Gum Disease

Gum disease begins with subtle signs that are often ignored. Red, tender, swollen gums that bleed easily when brushing are telltale signs that gum disease has started in the mouth. As foods and beverages breakdown in the mouth, plaque forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed from the teeth it hardens and begins eating away at the tooth enamel. Proper oral hygiene at home combined with regular dental cleanings and checkups are necessary to remove damaging plaque before it destroys the teeth. At Pure Dental Health in Buckhead, Dr. Justin Scott and his staff provide comprehensive dental care including prevention and treatment for gum disease.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is how the old adage goes, and this can apply to oral health as much as anything else. Preventing gum disease is relatively simple, yet millions of Americans are diagnosed with gum disease every year. Gum disease is a result of damaging plaque that builds up on the teeth and is not removed. When left on the teeth, plaque eats away at the gums causing the structure to become compromised. Gums support the teeth in the mouth, and when they are damaged from disease they do not have the strength needed to hold the teeth in place.

Brushing and flossing remove plaque from the teeth between dental visits. However, it is important to note that brushing AND flossing remove plaque – not just brushing. Toothbrush bristles cannot fit into the tight spaces between the teeth. Plaque and food particles left between the teeth will quickly grow in this environment. Therefore, using the preventive methods at home of good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist twice a year are crucial components for preventing gum disease.

If you are looking for a dental practice to call your own in the Buckhead area, or if you are suffering from the symptoms of gum disease, call Pure Dental Health today to schedule an appointment. We offer high quality, affordable dental care for all of patients.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Justin Scott

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Pure Dental HealthAtlanta Dentist
2285 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 203
Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 666-3642

Conquering Your Excuses for Flossing Your Teeth

Do you floss your teeth everyday?  If not, 2015 is the time to start this very healthy habit.  You may not realize it, but dentists agree that flossing your teeth everyday is just as important as brushing.  This is because dental floss can remove food particles from between the teeth that are not accessible with a toothbrush.  Despite this fact, many American children, teens and adults are not currently flossing their teeth everyday.  There are many excuses for not flossing your teeth.  Read on to find out how to conquer each of these excuses so you can safeguard your long-term dental health.

Time is one of the biggest excuses people use for not flossing.  However, investing in the one or two minutes it takes each day can save you from hours of time in a dental chair getting dental work such as fillings, crowns and root canals.  In addition to saving this time, flossing everyday can help you save money on expensive dental restorations.

Some people complain that their teeth are too close together to comfortably floss.  If this is the case, try dental floss that is waxed so it glides more easily between the teeth.  You could also use a threader or loop to help you find an entry point between the teeth.

Others complain that it hurts to floss their teeth.  If you experience pain when flossing, give yourself two weeks.  Make sure that you are not flossing too roughly.  A gentle touch is best.  If your gums still hurt and/or bleed when you floss after two weeks, it is time to see your dentist.  Your gum pain and irritation may be a sign of periodontal disease.  If this is the case, your dental hygiene becomes even more important.

Start out 2015 by resolving to floss your teeth everyday!  Experts say that it takes 21 days to form a habit so after three weeks, it should be easy going!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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This Thanksgiving, Be Thankful for Your Dental Health

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we give thanks for all of our blessings.  This can include family, friends, wealth and even our health.  If you are blessed enough to have good oral health, you probably have not spent enough time thinking about this particular blessing.  However, when our dental health goes south and we experience painful and expensive dental problems, it is then that we realize what a big blessing this is. Good dental health gives us the ability to chew and eat properly and to properly digest the foods we eat.  It also has a big effect on our confidence and our quality of life.

Unfortunately, many American adults are not blessed with good oral health.  This is evidenced by the fact that according to the American Dental Association (ADA), more than 20 million people in the United States are missing all of their teeth.  The ADA also reports that more than 100 million people in the United States are missing between 11 to 15 of their teeth. Tooth decay in America is also a problem, especially in children.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay affects more than 1/4 of U. S. children between the ages of 2 and 5 and half of children between the ages of 12 and 15.  Lastly, periodontal disease is rampant in American adults.  According to the CDC, half of American adults have some stage of periodontal disease, many of them undiagnosed.  This is unfortunate because untreated periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss.

Cavities, periodontal disease and missing teeth are largely preventable dental health conditions.  Many of these cases can be avoided with proper daily dental hygiene, regular dental care and a healthy, well-balanced diet.  If you are one of the many Americans who is not blessed with good oral health, now is the time to turn things around. Talk to your dentist today about the steps you can take to improve your dental health in the new year.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Have You Ever Dreamed That Your Teeth Are Falling Out?

You wake up in a sweat and your heart is racing.  You run to the mirror and check to make sure you have all of your teeth.  Does this sound familiar?  If you have ever dreamed that your teeth are falling out, you are not alone.  Missing teeth or teeth that are falling out  is one of the most common types of recurring dreams.  Psychologists suggest a number of theories behind this dream.  Some say that it means you are worried about money.  Others suggest a feeling of vulnerability or a lack of control over your circumstances.  Whatever the cause, this dream can be terrifying!

Unfortunately, for many American adults, failing and missing teeth are a reality.  Tooth failure and tooth loss can be caused by a variety of factors including lack of proper dental hygiene/dental care, periodontal disease, trauma, untreated tooth decay and more.  In the past, options for replacing missing teeth were limited to dentures (partial and full) and dental bridges.  These tooth replacement options are still popular procedures for replacing missing teeth.  However, neither of these solutions provide a permanent, fixed solution to tooth loss.  Now with the advent of dental implants, individuals with tooth loss have a fixed solution that can last a lifetime, with proper care.  This is good news for the many American adults who are missing one, several or all of their teeth.

Dental implants look like natural teeth and because they are fused to the jawbone, they feel and function like natural teeth.  These factors represent significant advantages over traditional dentures and dental bridges.  Most individuals are candidates for dental implants, and the success rate is very high.  However, if you are a smoker or have other conditions such as Diabetes, your chances for a successful outcome may be reduced.  Additionally, if you do not have a sufficient quantity of bone in your jaw, you may require bone grafting before dental implants can be successfully placed.

If you are living with the reality of tooth loss, talk to a dentist in your local area today.  After a thorough evaluation, your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for this revolutionary tooth replacement system.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Diabetes and Your Dental Health

If you are living with Diabetes, you are predisposed to a number of dental health problems.  For this reason, practicing good daily oral hygiene and getting regular care from a dentist is vitally important.

Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood.  There are three different types of Diabetes including the following:

•  Type I Diabetes

•  Type II Diabetes

•  Gestational Diabetes

There are currently 26 million people in the United States who are living with some type of Diabetes.  Ninety to ninety-five percent of these cases of Diabetes are Diabetes Type II.  So what is the link between Diabetes and your dental health?  Diabetes impairs your ability to fight bacteria in your mouth.  Having high blood sugar encourages harmful bacteria to grow and this harmful bacteria can cause periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums and tissues supporting your teeth.  If it is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. High sugar levels in the blood can also lead to dry mouth and this condition also puts you at a higher risk for developing gum disease.

If you have Diabetes, the best thing you can do to protect your dental health is to control your blood sugar.  This can be achieved by checking your blood sugar levels often, taking any medications prescribed to you by your doctor, eating a diet that is recommended by your doctor and exercising regularly.  The second thing you can do to protect your longterm dental health is to visit your dentist regularly for dental cleanings and exams.  During this time, a dental hygienist can use special tools and techniques to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth and gums.  Your dental examination will also give your dentist the opportunity to look for any signs of periodontal disease and if necessary, to provide treatment for this serious condition.  The third thing you can do is practice good daily oral hygiene at home including thoroughly brushing your teeth at least twice a day and thoroughly flossing your teeth at least once a day.

If you would like to get more information regarding Diabetes and your dental health, talk to your dentist.  If you have Diabetes and have not been to a dentist in more than six months, schedule your appointment today!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Geographical Tongue: Causes and Treatments

Geographical Tongue is a dental health condition that is characterized by a map-like appearance on the tongue and is also referred to as benign migratory glossitis and erythema migrans. It is a hereditary condition that occurs in roughly 1% to 3% of the population and is more common in women than in men.

Geographical Tongue occurs when parts of the tongue are missing layers of bumps called papillae.  While this condition is harmless and benign, it can make it more challenging to remove harmful bacteria from the tongue.  With this condition, brushing the tongue daily to remove bacteria becomes very important.  In most cases, patients with Geographical Tongue do not experience symptoms.  However,  approximately one in ten patients may experience mild discomfort or a burning sensation on the tongue.  Often times, this is due to a sensitivity to certain substances including cigarette smoke, spicy or acidic foods or toothpaste.

The cause of Geographical Tongue is not currently understood, however, individuals with psoriasis and/or fissured tongue are more likely to have Geographical Tongue.  This condition can be diagnosed by a dentist during a regular dental examination.  If you are diagnosed with Geographical Tongue, your dentist can provide you with helpful information about how to clean your tongue to remove the bacteria that can get lodged in the grooves of your tongue.  He or she can also closely monitor your dental health to look for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.  Your dentist may also prescribe an antimicrobial rinse to help prevent the buildup of harmful bacteria on your tongue.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Tobacco and Your Teeth

Tobacco, whether it is smoked or chewed can have lasting negative effects on your oral health.  At best, it can cause severe tooth discoloration that is hard to treat.  At worst, it can cause oral cancer, an extremely aggressive and often deadly type of cancer that forms on the mouth or throat.  Smoking tobacco (cigarettes) can also make you more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease and eventually tooth loss.

It can be very difficult to remove tobacco stains from your teeth using traditional methods of bleaching/teeth whitening such as over-the-counter treatments, professional take-home whitening kits (purchased from a dentist) and professional in-office whitening treatments.  Therefore, individuals with tobacco-stained teeth are many times forced to consider more expensive options such as bonding and porcelain veneers.

The facts related to oral cancer are very sobering. According to statistics posted on the Oral Cancer Foundation website, “close to 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year.  It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 43,250 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years. (Approximately 57%) This is a number which has not significantly improved in decades.” This highlights the importance of getting regular oral cancer screenings from your dentist.  Most dentists will screen for oral cancer on a regular basis.  If you smoke, your dentist may recommend more frequent oral cancers screenings for you.  Early detection is one of the best ways to fight this serious disease.

Both current and former smokers have an increased risk for developing periodontal disease and are at risk for developing more severe periodontal disease than people who have never smoked.  This is because smoking causes systemic immuno-suppression and impairment of soft tissue and bone cell function.  If you are a current smoker or you smoked in the past, it is vitally important for you to get regular dental checkups so your dentist can check for signs of periodontal disease such as red, swollen or bleeding gums and gums that are receding.  This will enable your dentist to detect and treat gum disease when it is in the earlier stages.  Early detection and treatment will help to prevent the tooth and bone loss that can occur with late-stage, untreated periodontal disease.

If you are a current smoker and are concerned about your dental health, schedule an appointment with your dentist today.  If you would like to quit smoking or using tobacco products, it is a good idea to talk to your physician.  Your doctor can help you find the resources you need to break this habit.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

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Calcium and Your Dental Health

Calcium is an important mineral that everyone needs to stay healthy.  Most everyone knows that getting an adequate daily intake of calcium is good for your bones.  However, did you know that getting enough calcium is also vitally important for maintaining good dental health?  That is because according to the National Institutes of Health, 99% of the body’s calcium reserves are stored in bones and the teeth.  Calcium is and important mineral that promotes strong teeth and bones.

Not getting enough calcium in your diet can weaken the structure of your teeth and can also make you more at risk for developing periodontal disease, a leading cause of tooth loss.  So, what is the recommended daily intake of calcium for the average person?  The answer is that it depends on your age and your gender.  For men and women ages 19-50 years, the daily recommended calcium intake is 1000 mg.  For women between the ages of 51-70, the daily recommended calcium intake is 1200 mg.  For men of the same age group, the daily recommended intake is 1000 mg.

How can we get an adequate amount of calcium into our diet?  The best way is to eat a wide variety of foods that are rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy greens, legumes and certain types of fruit.  There are also a number of foods that are enriched with calcium including orange juice, breads and cereals.  If you are not able to get an adequate supply of calcium into your system through your diet, your doctor may recommend that you take a daily calcium supplement.  Your doctor can recommend the correct dose to meet your needs.

If you want to have good dental health in the future, it is important to get an adequate intake of calcium today.  The next time you are at the grocery store, make sure that you pick up some calcium-rich foods.  Your teeth will thank you!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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Replacing Missing Teeth

Are you feeling self conscious about your smile due to missing teeth? Have missing teeth taken the joy out of mealtime for you?  Missing teeth can cause you to feel self conscious about your smile and can also make it difficult to chew and speak correctly.  But did you know that a missing tooth or several missing teeth in your mouth can compromise the health of your remaining teeth?  This is because spaces left by missing teeth leave a place where bacteria can become trapped and this can lead to periodontal disease.  Also, when a tooth is missing, the teeth in the mouth will shift to fill the space and this can lead to bite problems.  Lastly, missing teeth can lead to irreversible bone loss in the jaw.

For all of the reasons listed above, it is very important to replace missing teeth.  There are a variety of different methods that can be used to replace missing teeth including dentures, a partial denture, a bridge and dental implant supported crowns, bridges or dentures.  Your dentist can recommend the best method for you, taking into consideration your lifestyle, your medical history and your budget.

There is no question that dental implants are the gold standard when it comes to replacing missing teeth.  However, this option is also the most expensive option of all tooth replacement solutions.  Dental implants provide a fixed, long-term solution to missing teeth that provide for replacement teeth that look and feel like natural teeth.  They also allow for replacement teeth that function like natural teeth.  For this reason, many patients choose to invest in this more expensive treatment.

Dental implants can be used to replace one, several or all of your teeth, or to add stability to your dentures.   The process involves attaching titanium screws permanently to the jawbone and then topping them with a crown or attachment.  Most patients with missing teeth are candidates for this advanced and highly effective tooth replacement system.

If missing teeth are destroying your confidence and negatively affecting you quality of life, talk to your dentist about dental implants today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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What Do My Red and Swollen Gums Mean?

Are your gums red and swollen. Do they bleed easily when brushing or flossing your teeth. Are they pulling away from your teeth and exposing the roots? All these things are signs of periodontal disease: a chronic infection of the tissues and bone supporting your teeth. If not treated properly, periodontal disease can lead to serious dental health problems, including tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is currently the most common reason for tooth loss. So, what should you do?

If you have the symptoms above, it is important for you to see your dentist as soon as possible. He or she can properly diagnose the problem and recommend the most appropriate treatment based on the severity of the infection. If you have mild periodontal disease (Gingivitis), your dentist may recommend a professional cleaning and/or an anti-microbial rinse. If your disease is more advanced, he or she may recommend scaling and root planing. This is a very deep cleaning process that can be used to remove harmful bacteria from below your gum line. If your periodontal disease is extremely advanced (periodontitis), your dentist may prescribe stronger anti-microbial medications or recommend surgery.

Since periodontal disease is progressive in nature, it is important to diagnose it and treat it as soon as possible. Ignoring the signs of periodontal disease will only lead to more serious dental health problems. The best way to treat periodontal disease is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This can be done by practicing good daily oral hygiene including thorough brushing and flossing. However, certain factors such as smoking and pregnancy can put you more at risk for periodontal disease. Smokers and women who are pregnant may need to visit the dentist more often for professional dental cleanings to prevent periodontal disease. For more information about preventing periodontal disease and the available treatments, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health
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