of Pregnancy Gingivitis is not fully understood, however, it may be due to increased hormone levels. Progesterone levels in a pregnant woman are up to ten times higher than normal. These increased levels may enhance the growth of bacteria that cause Gingivitis.  Gingivitis in pregnant women may also be due to changes in the immune system during pregnancy.  Pregnancy may affect the way that your body reacts to bacteria that causes Gingivitis.

It is important to receive regular dental care during pregnancy.  A professional dental cleaning during pregnancy can help to minimize the effects of Pregnancy Gingivitis.  It is also important to practice good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy. This includes brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once daily.  Your dentist may also recommend that you use an antimicrobial rinse during pregnancy.

There used to be a myth that a woman looses one tooth per pregnancy.  It was thought that a developing fetus caused calcium deficiency in the mother.  This myth has been disproven.  We now know that with good oral hygiene habits as well as preventative dental care, you can protect the health of your teeth an gums during pregnancy.  For more information about dental care during pregnancy, talk to a qualified dentist in your local area.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.


Cosmetic Dental Fillings

If you have a mouth full of metal fillings, you may want to consider having them replaced with tooth colored cosmetic dental fillings.  Advances in dental techniques and materials now make it possible to restore decayed teeth without negatively affecting the appearance of your smile.  Many dentists offer fillings made of ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth.  These white fillings are commonly referred to as “composite fillings” and are often used to fill decayed teeth in the front of your mouth.  They are also used to replace old metal fillings in the back of the mouth.

A composite filling procedure involves removing the decay or old metal filling from the tooth and then applying an adhesive followed by several thin layers of the tooth-colored composite.  Once the filling is in place, it is chemically hardened for less than a minute using a special light.  Composite fillings are much more aesthetically pleasing than metal fillings.  Because of the composite material’s ability to bond to teeth adhesively, composite fillings require less of the healthy structure of a tooth to be removed to hold the dental filling in place.  This is a major advantage over metal fillings.

It may take a little bit longer to place a composite filling than a traditional filling.  Is some cases, composite fillings may be more expensive than metal fillings, however, for most patients, the advantages well outweigh the difference in cost.  If you have teeth that are decayed or if you have metal fillings in your mouth that you are interested in replacing with composite fillings, talk to a qualified cosmetic dentist in your local area.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health





Untreated Cavities in the United States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are fewer cavities in the United States today than there were twenty years ago, however, for some groups of Americans, cavities or “dental caries” remain a problem.  Failure to seek restorative dental treatment for cavities can lead to more serious oral health issues including infections, abscesses and even tooth loss.

According to recent estimates, at least one in five Americans has one or more untreated cavities.  The National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prepared the report using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for the years 2005 to 2008.  The report’s key findings include the following:

– 20% of children between the ages of five and eleven had at least one untreated cavity

– 13% of teens between the ages of twelve and nineteen had at least one untreated cavity

– 25% of adults between the ages of twenty and forty-four had at least one untreated cavity

– 20% of adults over the age of sixty-five had at least one untreated cavity

The report found poverty to be an indicator of untreated cavities.  It also cites higher incidence rates of untreated cavities in certain ethnic groups.

Practicing good oral hygiene including brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least one time per day is still the most effective way to prevent cavities from forming.  Seeking regular dental care (getting a dental examination and professional dental cleaning every six months) is also important.  Other preventative measures such as fluoride treatments and sealants are available to prevent the formation of cavities.

For more information about how to prevent dental caries, talk to a dentist in your local area.  If you have untreated dental cavities, visit a qualified dentist as soon as possible for restorative treatment.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Care.


Options For Pain Relief During Dental Treatment

If visiting the dentist for a procedure such as a a root canal, crown or filling makes you full of fear and dread, you may not need to worry.  Today, dentists offer several different options for pain relief ranging from just a local anesthesia to numb the area of treatment to complete unconscious sedation.  It is up to you and your dentist to decide what type of anesthesia is best for you and your particular dental procedure.

Before deciding on a dentist, it is important to find out what types of anesthesia he or she offers.  All dentists offer local anesthesia which is injected into mouth to numb the specific area that will be treated.  Some dentists also offer Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas).  Nitrous Oxide can be administered in a dental office and puts patients in a relaxed, comfortable state, but they are still conscious and can follow commands.  Some dentists are also trained to administer oral sedatives in their dental office. These oral medications are used to put patients in a relaxed, “twilight sleep.”  In this state, patients are breathing on their own and can follow commands, but may not remember receiving treatment after the medications wear off.  In cases of extreme anxiety and/or dental phobia or when several procedures need to be completed at the same time, patients may be placed under general anesthesia.  This type of anesthesia puts patients completely to sleep and must administered by an Anesthesiologist, or a Certified Nurse Anesthetist in a hospital setting or surgical suite with close monitoring.

Failing to receive needed dental treatment can lead to serious, painful and expensive oral health problems.  If you are in need of a dental procedure but have neglected to seek treatment due to anxiety or fear of pain, talk to your dentist today to find out what types of anesthesia he or she offers and to determine which option best suits your needs.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.




Gum Recession

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily is an important part of an oral health plan and can  help to prevent both tooth decay and gum disease.  However, brushing your teeth too hard and/or using the improper technique can actually cause damage to your gums and cause them to recede.  Gum recession is the process in which the margin of tissue that surrounds the tooth wears away in the direction of the tooth’s root, exposing more of the tooth.  When gum recession occurs, gaps form between the teeth and the gum line, making it easy for harmful bacteria to build up.  If it is not properly treated, the tissue and bone structures of the teeth can be damaged causing dental health problems including tooth loss.

Mild gum recession may be able to treated by thoroughly cleaning the affected area.  This cleaning is also referred to as scaling and/or root planing.  Sometimes antibiotics are also used to get rid of the remaining harmful bacteria.  If your recession is too severe to be treated using deep cleaning and antibiotics, surgery may be necessary.  Surgical procedures used to treat severe gum recession include the following: pocket depth reduction; regeneration and soft tissue graft.

The best way to treat gum recession is to prevent it from happening in the first place.  This can be achieved by brushing and flossing daily and by using the proper brushing techniques.  First, start with a toothbrush that has either soft or medium bristles as the hard bristles can be damaging to the gums.  Instead of dragging the toothbrush roughly across your teeth and gums, make small circular motions.  Lastly, if you have a tendency to brush too aggressively, you may want to consider investing in an electric toothbrush such as a Sonicare.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.


Tooth Replacement Options

Despite advances in dentistry and oral hygiene, tooth loss remains a problem for many people in the United States.  Tooth loss can be an embarrassing problem affecting your confidence, your self-esteem and your overall quality of life.  It can also cause serious dental problems such as gum disease and bone loss.  If you are missing a tooth, it is important to replace it to protect the health of your remaining teeth.

Today’s tooth replacement options include bridges, partial dentures, full dentures and dental implants.  Each of these options has its unique advantages and disadvantages.

A bridge is a restorative dental procedure used to bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth.  It consists of a pontic (false tooth), held in place by crowns that are attached to the abutment teeth.  A bridge can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these.

A removable partial denture usually consists of replacement teeth attached to a plastic base.  The partial denture is connected by a metal framework that holds the denture into place.  A partial denture is used when there are remaining teeth on the upper or lower arch.  If there are no remaining teeth on the upper or lower arch, a full denture is used to replace all the teeth.

Dental implants are prosthetic anchors that are placed in the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots.  Once they have healed and have fused with the jawbone, they can be used as anchors for crowns, bridges and partial dentures.  Although dental implants are more expensive than other tooth replacement options, they are considered to be the most effective, long-term tooth solution and allow for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.

If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, schedule a consultation with a qualified restorative dentist in your local area.  He or she can review your dental history, examine your teeth and help determine the best tooth replacement option to suit your needs as well as your lifestyle and your budget.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.