G is for Gingivitis

Last month we learned that Flossing was more than just a dance. This month we are going to learn about Gingivitis. So what is Gingivitis? When plaque, which contains bacteria, builds up on teeth it creates an inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue. This gum disease is know as Gingivitis.

Left unchecked, gingivitis can develop into a more severe form of gum disease, known as Periodontitis, which is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, 75% of Americans will experience gum disease at some point in their life.  It is also the number one cause of bleeding gums in adults.

gingivitis-symptoms

According to crest.com here are some steps to help prevent, if you don’t already have gingivitis, or to treat it if you do:

  • Use an anti-gingivitis toothpaste.
  • Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash.
  • Brush your teeth and gums for at least 2 minutes, at least 2 times a day.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 months: Worn-out bristles remove less plaque.
  • If you have sore gums after flossing or brushing, or notice bleeding, don’t stop brushing or flossing. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles so you don’t hurt your gums.  If you notice bleeding regularly, see your dentist.
  • Check your gums in the mirror often for changes in color or texture. If their appearance changes, see your dentist and hygienist.
  • Cut back on foods that are high in sugar. Sugar promotes the growth of gingivitis-causing plaque.

If you feel that you may have gingivitis or even periodontitis, please call call our office at Brogdon Dental as soon as possible so we can begin the process of reversing the problem and restoring healthy gums again.

 

 

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A is for Anxiety

Do you dread going to the Dentist? Does your palms start to sweat and your heart starts beating faster when you walk in the door?  Do you find yourself avoiding making an appointment because of your fears?  If this describes you, you are not alone.  Somewhere between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear.

According to WebMD here are some of the most common reasons for dental anxiety:

  • Fear of pain. Fear of pain is a very common reason for avoiding the dentist. This fear usually stems from an early dental experience that was unpleasant or painful or from dental “pain and horror” stories told by others. Thanks to the many advances in dentistry made over the years, most of today’s dental procedures are considerably less painful or even pain-free.
  • Fear of injections or fear the injection won’t work. Many people are terrified of needles, especially when inserted into their mouth. Beyond this fear, others fear that the anesthesia hasn’t yet taken effect or wasn’t a large enough dose to eliminate any pain before the dental procedure begins.
  • Fear of anesthetic side effects. Some people fear the potential side effects of anesthesia such as dizziness, feeling faint, or nausea. Others don’t like the numbness or “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics.
  • Feelings of helplessness and loss of control. It’s common for people to feel these emotions considering the situation — sitting in a dental chair with your mouth wide open, unable to see what’s going on.
  • Embarrassment and loss of personal space. Many people feel uncomfortable about the physical closeness of the dentist or hygienist to their face. Others may feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors.

If you suffer from any of these anxieties, the best thing you can do is talk about your fears with Dr Brogdon. He can discuss ways to make you feel less stressed and more comfortable.  Ask him to explain all he is doing, when he is doing it.  Knowing what to expect can help you relax. If you have any pain or just need to catch your breath, you might raise your hand or give him some signal to stop what he’s doing.

Dental Anxiety doesn’t have to keep you from having the best smile possible.  We are here to help.  Give us a call and set up that appointment.  Don’t be one of those 20%.

Why Dental Cleanings are Essential

Do you ever wonder why your dentist recommends you come back to see them every six months? Not only to we enjoy seeing you, but regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.  It’s also up to you to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy between those visits. Plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.

teethbrushing

After your dental exam we will perform a dental cleaning which consist of:

  • Checking the cleanliness of your teeth and gums
  • Removing any plaque and tartar
  • Polishing your teeth
  • Flossing between your teeth
  • Reviewing recommended brushing and flossing techniques

Once we are finished with your cleaning, we’ll tell you more about the health of your teeth and gums and make any recommendations we feel is warranted.  Remember, by seeing our staff at Brogdon Dental on a routine basis (at least every 6 months) and following our recommendations of good, daily oral hygiene practices, you can be sure that you will keep your teeth and gums healthy. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

 

 

 

 

Interesting Facts about Teeth

Here are some interesting facts about teeth, courtesy of the Children’s Dental Village.

  • The average American spends 38.5 total days brushing their teeth over a lifetime.
  • People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. Put down the pop and sports drinks and pick up some nice fresh water instead.
  • Just like finger prints, tooth prints are unique to each individual.
  • More people use blue toothbrushes than red ones.
  • If you’re right handed, you will chew your food on your right side. If you’re left handed, you will tend to chew your food on your left side.
  • If you don’t floss, you miss cleaning 40% of your tooth surfaces. Make sure you brush and floss twice a day!
  • More than 300 types of bacteria make up dental plaque.
  • 78% of Americans have had at least 1 cavity by age 17.
  • Dogs have 42 teeth, cats have 30 teeth, pigs have 44 teeth, and an armadillo has 104 teeth.
  • Kids laugh around 400 times a day, adults just 15 times a day.
  • The average woman smiles 62 times a day. The average man smiles about 8 times a day.

So brush and floss your teeth, drink plenty of water and SMILE…

smile

 

History of the Toothbrush

Have you ever wondered where the toothbrush came from that you have in your bathroom medicine cabinet?  According to the Library of Congress, the toothbrush that we use today was not invented until 1938. However, there are many other early forms of toothbrushes that have been around since 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans used what was referred to as a “chew stick” which was a thin stick with a frayed end.  The teeth were “cleaned” by chewing on the frayed end.

Bristle toothbrushes were invented in China in 1498. These brushes were made with hairs taken from the backs of hog’s necks and attached to bone or bamboo handles.

In 1938, Dupont de Nemours introduced the first nylon toothbrush called Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush.  Compared to using a boar bristle toothbrush, this was probably looked on as a miracle! Now we have various toothbrush shapes, sizes, textures and handle styles to choose from.

Toothbrush

Here are some other interesting facts about toothbrushes:

  • The first mass-produced toothbrush was made by William Addis of Clerkenwald, England, around 1780.
  • The first American to patent a toothbrush was H.N. Wadsworth, on November 7, 1857.
  • Mass production of toothbrushes began in America around 1885.
  • One of the first electric toothbrushes to hit the American market was in 1960. It was marketed by the Squibb company under the name of Broxodent.
  • On average, each person in the U.S. purchases three toothbrushes every 2 years although the ADA recommends that toothbrushes be changed every 3 to 4 months.
(courtesy of The Library of Congress)

Is Sugar Scary? It can be…

Halloween is here and that means your kids will probably be eating a lot of sweets, especially candy. So how can you keep their teeth from suffering after too much sugar?

One way is pretty simple. Brush often. Everyone knows that brushing your teeth can help you prevent cavities, but it can also help if you have eaten too much sugar. You also need to change your toothbrush out often. According to colgate.com, Toothbrushes with triple-action bristles and diamond-shaped heads are designed to be better at cleaning hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.  And those hard-to-reach places are where your sugars will reside.

Use mouthwash, especially those that contain fluoride. If you don’t have mouthwash, swishing your mouth out with plain water will help.

Chewing sugar-free gum after eating sweets helps by creating saliva which will remove sugar that coats your teeth. The key is to prevent the mouth from remaining coated in the acid-forming sugars and other carbohydrates found in sweets after eating.

Use these tips to help your kids (and yourself) from developing cavities from too much sugars.  And call our office at Brogdon Dental to make your appointment for cleaning. Now is the time to take control of your and your children’s dental health.

Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss – and a Fork 8

Last time we talked about foods and teeth we discussed cheese. With this post we will talk about Almonds. Did you realize that almonds (as well as other nuts) contain vitamins, minerals, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and other nutrients that are good for your teeth?

Not only are almonds good for your teeth, but they are high in monounsaturated fats which have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

almonds

To stay strong, healthy teeth need a combination of phosphorus for bone formation; vitamin D and magnesium for calcium absorption; vitamin B to prevent mouth sores; and vitamin C and potassium for strong gum tissue.

One food packed with all these healthy-teeth nutrients is an ounce of almonds (about 20-25 nuts).

Almonds also neutralize cavity-causing acids, says David Leader, D.D.S, assistant clinical professor at Tufts Dental School in Boston.

Who doesn’t like nuts? What an enjoyable way to introduce healthy vitamins and minerals in your diet! So have a hand full of nuts and call our office to set up your next dental appointment.