Posts for: October, 2017
Although your smile wouldn't be the same without them, there's more to your gums than their looks. Besides helping to hold your teeth in place, they're also an important protective barrier for their roots.
Unfortunately, gums aren't immune to disease, especially periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection, triggered by built-up dental plaque on teeth due to insufficient oral hygiene, can cause the gum tissues to detach from teeth and shrink back (recede). This can make your teeth more sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages, as well as put them at even greater risk for tooth decay.
To treat gum recession, our first priority is to stop any ongoing gum disease through aggressive plaque removal. Depending on severity, this could require clinical procedures like scaling or root planing to remove plaque and tartar (hardened plaque deposits) at or below the gum line. This is especially crucial for improving gum tissue healing and stimulating potential reattachment.
Revitalizing gum tissues this way naturally has a better chance of occurring if we're able to prevent recession before it reaches the roots. If that does happen and we have sufficient gum tissue attachment remaining, we may need to give the gum tissue a helping hand through gum grafting surgery. There are a number of techniques depending on the circumstances, but they all use either tissue from another location in the patient's mouth or prepared tissue from another human donor. This type of surgery requires great skill and expertise, not to mention an aesthetic sense, to achieve a result that's both functional and attractive.
Other than daily brushing and flossing, the most important thing you can do for gum health is to see us as soon as you notice any signs of gum problems like swelling, bleeding or tooth sensitivity. The sooner we can diagnose and begin treating the problem, the less likely any gum recession will have a long-term impact on your health.
If you would like more information on gum health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Gum Recession.”
Have you been thinking about making the switch to a family dentist? Dr. Kenneth Sharp of Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, TX, explains how you and your family can benefit when you all visit the same dentist.
Driving all over McKinney, TX to take your family members to their various dental appointments uses up your precious paid time off, increases wear and tear on your vehicle and forces you to spend more time in the car then you would probably like. Family dentists offer the ultimate in convenience. Thanks to the availability of family appointments, you can schedule one visit for the entire group on the same day.
Excellent care for the entire family
As their name implies, "family" dentists are skilled at treating dental issues that affect the entire family. There's no need for your children to see a pediatric dentist when a family dentist is skilled in diagnosing issues that can affect kids. Family dentists are equally at home treating problems that tend to occur in adults and senior citizens, such as gum disease or the need to replace missing teeth with dentures or dental implants.
Every year, family dentists take continuing education courses to ensure that they're knowledgeable about the latest dental techniques, advancements and treatments. Dr. Sharp is so committed to providing a high level of care that he spends more than 50 hours annually on continuing education, far exceeding the 12-hour requirement mandated by the State of Texas and the American Dental Association.
All the services you need
Family dentists offer a variety of services that will benefit your family, including:
- Regular dental exams and cleanings
- Dental X-rays
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Crowns and bridges
- Inlays and onlays
- TMJ/TMD treatment
- Teeth whitening
- Sealants to protect your children's pre-molars and molars from tooth decay
- Diagnosis and treatment of gum disease
- Root canal therapy
- Dental implants (for any number of missing teeth)
Family dentists offer excellent care in a friendly, relaxed setting. If you're ready to make an appointment for your family, call Dr. Kenneth Sharp of Stonebridge Ranch Smiles in McKinney, TX, at (972) 984-1882.
The American Dental Hygiene Association has designated October as National Dental Hygiene Month. Good dental hygiene is the best weapon against your mouth’s number one enemy: dental plaque.
Plaque, a sticky biofilm that forms on your teeth, is an accumulation of bacteria, other microorganisms, food debris, and other unpleasant components. It can make your teeth feel fuzzy or slimy. And worse, the bacteria in plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
The best way to keep plaque at bay is by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. But even though you can remove much of the plaque in your mouth with a toothbrush and dental floss, there are nooks and crannies that are hard to access with these basic oral hygiene tools.
Staying on top of dental plaque is an ongoing challenge. Immediately after teeth are cleaned, plaque starts to form again. And the longer plaque stays on teeth, the thicker it grows. Minerals in saliva become incorporated into the biofilm. As plaque takes on more minerals, it becomes calcified. This is when it hardens into calculus, or tartar. At this stage, tooth-brushing and flossing cannot disrupt the hardened layer of buildup, sometimes visible as yellow or brown deposits around the gum line.
This is why it’s important to schedule regular professional dental cleanings. At the dental office, we have special tools to remove tartar and get at those hard-to-reach places that your toothbrush and floss may have missed. If you have questions about dental hygiene, plaque control or another oral health issue, we are happy to talk with you. We are your partners in fighting plaque for a bright, healthy smile!
Read more about the topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Plaque Disclosing Agents.”