Periodontal Disease & Tobacco
You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease.
Current studies have now linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. These cases may be even more severe than those of non-users of tobacco. There is a greater incidence of tartar (calculus) formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth as well as greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.
Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar slow down healing and the predictability of success following periodontal treatment.
Problems caused by tobacco include:
Lung disease, heart disease, cancer, mouth sores, gum recession, loss of bone and teeth, bad breath, tooth staining, less success with periodontal treatment ,and with dental implants.
Quitting tobacco will reduce the chance of developing the above problems.
Diabetes & Oral Health
Individuals suffering from diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetics, have a higher risk of developing bacterial infections of the mouth. These infections may impair your ability to process insulin, resulting in greater difficulty with controlling your diabetes. Periodontal diseases will be more severe than those of a non-diabetic and treatment more difficult. However, well-controlled diabetics have a lower incidence of cavities.
Steps to prevent periodontal disease include daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, regular dental visits for professional cleaning, and regular periodontal evaluation. Your health professional must also be told of your history and the current status of your condition. And finally, you can help resist periodontal infection by maintaining control of your blood sugar levels.
Women & Periodontal Health
Throughout a woman’s life, hormonal changes affect tissue throughout the body.
Fluctuations in levels occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. At these times, the chance of periodontal disease may increase, requiring special care of your oral health.
During puberty, there is increased production of sex hormones. These higher levels increase gum sensitivity and lead to greater irritations from plaque and food particles. The gums can become swollen, turn red, and feel tender.
Similar symptoms occasionally appear several days before menstruation. There can be bleeding of the gums, bright red swelling between the teeth and gum, or sores on the inside of the cheek. The symptoms clear up once the period has started. As the amount of sex hormones decrease, so do these problems.
Your gums and teeth are also affected during pregnancy. Between the second and eighth month, your gums may also swell, bleed, and become red or tender. Large lumps may appear as a reaction to local irritants. However, these growths are generally painless and not cancerous. They may require professional removal, but usually disappear after pregnancy.
Periodontal health should be part of your prenatal care. Any infections during pregnancy, including periodontal infections, can place a baby’s health at risk.
The best way to prevent periodontic infections is to begin with healthy gums and continue to maintain your oral health with proper home care and careful periodontic monitoring.
Swelling, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums may also occur when you are taking oral contraceptives, which are synthetic hormones.
You must mention any prescriptions you are taking, including oral contraceptives, prior to medical or dental treatment. This will help eliminate the risk of drug interactions, such as antibiotics with oral contraceptives – where the effectiveness of the contraceptive can be lessened.
Changes in the look and feel of your mouth may occur if you are menopausal or post-menopausal. They include feeling pain and burning in your gum tissue and salty, peppery, or sour tastes.
Careful oral hygiene at home and professional cleaning may relieve these symptoms. There are also saliva substitutes to treat the effects of dry mouth.”
After each visit at Venice Village Dental, you will be booked with your next continuing care appointment as prescribed by our hygienists and dentist. It is imperative that we set up this appointment to keep you in our system to help you maintain your overall oral health. If there are any concerns in regards to this appointment as it draws closer, our team will be in contact to find a time that will be more suitable to your needs.
Did you know?
Did you know the toothbrush was invented in 1498 in China? That’s according to a 17th century encyclopedia drawing. The nylon bristled toothbrush that we use today was introduced in 1938. No one knows who invented toothpaste. The famous Greek physician Hippocrates advised people to “wash their teeth” and included recipes for tooth-paste dating back to the 4th-5th century.
How to Floss?
Periodontal disease usually appears between the teeth where your toothbrush cannot reach. Flossing is the most effective way to remove plaque from the surfaces in between teeth. However, it is important to develop the proper technique. The following instructions will help you, but remember it takes time and practice. There are several options for cleaning between teeth. You might choose to use dental floss or another product specifically made for this purpose like a dental pick, pre-threaded flosser, tiny brushes that reach between the teeth or wooden plaque remover. Ask Dr Riesz or one of our clinical staff how to use floss or other devices properly to avoid injuring your gums. It could be that you simply need to try another type of dental floss—waxed, unwaxed, thick or comfort floss. Stick with it and you’ll have adopted a healthy habit for life. Dr Riesz prefers the synthetic tape style flosses such as Glide or Satin B.
Water flossers (ie. Waterpik) also clean between teeth and can be a good option if you have trouble flossing by hand or you have dental work that makes flossing difficult, like braces or permanent or fixed bridges.
Dr. Riesz recommends using a soft or extra soft bristled sonic electronic toothbrush. Position the brush at a 45 degree angle where your gums and teeth meet. If you insist on using a manual toothbrush, then you must gently move the brush in a circular motion several times using small, gentle strokes brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth.
When using a manual toothbrush, use light pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth, but not so much pressure that you feel any discomfort. Move the brush back and forth gently in short strokes. Brush the outer surfaces, the inside surfaces and the chewing surfaces of all teeth. When you are done cleaning the outside surfaces of all your teeth, follow the same directions while cleaning the inside of the back teeth.
To clean the inside surfaces of the upper and lower front teeth, hold the brush vertically. Make several gentle back-and-forth strokes over each tooth. Don’t forget to gently brush the surrounding gum tissue. Next you will clean the biting surfaces of your teeth by using short, gentle strokes. Change the position of the brush as often as necessary to reach and clean all surfaces. Try to watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you clean each surface.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
After you are done, rinse vigorously to remove any plaque you might have loosened while brushing. Of course, brushing your teeth is only a part of a complete dental care routine. You should also make sure to:
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Nothing works better to remove plaque and prevent cavities than the combination of flossing followed by brushing. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three to four months. Bristles that become frayed and worn will be less effective at cleaning teeth.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by effective daily flossing and toothbrushing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque and tartar. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. Tartar (calculus) is calcified or hardened plaque that attaches to the enamel on your teeth and below the gum line. By thorough daily flossing and brushing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
Start with a piece of floss (waxed is easier) about 18” long. Lightly wrap most of the floss around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap the rest of the floss around the middle finger of the other hand.
Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers
To clean the upper teeth, hold the floss tightly between the thumb and forefinger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth using a back-and-forth motion. Do not force the floss or try to snap it in to place. Bring the floss to the gum line then curve it into a C-shape against one tooth. Slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth until you feel light resistance.
Move the floss up and down on the side of one tooth. Remember there are two tooth surfaces that need to be cleaned in each space. Continue to floss each side of all the upper teeth. Be careful not to cut the gum tissue between the teeth. As the floss becomes soiled, turn from one finger to the other to get a fresh section.
To clean between the bottom teeth, guide the floss using the forefingers of both hands. Do not forget the back side of the last tooth on both sides, upper and lower.
How to Brush Teeth?
If you have any pain while brushing your teeth or have any questions about how to brush properly, please be sure to call the office at 941-408-7645.
When you are done, rinse vigorously with water to remove plaque and food particles. Do not be alarmed if during the first week of flossing your gums bleed or are a little sore. If your gums hurt while flossing you could be doing it too hard or pinching the gum. As you floss daily and remove the plaque your gums will heal and the bleeding should stop.
The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth a minimum of once a day. The best time to floss between your teeth is at night time just before you go to sleep. Cleaning between your teeth is the best way to help prevent the gum disease and preventing cavities from forming between your teeth. Cleaning between your teeth helps remove a sticky film called plaque. Plaque contains bacteria that feeds on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. When that happens, it releases an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth and cause cavities.
Keep in mind that cleaning between your teeth should not be painful. If you floss often then your gums will become healthier and flossing will be less painful or irritating. If you are not flossing often enough, then your gums will be unhealthy and sore. Inadequate or infrequent flossing could be the reason why flossing seems painful to you. If you floss too hard or improperly, then you could damage the tissue between your teeth. If you’re too gentle, you might not be getting the food out. It’s normal to feel some discomfort when you first start, but don’t give up. With daily brushing and cleaning between your teeth, that discomfort should ease within a week or two. If your pain persists, please contact us.
What Is The Best Time to Clean Between Your Teeth—Before or After Brushing?
The most important thing to know about flossing and cleaning between your teeth is firstly that you should be doing at least do it once a day to achieve a bare minimum standard of personal oral hygiene. Dr Riesz recommends flossing every night before bedtime. Night time is the most critical time to floss and brush because this is when our mouths get a lengthy break from the constant exposure to sugary foods and drinks which cause plaque and tartar accumulation. At night, our mouths also become more dry and acidic which gives bacteria an opportunity to do further damage to our teeth and gums. For all of these reasons, Dr Riesz recommends that you floss each night before bedtime. Since flossing will loosen up plaque from between the teeth this is then an excellent time to brush away all that loose plaque. Brush thoroughly after flossing with a quality electronic sonic toothbrush, such as the Philip’s Sonicare or the Braun Oral B. If you like to gargle or rinse, then follow up your flossing and brushing ritual with the mouth rinse advised or prescribed by your dental care professional. For those patients whom already have a known history of gum disease, it is critical for them to make a habit of flossing and brushing a few times a day to control plaque and tartar build up. For these patients with gum disease, Dr Riesz advises flossing, followed by brushing each morning after breakfast, and last thing before bedtime each night.
Caring for Sensitive Teeth
Sensitivity is commonly the result of exposed root surfaces due to recession or bone loss from gum disease. Patients can often mistake this for a cavity or a more serious problem. Sometimes teeth may be very sensitive after dental treatment or even a routine cleaning. In these cases, the teeth may be sensitive to hot and/or cold. This should not last long, and should improve slowly over the course of a few days to a few weeks. If your teeth are especially sensitive, or if they seem to be getting worse instead of better, then consult with your dentist. The dentist may recommend a medicated toothpaste or mouth rinse made especially for sensitive teeth (such as Sensodyne or Colgate Sensitivity Toothpaste).
Choosing Oral Hygiene Products
There are so many products on the market it can become confusing and choosing between all the products can be difficult. Here are some suggestions for choosing dental care products that will work for most patients.
Electronic toothbrushes are safe and effective for the majority of the patients. Oral irrigators (water spraying devices) will rinse your mouth thoroughly, but will not remove all the plaque between the teeth. You need to floss and brush in conjunction with the irrigator. Both manual and powered toothbrushes can effectively and thoroughly clean teeth. People who have difficulty using a manual toothbrush may find powered toothbrushes easier to use. We see excellent results with electric toothbrushes called Philip’s Sonicare. For Floss we recommend Glide Floss.
Some toothbrushes have a rubber tip on the handle; this is used to massage the gums after brushing. There are also tiny brushes (interproximal toothbrushes) that clean between your teeth. If these are used improperly you could injure the gums, so discuss proper use with your dentist.
Fluoride toothpastes and mouth rinses, if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing, can reduce tooth decay as much as 40%. Remember, these rinses are not recommended for children under six years of age. Tartar control toothpastes will help to reduce tartar above the gum line, but gum disease starts below the gum line so these products have not been proven to reduce the early stage of gum disease. Flossing is the only known oral hygiene activity to significantly help patients control gum disease.
Anti-plaque rinses, approved by the American Dental Association, contain agents that may help bring early gum disease under control. Use these in conjunction with flossing and brushing.
Professional Dental Hygiene
Daily flossing and brushing will help to keep dental tartar (calculus) and plaque to a minimum, but only a professional dental hygienist can remove all the calculus that builds up in your mouth over time. No matter how good your home care or personal oral hygiene habits may be, inevitably we all require the professional services or a dental hygienist. Your first visit to our office involves an oral exam to diagnose the health of your gums. This first visit is an important part of your program to prevent gum disease so that you may keep your teeth for your lifetime. There are several types or professional hygiene treatment: dental prophylaxis (dental cleaning), scaling (scaling and root planning), and perio-maintenance (perio-maintenance cleaning).
A dental prophylaxis is a type of routine cleaning treatment performed on patients who have not already developed periodontal disease. Typically, younger patients receive a dental prophylaxis, although many older patients with a life time of good personal oral hygiene also receive a prophylaxis to maintain their healthy mouth. A dental prophylaxis thoroughly cleans the top surfaces of the teeth and gums. Dental prophylaxis is an important dental treatment for preventing the progression of gingivitis and the development of periodontal disease.
Patients may develop gum disease (periodontal disease) at any age, but we typically see gum disease begin to develop in patients over the age of 35 (thirty-five). Periodontal disease often involves the build-up of calculus on the root surfaces below the gum line. When gum disease is discovered and diagnosed, the dentist will prescribe a treatment to be performed by the hygienist called scaling (scaling and root planning). Scaling is a treatment performed by the hygienist which removes the tartar from below the gum-line. The scaling treatment will help the patient to get the active gum disease under control. The patient will then have a follow up visit with the hygienist, at which time the patient and the hygienist will schedule routine visits called perio-maintenance (perio-maintenance cleaning). As the name implies, perio-maintenance visits are a more frequent type of cleaning to help patients who have gum disease maintain their mouth in a healthy state. The perio-maintenance appointments are normally scheduled every 3 or 4 months to help keep the tartar (calculus) off the root surfaces, so as to slow down and prevent the advancement of gum disease. Just like many other inflammatory disease processes, gum disease must be managed and maintained to prevent it’s progression.
Dental hygiene therapies are necessary and effective procedures that help keep the oral cavity in good health and slow down the progression of gum disease.
The benefits of professional teeth cleaning include
Professional dental hygiene can be performed at our office. We recommend that prophylaxis be performed a minimum of twice annually as a preventative measure, but should be completed every 3-4 months for patients with gum disease (periodontitis).