Gingivitis. It’s a term that we have all heard so much that we may be tempted to think we know all about it. Certainly, we would know if this condition developed in our mouth; and the chance that it will is very slim. Gum disease happens to “someone else,” never to us. That is until it does.
The nerves can go into a tailspin when you are told that your gums are inflamed. How could you not have noticed? How could this have happened when you brush twice a day every day? The truth is, gingivitis is sneaky, and it can happen without you knowing – and despite your best efforts. Let’s look at this early sign of gum disease a little more closely.
What is Gingivitis?
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gingiva, the soft tissue that we refer to as the gums. It is not necessarily a gum disease, but it is absolutely a warning sign that infection is not far off. The good news about a diagnosis of gingivitis is that you have the opportunity to turn things around in your mouth. With intervention during this early stage, the health of your gums can be restored.
Here is the key, and one that you don’t want to miss. Gingivitis needs to be treated. Chances are, you missed the warning signs; not because you weren’t looking, but because they are just that subtle. Unless you view your gums with magnification every day, you may not see the ever-so-slight swelling or redness. If anything, you may take notice of a little pink, which indicates bleeding, when you brush. This is the time to act.
Why Gingivitis Develops
It’s easy to think that gingivitis happens only to people who don’t practice good oral hygiene. That just isn’t true. Maybe you brush every day, but you are rushed when you do it and spend less than the recommended two minutes on the task. Maybe flossing is hit and miss, only done a few days a week. Sometimes, the plaque that causes gingivitis is just hard to get to, and it sticks, causing inflammation.
There are several factors that influence gum health. We are here to help you discover what those are, and how to navigate them. To schedule your exam and cleaning in our Palm Beach Gardens practice, call (561) 627-9000.
As you age, your teeth age right along with you.
Years of everyday wear and tear add up and definitely take a toll.
But your body is amazingly resilient and the same is true for your teeth…however, both need watchful, tender, loving care!
• What happens to your teeth as you age?
• What can you do to keep your teeth strong for a lifetime?
Gum Disease (gingivitis and periodontal disease)
The risks of gum disease increase with age. Pockets form at the gum line where bacteria grows. If left untreated, bacterial infections can cause damage to connective tissue and bone, leading to tooth loss.
• Brush and floss twice a day
• Use a WaterPik
• Use an antibacterial mouthwash
• Be diligent about your twice a year dental check-ups!
Chipping and cracking and breaking, oh my!
The function of your teeth is mechanical…to mash, chew and grind food to make it digestible.
For the most part teeth are resistant to cracking, chipping and breaking; they do not become more brittle with age. But at Lerner & Lemongello we often see patients with chips and cracks…commonly from biting down hard on something like an olive pit or a kernel of un-popped corn. Bruxism or teeth grinding caused by stress is another common cause of tooth wear and tear.
• Avoid chewing ice
• Check those olives!
• Ask Dr. Lerner or Dr. Lemongello to check your teeth for Bruxism
Tooth decay, cavities and tooth enamel
Two of the biggest threats to your teeth are sugars and starches. These carbohydrates ferment, causing bacteria in your mouth to produce acids which eat away at the enamel of your teeth.
Tiny pits form and tooth decay finds those pits, resulting in cavities. Sweetened carbonated beverages are especially harmful since carbonation increases acid levels in the mouth.
• Cap that sugar craving by chewing sugarless gum
• Take it easy on sugary foods and carbonated soft drinks
• Avoid frequent snacking
• Pay attention to your daily dental hygiene – every day!
At Lerner & Lemongello we want you to have the brightest, best-looking smile at any age!
Call us at 561.627.9000 to schedule an appointment.
Have you started to notice that your gums are slightly swollen, redder than normal or even bleed while you brush or floss your teeth? These characteristics may even be routine for you during aggressive teeth cleanings or brushing at home. The truth is that these signs are not normal and are actually indicative of the earliest stages of gum disease.
Gum disease can become an extremely painful and dangerous oral condition. However, the good news is that when it is caught early, gum disease is completely treatable and your symptoms reversible. In it’s earliest stages gum disease is commonly referred to as gingivitis. The most common cause of gingivitis is improper or insufficient oral care at home. Visiting the dentist twice a year is very important and can also help prevent the onset of gum disease. However, daily cleaning is the most effective tool at fighting the disease.
It is important not only to brush thoroughly after every meal, paying close attention to scrub along your gum line, but also to floss frequently. Flossing is perhaps the most commonly skipped step in a person’s daily oral care routine and it is by far one of the most important steps. Mouth rinses are available on the market that advertise gum disease fighting powers, however no toothpaste or mouthwash can replace the value of flossing at least once a day. Doing so will help keep your gums strong, prevent bleeding and stop gingivitis in its tracks.
If you’d like more information about how to develop an effective at home oral care routine, contactour office for more information today.
Dealing with Bad Breath
We all have had to deal with embarrassing bad breath sometime in our lives. Usually we like to blame it on the food we just ate for lunch or dinner loaded with garlic or onions. But, is this really the cause? Or could it include a number of things we usually don’t suspect. There could be a number of different causes, some with simple solutions. Here are some tips to keep your breath smelling fresh.
Back to the Basics: Everyone is familiar with the basics of brushing and flossing. Basic hygiene practices for your teeth and gums will help keep you breath minty fresh. Don’t underestimate the effectiveness of brushing and flossing after every meal.
Dental Health: Regular dental appointments are important in the fight against bad breath. Tooth decay, dental abscess, gum disease are all causes of bad breath. You may be brushing and flossing multiple times a day but if you have a broken or decayed tooth the bacteria present will cause bad breath. Same with gum disease; Gum disease is a bacterial infection. It too can cause bad breath. Tooth decay and gum disease will require professional help from your dentist and hygienist.
Old Dentures: Old dentures can also cause bad breath. Generally dentures are made of a plastic material. This plastic is porous, with lots of nooks and crannies where bacteria can imbed into the surface. The American Dental association recommends replacing your dentures every five years.
Tongue Cleaning: One of the biggest factors causing bad breath is bacteria trapped on the surface of your tongue. Your tongue, especially the top back, has thousands of places for bacteria and food debris to stay trapped causing bad breath. The best way to treat this is with a device called a “tongue scraper”. This device removes much of the trapped bacteria and food debris.
Fruit Can Help: Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet naturally cleans your teeth by removing plaque and food particles from in between your teeth and gums
Herbal Remedies Work as Well: An exotic Indian spice known as Cardamom added to food can reduce bad breath naturally by eliminating fungi that live in your mouth. Also, black and green tea can help.
Medications: Certain medicines like antidepressants, antihistamines and blood pressure medication can contribute to dry mouth leaving a bad taste in your mouth. Dry mouth can be a major contributor to bad breath. Saliva is your bodies first line of defense to help wash away bacteria and clean your mouth. If you have dry mouth, check with your dentist about mouth washes and tooth paste that may help alleviate this condition.
Medical Conditions: Bad breath can sometimes be caused by health problems. Diabetes, acid reflux, liver problems and sinus infections all can contribute to bad breath. If you seem to have tried everything consult with your physician.
Rest assured the dental team at Drs. Lerner and Lemongello’s office is available to ensure your comfort and safety and are available to answer any of your concerns. So whether it is for a dental check up, a simple tooth restoration, a smile makeover, dental implants, or complete mouth restorations our team is ready to help you achieve the smile you deserve and the dental heath you want.
Get the beautiful smile you have always dreamed of, make an appointment today! Contact Drs. Lerner and Lemongello for an appointment and information on all dental procedures at 561-627-9000. Visit our website at www.lernerlemongello.com and view our “Smile Gallery” for examples of some of South Florida’s most beautiful smiles.
Drs. Lerner and Lemongello also proudly serve Stuart, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach
In addition to the usual heart disease that is often linked to gum disease, a new study has recently found out that the bacteria present in gum inflammation may actually trigger the growth of tumors and lesions associated with oral cancer.
The mouth-body connection has been known for a while now and people are becoming increasingly aware of the link between the current state of one’s mouth and one’s overall health — from diabetes to heart disease to premature births. Here at our South Florida dental practice, we regularly remind our patients that their oral health is akin to a window where one can take a glimpse of what’s going on inside the body.
Significant Implications of the Study’s Findings
The researchers of the study found out that two types of bacteria prevalent in gum disease, namely Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) and Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn), produces byproducts in the form of short-chained fatty acids which in turn triggers the proliferation of Kaposi’s sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) related lesions.
These findings may prove to be very useful for patients with HIV and AIDS as 20 percent of patients diagnosed with the condition often develop KS in the long run. Aside from HIV, KS also tends to develop in patients with compromised immune systems such as the elderly and cancer patients on chemotherapy.
Here’s an excerpt from the Dental Tribune concerning the study’s methodology and its implications:
“In the study, the researchers assessed the gingival health of 21 patients and studied their saliva samples. Eleven patients (average age of 50) were diagnosed with severe chronic gum disease and ten participants (average age of 26) had healthy gums. Overall, the researchers detected significantly higher levels of short chain fatty acids in the saliva of patients with severe periodontal disease and observed that the fatty acids allowed KSHV to multiply.
In addition, they found that this process inhibited molecules in the body’s immune system from stopping the growth of the virus.
The researchers believe that this discovery could lead to early saliva testing for the bacteria to enable early treatment and monitoring for signs of cancer in at-risk patients.”
Your Comprehensive Gum Disease Evaluation in Palm Beach Gardens and neighboring areas
You can potentially save yourself from the likelihood of developing oral cancer through regular assessment and evaluation of your overall gum health by Drs. Lerner and Lemongello here at our practice. By and large, it’s not just your gums that will be evaluated but will also include your teeth, the way you bite, bone structure, your current lifestyle, and risk factors.
Get in touch with us today at our office in Palm Beach, Florida! Call 561-627-9000 or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment with us! We look forward to your visit!