healthy gums

Practices to Help Maintain Gums

July 14th, 2014

Practices to help maintain gumsOne of the toughest issues when it comes to oral care is keeping your gums healthy. Throughout the years, you may have noticed that your gums can start to recede, moving farther down and revealing more of your teeth. This can be due to genetics or harmful bacteria and plaque that build up and weaken your gums. It can also be a form of gum disease that will result in sore gums, redness, and eventually bleeding.
To help save your gums and keep them healthy, here a few practices that Water Tower Dental recommends:

Brushing and Flossing regularly

Believe it or not, this is the easiest way to help maintain gums. Try brushing after every meal and flossing once a day to help keep your mouth clear of plaque and unwanted food. But also realize that you can brush and floss too much. Your mouth needs time to balance its own natural chemistry, so keep to a good schedule and don’t overdo it. Flossing is not necessary more than once a day. And don’t think you need to brush after every time you eat food. It’s good to brush after larger meals, but small snacks throughout the day can be washed away with a glass of water and your body’s natural saliva distribution.

Use Mouthwash

Along with brushing and flossing, using a strong mouthwash once a day can also help kill unwanted bacteria and keep your mouth feeling fresh. Mouthwash is great for stopping plaque growth in areas where the toothbrush or even floss can’t reach.

Eat Probiotics

We reported before on how probiotics can help your teeth. Eating them a few times a month can actually help maintain your gums too. Probiotics are a collection of good bacteria. When you eat them, you replace areas where bad bacteria can live with bacteria that helps your mouth. Eating probiotics a few times a month will help keep your mouth’s chemistry regulated and healthy.

Keep Juices, Coffee, and Acidic Drinks to Meal Time

When trying to keep your gums at a strong level, you need to avoid some of the more harmful substances to your teeth. Acidic drinks, such as high-sugar juices, soda, and coffee, can ultimately do bad damage to your teeth and gums. However, they are most harmful when they’re consumed alone. This is the best time for the acidic elements to move around your mouth. During a mealtime though, much of your food can soak up the acidic juice and keep it from causing too much harm. Also, when you eat, your mouth naturally salivates, which helps wash away food bits and the juice

Take Vitamin C and D

Both vitamins are great for oral health. Vitamin C contains antioxidants that help replace connective tissues and accelerate bone regeneration. Vitamin D has been known to have anti-inflammatory effects and can help reduce your gums’ chance of developing periodontal disease.

Visit Your Dentist Regularly

And last, a terrific way to help keep your teeth clean and maintain your gums is by consulting and working with your dentist to find practices that will work for you. Also, an oral cleaning from the dentist is an amazing way to start a strong regiment against gum decay and periodontal disease.
If you’re having trouble with receding gums or suspect you have periodontal disease, do not hesitate to call Water Tower Dental. We can help you find the right track to a healthier lifestyle that will repair your gums and make your smile shine. For more questions, contact Water Tower Dental today.

The Signs and Cures for Gum Disease

July 24th, 2013

what is gum diseaseTo keep a healthy smile, one must focus on the gums just as much as their teeth. Without proper care, gums can harbor many harmful types of bacteria that can result in gum disease. We already listed the best ways for proper gum care, so today we'd like to discuss the signs and cures for gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Gingivitis is often generally called gum disease, however the two are separate. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums while periodontitis is full on gum disease. Without proper care, your gums will first contract gingivitis, and later, if nothing is done about the inflammation, periodontitis will develop.

Gingivitis is caused by bacteria build up in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on the teeth. The more plaque builds up, the more bacteria can multiply and cause harm. The gums will become inflamed and irritated. At this point, the gums can easily begin to bleed while brushing your teeth or eating certain kinds of food.
At this point, it's very easy to reverse the symptoms of gingivitis by following proper care techniques. Refer to our blog post on proper care for your gums. Brushing, flossing, and eating healthy can reverse the symptoms and keep your gums in great shape. However, if you continue to ignore the problem, more serious symptoms can occur.
When someone contracts periodontitis, bacteria will fill in the pockets where gum and bone have separated from the teeth. These small spaces allow for bacteria to multiply quickly and collect debris. The more infected the gums become, the more the bacteria are able to spread below the gum line. As the immune system fights the bacteria, and the bacteria continue to grow, more of the connective tissue between the bone and teeth is broken down. The longer this continues, the more your teeth lose their connection to the gums and will loosen and even fall out. Not a pretty sight if you ask us.
If you think you may have contracted periodontitis, consider if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Bleeding Gums
  • Inflamed Gums
  • Bad taste in mouth or constant bad breath
  • A receding gum line
  • Loose teeth

These symptoms are only partial signs to gum disease. Some patients can have periodontitis without knowing. Often, gum disease can only affect certain teeth.
Water Tower Dental now has three laboratory tests available to their patients that can help detect different kinds of bacteria that cannot only cause gum disease but HPV and oral cancer as well.
MyPeriol D PST test detects specific changes in DNA that might increase the risk of gum disease.
MyPerioPath are for patients with gum disease that need to know which bacteria are triggering the disease. Certain bacteria are more resistant to certain antibiotics, knowing which ones are causing the disease can help the dentist determine the best treatments.
OraRisk HPV can determine if you have an HPV infection in your mouth and if you have a high risk of contracting an HPV-related oral cancer.

Laser Treatments for Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

To treat gingivitis and periodontitis, Water Tower Dental recommends regularly cleaning and the use of a diode laser and a procedure known as Laser Bacterial Reduction, or for more intense cases, Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy (aka LAPT).

Laser Bacterial Reduction

The biggest difference between Laser Bacterial Reduction and LAPT, other than the laser used, is that Laser Bacterial Reduction is more preventative while LAPT addresses more serious problems.
Laser Bacterial Reduction helps keep gingivitis and periodontitis at bay by addresses three issues. First it helps reduce and eliminate bacteria that can easily infect other areas of the body. Second, it keeps any infections from spreading. It’s extremely simple for bacteria to move from one area of the mouth to another. The diode laser used to kill bacteria keeps any contaminated areas from infecting others. Last, it kills any potential bacteria in the beginning stages of periodontal disease before it causes any physical destruction of the gums.

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy

However, if the dentist discovers a full fledged periodontal disease. Using soft tissue dental lasers along with Ultrasonic Scalers, the localized laser penetrates the periodontal pockets and any disease-infected area to kill bacteria by rupturing the cell’s wall. The laser is very accurate and holds a 90% success rate in killing bacteria. Water Tower Dental recommends this treatment above any other to treating periodontal disease.
As well, antibiotics are often used to help kill bacteria that are harmful to your gums. Chlorhexidine is a general antibiotic often prescribed to help control plaque and gingivitis.
Though there are treatments for periodontitis, the best treatment is daily proper gum care. If you continue to keep healthy gums by brushing, flossing, and eat healthy, you should have no problems in the future. If you are experiencing inflammation of the gums, bleeding, or discomfort, contact Water Tower Dental today and set up an appointment to help prevent further damage.

Proper Care for Your Gums

July 2nd, 2013

proper care for your gumsWhen people think of dental hygiene, they often only focus on the teeth. That's what most people see, right? Bright, white, straight teeth are the goal. However, most people neglect to consider how important it is to take care of your gums properly. While sore, sensitive gums can occur from lack of brushing and proper care, the gum's biggest threat is Periodontal Disease, or Gum Disease. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 8% of adults and 17% of seniors over the age of 65 have periodontal disease. Without proper care of your gums, Periodontal Disease can cause red and bleeding gums, bad breath, sensitive teeth, pain while chewing, and eventually loose teeth. However, if you take the proper steps to good oral hygiene, which includes care for your gums, you will be able to avoid this terrible disease.

Eat Right

The first step to proper gum care is to eat healthy foods that promote the best possible gums. That starts with avoiding sugars. Sugar isn't just candy for you, it's candy for bacteria as well. Plaque forms when sugar feeds the harmful bacteria that can be roaming in your mouth.
As well, focus on eating foods that are high in Vitamin C and Zinc. Vitamin C is a great defender of your gums as it builds up white blood cells, which have the ability to fight bacteria. Zinc also improves your white blood cell count but also helps restrict the build up of plaque.
There are plenty of foods that help promote healthy gums as well. Check our list of foods that are good for your teeth.
Don't forget to drink plenty of water as well. Especially after eating, water is a great way to flush out the teeth and gums to keep any potential bacteria from forming.

Brush The Right Way

Of course, brushing is a must and should be done at least twice a day. Make sure you're following a correct brushing technique. It's important to note that you don't have to brush your teeth or gums too hard. A soft touch away from the gums, yet still slightly massaging them, is the best technique.
It's best to brush at least twice a day. If possible brush after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you're unable to brush directly after a meal, use water to swish around in your mouth for 30 seconds. This will help clear most food and sugars from your teeth.

Find the Right Toothpaste

There are plenty of toothpastes to choose from, many with special ingredients that focus on different parts of the mouth. Of course there's plenty of teeth whitening and cavity-preventing toothpastes, but there are also ones that focus on fighting gingivitis and gum disease. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that were listed above, think about using toothpaste that specifically focuses on the gums.

Floss Often

Flossing is a great way to keep food and bacteria that forms in between your teeth from traveling down into your gums. Flossing is extremely important for proper gum care. It's recommended to floss once a day. Focus on the tooth more than the gums. Though flossing is a critical element to healthy gums, it's really about removing the plaque and build up between your teeth before it reaches the gums.

Visit Your Dentist

Even if you take proper steps to keeping your gums healthy, there can always be complications that go much further than you think. It's recommended to visit your dentist twice a year to ensure you're on the right track to healthy gums, not just for the present, but for the future as well.
If you have any more questions, contact Water Tower Dental Care and speak to our expert dentists and team to put you on the path to healthy oral hygiene.