Katy Periodontology & Oral Surgery

10 Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease can be serious business if left untreated. The good news is, with regular maintenance and good oral hygiene, you can avoid and even reverse the early stages of gum disease. We’ve put together some tips for you that will help you prevent gum disease.

10 Tips Prevent Gum DiseaseMaintaining a Clean Mouth

Brushing your gums, as well as your teeth after every meal is the best way to take care of your teeth. Remove those food particles without being too hard on your enamel. We can show you the best method at your next appointment.

Dental floss can reach those spaces in your mouth that a tooth brush just can’t get to. Get in between your teeth with floss before you brush, so that any food you pull out can be picked up by your tooth brush.

While you shouldn’t rely on mouthwash alone, certain mouthwash products are great for killing bacteria. Consult our office for suggestions as some products are better than others.

Practice Good Overall Health

Keeping a balanced diet keeps your whole body healthy. Staying away from eating too much sugar is a great place to start. Making sure you get all the nutrients you need helps your body fight bacteria, including those that can cause gum disease.

If you are a smoker, quit! Smoking is not just awful for your lungs, smoking leads to tooth decay, tooth loss and poor gum health. Smoking leads to the creation of pockets in your gums, where bacteria collect and form tartar. It also degrades the tissues that hold your teeth in place.

Talk to Your Doctor about your Medications

It may be worth talking with your doctor about the side effects of any medication you may be on. Some drugs lead to bacteria build up in the mouth, or affect the flow of saliva that keeps that bacteria from settling.

Hormones can also play a role in oral health. If you are experiencing hormonal changes, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity, and promoting the development of gum disease.

Stress

Stress affects your body’s ability to fight infection. Evaluating the stress in your life and what you can do to manage it is a great idea to promote your general health.

Appointments

Regular oral health visits are the best way to pin down gum disease. The professionals at our office are trained to notice the kinds of things you may not see in your mouth.

You may not have considered that your crooked teeth put you at risk for gum disease. Having straight teeth means eliminating certain pockets where gum disease can develop. Braces are a great way to do this.

Contact our office today to set up your next appointment!

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Eating After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

When it comes to getting your wisdom teeth pulled, you may be stressing about the long list of foods you can’t eat. Don’t worry – you won’t starve! We want your recovery to be as quick and painless as possible, so keep reading for an easy-to-follow guide to eating after your wisdom tooth removal!

Eating After Wisdom Tooth ExtractionDONT’S

  • Remember not to drink from a straw during your recovery. Using a straw could rip out your stitches or blood clots, causing dry socket.
  • The bubbles in carbonated drinks can also cause dry socket by loosening blood clots, so it’s best to avoid sodas.
  • Don’t eat crunchy foods like nuts, chips, and popcorn because they are hard to chew and can easily get stuck in your extraction sites.
  • Avoiding acidic foods and beverages can keep you from experiencing pain and stinging.

 

DO’S

  • Any liquids are fair game, like soups and broths. Lukewarm beverages are best, because you may experience temperature sensitivity.
  • Yogurt, pudding, applesauce and Jell-O are some go-to recovery foods: no chewing involved! Stick to these post-extraction staples for the first 24 hours after your surgery before moving on to soft foods that require chewing.
  • Mashed potatoes are great for the first few days because you can flavor them with gravy, butter, garlic, sour cream, cheese, the list goes on. Soft, starchy and filling, you won’t feel like you’re missing out on solid foods with these!
  • When you’re ready to move on to chewable foods, eggs are soft and can be eaten with just about anything.
  • You can even eat pancakes! They’re light, fluffy, and easy on your extraction sites (Tip: you can make breads even easier to chew by letting them sit in your mouth for a few seconds and softening them with your saliva).
  • Pasta is totally doable if you prepare it right. Macaroni and cheese is perfect because you can swallow the tiny noodles whole or chew them with your front teeth. You can also overcook your pasta noodles to make sure they are soft and easy to chew.

Your wisdom tooth extraction will be over with before you know it, and as long as you avoid difficult-to-chew foods you’ll be on your way to a speedy recovery!

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Rubber Tipping: A Guide to Gum Health

What is rubber tipping?

Rubber tipping is a technique that strengthens the gums with the use of a handheld dental instrument called a rubber tip gum stimulator. You simply apply pressure to the gums to help prevent gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, and periodontitis, a more serious form of gum disease.

Rubber Tipping A Guide to Gum HealthHow do you use a gum stimulator?

  1. Brush and floss your teeth first to remove as much food debris as possible.
  2. Run the rubber tip of the gum stimulator under hot water to soften it for gentler use.
  3. Gently massage the gum line with the rubber tip. You can also run the stimulator between your teeth to remove any remaining food debris.

Why should I use a gum stimulator?

Gum stimulators are time-efficient, multipurpose instruments that improve overall oral health. They primarily stimulate the gum tissue to strengthen it against infection, but they also help with cavity prevention by assisting food and plaque removal.

How does rubber tipping affect jawbone health?

Jawbone loss is a serious concern that is linked to poor gum tissue health. Tooth loss is a primary symptom of gum disease, and it has a devastating impact on the jaw. With missing teeth, the jawbone no longer has something to support, and it begins to deteriorate from underuse. Jawbone loss drastically worsens jaw function and facial structure overtime.

Because gum stimulators are crucial in preventing gum disease, they also eliminate the need for procedures such as bone grafting, which promotes bone regeneration after the jaw has atrophied.

If you have any concerns about your gum health, consider adding rubber tipping to your dental care repertoire!

Modern Options for Bone Grafting Technology

Bones, grafting, or any combination of the two are rarely the subject of casual conversation. Most of us, regardless of our profession, are happier discussing recent football scores, the price of gasoline, or the abnormally high number of Dunkin Donut franchise locations. Perhaps for it is for this very reason, however, that we should bring up this important topic–to raise awareness, maximize modern technology, and inform the public about the options offered in terms of dental implant surgery.

ModernOptionsForBoneGraftingTechnologyBone grafting for dental implants is the process by which bone tissue is placed (grafted) into the mouth to act as a placeholder for tissue that has been lost. In the modern medical landscape this is a safe, painless, and routine process: indeed, more than two million bone-grafting operations occur worldwide each year, making bone the second most transplanted organ (after blood!).

As well as natural bone tissue, synthetic tissue is an alternative for patients seeking the best results. Structured as a ‘biodegradable scaffold’ that can be implanted within the body and trigger bone regeneration, this strong, flexible material has been compared to tire rubber! Dr. Karin Hing, author of the study and reader in Biomedical Materials at Queen Mary’s University of London Institute of Bioengineering stated that the challenge being tackled currently is the development of a graft that is as clever as bone. By mechanically evaluating the way bone adapts to its environment and reacts to chemical and physical components, progress is taking place in leaps and bounds.

What does this mean for the average person who just wants to be happy with their mouth? Comfortable outpatient procedures complete with local anesthesia or intravenous sedation make bone grafting a sensible and worry-free choice. Browse our procedures page for more information on maximizing your resources!

World Blood Donor Day: Blood Connects Us All

Safe blood supplies are a scarce commodity – especially in developing countries. Despite about 108 million yearly blood donations worldwide, safe blood is constantly on high demand!

Blog, Blood Connects Us AllWorld Blood Donor Day, celebrated every 14th of June, aims to encourage people to give blood and save lives without asking for anything in return. Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components; cells, platelets and plasma.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these are some key facts on blood availability worldwide:

  • Of the 108 million blood donations collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in the high-income countries, home to 18% of the world’s population. This shows an increase of almost 25% from 80 million donations collected in 2004.
  • In low-income countries, up to 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions.
  • Blood donation rate in high-income countries is 36.8 donations per 1000 population; 11.7 donations in middle-income and 3.9 donations in low-income countries.
  • An increase of 8.6 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2004 to 2012. In total, 73 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 72 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors.

This year, the WHO and World Blood Donor Day aims to do the following:

  • Thank blood donors for their life-saving gift of blood.
  • Generate public awareness for the need for regular, unpaid blood donation, and inspire those who have not yet donated blood to start donating, particularly young people in good health
  • Promote and highlight the need to share life by donating blood.
  • Focus attention on blood services as a community service, and the importance of community participation for a sufficient, safe and sustainable blood supply in your community, and globally.
  • Persuade ministries of health to show their appreciation to regular voluntary unpaid donors, and commit to self-sufficiency in safe blood and blood products based on 100% voluntary, unpaid donations.

This June 14th get involved, donate blood- save a life. Follow the link and find a blood drive near you!

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Periodontal Disease and Pulpitis: The Link

Gum disease and pulpal infections are both unpleasant on their own, but did you know that they are linked? Many people don’t realize that one condition often leads to another, and that makes oral care even more important! We have all sorts of information about the connection between gum disease and pulpitis, so read on!

Periodontal Disease and Pulpitis The LinkWhat is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is the infection of the gum tissue, and is a more severe version of gingivitis. Plaque buildup hardens and forms tartar, or calculus, a substance that irritates the gums and can only be removed with the assistance of dental instruments. As gum disease progresses, tooth loss and jawbone deterioration is common.

What is pulpitis?

Pulpitis is the infection of the tooth’s pulp, which is made up of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. Pulpal infection is typically caused by cavities that penetrate the enamel. It can also be caused by trauma that cuts off blood flow to the pulp tissue.

How are periodontal disease and pulpitis related?

The apical foramen is the opening at the apex, or tip, of the tooth root. Nerves and blood vessels pass through this hole and connect the pulp inside the tooth to the gum tissue. Because the pulp and the gum are so closely linked, periodontal disease can progress into pulpitis and vice versa.

What are my treatment options?

Periodontal Treatment

Scaling and root planing, also known as root debridement therapy, is a traditional gum disease treatment. Root debridement uses ultrasonic dental instruments to remove the tartar that causes gum disease. Unlike standard dental cleanings, which only remove surface plaque, root debridement therapy targets the tartar below the gum line in the pockets that form between the teeth and gums.

Laser periodontal therapy is a more advanced gum disease treatment. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that targets only the diseased gum and promotes natural healing, agitating the gum tissue so it reattaches itself to the jawbone. It provides faster results with less downtime, bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.

Endodontic Treatment

Root canal therapy (RCT) is the best treatment for pulpitis. It removes the diseased pulp from the root canals, and then uses a crown to stabilize the tooth. Extraction is an option for diseased teeth that root canal therapy can’t save.

One thing leads to another: a single dental issue could compromise your overall oral health. That’s why Katy Periodontology & Oral Surgery offers state-of-the-art treatment options to keep all aspects of your oral hygiene on track. Give us a call at 281-394-9340 to find out more about our treatment methods!

No Teeth? No Problem!

Are missing teeth causing you difficulty, discomfort or embarrassment? Don’t worry – we have all the facts about tooth replacement treatments and the effectiveness of dental implants as a long-term solution for missing teeth.

What are dental implants?
Dental implants are replacement teeth made of titanium. They are composed of an artificial crown attached to a screw that is surgically implanted into the jaw for stability. Implants are an effective treatment for missing teeth because they maintain the strength of the jaw.

There are a few alternative treatment options, some more lasting than others:

Flippers are temporary, removable plastic teeth. They are attached to a retainer for easy removal. Flippers are one of the most cost efficient tooth replacement methods; however, they are the least durable alternatives to dental implants and are considered short-term solutions until a more lasting treatment can be performed.

Fixed bridges literally “bridge” gaps caused by one or more missing teeth. A dental bridge consists of a false tooth, called a pontic, and two abutment teeth, which are crowns that anchor the bridge to the teeth on either side of the gap. Abutment teeth can be secured to both natural teeth and dental implants; however, anchoring them to natural teeth can cause damage.

Dentures are a common treatment for individuals missing all their teeth in one or both of their jaws. They are made of a removable frame that holds an entire set of teeth.

Removable partial dentures are removable frames that hold a partial set of teeth rather than a full set of teeth. This option is often considered for individuals who are missing some but not all of their teeth in one or both jaws.

Why choose dental implants?
Implants are the longest lasting treatment for missing teeth. With proper care, dental implants can last up to ten years or longer. Because they are surgically anchored into the jawbone, they function like natural teeth.

5 Facts About Gums

It’s trivia time! We’ve got some lesser-known facts about gums and oral care for you. Test your knowledge of gum health with these five facts!

5 Facts About GumsFact #1
Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque formation. We all develop plaque buildup, even with good brushing and flossing habits. This is why regular dental checkups are so important! Dental cleanings every six months clear away plaque that unavoidably starts to build up under the gum line and harden to form tartar, or calculus.
Fact #2
Gums should not bleed when you brush or floss. Many people think this is normal, but it is actually a sign of gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Although you may not want to floss if your gums are bleeding, flossing is actually the best way to treat the cause of infection and stop the progression of gum disease.
Fact #3
Excessive brushing can cause your gums to recede. For the most effective tooth brushing that won’t damage gum tissue or enamel, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and move the bristles in gentle circular motions. Avoid brushing teeth with abrasive substances.
Fact #4
Gum disease affects more than just your gums. Infected gum tissue can cause more serious problems such as tooth loss and jawbone deterioration. As bacterial growth destroys gum tissue, the gums begin to recede. This causes teeth to lose their anchor in the gum and fall out. If missing teeth are not replaced, the jawbone atrophies from underuse because it doesn’t have teeth to support.
Fact #5
Bad breath isn’t just caused by the food you eat – it can also be an indicator of your gum health. Food residue between teeth leads to bacterial growth, which in turn can cause bad breath. In the early stages of gum disease, bacteria begin to grow between the teeth and the gums, forming infected pockets that contribute to your breath.

Keep these facts in mind when you perform your daily dental care routine – they’re game changers! Give us a call at Katy Periodontology & Oral Surgery Phone Number 281-394-9340 to learn more about gum health and overall oral care.

Get Checked, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Being that we are entering April, now is the time to be proactive and get yourself checked for oral cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 48,330 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer, and an estimated 9,570 people will die from oral cancer in 2016. In the spirit of April’s Oral Cancer Awareness, we urge you to receive regular oral cancer examinations. Remember—early detection saves lives!

Get CheckedAre you at risk?
The sad truth is that oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women, and the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. It is more important than ever for young adults, as well as older men and women, to get regular screenings whether they think they’re at risk or not.

Knowing the risks can help you make educated decisions about your health. There are several risks that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:

  • Smoking and using tobacco products have been a known long-term historic causes of oral cancer.
  • Heavy alcohol usage also makes you more susceptible to develop oral cancer.
  • The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms?
The mouth is one of the body’s most crucial early warning signs in the fight against oral cancer. In between regular dental visits, it’s important to be aware of the mouth’s signs and symptoms. Remember, if you see any of these signs or symptoms, schedule an appointment at the office if you don’t see improvement within two-three weeks:

  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice.
  • The development of white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth.
  • Lumps, thickening tissues, rough spots, crusty or eroded areas.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together when you close your mouth.
  • Dramatic weight loss.
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck.
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.

Don’t wait any longer. In the spirit of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, be proactive about your oral health, and get checked today!

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On the Lookout for Oral Cancer

Oral cancer screenings are performed regularly at dental exams, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be paying attention to your dental hygiene between appointments. Taking matters into your own hands is the best way to maintain your oral health. Not sure how to screen for oral cancer? We’ll show you!

On the Lookout for Oral CancerWhat is oral pathology?
This branch of dentistry involves the evaluation and treatment of diseases of the mouth. The most dangerous, but not always the most obvious, of these diseases is oral cancer.
What should I look for?
Keep an eye out for these oral cancer symptoms during your self-screenings:

  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lumps on the tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Mouth sores that won’t heal
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Chronic throat soreness
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Mouth numbness

How do I perform an oral cancer self-exam?

  1. When performing your oral cancer self-screening, be sure to check all areas of the mouth, including the roof, floor, tongue, lips, cheeks and the back of your throat.
  2. Examine your face in the mirror for abnormal asymmetry and irregularities.
  3. Feel your neck and the back of your head with your fingers to look for any bumps or changes in texture.
  4. Examine your throat by placing your fingers around your thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple) and swallowing.

How often should I perform a self-exam?
Self-exams should be performed at least once a month. Changes to your oral health can occur rapidly, so it’s important to stay on top of things. Treatment is most effective if we detect symptoms early.

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