CAN GUM DISEASE GO AWAY?

You’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis

The main question on your mind is this: “Can gum disease go away?”

When gingivitis is diagnosed and treated early on, and if the patient closely follows a dentist’s instructions, it can still be reversed. However, when gum disease is left unchecked, it can worsen and progress into periodontal disease.

Usually, gum disease does not require professional intervention. Instead, a patient is asked to practice good oral hygiene habits. In fact, poor oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of gingivitis.

However, there are some dentists who argue that gum disease is not really reversible. Instead, these dentists say that like periodontal disease, gingivitis can only be controlled.

In order to better understand that argument, here are a few important facts that you should know.

First, periodontitis is a non-curable bacterial infection

Periodontitis damages gum tissues as a result of the body’s immune system fighting off bacteria. Now, if a patient with periodontal disease responds well to the treatment for the disease, he is said to be cured, but not healed.

Why?

When the periodontal disease has been stabilized, bone loss stops. However, the damage on the bones can no longer be repaired. Patients who are healed of their periodontitis will notice a marked improvement in the swelling, bleeding, redness, and pocket depth of their gums. Now, if the patient fails to follow through with the treatment, periodontal disease can return.

How is that related to gingivitis?

Gum disease is caused by bacteria that elicits an immune response from the body. Patients with gingivitis experience bleeding, swelling and redness of the gums as a result of the immune system responding to the attack of the bacteria. However, gingivitis does not involve the development of pockets in the gums or bone loss.

Gingivitis and periodontitis share a few similarities. For one, both are bacterial infections that cause damage to tissues. Second, both respond well to the reduction of biofilm control (good oral hygiene). Finally, both diseases can return if the patient fails to practice good oral hygiene and to go for follow-up visits with the dentist.

However, the two also have a few key differences. Although both diseases are caused by a bacterial infection, the bacteria involved in gingivitis are considered to be less harmful. Second, gingivitis can be managed by good oral hygiene and regular dental cleaning. Periodontitis, on the other hand, needs to be managed for a whole lifetime. Patients also need to visit their dentists every three months.

But if there is one key difference that patients should be aware of, that is the fact that periodontitis has been linked to chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart attacks, and stroke.

If you want to learn more about how you can take better care of your teeth and gums and stave off diseases like gingivitis, Dr. Aaron Nicholas, a dentist in Burtonsville, MD, and his team can provide you with invaluable tips. Contact us today.

Saving a Tooth in a Dental Emergency

saving a tooth in a dental emergency

Dentist Recommended Steps to Saving a Tooth in a Dental Emergency

Let’s first qualify a dental emergency. The most common emergencies that come through our Burtonsville Dentist office are broken teeth, and sports injuries or accidents resulting in a severely broken or missing tooth. This is a time of heightened emotion where you are in panic mode trying to determine the best course of action.

There’s still a chance for you to save your tooth. You can have it replanted back to the gums, where it will remain useful for the years to come. By acting fast and knowing the right steps to saving a knocked-out or broken tooth.

A tooth can become dislodged for a number of reasons. It can be due to an injury that made your mouth or teeth come into contact with a hard surface. It can be due to eating food that’s too hard or tough for your tooth to handle. It can be because you’re using your teeth as a “tool,” such as to open a bottle or to open a bag of chips instead of using an opener or a pair of scissors. 

While such incidents are quite common (with millions of teeth getting knocked out among adults and children in the U.S. on a yearly basis), a knocked-out tooth should still be taken seriously and addressed with immediate care. Even if the result of trauma is “just” a crack or a chip, the resulting openings can lead to bacterial growth which can easily lead to tooth decay and infection. 

Immediate action is helpful if the tooth becomes completely dislodged out of its socket. However, there is still an opportunity to save that tooth.

Extend the life of your tooth with the following steps:

  • Bring your tooth to the Laurel, MD dentist nearest you. The ideal scenario is to get to the clinic within 30 minutes of the incident.
  • While preparing the tooth for your Dentist, make sure you are handling the crown and not the root.
  • If it landed on the ground or anywhere dirty, rinse it out gently with clean, cold tap or bottled water. Never use soap, toothpaste or any chemicals. Don’t rub or brush; just let the water rinse the foreign particles off.
  • While the tooth is still a bit wet, try to reinsert it into the socket. Using a careful but firm hold, replace the tooth into the socket or just above it.
  • Very carefully, close your mouth while gently biting down on the tooth to guide it in position.   

    Sometimes it’s not possible to place the tooth back into the socket. If this is the case, do not let the tooth, especially the root, dry out. To keep the tooth moist and keep the living cells alive for longer, you have the following options: 

  • Put the tooth in milk, in a covered container that you can take to the dentist.
  • Put the tooth in the mouth, ideally between the gum and side of the cheek to keep it stable and wet with saliva.
  • Spit some saliva into a container and put the teeth into the liquid.
  •  Do not store the tooth in tap water or wrap it in a dry cloth or cotton.

We realize losing a toot is not a pleasant situation. In fact it can be quite scary. However, do you best to remain calm, and call your Dentist immediately for an Emergency Dental Visit. Most Dentists will leave a few openings on their schedule each day in order to be available for these types of situations.

4 Dental Emergencies and Their Solutions

Dental EmergencySolutions for Different Types of Dental Emergencies

During the unfortunate time of dental emergencies, prompt and correct action can make all the difference. Knowing the proper way to deal with these incidences can spell the difference between saving and losing a tooth. At Nicholas Dental Care we offer an in-depth look at the top 4 dental emergencies we see in our Burtonsville dental office. 

Many people avoid going to the dentist all together. In a true dental emergency you will know right away you need treatment from a qualified dentist. We do see dental emergency cases where patients have let tooth pain go too long and they just can’t take it anymore. Bt today we want to talk about more serious dental emergencies. Below are four of the most common issues we see due to dental trauma. 

Knocked out tooth

Ouch! If the tooth that has been knocked out and it is a permanent tooth, you have to keep that tooth and gums moist. Try replacing the tooth back into its socket. However, you have to be careful to avoid touching the tooth’s root. 

If that is not possible, you can either place the tooth inside your cheek or put it in a small container that has been filled with milk. Whatever method you choose, you need to go to an emergency dentist ASAP. This is crucial to saving the tooth.

But what if your child knocked out one of his baby teeth? In this situation, you will still need to keep the tooth moist. In most situations, the most ideal fix is to put the tooth in a small container filled with milk. Upon arrival at the dental office, your child’s dentist will determine whether it is still possible to implant the tooth or not.

Cracked tooth

If you think that you have cracked one of your teeth, the first thing that you need to do is to clean your mouth using warm water as a rinse. If there is swelling, you can apply a cold compress on the affected area.

Biting on the tongue or lip

If you have bitten your tongue or lips, rinse your mouth with water and apply a cold compress to control the swelling. If the affected area does not stop bleeding or bleeds excessively, go to the nearest emergency room.

Broken jaw

If you think that your jaw has been broken, you need to proceed to the nearest emergency room. En route, put a cold compress on the affected side to control the swelling.

Preventing dental emergencies

Preventing dental emergencies need not be complicated or costly. In fact, there are a few simple things that you (or your child) can do now that can significantly reduce the risk of dental emergencies. These include wearing the proper gear while playing sports, avoiding chewing hard objects like ice and candies, and not using the teeth to tear or cut things.
It is also prudent to have a dental first aid kit within easy reach at your home.

What Is Considered a Dental Emergency?

Dental EmergencyHow to Know If You Have A Dental Emergency?

When you (or a loved one) are involved in an accident, it is perfectly normal to feel a sense of panic. But when it comes to dental problems, not all cases can be considered an emergency situation. Today we are discussing pain in your teeth that merit the immediate attention of dental professionals.

What is considered a dental emergency?

In order to ascertain whether the problem is a dental emergency or not, there are a few questions that you can ask:

  • Is there bleeding from the mouth?
  • Are you in great pain?
  • Did you lose any teeth?
  • Is the problem caused by a trauma to the face or mouth?
  • Do you notice any swelling in your face or mouth?
  • Are there bulges, swelling or knots on your gums?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you have a dental emergency. This is when you need to seek immediate attention for the problem. Try to remember the details of your accident and injury and share these with your dentist. Also be prepared to speak to an answering service if you are calling after hours. Often times the dentist on-call will be able to call you back in a timely manner.

Dental Infections 

An abscess in the mouth or severe infections can turn into a life-threatening situation and should be brought to the attention of a qualified dentist as soon as possible. Upon reaching the dental office, your dentist will need to open and drain the affected tooth to facilitate the release of the abscess. If no dental clinic is open, you can go to the nearest hospital for emergency care.

Symptoms 

If the pain you are experiencing is aggravated by hot food or drinks, drinking ice water can help relieve some of the pain. You can also hold some ice water in your mouth en route to the dentist.

On the other hand, if your mouth has become sensitive to cold food or water or if breathing causes pain, avoid eating cold food or drinking cold beverages. Also, try to breathe through your nose.

If you have an abscess, you will feel some pain on the affected tooth when you bite down on it. In this case, your best course of action is to go to the dentist as soon as possible.

The Importance of Routine Dental Visits 

Many dental emergencies can be easily avoided through regular visits to your dentist. If you play sports, it is advisable to invest in and wear a mouthguard. If you have the habit of chewing on hard objects like ice, try to eliminate the habit or get it under control.

Most emergencies happen when you least expect them. This is why it is necessary to make the right preparations ahead of time by putting together an emergency dental kit. A good dental emergency kit should include gauze, handkerchief, acetaminophen, and the number of your dentist. These items are typically found in your standard emergency medical kit.

Regardless it is better to be safe than sorry. Always consult with your Laurel Dentist if you think you might be experiencing a dental emergency.