Why Flossing Is So Important for Your Dental Health
Professional cleanings and exams help keep your dental health in good shape, but good oral hygiene at home is essential, too. We recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Unfortunately, many people forget about flossing. Why is it so important?
Why Flossing Matters to Your Oral Health
When you eat and drink anything other than water, a substance called plaque forms on your teeth and along your gumline. Plaque is very sticky and if it’s not cleaned, it hardens into tartar. The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause cavities and gum disease.
Brushing gets a lot of the plaque off your teeth, but flossing is the only way to remove the plaque stuck in the tiny spaces between your teeth. If you don’t floss, plaque and tartar build up between your teeth and along your gums.
What Happens When You Don’t Floss
You’re at a much higher risk for gum disease if you don’t floss regularly. In its early stage, gum disease is known as gingivitis. It often doesn’t cause many symptoms, but you may notice tenderness, redness, swelling, and mild bleeding. Start flossing right away and soon, your gum disease should improve.
More severe gum disease is known as periodontitis. At this stage, it can only be managed, not reversed. Treatments include deep cleanings, antibiotics, and in advanced cases, surgery. If gum disease isn’t addressed, it leads to tooth loss.
Gum & Dental health at North Richland Hills Dentistry in North Richland Hills, Texas
During an exam at our office, we’ll floss your teeth and check for signs of gum disease. If we see any problems, we’ll recommend treatments like improved oral hygiene and flossing. There are a few flossing tool options, so don’t hesitate to ask us which ones might work best for you. Have questions or want to schedule an appointment? Please contact us today!
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Bleeding Gums? Here's 3 Tips to Help
Let’s just put it out there: Healthy gums should not bleed. If your gums are bleeding, that could be a sign of bad oral hygiene, or it could mean something even more serious like gum disease. Since bleeding gums can be a symptom of a wide range of dental issues, what it takes to treat them can vary. That being said, here are three general tips to get your gum health under control and help stop the bleeding.
1. Reassess Your Dental Routine
Do you often find yourself skipping brushing your teeth in the morning or night? If your gums are bleeding whenever you do clean your teeth, it could be because you’re not brushing them frequently enough and it’s giving time for plaque and tartar to build up. Make sure you stick to a routine of brushing at least twice a day, and definitely don’t forget to floss!
2. Change Your Dental Tools
Another reason your gums may be bleeding is because you’re using a toothbrush with too hard of bristles that are actually aggravating your gums. Even if you’re trying to brush away food debris and bad bacteria, you should still be gentle so as not to cause damage. Soft-bristled toothbrushes are the way to go! Additionally, if traditional dental floss isn’t cutting it for you, then you may want to switch to a water flosser so you can probably clean the spaces between your teeth before plaque can settle there.
3. Consult Your General Physician
Sometimes, bleeding gums are a result of another medical condition. For instance, gums may bleed more easily during pregnancy, if you have a certain vitamin or protein deficiency, or if you’re taking certain medications. Check with your family doctor to see if there’s anything that might be causing bleeding gums as a side effect that can be adjusted.
Visit Us at North Richland Hills Dentistry for Help with Bleeding Gums
If you’ve tried all of the tips we’ve just mentioned and you’re still dealing with bleeding gums, then we recommend booking an appointment at your dentist’s office as soon as possible. You don’t want the problem to get worse, and the sooner you figure out what’s causing the bleeding, the sooner you can get it treated. Contact North Richland Hills Dentistry today to set up your visit or schedule an appointment online!
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Why Dental Cleanings & Exams Are Important
Life gets busy, so it’s easy to forget things like scheduling a dentist’s appointment every six months. If you don’t have any major oral health problems, you may wonder if it is still important to come in for a regular cleaning and exam. The answer is, "Yes it is!" and here are three main reasons.
Cleanings & Exams Prevent Tooth Decay
Cavities are a very common problem. To prevent them, you do most of the work at home by brushing and flossing every morning and evening. However, professional cleanings and exams are necessary, too. With special tools, we remove hardened plaque (known as tartar) from your teeth, which is something you can’t do at home. We also identify teeth that are at a higher risk of decay, so you can improve your brushing/flossing and prevent a cavity from forming.
We Diagnose Gum Disease
Many people get gum disease at some point in their lives. In its early stage when it is known as gingivitis you might not experience symptoms. When you keep up with regular check-ups, we diagnose and reverse gum disease before it starts bothering you. Most of the time, all you need to do is improve your oral hygiene at home. If the gum disease is more advanced, a deep cleaning gets your oral health back on track.
Cleanings & Exams Catch Other Problems, Too
Cavities and gum disease aren’t the only issues a dentist can identify. During every exam, we always check for signs of oral cancer. That includes things like swelling, mouth sores that won’t heal, lumps, and red or white patches. If we find anything unusual, we’ll let you know what we recommend next.
Preventive Dentistry at North Richland Hills Dentistry
Keeping up with cleanings and exams is an essential part of good health. Our goal is to keep your smile healthy by preventing stressful and more expensive oral health problems. Even if you have great habits at home, we recommend visits to our office every six months. Have questions or want to schedule a cleaning and exam with Dr. Desai and our team? Please contact us today.
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How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Did you know that 3 out of 4 Americans have some kind of gum disease? Gum disease is very common and can have some serious consequences, but it also can be caught early and easily addressed. What is gum disease exactly and how is it treated?
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, develops when your teeth and gums are attacked by bacteria. When your teeth aren’t cleaned properly with good brushing and flossing, plaque, full of bacteria, forms and hardens into tartar. This can’t be removed at home, so if it isn’t addressed with a visit to the dentist, your gums can actually form pockets perfect for bacteria. Infections are the natural consequence and can lead to tooth and bone loss.
The very first stage of gum disease - gingivitis - is very common, but it still requires attention. Your gums become inflamed, swollen, and tender. If they bleed when you brush or flush, that’s another sign of early gum disease. When this happens, it’s time for a dental checkup at North Richlands Hills Dentistry, so we can treat the problem before it gets serious.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
If caught early, treating gum disease is very simple. If it’s a very mild case, we might not even need to do anything special in the office beyond a cleaning, but you will need to improve your oral care at home. Flossing, which many people neglect, is very important. We may also recommend a deeper dental cleaning, a special mouth rinse, and/or local antibiotics to deal with the built-up bacteria.
Make an Appointment Today!
The best treatment for gum disease is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Good oral care at home and biannual visits to Dr. Desai can help ensure your gums and teeth are as healthy as possible. Contact us if you have any questions about gum disease treatments or to make an appointment!
Can Poor Oral Hygiene Cause Acne?
Your oral hygiene and health has an impact far beyond just your teeth and gums. Not only does research show a link between gum disease and heart disease, it also suggests a connection between your oral health and clear skin. If you’ve been struggling with acne that just won’t go away, there’s a chance that oral bacteria may be the culprit!
The Link Between Healthy Teeth and Clear Skin
If the thought of healthy pearly whites is not enough to motivate you to practice good oral hygiene, maybe this will encourage you: studies show that oral bacteria from an infected tooth or gums can get onto your face, irritating your skin and causing you to break out. Research suggests that if your acne is clustered around your chin, lips, or cheeks, this may be a sign that poor oral hygiene is the cause.
You can limit the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth by following a good dental hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, floss each day, and visit our office regularly for professional cleanings and exams. When it comes to brushing teeth and washing your face, order matters. Be sure you’re washing your face after you brush your teeth to clean away any bacteria from your mouth that may get onto your face as a result of brushing.
If you’re wondering if your oral health may be to blame for your acne, schedule a professional cleaning at our office. Dr. Desai and our team will carefully examine your mouth and note any problem areas that may be behind your skin issues. Treating your skin may be as simple as addressing your oral health.
To ask our team any questions about the link between oral hygiene and acne or to schedule your next visit to our office, contact us today!
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You know from dental visits and toothpaste commercials that gingivitis is something you want to avoid. But what do you really know about gingivitis? What causes it and how can you prevent it? We have all the answers for you here.
An Overview of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum line near your teeth. It’s a mild form of gum disease or periodontitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red or swollen gums that may bleed while brushing or flossing, bad breath, and receding gums. Gingivitis in common but can cause deeper problems if not treated, and can eventually lead to periodontitis and tooth loss.
Gingivitis is most often caused by poor dental hygiene, but the risks increase for the elderly, people with dry mouth, and those with lowered immune response. Hormonal changes like pregnancy and certain contraceptive methods can also increase risk. Gingivitis occurs when plaque builds up around the gum line, causing the tissue to become inflamed. Plaque forms when bacteria feed off of food (especially sugar) left in the mouth. This leads to tartar (the hardening of plaque) on teeth, cavities, and bad breath.
In order to prevent gingivitis, you must take good care of your teeth. Brush two times a day for 2 minutes each time. Floss daily, especially after meals. Reduce sugar intake. Oral bacteria feed on sugar in the mouth. Maintain dental appointments for cleaning. At your dental appointment, we’ll scrape off tartar and plaque that brushing can’t remove.
If we see gingivitis at your next visit, we’ll let you know. Please let us know if you notice any of the signs or symptoms. We will help guide you toward a treatment plan that is right for you. This may include a deep clean of your teeth, or simply better maintenance of tooth care at home. We also recommend you consider purchasing a gingivitis-fighting mouthwash in addition to your daily brushing and flossing. Look for the active ingredients cetylpyridinium chloride and chlorhexidine.
If you suspect you may have gingivitis, contact us today. We’ll talk you through ways to improve the condition of the gums and may want to schedule an appointment. You don’t want your condition to worsen, so please let us know if you have concerns!
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A frenectomy sounds serious and scary, so when your dentist says you may need one, it’s common to feel a little nervous. We’ll explain what this procedure actually entails, and if you should take any precautions with your oral health before or after you’ve had one.
What Are Frenula?
A frenulum is just a small bit of tissue that helps prevent a particular organ from moving much. They are very helpful in keeping everything in their place, giving you more control over those particular parts of your body.
A frenectomy involves removing a frenulum. There are three types of frenectomies that are common in dentistry:
1. Lingual: Removal of the tissue that connects your tongue and mouth floor.
2. Labial: Removal of the tissue that connects your upper lip to the gums of your upper teeth.
3. Gingival: Removal of the gum tissue that connects two teeth.
Why Would I Need a Frenectomy?
Sometimes, frenula can actually cause harm, especially when they are overgrown and begin to add unnecessary discomfort and pressure on surrounding tissues. We have seen this occur with the aforementioned frenula, which can cause pain, gum recession, gaps between teeth, ability to properly speak and eat, and impact the function of teeth.
Frenectomies usually happen while the frenula are still developing or have just developed, so they are more common in children (either before or just after permanent teeth come in) in order to prevent further damage.
Frenectomies are easy and painless procedures, and involve a simple laser to remove the excess tissue. In fact, the procedure usually lasts for around 20 minutes, and there isn’t much down time necessary after the procedure is over!
Your child’s dentist will be able to check their frenula growth during their exams, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important to schedule routine dental appointments and examinations twice a year. At North Richland Hills Dentistry, we’re dedicated to delivering superior service to all of our clients. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!
As you get older, you may notice that your gums appear to be receding from your teeth. Today, we want to talk about what may be causing your gum recession and how we treat and reverse receding gums.
What Causes Receding Gums?
A variety of factors can cause gums to recede. Poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to grow, accumulate into plaque, and harden into tartar, which can inflame gums and cause them to recede from your teeth. If left untreated, gum inflammation can advance into gum disease. Brushing too vigorously (or with anything other than a soft-bristled toothbrush) can also cause gum recession. For some patients, we can create a customized nightguard that helps limit tooth grinding at night, which may be causing your gums to recede. And in other cases, you may have your genetics to blame!
Do Gums Grow Back?
We'll start with the bad news: unfortunately, gums do not grow back. However, the good news is that there are several things that Dr. Desai and the rest of our team at North Richland Hills Dentistry can do to help repair gum recession. The most common treatment is called a gum graft. In this surgical procedure, we take tissue from one part of your mouth (often the roof of your mouth) and add it along your existing gums. In addition to stopping gum recession in its tracks and giving you a more even gum line, gum grafts also reduce tooth sensitivity and protect the roots of your teeth from decay.
What Should I Do If You Notice Gum Recession?
If you notice that your gums are receding, let us know. In the meantime, you can protect yourself from further gum recession by practicing a proper oral care routine that includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and regularly visiting our office for checkups and cleanings. To ask our team any questions or to schedule your next visit, contact our office!