What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bones surrounding your teeth, and is an increasing health risk that requires professional treatment. But what is gum disease and how is it prevented? Keep reading to find out!

What Is It?

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can eventually damage the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth.

Early Stages

In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums become red, swell, and bleed easily. The disease is still reversible at this stage, and can usually be eliminated by careful daily brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged. If the disease is left untreated, it can eventually lead to loss of teeth.

Signs of Gum Disease

Any of the following conditions may indicate the presence of gum disease, and your Snow Family Dentistry dentist should be consulted. If your gums:

  • bleed when brushing teeth
  • are red, swollen or tender
  • have pulled away from the teeth

Or if one of the following conditions are present:

  • bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • pus between teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • a change in the way the teeth fit together when biting
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures

Remember that pain usually is not present in the early stages of gum disease.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be prevented by taking good care of your teeth and by having regular Snow Family Dentistry dental checkups that include a periodontal examination. Here are some suggestions to help keep teeth, gums and supporting bone structures healthy:

  • Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. This removes the film of plaque (germs) from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition and anti-plaque toothpaste.
  • Clean between teeth every day. Cleaning between teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. It is important to have regular dental checkups, which include a thorough periodontal exam. Professional cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases.
  • Avoid use of tobacco.Tobacco use can inflame gum tissue and aggravate existing periodontal disease.

Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry

Think you may be in the early stages of Gum Disease? Schedule a free consultation with Snow Family Dentistry today!

What is Fluoride and What are the Benefits of Using It?

We’ve all heard of it- but what is fluoride exactly? What does it do for your teeth, and what’s the best way to consume it? Our team at Snow Family Dentistry has all the answers!

What is it?

Fluoride helps prevent cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the hard, outer surface layer of your teeth that serves to protect against tooth decay. Unfortunately, tooth enamel is under constant attack by acid-producing bacteria in our mouths. Your body rebuilds and re-mineralizes weakened enamel, but sometimes not well enough, resulting in tooth decay. Fluoride optimizes the remineralization process and takes the place of the hydroxl molecule, binding enamel to teeth more strongly.

The best ways to get fluoride:

  • Drink tap water
  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day for two minutes.
  • Have your Snow Family Dentistry dentist apply fluoride to your teeth directly with a varnish, gel, foam or rinse.
  • Take a fluoride supplement prescribed by your dentist if your water supply isn’t fluoridated

Facts about fluoride:

  • It’s natural- Fluoride is a mineral compound found in the environment and is naturally present in rocks, soil and water. Many of the foods we eat contain small amounts of fluoride, including oatmeal, grapes, asparagus, seafood, etc.. Fluoride occurs naturally in the body, too, as calcium fluoride. It’s a nutrient we need to build strong bones and teeth.
  • Fluoride works all the time- It combines with your saliva so that your teeth are getting a constant fluoride bath. This provides continuous protection against bacteria.
  • It’s difficult to get enough fluoride by diet alone- Although fluoride is naturally present in water and in many of the foods we eat, the amount is small and varied. Even foods with the highest amount of fluoride contribute only 2% to 4% of daily adequate intake per serving.

 

Need help taking your dental care to the next level? Schedule a free consultation with Snow Family Dentistry today!

 

What to do if you have a dental emergency?

Dental emergencies come in many forms, and some are more urgent than others. How do you know what is serious and what isn’t? Continue reading to find out!

Lost Tooth

If your tooth gets knocked out, you need urgent dental care.

Generally, your chances to save the natural tooth decreases after 30-60 minutes. Here are some tips if your tooth has come out of the socket, and you can locate it:

  • Stay calm.
  • Contact your Snow Family Dentistry
  • Hold your tooth by the crown only, which is the part used to chew food.
  • Rinse your tooth in water. Do not rub or agitate your tooth, and do not use soap or chemicals. Do not wash any tissue still on the root of your tooth.
  • The best way to preserve your tooth is to hold it in the socket that it came from. If this is not possible, then place your tooth in a container of milk or your saliva.
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water.
  • Apply a cold compress to your face in the area of the injury.

What if your tooth can’t be saved?

If our experts can’t save your tooth, we will replace it with a dental implant.

Broken, Chipped or Cracked Tooth

Teeth can also crack while eating, especially if you bite into a hard piece of food, candy or ice cube. Typically, a tooth with a small chip can be fixed with a tooth filling and does not require urgent treatment if the nerve is not exposed. Also, a larger piece of a broken tooth may be restored with a dental crown.

Tooth or Gum Abscess

A pocket of pus that develops at the root of your tooth is known as a tooth or gum abscess, and can drain pus into your mouth. As a result, you may have a foul taste in your mouth.

Signs and symptoms that you have a tooth or gum abscess can include a consistent throbbing toothache, fever, foul smelling breath, swelling of the gums, jaw, or face. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the head and neck. You can also experience these symptoms without experiencing dental trauma. If this is the case, you may have tooth decay that has penetrated the inner pulp of your tooth.

If you think you have an abscess, you should get urgent treatment.

When to Contact Snow Family Dentistry

Some situations require an immediate visit to your Snow Family Dentistry dentist. In summary, you should see your dentist immediately if you have:

  • Swelling around your mouth or facial area
  • Knots or swelling in your gums
  • You are bleeding from the mouth
  • A loose tooth
  • You are in a severe amount of pain that doesn’t dissipate even after taking a pain reliever

Our highly trained team of experts at Snow Family Dentistry specialize in urgent care dentistry, and treat various dental emergencies with compassion and care. For more information regarding our services, please click here.