When you think of good dental hygiene, what do you think of? You probably think mostly about your teeth, and keeping them in pristine condition. However, this is just half of the battle in maintaining good dental and overall health.
Did you know that maintaining healthy gums is every bit as important as your teeth when it comes to keeping up with your dental health? If you do not take care of your gums, you put yourself at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease can have many adverse effects on your health and your day-to-day life. Periodontal disease can cause bad breath, tooth loss, and many more health problems like diabetes, respiratory disease & COPD, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and arthritis. So remember: take care of your teeth AND your gums! Yes, that means flossing, brushing twice per day, and regularly seeing your dentist and periodontist.
Unfortunately, many people are unaware Gum Disease is an extremely common disease that can rob you of your smile and can place you at higher risk of developing other serious medical issues. Gum Disease is also commonly referred to as Periodontal Disease which used to be called Pyorrhea. Please read below some of the FAQs to learn what you can do to help prevent losing your teeth and health and how a Periodontist can help you.
The team at Periodontal Associates of Memphis wants to take this time to give you a little more information about gum disease, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Q: Who is the best option to treat my gum disease? A dentist or periodontist?
A: Typically, it is highly recommended to have both your dentist and periodontist involved in your treatment. Working together, your dentist and periodontist will be able to properly diagnose your condition, and put together a good treatment plan. If followed, your treatment plan should restore your gums to a healthy condition.
Q:Is it possible for my child to have developed gum disease?
A: It is very uncommon for a young child, or teenager, to develop gum disease. However, this does not mean that your child or teenager shouldn’t learn the importance of proper hygiene care. Good hygiene habits are formed at a young age, and become habitual over time. If you start your child out young on a path of good habits, it will likely translate to when they are adults.
Q:What type of health issues are associated with gum disease?
A: Gum disease can be associated with a variety of health issues. These issues include:
A: In theory, gum disease, unlike the common cold or the flu, cannot be passed from one person to another. With this being said, however, gum disease may be able to be transferred from one person to another through their saliva. Therefore, you should avoid sharing a drink with someone, using the same utensils as someone, or using the same oral health equipment (a toothbrush) as someone, if you know they have gum disease.
Q: What symptoms can I look for? Is gum disease very common? What are the best ways to prevent myself from developing gum disease?
A: See the video below for answer to all of these questions, and more:
(via The American Academy of Periodontology.)
We are always welcoming new patients!
Do you live in the Memphis area? If so, and you are in need of a periodontist, we welcome you to contact us today to schedule an appointment.
The Mid-South Mission of Mercy is important to Dr. Godat and the entire team at Periodontal Associates of Memphis. Mission of Mercy is a two-day FREE dental clinic providing dental care to under served Mid Southerners, many of whom are from working families who do not have access or cannot afford dental insurance. All dental services are provided free of charge by members of the Tennessee Dental Association, Mississippi Dental Association, and Arkansas Dental Association, assisted by a host of volunteers. In 2017 the Mid-South Mission of Mercy provided over one-million dollars of free dental care.
With the great success in 2017, we look to make even more progress in 2018. The 2018 event will take place January 26th and 27th at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, TN. The 2018 event will require the help of 1,000 volunteers, both dental and non-dental. If you would like to volunteer, click here. If you would like volunteer, but are unavailable, you can still help. The Mid-South Mission of Mercy event relies on donations to defray expenses. You can click here to donate to the cause. We have a budget of $250,000 for the event. Interested in sponsoring the event? Click here.
Below, is a look at the 2017 event!
Want to keep up with the Mid-South Mission of Mercy? You can either visit their website or follow along on Facebook or Instagram.
It won’t surprise anyone to hear that junk food isn’t good for your teeth, but many don’t understand that the health of our mouths have a significant impact on the overall health of our bodies. As we want healthy lives for all of our patients in the Jackson, MS area, we wanted to take a moment to address this.
Junk food is fine as an occasional treat, but it’s best to avoid eating too much of these food as many of them contain large amounts of sugar which can cause cavities and increase the risk of gum disease. Not only can gum disease weaken your bone structure, but it can also leads to systemic inflammatory response, putting you at risk for heart disease and other conditions.
It isn’t just sugary foods like soft drinks that can pose problems, however. Even diet drinks will often have highly acidic contents that can damage your tooth enamel.
Again, it’s best to limit these foods as much as possible in order to maintain good oral health and promote a health life. For more information on oral health, visit the ADA page. For more tip, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
Not only does bacteria in the mouth cause gum disease, but it also causes bad breath.
Brushing your tongue regularly can help prevent bad breath.
Also known as halitosis, bad breath can be prevented by practicing good dental hygiene. Clean teeth, as well as a clean tongue, can improve your dental hygiene and prevent bad breath. Be sure to use a toothbrush to brush your tongue and remove any odor-causing bacteria that may have accumulated there. Some other contributing causes to bad breath may be from smoking, acid reflux, or lingering particles from foul-smelling foods; brushing your tongue can help to save your breath from all of them.
Dr. Godat suggests brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day. You should also floss and gently brush the gums at the same frequency.
Some Tongue-Brushing Tips:
1. Clean your tongue on a regular basis.
2. When cleaning your tongue, use toothpaste. It helps to remove bacteria.
3. Scrape your tongue with a tongue-cleaner or scraper using a downward motion.
4. After cleaning your tongue, thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
5. Use mouth wash after brushing or scraping your tongue.
For our patients in the Memphis area who want to keep their teeth white and bright, there are some foods and beverages that they may want to be aware of. Tooth enamel, the hard white outer layer of our teeth, which gives them their white color, can be stained by certain foods.
A general rule of thumb to consider is this: If it would stain your carpet, it will probably stain your teeth.
Teeth have microscopic ridges on the that can catch residue from beverages with dark pigmentation, such as coffee, tea and cola, leading to discoloration. In addition, cola is also highly acidic, and can break down the white enamel of your teeth.
Processed foods that use food coloring, including fruit juices, popsicles and tomato sauce, have a tendency to stain as well.
The best way to keep your teeth bright and remove discoloration is to maintain a good brushing and flossing routine. For persistent stains or discoloration, talk to your dentist about teeth whitening options.
In parts one and two of blog series on Dry Mouth, we discussed what dry mouth was, and some of the causes. At Periodontal Associates of Memphis, we want to help inform the residents of Memphis about their oral health. Now let’s take a look at some tips on treatments to help alleviate the symptoms and get some relief!
Tips to increase the flow of saliva
Drink plenty of water
Brush and floss at least 2 times a day (use a soft bristled tooth brush)
Conditions like dry mouth can be the result of underlying health issues. It is important to know what causes this condition so it can be treated appropriately. At (Periodontal Associates of Memphis, we know that your oral health is imperative to your overall health.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
Dry mouth is the result of low or inadequate salivary flow, but what causes this to happen? The common causes for inadequate salivary flow are medications, anemia, diabetes, chemotherapy, nerve damage, dehydration,
smoking, caffeine intake and other various diseases and infections.
Any of the above mentioned causes can lead to dry mouth but the use of medication is number one. Here is a list of the types of medications that can contribute to the problem.
Allergy medications (antihistamines-allergies can be difficult to escape in Memphis)
Blood Pressure medications
Anemia, diabetes, nerve damage and other diseases or infections can also create low salivary production. For some patients that are receiving oral medications, this can contribute to dry mouth and tooth decay as well.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our blog series on Dry Mouth where we will discuss treatment tips to alleviate symptoms and find relief.
Are you thirsty all the time? Do you have issues swallowing certain types of food? Does your saliva feel thick or foamy? If you answered yes to any of the above, you maybe one of the millions of Americans that suffers from dry mouth.
Dry mouth affects more than one in four people, so you are definaely not the only one in Memphis, TN if you suffer from this common condition!
It’s important to us at Periodontal Associates of Memphis, that the teeth and gums of our patients are always at their healthiest. This information should get you started on what dry mouth is and why treating this condition is important to your dental health.
What is Dry Mouth? The basic answer is: a lack of or inadequate salivary flow. Saliva helps us out in many ways. It is instrumental in the digestive process, saliva prevents tooth decay, keeps our mouths lubricated for healthy soft tissue and even helps us fight off infection. It is a vital part of the health of our oral health and a lack of it can be detrimental.
Why is it a Problem? Saliva production is imperative for the maintenance of healthy teeth, gums and digestion. When we aren’t producing enough the consequences can be uncomfortableand sometimes dangerous. Dry mouth has been associated with diseases from gum disease to diabetes. It is important to know the signs, causes and treatment for dry mouth.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our blog series on Dry Mouth where we will discuss some of the causes.
We all know dental health is important to our overall health as adults, but what about children?
Oral health is also very important in children and starting healthy habits at an early age can make all the difference!
Children’s teeth need to be brushed once they arrive. As soon as a child’s teeth come in, they should be care for and brushed. Most parents are unaware of this and over 60% do not start this early. Flossing should also be started once teeth arrive and are touching each other.
Poor dental habits can contribute to cavities and other tooth decay as children age.
To help build proper dental routines, children should visit their dentist at about 3 years of age, or earlier, if parents suspect there is a reason for concern.
If you have questions about how much toothpaste to use or what types of toothbrushes are safe, please contact us and we can help you find the answers!
For more information on children’s dental health and care, contact us.