Receding Gums

Receding gums happen when the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away or pulls back, exposing the root or more of the tooth. This can be one of the first signs of gum disease.  If not treated, it can lead to further problems and even the loss of the tooth.

According to WebMD there are a number of factors that can cause your gums to recede, including:

Periodontal diseases. These are bacterial gum infections that destroy gum tissue and supporting bone that hold your teeth in place. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession.

Your genes. Some people may be more susceptible to gum disease. In fact, studies show that 30% of the population may be predisposed to gum disease, regardless of how well they care for their teeth.

Aggressive tooth brushing. If you brush your teeth too hard or the wrong way, it can cause the enamel on your teeth to wear away and your gums to recede.

Insufficient dental care. Inadequate brushing and flossing makes it easy for plaque to turn into calculus (tartar) — a hard substance that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning — and build up on and in between your teeth, causing gum recession.

Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in female hormone levels during a woman’s lifetime, such as in puberty, pregnancy,  and menopause, can make gums more sensitive and more vulnerable to gum recession.

Tobacco products. Tobacco users are more likely to have sticky plaque on their teeth that is difficult to remove, which can cause gum recession.

Grinding and clenching your teeth. Clenching or grinding your teeth can put too much force on the teeth, causing gums to recede. 

Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite. When teeth do not come together evenly, too much force can be placed on the gums and bone, allowing gums to recede.

Body piercing of the lip or tongue. Jewelry can rub the gums and irritate them to the point that gum tissue is worn away.

Although gum recession is a common problem, many people don’t realize they are suffering from it because it comes on gradually. You might notice more tooth sensitivity or your teeth may appear longer.  If you are having these problems it is important that you contact our office as there are treatments that can be done to help prevent further damage. This is something you don’t want to ignore. The best way you can prevent your gums from receding is to take good care of your mouth.

PREVENTATIVE TIPS

  • Brush your teeth daily preferably with a soft bristled toothbrush.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Monitor any changes you see or feel in your mouth.
  • Most importantly, keep your appointments to see Dr. Brogdon twice a year for cleanings and to check up.

Your smile is the only one you have. Take care of it by following these preventative tips.

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Is Candy Bad for your Teeth?

Although Halloween with all it’s candy has come and gone, many children as well as adults eat too much candy. But is it harmful for your teeth? The fact is eating candy can cause damage to your teeth by wearing away the tooth enamel.  Tooth enamel is the covering on your teeth and your diet directly affects your tooth enamel. Drinking acidic drinks and eating lots of sugars can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel. That is why not only should you avoid lots of sugars, but also sodas which contain both sugars and acid, should be avoided.

Tooth enamel damage can lead to problems such as painful or sensitive teeth. It can also cause your teeth to crack or chip and as the enamel on your teeth become more damaged, you are more likely to develop cavities and decay.

Studies show that some of the worse candy for your teeth are sour candies. They contain more acid which is a double whammy for your enamel. Gummy, chewy and hard candies can also cause problems.

There are some good ways you can help prevent tooth enamel damage.  According to symptomfind.com:

Fortunately, you don’t have to avoid candy altogether to protect your tooth enamel. Instead, simply improve your dental hygiene habits and make a few adjustments in the way that you eat candy and your teeth should be safe from unnecessary damage. Here are a few tips for preventing erosion of your tooth enamel:

  • Cut down on the amount of candy that you consume. Try to limit your intake to one or two snacks per day, and make sure that you are not always choosing one of the higher risk candies mentioned above (sour candies, hard candies or gummy candies).
  • Drink water or brush your teeth after eating candy to wash away some of the harmful sugars and acids. Us a fluoride toothpaste or fluoride rinse for the best results since these products help remineralize enamel that has been damaged. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the day to combat dry mouth, which can make tooth enamel erosion worse.
  • Eat candy with a meal rather than on its own. Your saliva flow will be higher during a meal, allowing less of the candy to stick to your teeth. You should also avoid eating the candy very slowly over a longer period of time. Instead, select your serving and eat it in one sitting. This reduces the damage done to your tooth enamel.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating candy. This also increases your saliva flow and may help to remove and particles of candy that have become stuck to your teeth.
  • See your dentist regularly or if you are experiencing any tooth pain. Getting regular cleanings and going in for any unusual symptoms is the best way to protect your teeth and make sure your enamel is in good condition.

If you are experiencing the pain or symptoms of tooth enamel decay give Brogdon Dental a call at 423-870-5698.  Our dentist, Dr. Brogdon, and our Dental Hygentists are here to help you.

Sensitive Teeth

Do cold or hot foods or liquids such as ice cream or coffee cause you pain?  Do you have trouble sometimes with brushing or flossing? If so you may be experiencing a problem that affect many people, sensitive teeth.

Possible causes for sensitive teeth can include cavities, a fractured tooth, worn fillings and or tooth enamel, gum disease or an exposed tooth root.

According to mouthhealthy.org there is a layer of enamel that protects the crowns of your teeth—the part above the gum line. Under the gum line a layer called cementum protects the tooth root. Underneath both the enamel and the cementum is dentin. Dentin is less dense than enamel and cementum and contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals).

“When dentin loses its protective covering of enamel or cementum these tubules allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to reach the nerves and cells inside the tooth. Dentin may also be exposed when gums recede. The result can be hypersensitivity.”

The treatment recommended depends on what is causing your sensitivity problem. Listed below are a variety of treatments from mouthhealthy.org:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste. This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Fluoride gel. An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding. These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft. If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal. If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

The good news is that sensitive teeth can be treated!  Ask Dr. Brogdon if you have any questions about your oral hygiene or any issues you may be experiencing with tooth sensitivity.  Don’t continue to suffer, we’re here to help.

Stress and your Oral Health

We know that excessive stress can give you a headache, stomachache and even heart problems, but what you may not realize is that stress can affect your oral health as well.

According to WebMD stress and anxiety can affect you in the following ways:

  • Mouth sores, including canker sores and cold sores
  • Clenching of teeth and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Poor oral hygiene and unhealthy eating routines
  • Periodontal (gum) disease or worsening of existing periodontal disease

Mouth sores such as canker sores can be painful and bothersome.

WebMD Defines Canker sores as “small ulcers with a white or grayish base and bordered in red — appear inside the mouth, sometimes in pairs or even greater numbers. Although experts aren’t sure what causes them — it could be immune system problems, bacteria, or viruses — they do think that stress, as well as fatigue and allergies, can increase the risk of getting them. Canker sores are not contagious.”

Relief can be found by the use of  over-the-counter topical anesthetics and by limiting your ingestion of spicy or acidic foods until they heal.

Cold sores are are caused by the herpes simplex virus and are contagious. They can also be triggered by an emotional upset.  Over the counter remedies are available.  It’s important to start treatment as soon as you notice the cold sore.  Talk to our office as soon as you can.

Stress may make you clench and grind your teeth and can lead to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).  Contact us and ask what can be done to prevent grinding problems associated with stress.  Dr. Brogdon may recommend a night guard that you wear at night when you sleep or may have other suggestions for you.

Remember, stress can affect your health in many ways.  Call us today and let us help you with stress associated with your oral health.

 

Oral Health for Adults over 60

Do you think that cavities can only happen to the young?  With more people keeping there natural teeth longer, the likelihood of having a cavitiy is extended into your later years.  Good oral health is important at any age. A healthy mouth is essential for a health body.

According to healthymouth.org:

Maintaining good oral health habits now is especially important because unhealthy bacteria in the mouth not only can harm your teeth and gums but may be associated with serious medical conditions. Research has shown that infections in the mouth may be associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and other health problems that are common in older adults. It really only takes a few simple steps, brushing and flossing daily, visiting your dentist regularly and eating nutritious foods to be Mouth Healthy for Life.

Here are some healthy habits to establish:

  • Brush and Floss Daily
  • Clean Dentures Daily
  • Visit a Dentist Regularly
  • Drink Water with Fluoride
  • Quit Smoking

Remember, Your Mouth is the Gateway to your Body.  Taking care of your teeth at any age is timeless advice.  Call us today at Brogdon Dental to make an appointment to see how you’re doing.

Dental Care and Diabetes

Many people do not associate diabetes with dental care, but if you suffer from diabetes you need to take special care of your teeth and gums.

According to Web MD, “Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body, including your mouth. Dental care is particularly important for people with diabetes because they face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugars. The less well controlled the blood sugar, the more likely oral health problems will arise. This is because uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body’s main defense against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth.”

People with diabetes face a higher risk of:

  • Dry mouth. Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease saliva flow, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth can further lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
  • Gum inflammation (gingivitis and periodontitis). Besides impairing white blood cells, another complication of diabetes is that it causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth. When this combination of events happens, the body’s ability to fight infections is reduced. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, diabetics with uncontrolled disease may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.
  • Poor healing of oral tissues. People with uncontrolled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment site can be impaired.
  • Thrush. People with diabetes who frequently take antibiotics to fight various infections are especially prone to developing a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue. The fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Burning mouth and/or tongue. This condition is caused by the presence of thrush.

Here are some oral health tips from Web MD:

Day-to-Day Dental Health Care Tips

  • Have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year. (Your dentist may recommend a closer interval depending upon your condition.)
  • Prevent plaque buildup on teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
  • dental-health-dental-care-diabetes

Antibacterial mouth rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease, according to the American Dental Association.

It is essential that you follow good dental health practices, especially if you suffer from diabetes.  Dr. Brogdon needs to be aware of your condition as well.  Notify our office immediately in the event of any changes in your mouth, gums or teeth. We are concerned about your dental care and know you are too!

The Daily Grind – Bruxism

Do you sometimes find yourself clinching your teeth, or do you grind your teeth in your sleep? Maybe you wake up in the morning with a dull headache or jaw soreness with pain in your face that you can’t explain.  If you’ve experienced any of these problems you may be suffering from a condition known as Bruxism or more commonly known as teeth grinding.

According to www.colgate.com – Bruxism is clenching or grinding your teeth. Most people are not even aware that they are doing this. In the United States, bruxism affects about 30 million to 40 million children and adults.

In adults, most cases of bruxism are caused by stress and anxiety.  Other causes are sleep disorders, crooked or missing teeth or an abnormal bite.  If you are suffering from stress and anxiety, find ways to help relax. Light exercise such as taking a walk or listening to calming music may help.  About 30% of children grind or clench their teeth and most of them eventually outgrow this and suffer no permanent damage.

If  bruxism in adults or children is related to dental problems, a more thorough examination may be needed.  As well as checking your “bite” (how your upper and lower teeth come together) Dr Brogdon will examine your teeth and gums for damage and may take x-rays of your jaws and teeth.  He may have to adjust your teeth alignment.

Ask Dr Brogdon about fitting you for a mouthguard (a dental appliance) that you can wear at night to help protect your teeth while you sleep.  In some cases this may be all you need.

We live in a stressful world.  Call us today at 423-870-5698 and let us at Brogdon Dental help relieve a little of your daily grind!