Tag Archives: preventative dentistry

Gum Disease: The Beginning Stages of So Much More | Dallas Dentist

506889025Research has shown, and experts agree, that there is a connection between gum disease and other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and respiratory infections. Keeping your gums healthy may not only keep gum disease at bay, but it may also help manage or prevent other health conditions. Dr. Gary Alhadef is a Dallas, Texas cosmetic dentist who has also worked with numerous dental problems for more than 20 years and can help you achieve and maintain healthy gums.

What is Gum Disease? Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It can affect one or many teeth and begins when the bacteria in plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, red, and bleed easily, but usually does not cause pain. Untreated gingivitis can advance to the more serious disease called periodontitis. This disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bones surrounding your teeth. It can lead to serious complications including tooth loss.

There are several health problems associated with poor gum health.

Heart Disease. Research has found that people with gum disease are twice as likely to suffer from Coronary Artery Disease as those with healthy gums. Oral bacteria can enter the blood stream and attach to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels. Clots can block normal blood flow, restricting oxygen required for the heart to function. This can cause a heart attack.

Premature Birth. Risk factors like smoking, alcohol, and drugs are known to cause birth issues. Evidence also suggests that gum disease is a risk factor. Pregnant women with unhealthy gums are seven times more likely to have a premature baby or one with a low birth weight.

Diabetes. Diabetics are more likely to have gum disease than those who are not, likely because diabetics are susceptible to contracting infections. The relationship between gum disease and diabetes works both ways – gum disease can make it difficult to control blood sugar.

Bacterial Respiratory Infections. Bacterial respiratory infections can be caused by inhaling small droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs. These droplets contain bacteria that multiply in the lungs and lead to damage. Research also indicates that bacteria found in the mouth and throat can worsen existing lung conditions.

To learn more about how Dr. Gary Alhadef can help you maintain healthy gums, please contact his Dallas, Texas dental office to discuss gum disease by scheduling a consultation. Visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com to learn more about veneers.

Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS proudly serves Dallas and all surrounding areas.

Maintaining Oral Health

girl eating appleMaintaining oral health is both easy and important – failing to properly care for your mouth can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath, eventually missing teeth and potentially even systemic health issues. Much of maintaining oral health comes down to managing the bacteria that naturally occurs in your mouth through four basic procedures: brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash, and having regular professional cleanings.

Bacteria in your mouth naturally form sticky, yellow film known as plaque. Over time, if that plaque is not removed, it will form a calcified deposit known as tartar, which is very difficult to remove. Brushing twice a day with toothpaste is the first step towards removing plaque and preventing tartar buildup – by brushing twice a day, you remove food the bacteria needs to survive, and physically remove plaque from the surfaces of the teeth. Failing to brush allows the bacteria within plaque to produce acids that damage tooth enamel, creating cavities and weakening teeth. Brushing at least twice a day (and ideally after each meal) can not only remove the bacteria from the teeth, but also remove the bacteria’s food source.

Flossing, like brushing, is designed to minimize plaque and tartar by physically removing both the bacteria/plaque and it’s food. Flossing between teeth helps keep the surfaces between teeth free of plaque, and protects your teeth and gums from plaque that can’t be reached by brushing alone. While you don’t need to floss as often as you brush, you should floss at least once a day.

While brushing and flossing remove plaque from your teeth, and should help prevent plaque from turning into tartar, rinsing your mouth with antibacterial/antimicrobial mouthwash can help kill any bacteria remaining in the mouth. In addition to killing bacteria on the tissue of your cheek, gums, and tongue, rinsing with mouthwash can also help dislodge any stuck food particles, again minimizing nutrients that bacteria needs to survive.

Finally, routine professional checkups and cleanings are the last step in maintaining proper oral health.  In the event that plaque does survive and mineralizes to form tartar, routine professional cleaning can help remove calcified tartar from teeth, and your dentist or hygienist can use specialized, high-speed tools to properly clean areas of your mouth that are difficult for you to clean on your own. At this time, your dentist can also check your mouth for signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems, and can hopefully treat them before they cause permanent damage.

Overall, maintaining oral health comes down to building a routine of brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and regular dental visits. By following that routine, you can protect your natural teeth, avoid cavities caused by decay, and prevent the onset of periodontal disease.

For more information on oral health contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website atwww.dallascosmeticdental.com.

Tips for Brushing Your Teeth

dental hygiene routineMost dentists will tell patients that the two most important things they can do at home are to brush and to floss regularly. While this advice seems simple – and it is – there are ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways to brush your teeth, and it’s important to understand the difference.

Start by choosing a toothbrush that is a comfortable size – if you have to strain to open your mouth to get the toothbrush in, it’s probably too big, and choose a brush with softer bristles, to avoid damaging your gums.

You should brush at least two times a day, but three is even better, and it should take about 2 minutes each time. If you spend 30 seconds on each quadrant (top right, bottom right, top left, bottom left), you’ll hit the two-minute mark.

Brush lightly, being careful not to damage the gums. Hold your brush at a 45 degree angle to your gums, and move the brush in an up and down motion, using short strokes. Avoid long, wide, side to side sweeping strokes that can cause scrapes along your gums.

Plain fluoride based toothpaste tends to be the best – whitening toothpastes, or those marketed to fight tartar, are likely to be harsh on your teeth, and may actually wear down your enamel over time.

Avoid acidic drinks that can weaken enamel – coffee, soda, orange juice, and energy drinks all will contribute to weakened enamel. Because of this, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming them (in fact, you can avoid brushing immediately after a meal). If you wait a half hour after eating or drinking before brushing, your saliva will have an opportunity to bring your mouth back to it’s normal form, allowing your enamel to re-harden and make it less likely to be damaged during brushing.

Finally, take care of your toothbrush. Rinse it after each use, keep it in a clean area, and change it regularly, every 3 to 4 months. Doing so will keep the brush clean, so that you’re less likely to contaminate your mouth while trying to clean it.

For more information on oral care contact Dr. Gary Alhadef, DDS. Make an appointment by calling 469-718-0128 or visit our website at www.dallascosmeticdental.com.