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6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Posted by on Jun 26, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on 6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Gingivitis is a common disease that is completely reversible during its early stages. Unfortunately, if you fail to take the right steps, the condition could worsen and lead to periodontitis, which is not reversible. There are several signs that may indicate that your gingivitis has gotten worse and you are headed toward periodontitis, and if you experience them, it is important to visit us right away to discuss your options.

Red, Swollen Gums that Bleed Easily

One of the earliest signs of gingivitis is gums that appear red and puffy, as well as gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene can help to correct this issue, but if your gums continue to experience these symptoms – or they seem more severe – your gingivitis may be progressing.

Loose or Shifting Teeth

When gingivitis is untreated or is not treated properly, it can advance into periodontitis. This disease can lead to the inner portion of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth to form pockets. Then, since so many of the supporting structures of the teeth are no longer in their proper positions, the teeth could feel loose or shift in the mouth. Your once straight smile could suddenly appear crooked, and gaps, crowding, and bite issues may result. The teeth may become so loose that they fall out altogether or require extraction because there is no longer enough supportive structures to keep them in place.

Chronic Bad Breath

Most cases of chronic bad breath are caused by anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and congregate in the gum pockets. Gum disease allows these pockets to form and provide a place to harbor the odor-causing bacteria. A thorough gum cleaning in our office will help to clean out these pockets of bacteria, allowing them to heal. The result should be healthier gums as well as less prevalent bad breath.

Gum Recession

Receding gums are a condition that is characterized by gums that pull back from the surface of the teeth. This can ultimately expose the root surfaces. It is a serious consequence of poor oral health and worsening gingivitis, and it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. While there are many treatment options available depending on how severe the loss of tissue might be, the best thing to do is to treat your gingivitis before it even occurs.

Pus between the Teeth

A gum abscess may result from worsening gingivitis and can display as pus between the teeth. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that develops with plaque accumulation, and when plaque isn’t removed, an infection could result in abscess formation. Besides pus, symptoms could include severe pain, especially when chewing, loose teeth, and sensitivity to hot and cold.

Developing Health Conditions

Did you know that there is a significant connection between gum disease and certain health conditions? If you have been living with gingivitis but now have medical issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, or respiratory disease, your gum disease could be getting worse. This occurs when the bacteria associated with gum disease travels into the blood stream and affects other parts of the body. Alternatively, treating your gum disease could improve your overall health and the prevalence of these issues.

If you’re concerned that your gingivitis might be getting worse and developing into periodontitis, don’t delay in getting an appointment set up with us. We can help reverse the problem before it leads to long-term damage, but we need to see you in our office to discuss treatment options. For your convenience, fill out an online appointment request form, or call us today at 479-646-0706.

Dental Sealants

Posted by on Jun 19, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry, Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on Dental Sealants

When you were younger, you may have had dental sealants placed onto your back teeth to prevent decay. Now that you are an adult, you aren’t automatically ruled out of candidacy for sealants. By better understanding these dental treatments, you can make an informed decision about whether or not sealants are right for you.

What Exactly Are Dental Sealants?

A dental sealant is a thin film of plastic that bonds to the chewing surfaces of the molars and premolars. They work to prevent tooth decay by acting as a physical barrier to block acid and bacteria from affecting the teeth. In some cases, they will provide complete protection so long as they stay intact, and research has found that they can actually stop a cavity from progressing if placed on top of a tooth with slight decay, as the action blocks nutrients from reaching the cavity.

Who Should Get Dental Sealants?

Children and teens are the most obvious candidates of dental sealants, as they tend to have the most difficulty with decay. The depressions and grooves of the back teeth have a high likelihood of developing decay, and since younger people don’t always have the best oral hygiene, it is logical that they should have dental sealants put into place as soon as the back teeth come in. This way, the sealants will protect the teeth during the most cavity-prone time of their lives.

Sealants might also be good options for adults who want to avoid tooth decay. Adults without decay or fillings in their back teeth might be good candidates, and there are several reasons that adults should consider sealants:

-Prevent decay. There is never a wrong time to protect your teeth from tooth decay, and you’ll never be immune to it. Dental sealants can reduce the occurrence of cavities by protecting your teeth.

-Semi-permanent. Dental sealants are semi-permanent, and they can protect your teeth for up to ten years. After that, they may need to be reapplied.

-Prevent the buildup of food. Sealants can also prevent food build up on the surface of the teeth, especially in the pits and grooves of the molars.

If any of these benefits sound of interest to you, please talk to us about applying dental sealants at your next appointment.

How Are Dental Sealants Applied?

Another great benefit of getting dental sealants is that the process is quick and painless, and it can be completed in a single visit to our office. In fact, it only takes a few minutes for us to apply the sealant to each tooth using the following process:

-We clean each tooth thoroughly, so we often add the sealants after you’ve had your regularly-scheduled dental cleaning with one of our hygienists.

-We dry the tooth, and then cotton is placed around the tooth to ensure it stays dry until the process is completed.

-An acidic solution is put onto the grooves and chewing surfaces to roughen up the tooth. This helps the sealant to adhere to the tooth.

-The tooth is rinsed and dried again before the sealant is painted onto the enamel. It will bond to the tooth and harden into place.

You’ll want to avoid eating and drinking for a little while after the placement of your sealants, but after that, they should offer no inconvenience to your life.

Whether you are interested in dental sealants or you’d like to discuss other ways to keep your teeth healthy, we are here to help. The first step is to make an appointment in our office. You can do this by either calling us at 479-646-0706 or scheduling an appointment using of convenient web form. A friendly office staff member will be with you shortly.

6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Posted by on Jun 12, 2019 in Dental Hygiene | Comments Off on 6 Signs that Your Gingivitis is Getting Worse

Gingivitis is a common disease that is completely reversible during its early stages. Unfortunately, if you fail to take the right steps, the condition could worsen and lead to periodontitis, which is not reversible. There are several signs that may indicate that your gingivitis has gotten worse and you are headed toward periodontitis, and if you experience them, it is important to visit us right away to discuss your options.

Red, Swollen Gums that Bleed Easily

One of the earliest signs of gingivitis is gums that appear red and puffy, as well as gums that bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Good oral hygiene can help to correct this issue, but if your gums continue to experience these symptoms – or they seem more severe – your gingivitis may be progressing.

Loose or Shifting Teeth

When gingivitis is untreated or is not treated properly, it can advance into periodontitis. This disease can lead to the inner portion of the gum and bone pulling away from the teeth to form pockets. Then, since so many of the supporting structures of the teeth are no longer in their proper positions, the teeth could feel loose or shift in the mouth. Your once straight smile could suddenly appear crooked, and gaps, crowding, and bite issues may result. The teeth may become so loose that they fall out altogether or require extraction because there is no longer enough supportive structures to keep them in place.

Chronic Bad Breath

Most cases of chronic bad breath are caused by anaerobic bacteria that live in the mouth and congregate in the gum pockets. Gum disease allows these pockets to form and provide a place to harbor the odor-causing bacteria. A thorough gum cleaning in our office will help to clean out these pockets of bacteria, allowing them to heal. The result should be healthier gums as well as less prevalent bad breath.

Gum Recession

Receding gums are a condition that is characterized by gums that pull back from the surface of the teeth. This can ultimately expose the root surfaces. It is a serious consequence of poor oral health and worsening gingivitis, and it can ultimately lead to tooth loss. While there are many treatment options available depending on how severe the loss of tissue might be, the best thing to do is to treat your gingivitis before it even occurs.

Pus between the Teeth

A gum abscess may result from worsening gingivitis and can display as pus between the teeth. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition that develops with plaque accumulation, and when plaque isn’t removed, an infection could result in abscess formation. Besides pus, symptoms could include severe pain, especially when chewing, loose teeth, and sensitivity to hot and cold.

Developing Health Conditions

Did you know that there is a significant connection between gum disease and certain health conditions? If you have been living with gingivitis but now have medical issues like diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, or respiratory disease, your gum disease could be getting worse. This occurs when the bacteria associated with gum disease travels into the blood stream and affects other parts of the body. Alternatively, treating your gum disease could improve your overall health and the prevalence of these issues.

If you’re concerned that your gingivitis might be getting worse and developing into periodontitis, don’t delay in getting an appointment set up with us. We can help reverse the problem before it leads to long-term damage, but we need to see you in our office to discuss treatment options. For your convenience, fill out an online appointment request form, or call us today at 479-646-0706.

Dental Bonding

Posted by on Jun 5, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a simple and affordable way to fix imperfections in your smile. Despite the ease of this procedure, the results can make a big difference in the appearance of your teeth. Read on to learn more about dental bonding and whether you might be a candidate.

Problems that Dental Bonding Can Correct

Many people choose dental bonding as a way to make minor changes to their smile, especially in the front teeth. Defects in this part of the mouth are most noticeable, so dental bonding may be used to correct:

-Small chips and cracks

-Gaps between the teeth

-Teeth that are irregularly shaped

-Small teeth that need to be enhanced

-Teeth that are slightly discolored

-Nerve roots that need to be protected in areas where the gums have receded

When you visit our office, we can examine your concern and will determine if they can be successfully treated with dental bonding.

Why You Might Choose Bonding Over Another Treatment Approach

If you are in good overall health and have healthy teeth, you will likely be a candidate for dental bonding. Cosmetic bonding might be right for you if any of the following scenarios sound like your situation:

-You want a beautiful smile, but don’t want veneers or another invasive procedure. If you want a reversible treatment option when upgrading your smile, dental bonding is a good selection. Dental bonding doesn’t require alteration of the natural tooth, so it is a reversible procedure. This differs from dental veneers, as a thin portion of the enamel will be shaved down in order to accommodate the porcelain shell.

-You think that veneers are on the horizon and want to experiment with your smile. If you want to try out smile improvements before you invest in veneers, dental bonding might be a good option. Some patients that go the dental bonding route want to try out alternatives before they commit to veneers for life, and dental bonding lets them do just that.

-You are looking for a less expensive way to correct your smile. Dental bonding is a more affordable way to correct your smile than other treatment and cosmetic dentistry options. While it might be less natural looking than veneers, the results can still be dramatic and stunning. However, bonding materials are not translucent like the natural tooth enamel and porcelain.

Like any dental treatment option, there are both pros and cons to dental bonding, and we can help you weigh them.

How Does Dental Bonding Work?

Dental bonding is a fairly easy process. It begins with shade selection so that the composite resin most closely matches the shade of the natural teeth. Then, the surface of the teeth is etched and roughened, and a conditioning material is placed to help the bonding material to adhere. The actual resin is similar to putty, and it is molded to match the desired shape of the tooth. A UV light is then used to harden the material.

After the bonding material hardens it is trimmed and shaped. Then, the tooth is polished so that the sheen matches the natural teeth. The entire process takes from 30-60 minutes to complete, but you may need multiple visits if you are having several teeth bonded.

Have you chipped a tooth, or do your discolored front teeth have you feeling self-conscious? Regardless of your concern, we are here to help you decide if dental bonding or another restoration is right for you. Call us today at 479-646-0706 to set up an appointment. You can also request an exam by filling out our online appointment request form at https://www.ident.ws/template_include/new_patient_sign_in.do?site=10348&practiceId=35766..

What Are the Alternatives to Traditional Braces for Adults?

Posted by on May 30, 2019 in Cosmetic Dentistry | Comments Off on What Are the Alternatives to Traditional Braces for Adults?

Just because you are an adult doesn’t mean that you’ve missed your opportunity at straightening your teeth. There are several options available to you, even if you want to avoid traditional braces. By learning more about them, you can make an informed decision about which option is right for you.

Invisalign

Invisalign braces are arguably the most popular alternative to traditional, metal braces. They involve a series of plastic aligners that you swap out every two weeks so that your teeth gradually shift into their designed location. Treatment lasts about two weeks, and the aligners are so clear that other people likely won’t even know you’re wearing them.

Who is a Candidate for Invisalign?

Invisalign is a great solution for older teens and adults, but children with their growing teeth may not be good candidates. Invisalign is great for mild to moderate corrections, including:

-Gaps

-Crowding

-Overbite

-Underbite

-Crossbite

Severe cases of any of these issues may require more advanced orthodontic procedures for correction.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Invisalign?

If you are considering Invisalign, it is important to know the pros and cons. For benefits, Invisalign is comfortable and more attractive than traditional, metal braces. It is also removable, so you can take it out when you eat, floss, and brush. This allows you to practice good oral hygiene and enables you to eat foods you might need to avoid with other orthodontic solutions.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are the same shape and size as metal braces, but they are much more discreet. They offer clear or tooth-colored brackets and wires that blend in with the natural teeth. Unlike Invisalign, they are a good option for all orthodontic corrections, including severe bite and alignment issues.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Ceramic Braces?

Ceramic braces offer both benefits and drawbacks. Since they are the same color as your natural teeth, they’ll be less noticeable than bulky, silver braces. They are good options for severe corrections, and they’ll move your teeth much faster than Invisalign and other aligner systems.

In terms of drawbacks, there are a few to consider. You’ll need to watch what you eat with ceramic braces, not just because of the potential to break the hardware, but also because the brackets can easily stain. Ceramic braces also tend to be more expensive than traditional braces.

Lingual Braces

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could straighten your teeth without any brackets or appliances showing at all? With lingual braces, you can, as they are the same as traditional braces, but they are placed on the backs of the teeth. These fixed braces are virtually invisible and will correct the alignment of the teeth discreetly.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Lingual Braces?

There are many pros and cons associated with lingual braces. The most obvious benefit is that others won’t be able to see them since they are on the back of the teeth. If you play sports or a musical instrument, you can also rest assured that they won’t affect your performance.

However, there are some challenges associated with lingual braces. Due to their placement, they can be difficult to clean, and since the position affects the tongue, they may be difficult to get used to. Since the braces are more difficult to access, regular adjustments may take longer, and these braces might not be a good option for people in need of severe orthodontic correction.

You don’t have to be unhappy with your smile any longer, as we are here to help. A beautiful, straight smile is an investment in your future, and we offer the services that you need to achieve it. Call us today at 479-646-0706 to schedule an appointment, or take advantage of our convenient web form at https://www.ident.ws/template_include/new_patient_sign_in.do?site=10348&practiceId=35766