What is Good Oral Hygiene?
Good oral hygiene results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:
- Your teeth are clean and free of debris
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Bad breath is not a constant problem
If your gums do hurt or bleed while brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing persistent bad breath, see your dentist right away. Any of these conditions may indicate a problem like Gum Diseases / Periodontitis.
Daily preventive care, including proper brushing and flossing, will help stop problems before they develop. This is much less painful, expensive, and worrisome than treating conditions that have been allowed to progress.
What steps can I take at home to decrease the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems?
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day and flossing daily
- Eating a balanced diet
- Using dental products that contain fluoride, including toothpaste
- Rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse if your dentist tells you to
Making sure that your children less than 12yrs old drink fluoridated water or take a fluoride supplement if they live in a non-fluoridated area.
How do I brush my teeth?
- Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gums.
- Move the brush back and forth gently in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
- Brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
- Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke.
Brush your tongue to remove bacteria, this will also freshen your breath.
How do I floss my teeth?
- Break off about 18 inches of floss and wind it around the middle fingers of each hand. Hold the floss tightly between your thumbs and forefingers.
- Guide the floss between your teeth using a gentle rubbing motion.
- When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it into a C shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between the gum and the tooth.
- Bring the floss back toward the contact point between the teeth and move the floss up or down the other side, conforming the floss to the shape of the tooth.
- Hold the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum with up-and-down motions.
Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth.
Why should I visit my dentist for Dental cleanings?
Every day our mouths are full of sugary, sticky foods and bacteria from that food causes a bio film called plaque. This acidic substance eats away at the tooth enamel and, if left unattended, can lead to cavities. In addition, if not removed from the teeth, plaque hardens into dental calculus (also called tartar).
Calculus builds up between teeth and between your teeth and gums. This can cause gums to become inflamed or infected, leading to gum disease, a major cause of tooth loss in adults. As gum disease advances, plaque moves further down the tooth where it can destroy the supporting bone in your jaw, causing teeth to loosen and fall out. Gum disease has also been linked to a host of other medical issues, including diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.
Your dental visits are necessary because calculus is too tough to be scraped off with floss or a toothbrush. During a professional cleaning, we first scale your teeth, scraping the calculus off them with a tool. Once your teeth are calculus-free, we polishes them with a handheld tool and an abrasive paste that removes minor stains and smoothens the surface of your teeth so that plaque won’t adhere to them as easily.
A dental cleaning can remove built-up stains, leave you with freshly polished teeth, and it’s a great way to keep your mouth healthy and odor-free
Regular dental cleanings may help lower your risk for some diseases, like heart disease and stroke. Many medical conditions, some of them life-threatening, can be detected in their early stages by your dentist during a routine oral exam.
Most Dental Insurance plans have low or no copayments/coinsurance for dental cleanings and oral exams. If you take advantage of your benefits now, you may be able to save money in the long run by helping to protect your oral health and potentially avoiding more costly and extensive procedures.
To set up your Oral Hygiene giving us a call at +1 505 554 2262
Oral Hygiene Facts According to the American Dental Hygienists Association:
• A major cause of tooth loss in children is cavities; while periodontal (gum) disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
• Eating healthy snacks such as celery, carrots, or apples help clear away food loosely trapped in-between teeth.
• The leading oral health problem for infants is baby bottle tooth decay, which can be caused when babies are given a bottle filled with sugary liquids, like milk or juice, when put to bed.
Oral Hygiene Statistics According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
• 80 percent of the U.S. population has some form of periodontal (gum) disease.
• 23 percent of 65-74 year olds have severe periodontal disease
• Men are more likely than women to have more severe dental diseases.
• Oral cancer occurs twice as frequently in men as women.
• Three out of four patients don’t change their toothbrush as often as is recommended. Toothbrushes should be changed every two to three months and after illnesses.
Gum Diseases / Periodontitis
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, also commonly known as gum disease, is a group of diseases with the same end results; inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), destruction of the periodontal ligament, loss of supporting bone and ultimately tooth loss.
Gum disease is the most common dental problem among us—and one of the most serious. Left unchecked, gum disease can cause you to lose teeth, and increases the risk factors for a number of other illnesses, including:
• Heart disease
• Premature births or low birth weight
• Respiratory disease
Some Factors that increase the risk of gum disease include:
• alcohol use
• heart disease
• respiratory illnesses
• compromised immune systems
• Use of certain medications.
How to identify gum disease? What are the stages of gum disease?
Early periodontal disease can be detected by your general dentist during routine and regular dental checkups. Your Dentist can physically and visually evaluate the gingival tissues, probe to determine whether the attachment levels to the teeth are normal or abnormal, and evaluate bone health through dental radiographs (x-rays).
The first signs of periodontal disease usually begin with gingivitis; the gums appear reddened at the margins, slightly swollen and bleed when gently provoked by tooth brushing or flossing. Bleeding from the gum tissues is not normal and should be taken as a warning sign. This is the primary indicator of periodontal disease, and should not be ignored. Gingivitis is typically painless, but it’s the first step toward a serious infection, and it’s the only stage of gum disease that is reversible.
Bad breath and taste are also commonly associated with periodontal disease.
Examine your gums regularly for abnormal appearance. Gums that are swollen, spongy, or red or purple in color are irritated and may be showing the signs of gum disease.
- Healthy gums are pale pink, not dusky red or purple.
- Gums that protrude or bulge around your teeth can be a sign of gum disease.
- Teeth that have more root exposed or seem “longer” may be a result of your gums receding as a result of bone loss, which is a sign of gum disease. This means that periodontitis is present.
Once gingivitis has progressed to periodontal disease, toxins have begun to cause irreversible damage to the tissue and bone surrounding your teeth. At this stage, symptoms can be treated, but the disease has now progressed to a chronic condition. If it continues to get worse, it’s likely you will lose your teeth unless you pursue aggressive treatment.
Make an appointment with your dentist if you have any of the symptoms or signs mentioned above. Only your dentist can make the final diagnosis of gingivitis or periodontitis, and the sooner you visit his or her office, the more likely you are to successfully treat your gum disease.
How to treat Gum Disease?
Maintaining good Oral Hygiene key to preventing gum disease. Ensure you are brushing and flossing every day, and make regular appointments for oral exams and cleanings with your dentist. Our dentist, during an exam, will check you for any early signs of gum disease and will clean your teeth, removing any stubborn calculus.
A dental deep cleaning, or scaling and root planning, is needed in order to remove bacteria, calculus (tartar), and debris that have collected under the gum line.If you are in the first stages of gum disease and to stop gum disease from progressing, your dentist may recommend periodontal therapy, also known as scaling and root planning or deep cleaning.This process removes the calculus and toxins from under the gum line, creating a clean environment and an opportunity for your gums to reattach and heal.Depending on the depth of the pocket and severity of the root surface irregularity, the dentist may wish to make the area numb so that the process is comfortable for you.
Scaling and Root Planning can be performed on one or two quadrants (quarter) of the mouth at a time, or the entire mouth can be treated in one visit, depending upon the diagnosis and recommendation of your dentist. To set up your Gum Health check visit giving us a call at +1 505 554 2262
If your periodontal disease is very advanced, your dentist may suggest more aggressive treatment and may be referred to a gum disease specialist known as a Periodontist.
Gum Disease Fact According to the American Academy of Periodontology:
Men are not only more likely to have gum disease (56.4 % of men vs. 38.4 % of women), but can suffer serious health effects. Gum disease in men increases the risk of:
- Prostate issues
- Heart disease
Oral Cancer Screening
Did you know almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers this year? And that the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only slightly more than 64 percent? When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced.
The oral cavity includes your lips, cheek lining, gums, front part of your tongue, floor of the mouth beneath the tongue and the hard palate that makes up the roof of your mouth. The throat (pharynx) starts at the soft part of the roof of your mouth and continues back into your throat. It includes the back section of your tongue as well as the base where the tongue attaches to the floor of your mouth.
During your dental visit, your dentist can talk to you about your health history and examine these areas for signs of mouth and/or throat cancer. The screening will consist of a visual inspection of the mouth and palpation of the jaw and neck. Regular visits to your dentist can improve the chances that any suspicious changes in your oral health will be caught early, at a time when cancer can be treated more easily. In between visits, it’s important to be aware of the following signs and symptoms and to see your dentist if they do not disappear after two weeks.
The symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:
• a sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
• red or white patches
• pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
• a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
• difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
• a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
Research has identified a number of factors that contribute to the development of mouth and throat cancers. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at risk. More recently, the human papilloma virus (HPV) has been associated with cancers of the oropharyngeal region that is the part of the throat at the back of the mouth. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are related to the increasing incidence of throat cancers in non-smoking adults.
HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers typically develop in the throat at the base of the tongue and near or on the tonsils making them difficult to detect. Although HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers are often diagnosed at a later stage, people with HPV-positive cancers have a lower risk of dying or having recurrence than those with HPV-negative cancers. It is likely that there is a complex interaction of many external and internal factors that play a role in the development of HPV-positive cancers.
What are Mouth Guards and what are their benefits?
Mouth guards, also called mouth protectors, are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from Teeth Grinding and during Sports. They help cushion a blow to the face, minimizing the risk of broken teeth and injuries to your lips, tongue, face or jaw. They typically cover the upper teeth and are a great way to protect the soft tissues of your tongue, lips and cheek lining.But in some instances (such as if you wear braces or another fixed dental appliance on your lower jaw), your dentist will recommend a mouth guard for the lower teeth as well.
Who should wear Mouth guards?
Mouth guards should be used by anyone — children and adults — who play contact sports such as football, boxing, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, lacrosse, and field hockey. However, even those participating in noncontact sports (for example, gymnastics) and any recreational activity (for example, skateboarding, mountain biking) that might pose a risk of injury to the mouth would benefit from wearing a protective mouth guard. In some situations Mouth guards can be used to protect your teeth from teeth grinding (Bruxism) and to treat TMJ problems.
Types of Mouth Guards:
Custom-fitted: mouth guards are individually designed and made in a dental office or a professional laboratory based on your dentist’s instructions. Your dentist can suggest the best mouth guard for you.
Boil and bite: These mouth protectors can be bought at many sporting goods stores and drugstores and may offer a better fit than stock mouth protectors. They are first softened in water (boiled), then inserted and allowed to adapt to the shape of your mouth. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Stock: These are inexpensive and come pre-formed, ready to wear. Unfortunately, they often don’t fit very well. They can be bulky and can make breathing and talking difficult
An effective mouth guard should be comfortable, resist tears, be durable and easy to clean, and should not restrict your breathing or speech.