The long hours in the office can sap your energy fairly quickly, so much so that all you want to do when you get home is to collapse on the couch. If you have kids, the start of the school year brings a new level of chaos and busyness to your schedule. In the midst of the exhaustion and busyness, healthy and nutritious lunches go by the wayside in place of sugary, starchy, ready to eat lunch packs that have little to no nutritional value and can take a toll on your pocketbook.
You may have tried to make yourself healthy lunches in the past, such as salads only to go off-course by driving to the fast-food burger place a mile down the street. When it comes to your children, you try to encourage healthy eating, but shopping for nutritious lunch items they will actually eat only adds to your exhaustion. The busier your schedule gets, the more convenient, unhealthy lunch foods sound appealing.
Oral health is important for your whole family, yourself included. Whether you’re going to the office or taking the kids to school, there are easy ways to pack a lunch that helps your teeth (and won’t break the bank).
For a while, carbohydrates were shunned by dieters who believed these starches were heavy contributors to obesity.
Your body, however, needs carbohydrates for energy. These “good” carbohydrates help you and your children to physically and mentally get through the day. These kinds of carbohydrates are found in whole wheat products such as breads, tortillas, bagels, pita bread, brown rice and quinoa.
It is the “bad” carbohydrates you need to avoid. These are heavy starches that contribute to weight gain and heart problems. “Bad” carbohydrates are found in white bread, pastries, and rice.
Some lunch ideas include using whole wheat bread, tortillas or pita bread and make your favorite sandwich. An alternative lunch could be soup mixed with brown rice or quinoa or even grilled vegetables mixed with brown rice or quinoa.
Protein is necessary to keep one’s muscles healthy and strong. Protein comes from a variety of sources including meats and dairy products. Sandwiches with lean meat such as chicken or turkey make for great tasting sandwiches that are also packed with protein. In addition to the protein found in the lunch meat, a stick of string cheese and a handful of nuts on the side can add to one’s protein intake.
Despite what various diets say about fats and people’s avoidance of fats, certain fats are important and necessary for proper body functioning. The brain and eyes are two parts of the body that greatly benefit from the consumption of healthy fats. Leftover fish from dinner, a handful of nuts and using avocado on one’s sandwich instead of mayonnaise can help your body get those healthy fats.
Your teeth are like bones in that they need calcium to remain strong and hard. In addition, your teeth are anchored to your body via the jawbones, which are made of bone tissue. Calcium helps keeps the jawbone strong to keep supporting the teeth. Calcium is found in dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese. Low-fat varieties of these dairy products help avoid the consumption of “bad” fats. Yogurt also has phosphates in it that is essential for the remineralization of teeth. Vitamins A and C also have calcium. Apples, bananas and oranges are some fruits that have these vitamins. While citrus does have important and essential vitamins and minerals, they should be consumed in moderation as their acidic juice destroys tooth enamel. Salad and streamed vegetables are other sources of calcium-rich vitamins A and C.
Many fresh vegetables that include fiber are hard and crunchy, which act as great toothbrushes. The act of chewing celery, carrots, pepper and broccoli produce saliva, which is the body’s built-in natural mouthwash and the chewing also prevents food particles from getting stuck and lodged on and between teeth. Raw veggies with hummus is a great way for you and your kids to get much needed fiber.
Besides raw vegetables, hard, crunchy nuts also provide the body with fiber and result in the same saliva production and chewing that keeps food particles from sticking to teeth. Nuts also contain vitamin D that helps keep teeth healthy and strong.
If you or your children are craving something sweet, there are many crunchy, juicy fruits that also contain fiber and other nutritious vitamins and minerals. Apples and raw pears stimulate saliva production and helps neutralize enamel destroying acid.
The best way you and your family dental health can start off on the right foot is through regular, twice yearly dental exams and check-ups. If it has been longer than six months since your family’s last visit to our office, or you haven’t yet made a back to school dental check-up for your kids, contact us at LeDowns Dentistry today to schedule an appointment.
It’s a Tuesday and you’re trying to get through another long day at work. To satisfy your boredom and/or tiredness, you whip out your pack of almonds and maybe a small bag of pretzels or an individual package of cookies. You decide to save your big bag of M&M’s for later in the afternoon.
You know that your snack choices aren’t the healthiest. However, it is all you have. Plus, eating fruits and vegetables don’t seem appetizing.
Your body needs food for fuel. When you’re hungry, you can’t focus on your work. Snacking, therefore, must not be that bad. Right?
There has been quite a bit of discussion about whether snacking throughout the day is good or detrimental to your health. In addition, the constant daily snacking is a subject of debate among dentists concerning oral health.
Despite the contention around snacking, the habit of snacking isn’t detrimental to your oral or overall health. Rather, it’s what you choose to eat for snacks that can either benefit or hurt your health.
In the above example, all the snack foods, except for the almonds, contain sugar.
Sugar and starches (simple carbohydrates) are two ingredients one must be sure to avoid or limit.
Bacteria inside the mouth love sugar and starches because they can be quickly broken down. When food particles that contain sugar and starches are broken down, there is a filmy byproduct that is left behind that covers the teeth and gums. It is this film that will eventually turn into plaque if not cleaned off or rinsed off.
If you need to snack during the day, practice “smart snacking.” This type of snacking incorporates choosing healthier snacks and keeping one’s mouth clean between snacks.
When it comes to snacks that are great for oral, and overall health, try the following:
- Fruit and vegetable juices (unsweetened, of course)
- Low or non-fat milk, yogurt, cottage cheese and cheese
- Sliced meats
- Pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Besides snacks that are high in sugar and starches, snacks that are sticky, chewy and gooey should also be avoided as they can easily coat one’s teeth with germs and bacteria.
Other Smart Snacking Tips
- Eat sweets right after a main meal
- Avoid snacking too many times per day
- Brush your teeth or rinse out your mouth after each snack
- Use floss or a flosser after snacking
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a variety of low or non-fat foods
While you may crave a piece of pizza or a packet of Skittles over some carrot or celery sticks, intentionally choosing healthy, low or non-sugar snacks will not only satisfy your hunger cravings, but you’ll also be boosting your oral and overall health.
Regular, adequate oral hygiene is also a great way you can improve your oral hygiene. Properly brushing your teeth, flossing and seeing one of the dentists at LeDowns Dentistry for regular oral examinations and cleaning in addition to a healthy, balanced diet will help ensure good oral health.
If it has been more than six months since your last dental checkup, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
Ask anyone and you’d likely hear that they would prefer a bright, white beautiful smile over a yellow, discolored one. A beautiful smile is pleasant to look at and enhances one’s appearance. In fact, if you think about, have you noticed that those who are happy and confident of their smiles aren’t afraid to show them off while those who are embarrassed and self-conscious of their smiles tend to hide them?
There are deep-down, psychological and emotional forces behind this tendency to show off a beautiful smile and hide an unpleasant-looking one.
Psychological Benefits of a Beautiful Smile
Professional success. A smile may not seem to correspond to one’s professional ambitions. After all, if one puts in the hours and work, it would make sense that he or she becomes a more valuable employee who gets the attention of the boss. However, studies have shown that those who regularly smile at work are seen as more confident and charismatic. Because of these qualities, they are more likely to get promotions into more leadership roles. Similarly, those who smile and communicate during an interview are more likely to get a second interview or get hired than those who hide their smile.
If one is ambitious and dedicated to pursuing a career, the journey will be less stressful, frustrating, and discouraging if he or she has a beautiful smile they are proud to show off.
A happier and healthier life. With a beautiful smile, one is more likely to smile, laugh and communicate with others. This not only makes one more approachable, friendlier and more fun to be around, but it also improves one’s attitude, mood and outlook. When one has a positive attitude, mood and outlook, one is less likely to experience as much stress and more likely to have more peace and be relaxed. Being more relaxed enables one to be able to think more clearly, gain a different perspective and make better decisions.
Improved peace of mind. An ugly smile often has an unpleasant cause such as tooth decay or gum disease of inadequate or improper oral hygiene. Having a constant fear that your teeth and gums are in poor health and that one perpetrated their condition through a lack of care can cause one to feel ashamed and embarrassed. If there is pain or discomfort associated with a poor smile, one may be constantly worrying about the deteriorating condition of their teeth and gums. A beautiful smile on the other hand can spare one of the shame and worry as they know that their great-looking mouth reflects a healthy mouth.
Emotional Benefits of a Beautiful Smile
A beautiful smile also has emotional benefits as well including:
Higher self-esteem. When one has a beautiful smile, they are proud of it and will show it off. Conversely, if your smile isn’t as great as you’d like, it can be easy for you to dwell on the flaws and hide your smile. Those who are not only content with how their smile looks, but are proud of their unique smile, will appear more confident, engaged, content and friendly. They are proud to smile and show the world their inner beauty and will be more likely to embrace and compliment the unique beauty of others.
Better relationships. It can be emotionally draining and discouraging to try and make friends or date people who don’t like you. If you’ve ever wondered what makes people avoid you or not engage with you, maybe you should check the condition of your smile and the frequency at which you smile. People are drawn to those who smile and laugh and appear easy-going, friendly, engaged and funny. If one is embarrassed of their smile and don’t reveal it, he or she can come off as being cold, unfriendly, aloof and boring.
The appearance of a beautiful smile has many underlying benefits including psychological and emotional ones. At LeDowns Dentistry, we want every patient to have a beautiful smile that they are proud to show off. Proper oral hygiene is the best way to get that amazing smile and begin to feel great about yourself. Regular visits to our office for a cleaning and examination every six months is an important part of proper oral care. If it has been longer than six months since your last dental appointment, contact us today to schedule an appointment and get that beautiful smile.
Did you know that your teeth are one of the strongest parts of your body? They chew even the toughest foods, keep your mouth and jawbone structured, and even help you talk. But do you know what keeps your teeth so strong?
Teeth are made up of several different parts, which includes strong roots and tough dentin. However, the part of your tooth that is the strongest is the enamel.
Enamel covers the crowns of your teeth, and it’s actually the hardest substance in your entire body. Pretty amazing, right? Unfortunately, much like any other part of your body, if you don’t take care of your enamel, it can begin to decay and break down. Enamel doesn’t regenerate, so it’s especially important that you take good care of it.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why enamel breaks down and the ways you can prevent it:
Drinking Soda & Sports Drinks
By now, most people know how dangerous soft drinks can be to their bodies. However, many people don’t realize that they can also destroy your teeth. Soft drinks—and other drinks like fruit juices—contain high amounts of acid, both citric and phosphoric. High levels of such acid in your mouth leads directly to enamel erosion. It’s a relatively new piece of news that sports drinks are also detrimental to your teeth. With high sugar content and chemicals that can break down your enamel, these should be avoided if possible.
If you have acid reflux or other gastrointestinal problems like frequent vomiting, you may experience enamel break down. Like with soda, these gastrointestinal problems can raise the overall acid content in your mouth, which will cause enamel to weaken and break down, making you more susceptible to more serious dental issues..
Unhealthy Oral Hygiene Habits
Not taking care of your teeth properly is another thing that can lead to the breakdown of your enamel. Plaque and tartar build up leads first to cavities and, if left alone long enough, can lead to greater enamel decay. Other poor oral habits like grinding your teeth or chewing on ice can lead to enamel decay as well.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may start to eventually experience enamel decay. Dry mouth is caused by a lack of saliva, which leads to a higher acidic content eventually leading to the breakdown of enamel.
Unfortunately, enamel decay can be caused simply by your own genetic makeup. There’s no way to really prevent your enamel from breaking down if it’s caused by genetics.
How You Can Prevent Enamel Breakdown
So, now that you know what causes enamel decay, how can you prevent it? As with many things in the oral health world, extra attention and care can go a long way with preventing your enamel from breaking down.
If you’re worried about your enamel, try following these methods of prevention:
- Lessen your sugary drink intake – Soda and sports drinks are one of the main causes behind enamel decay, so it’s best to limit the amount you drink. Also try to avoid over-consuming juice drinks that have high concentrations of citric acid.
- Take care of your teeth – Creating and maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine can prevent many problems with enamel erosion. Brush at least two times a day and floss at least once a day to prevent plaque and tartar from building up and eroding your teeth’s enamel.
- See your dentist – If you’re especially worried about enamel decay, don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with your dentist. During the appointment, you can learn more ways to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
If you’ve already experienced severe decay, it’s important to get the decayed teeth corrected. At LeDowns Dentistry, we have root canal specialists in Denver CO on staff, and also offer tooth colored fillings for more minor decay. Once corrected, we can help get your oral hygiene back on track to avoid future issues.
Patients who have got a few more years under their belts often feel reluctant to visit the dentist. At this point in your life, your teeth and gums have been through a lot, and you may feel embarrassed by the current state of your smile, or you may just believe that your teeth are too far gone to come back.
It’s not uncommon for some patients to believe that that nothing can be done to regain that bright, vibrant, healthy smile you had when you were younger.
A lot of these conditions are a natural part of aging, but we’re here to tell you that it’s never too late to fully restore your smile.
The Aging Process and How It Impacts Your Dental Health
There are undesirable changes that happen in the mouth as we age. Seniors are at high risk of cavities and gum disease due to naturally receding gums, brittle teeth and dry mouth (which is a common side-effect of many medications seniors take for other health issues).
In addition, because the muscles of the heart weaken with age, older dental patients are more sensitive to analgesics and local anesthetics. This can make it more difficult for certain dental procedures to be done.
How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Restore Your Smile
When you think of cosmetic dentistry, you may believe it is only for patients younger than yourself. While cosmetic solutions are certainly popular for patients in their thirties through sixties, there is nothing saying that older patients can’t take advantage of our services to get a younger, healthier-looking smile.
In fact, cosmetic dentistry is becoming more popular amongst senior patients. Let’s take a closer look at some of the more popular conditions and solutions for seniors.
Tooth discoloration is common as we age because tooth enamel continues to break down over time. Professional teeth whitening can restore and bring back to life the faded smile of age.
Teeth whitening can brighten teeth by many shades, so senior patients have the option for a subtle or more vibrantly white smile.
For senior patients with deep, stubborn stains, bonding may be a more appropriate whitening treatment. With bonding, a tooth-colored substance is applied over the stained area of a tooth. This is also an effective treatment to relieve tooth sensitivity and to cover small cracks or chips in the teeth.
Weakened enamel is another common problem. As is the shifting of teeth due to lost teeth and deteriorating jaw bones. Many patients also have teeth with cracks, chips, form striations and other misshapen teeth. To recreate a younger-looking smile that is straight and full of smooth, strong teeth, thin sheets of porcelain that cover affected teeth called veneers can help.
In other cases, the many years of use, or the onset of excessive decay, or even the unfortunate results of some trauma, has left many patients without some of their teeth. Many patients believe that their only option left is a set of dentures.
Dentures have traditionally been a hallmark of advanced age. Modern dentures, however, have greatly improved from those in the past. Today, denture patients can have permanent dentures thanks to dental implants.
Dental implants are titanium posts that are inserted into the jaw bone and are topped with a natural-looking ceramic crown. Because these posts are directly inserted into the jaw bone, they are secure and stable, providing excellent support for dentures.
With implant-supported dentures, patients can bite, chew, smile and talk with confidence. Unlike traditional dentures that must be taken out for eating and overnight cleaning, implant-supported dentures can withstand great force, enabling them to stay in the mouth.
How LeDowns Dentistry Can Help
At LeDowns Dentistry, we want healthy and great-looking smiles for all our patients, no matter their age. We believe that it’s never too late to restore one’s smile or fix old dental work and we offer the services that can help bring back the life and youthfulness of your smile.
To learn more about the cosmetic dental services we offer seniors, feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment.
Tooth loss can occur for any number of reasons including tooth decay, trauma, age, and gum disease and dental implants have been an incredible and convenient option for smiles damaged by tooth loss. These dental crowns paired with specially designed appliances have become a popular avenue by which patients can resurrect their beautiful smiles.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are commonly used to replace a missing adult or permanent tooth. While baby or primary teeth fall out and are naturally replaced with permanent teeth, adult teeth cannot be replaced by your body once they fall out or are extracted.
The resulting gap in one’s smile not only looks unsightly, but it can weaken the underlying gum and bone tissue and cause neighboring teeth to shift out of proper alignment and placement.
At LeDowns, our Denver CO Dental implants, are the preferred choice to restore your full smile, the stability of your jaw, and ensure that you maintain proper bite and teeth alignment. Dental implants are commonly used to “replace” single missing teeth, though they are now also often used to anchor dental bridgework and dentures.
Makings of a Dental Implant
Implants are comprised of three parts: the post, the abutment, and the dental crown.
Post: The post is a titanium screw that is inserted directly into the gums/jaw. The implant post provides the stability of the implant and securely affixes it to the mouth. The post is manufactured off-site and uses titanium because of its biocompatibility properties.
What this means is that the body’s immune system won’t attack the implant post nor fight the tissue damage caused by the insertion of the post into the gums/jaw. Instead, the cells of the body will grow around the post and absorb it like it was part of the body. Titanium’s biocompatibility results in fewer allergic reactions and infections and quicker healing.
Abutment. The abutment is a small metallic part that is attached to the top of the post. It is on top of the abutment that the crown, or “fake tooth” is attached, affixing it to the post. The Abutment is also made of titanium.
Dental Crown. The crown is a realistic, tooth-like component made of either porcelain or composite resin. The dental crowns are made specifically for each patient, matching the color, size, and shape of the patient’s other teeth and mouth.
The crown is often made by hand in an off-site dental laboratory and can take a week or two to be sent back to the dental office. The patient will return to the dental office after the crown is finished and the dentist will place it on the abutment after removing the temporary crown.
It is the same thing as a crown that fits over a tooth with a large cavity. The shading of the patient’s teeth will be noted as the crown is to look like the rest of the patient’s natural teeth. X-rays and 3-D scanning of the patient’s mouth, bite and teeth will be done to ensure the proper size and shape of the crown.
Porcelain dental crowns tend to be more expensive and more vulnerable to chipping, but they offer a more natural light reflection and shine than composite does. Composite resin crowns are more affordable and more resistant to chipping. Both options give the wearer a realistic-looking tooth.
It typically takes multiple dental office trips for implants to be fully inserted. The post, abutment and a temporary crown are typically applied in the first appointment.
What LeDowns Dentistry Can Do For You
At LeDowns Dentistry, we offer patients high-quality dental implants in Denver that will rejuvenate and restore their smiles. While dental implants are great solutions for most patients, they may not work for others. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dental specialists to discuss how dental implants can improve your smile.
When you think of a healthy smile, you envision a mouth full of bright, white teeth free of cavities and gum disease. All the teeth are straight and smooth. You want teeth like that. If you did, you would know that your mouth has optimum health. Are all the signs of your dental health visible?
There are both visible and invisible signs that your teeth and gums are healthy.
The Visible Signs of a Healthy Smile
- White teeth, free of excessive staining.Teeth naturally turn a yellow color with age. Teeth that are excessively yellow or have yellow or dark portions can indicate tooth decay.
- Teeth that are straight and do not appear excessively long.Crooked teeth are harder to take care of and are more likely to have tooth decay. Against the common myth, teeth don’t “get longer” as one ages. Teeth will appear “longer” when the gums are receding. Gum recess is a sign of gum disease.
- Gums that are firm and a pale pink color.Gums that are white, dark pink or red indicate the presence of inflammation and possible gum disease.
- Gums that aren’t recessed too low.The gums should recede no more than 3 millimeters from the bottom of the teeth.
- A smooth, pink tongue.The tongue has thousands of papillae on the surface which allows the tongue to detect taste and temperature of food. In and around these sensors are places where germs and bacteria accumulate. Proper tongue cleaning will remove the white film that decayed food particles leave behind. Canker sores or red patches on the tongue can indicate a potentially serious health condition such as diabetes or cancer.
- An aligned bite.The teeth on the top jaw and bottom jaw are to align so that the wear and pressure of biting and chewing will be evenly distributed. A misaligned bite is not only a sign of an unhealthy mouth, but it can also cause other problems like ear aches and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Invisible Signs of a Healthy Mouth
- The absence of tooth sensitivity. One of the hallmark symptoms of tooth disease is tooth sensitivity. If your teeth are pain-free and free of sensitivity, chances are they are healthy and don’t have cavities.
- Fresh breath.It can be hard to have fresh breath all the time. In the mornings everyone’s breath is less than pleasant. Persistent bad breath even after brushing, flossing and using mouth wash can indicate disease and decay. If your breath is fresh, it means there is nothing decaying in your mouth.
- A mouth free of pain and discomfort.Pain is the body’s way of letting you know something isn’t right. A mouth that is pain-free is one that is in proper working condition.
- A mouth that is moist.A healthy mouth will be naturally moist with saliva. This is the body’s built-in mouth wash. A dry mouth provides a more hospitable environment for germs, bacteria and eventually plaque to grow and accumulate.
A healthy mouth goes beyond just “skin deep.” There are both visible and invisible signs of a healthy mouth. However, even if you have all the signs of a healthy mouth, there could possibly be some underlying oral health concerns that only a trained eye of a dental professional will be able to recognize.
This is why it is important to see us at LeDowns Dentistry every six months for a professional teeth cleaning and oral examination. At-home oral hygiene isn’t enough to achieve or maintain a healthy mouth. You also need the regular check-up by a dental professional.
A healthy mouth is a beautiful mouth. If it has been more than six months since your last dental office visit, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
It’s a brand-new year, and a great time to look back and see what we’ve accomplished and look forward to set new goals for all the great things we want to do in the next 12 months.
New Year’s Resolutions, though, are notoriously difficult to keep. We go into them with the very best of intentions, but tend to lose interest and motivation all too quickly.
However, if there’s one resolution we can unreservedly recommend it’s this: to get and maintain a great smile.
Why is this such an important resolution?
Let’s just consider some of the benefits of a simple smile.
First, there are physical benefits. A smile can help you look younger (actually proven in studies) and feel better. People who smile a lot seem to have lower stress-hormone levels, which leads to a number of other health benefits.
There are also a number of psychological benefits. A smile can help improve your mood. For that matter, it can help boost others’ moods.
For you, a smile tells your brain that there is a reason to be happy, so it will accommodate you by releasing some natural “feel good” chemicals. But it’s also important to note that a smile is literally contagious. The more you smile the more others will want to smile back.
Finally, there are many social benefits to sharing your smile. People often report improved work situations, more confidence, and better relationships when they more readily smile at others. Smiles can reduce conflict and help others feel more comfortable around you. That means people are more open to honest conversations and new ideas.
As you go into the new year, just imagine how such a thing can improve your relationships, re-energize your body, and open you up to a whole bunch of new opportunities.
How to Get a Great Smile
Don’t let self-conscious feelings keep you from experiencing these great benefits. It’s easier than ever to deal with a wide range of cosmetic dental concerns and get the smile you’ve always wanted. Whether it’s stained or discolored teeth, chips or cracks, or even completely missing teeth, we can help you take care of it.
Just a few of the potential treatments that can help you get a great smile include:
- Teeth Whitening – One of the most common cosmetic procedures that can produce immediate results.
- Implants – Replace missing teeth with strong and durable titanium implant and custom crown.
- Tooth-Colored Fillings – Replace those old metal fillingswith a material that mimics your natural teeth.
- Veneers – Cover up damage and discolorationwhile reshaping and reinforcing your teeth.
- Dental Crowns – Misshapen, broken, or worn-out teeth can be treated with these custom caps.
- Teeth Straightening – Invisalign is an effective way to reposition your teeth and improve your bite.
More than Just Looks
A great smile is actually about more than just looks. While we already mentioned the physical feel-good benefits of smiling, these services actually go beyond that.
Things like missing teeth, cracked or crooked teeth, and a misaligned bite can have an unwanted impact on your overall dental health. You can protect yourself from infections and cavities by taking advantage of these treatments.
A New Smile for a New Year
If you are going to make a new resolution this year, let us recommend one that involves a healthy new smile.
A smile may seem like a small and simple thing, but it may be a lot more important than you think.
Contact us today to see how we can help you keep this resolution.
LeDowns Dentistry was happy to join the Green Valley Ranch community in their annual Trunk or Treat event this year.
This is a fun and safe way for kids to go trick-or-treating, and we love handing out “treats” that are good for your teeth! (Would you expect anything less from your favorite Green Valley Ranch Dentist?)
We had the “tooth fairy” there for the kids to meet, and nearly 400 children came to the event. This is something that we enjoy doing every year and are already looking forward to next year’s event.
View photos from the event and other current happenings on our Facebook page:
When you go to the dentist, you likely fear being told that you have a cavity or two. You don’t think about the possibility of having gum disease.
Gum disease, while it is common, can become a serious oral health issue if it isn’t promptly diagnosed and properly treated.
When you go visit the dentist for a routine exam and cleaning, we’ll check for gum disease. Some of the procedures you may expect include: using a probe to measure the “pockets” of your gums, take X-rays of your mouth and ask about your medical history to identify risk factors.
If your dentist discovers that you have gum disease, it is probably gingivitis. This common, low-level for of gum disease can be easily treated and the damage can be reversed with simple methods such as improving one’s at-home oral hygiene routine.
If you ignore your gingivitis, it can progress into the serious periodontitis. This high-level form of gum disease can have significant, negative impacts on one’s oral health and the damage is irreversible. It is not easily treated like gingivitis is. Periodontal disease can result in lost teeth and/or a weakening and damaging of the jaw bone.
However, you can get an idea of whether or not you have gum disease before visiting the dentist. Here are some telltale signs to look out for:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Bright red, swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums that bleed very easily
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums that look like they are pulling away from the teeth or teeth that appear long
- White spots on the gums
- Pus between gums or teeth
- Change in the way the teeth fit together in the mouth or spaces opening between teeth
- Change in the way partial dentures fit
This list isn’t a comprehensive list, but lists the most common symptoms. Patients can have gum disease without experiencing any symptoms, making it important to make regular appointments with our dental office.
Gum Disease Treatment
If you and our dentist find that you do indeed have gum disease, quick treatment is necessary to keep it from getting worse. There are numerous treatment options available that aim at controlling the progress of gum disease.
The best course of treatment we’ll recommend will be determined on how severe your gum disease is. Sometimes treatment can be something such as quitting smoking or bettering your at-home oral hygiene routine. If you have periodontitis, the treatment is more involved and custom to each patient.
Regardless of the treatment our dentist recommends, proper, at-home oral hygiene is essential in keeping one’s gum disease manageable.
Regular deep cleaning done at the dentist office, combined with proper at-home oral hygiene is often the best way to stem gum disease.
If, however, one’s gum disease develops into periodontal disease, more extreme treatment may be necessary. Deep scaling and root planing are common periodontal disease treatment procedures. Other more, extensive treatment options include “flap surgery,” pocket reduction surgery, tissue grafts and laser therapy and localized antibiotics.
While cavities are bad for your oral health, gum disease can be as equally devastating and should be taken seriously. You may have gum disease and not know it, making it important to see us at least every six months.
The longer you ignore your gum disease, the worse it gets and the harder and more expensive it gets to treat.
If it has been more than six months since your last dental exam and cleaning contact LêDowns Dentistry, your Denver CO dentist, today to schedule an appointment. You can now book your new patient exam or cleaning appointment online at ledownsdentistry.com. We look forward to hearing from you and to help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.