50% of Americans have this disease

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) conducted a study in 2009 and 2010 that measured the prevalence of periodontitis, familiarly known as gum disease, in American adults. The study CDCestimates that 47.2%, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe gum disease. For adults over the age of 65, rates increase to 70.1%.

Conclusion: Nearly half of American adults have gum disease.

How can gum disease affect you?
Gum disease can do irreversible damage if not treated and maintained. The plaque that that builds up between teeth and gums creates pockets that bacteria can get into, causing an infection in the gums. The infection can damage the bone and periodontal ligaments (PDL) that hold teeth in place and gums may begin to pull away from teeth. At the advanced stage of gum disease, teeth begin to shift, loosen and fall out because the PDL and bone that usually support the teeth are destroyed.

What are the symptoms of gum disease?Gum Disease

  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Pus that appears between your teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

At every check-up and cleaning, the hygienist and doctor measures the bone level and inspects gums for any pus, bleeding or inflammation.

How is gum disease treated?
The doctor or hygienist recommends a deep-cleaning to patients with gum disease. The hygienist scales the teeth by cleaning off the plaque above and below the gum surface and root planing which smoothes out the rough layers of the teeth. For two weeks after a deep cleaning, chlorhexidine mouth wash is used to kill bacteria so sensitive gums will heal. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease it is important to follow the recommendations of your hygienist. She may recommend one to two additional cleanings per year.

shutterstock_2243118-(Medium)-732845Prevent gum disease from affecting you.

  • There are simple steps that you can take to avoid developing gum disease.
  • Brush and clean between teeth with floss
  • Eat a well balanced diet and avoid sugary snacks

Get regular check-ups and cleanings. They are the best way to discover and treat early gum disease before it leads to a more serious problem.

Do you still have questions about gum disease? Contact our Sacramento Dentist.

Advertisements

“I had a root canal, what now?”

By: Hoang Truong DDS

Patients usually require a post and crown following a root canal treatment. Why ? A root canal treated tooth is hollow and brittle so that post/core build retention and support and a crown is needed to hold everything together.

Some patients receive root canals but do not follow through with receiving the post and crown. This can lead to an infected or fractured tooth. When that happens the tooth either needs to be extracted because it is beyond repair or another root canal must be performed which can be costly and will only weaken the tooth further.

Is a root canal painful? A root canal procedure is no more painful than getting a filling. The difference is that it takes longer to perform a root canal and the cost is 10 times more. However, if the tooth has a chronic infection the body’s metabolism increases to fight the infection. When the metabolism is going through the roof a person’s anesthetic has the potential to wear off very quickly and getting numb is difficult. Only then should a person have pain during a root canal procedure. Lots of noise comes from the drills and files in the dental chair but no one should experience pain.

Root Canals + 7 Tips to Prevent Them

Contrary to popular belief regular flossing and brushing cannot prevent a root canal. Why? A root canal can happen from having an infection or decay that is so large that the pulp nerve of the tooth becomes exposed. Once decay has reached the nerve you will experience pain.

“I don’t need a root canal, Doc, I don’t have any pain!” It is not uncommon for decay to be present in the tooth and for a person to have little to no pain. Once the pulp is exposed that is when extreme pain occurs that you can feel all the way up to your brain. It is these factors that make early  prevention so important for your teeth and your pocket. Fillings cost about $200-$300 but a root canal costs ten times more. You can expect to pay $2000-$2500 per root canal. So how do you prevent having to get a root canal?

 

  1. Maintain a regular and consistent dental regimen with flossing and brushing to avoid getting cavities in the teeth you still have. Brushing and flossing twice a day is recommended but if you can only floss once do it before bed.
  2. See your dentist regularly so that cavities can be caught early.
  3. Get your cavities filled promptly. Bigger cavities means bigger fillings. Don’t put it off because they can grow quickly and in the absence of pain you won’t know how big it is getting.
  4. Receive a fluoride treatment from your dental hygienist when you go in for your cleanings. Most people opt not to receive fluoride because of the $15-$20 out-of-pocket cost or rinse too quickly after receiving the treatment. They are doing their teeth an injustice! Fluoride helps mineralize the weak areas in your teeth and is essential to preventing cavities (which can lead to a root canal)
  5. Eat a balanced diet and include vitamin c, dairy and fish. Visit this website for more information and studies regarding your nutrition and tooth decay. http://nourishedmagazine.com.au/blog/articles/forgotten-tooth-decay-cure-heal-your-cavities-and-prevent-root-canals
  6. Avoid amalgam fillings which have the tendency to pull away from the tooth and create pockets for bacteria to enter and multiply. The use of amalgam is controversial but the tooth expands and shrinks when exposed to changing temperatures.
  7. Eat foods that help to clean your teeth. Cheese and celery are foods that are proven to help clean teeth.

Like these tips and want to contact us to make an appointment? Visit us online at http://www.GatewayDentalSmiles.com