Have you ever noticed you’re often in the dark about having put on weight until the day you need to don that dress or suit that’s been hiding in the closet since last year? Progressive change can be difficult to notice, especially when it occurs to us and not someone else. Changes that occur along our gum line certainly fall into this category, and given the measurement used to gauge erosion is measured in millimeters, it’s no wonder it’s easy to miss. So, how much erosion is normal, and what causes it? Let’s take a look.
Unfortunately to most, gum recession is considered to be a normal part of aging. Even the expression “long in the tooth” stems from the age-old story that as we get older, our gum line tends to recede and expose more of the surface of our teeth. But there really is nothing “normal” about gum recession, and for most of us, it can actually be prevented. So, unless you’re inclined to keep things as they are, and embrace gum recession as the well-paid price of wisdom, we can help.
First things first. There are a host of factors that contribute to the erosion of your gumline. The best part is, the VAST majority of these causes are preventable.
The Biggest Offenders:
All of the above causes of gum loss can be prevented. All of them. If you grind your teeth at night, you can wear a mouth guard. If you brush as though you’re sanding down the statue of David, learn proper technique from your dentist, or from a video online. Bleeding a lot when flossing? You’re not slicing cheese – go easy, there, friend! If you smoke, drink too many energy drinks, or chew tobacco, cut back, or stop altogether. None of that stuff is good for you in any way imaginable. And lastly, if you’re actually trying to look like Ross from the show “Friends” by abusing whitening strips, you can stop now, your teeth have got to be super-white already!
What’s next? How can you tell if your gums are receding faster than the Amazon rainforest? Well, the most proactive step you can take is to visit your dentist. In fact, if you’re going regularly, your dentist has been monitoring your recession for some years now. If you’ve ever noticed your dentist poking around in your mouth with a metal object you can’t see, all while reciting numbers to the hygienist, he’s probably doing two things: measuring the recession of your gums, and the depths of your gum pockets. Both speak to the health of your gum line.
So, the next time you hear your dentist reading off what seem like lottery number choices, just ask how your gum-health is going … they’ll be happy to keep you in the loop.
The first sign of gum recession is usually tooth sensitivity, so be on the lookout for this tell-tale sign. Reduce, or eliminate the above discussed habits, and ask your dentist how you’re doing in terms of taking care of your gums. With a little bit of knowledge and proactive behavior, no one will be saying you’re “long in the tooth” any time soon, and you’ll still be able to maintain your sage status. And, that’s a good thing.
Did you get a chance to check out our new toy? Bikram Singh DMD recently invested into a new dental camera that can magnify the surface of your teeth and gums up to 25 times and let you see the inside your mouth in vivid detail. Using this camera, we can easily spot tooth defects and problems with your gums that might otherwise be a real challenge to see – even with the brightest overhead light.
This pen-sized camera is called an “intraoral” camera, and it’s quickly becoming one of the most talked about tools at our office. Why? Because this awesome little gizmo allows us to peer into the darkest recesses of your mouth to see things we just can’t see with the naked eye – or an X-ray, for that matter. Cracked and loose fillings “pop” out as if they’re right in front of your eyes, cavities can be seen up-close, hairline fractures become readily apparent, and your gums shine like never before … everything is magnified so we can catch problems early before they become expensive and painful.
Best of all, our new camera makes your visits faster and can allow you, for the first time, to see exactly what the doctor is talking about.
Curious to learn more? Just give us a call – or come by and say cheese!
Request an Appointment
or call our office today to learn more
Protecting Yourself Against Oral Cancer
If there were a quick and painless way to identify pre-cancerous cells in the mouth of someone you loved, would you want them to try it? What if that person were you? The truth is, as uncomfortable as it may be to even think of the word “cancer,” thinking about it,and thus detecting it early, is the key to eradicating it. That’s why, if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you should schedule a visit. The oral exam that accompanies your cleaning is just one of the many things you can do to reduce your risk from this deadly form of cancer.
So, lets take a quick look at a few of the risk factors and symptoms and consider a few options you may have to help reduce risk. Keep in mind that no list is exhaustive, and to always share with your health care providers your concerns and strategies regarding your oral health.
Passing certain age thresholds and engaging in certain lifestyle habits can place you at increased risk for oral cancer. Likewise, men tend to have higher rates of oral cancers than do women. Here is the short list:
- Patients age 40 and older (95% of all oral cancer cases)
- Patients age 18-39 who use tobacco, are heavy drinkers, or may have a previously diagnosed oral HPV 16/18 infection.
- Patients age 65 and older with the lifestyle risk factors described above
- And, any patient with a history of oral cancer
Some warning signs:
If you experience any of the below symptoms lasting more than 7-10 days, please seek the advice of your doctor. Also, keep in mind that aside from an obviously sore throat, the below symptoms can present themselves in the absence of pain. Look out for changes that can be detected on the lips, inside the cheeks, palate, and gum tissue surrounding your teeth and tongue.
- Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
If you do not visit the dentist regularly, you are putting yourself at risk for missing your chance at early detection. Currently only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years – a statistic driven by late diagnosis – so please visit your dentist and get an oral exam at least once a year. If you are considered “high risk,” you should be receiving an oral exam at least every six months, if not more frequently.
Below is a short list of healthy habits you can start doing now, which may reduce your risk.
- Avoid all tobacco products
- Avoid or reduce your consumption of alcohol
- Consume more fruits and vegetables (good for everything, of course.)
- Avoid excessive sun exposure that can result in cancer of the lip
- Avoid exposure to environmental hazards (wood dust, formaldehyde, printing chemicals)
- Conduct a self-exam monthly so you can catch any of the symptoms listed above. Use a small hand-held mirror so you can see the back of your mouth and tongue
- Consider coffee. While the jury is still out, some research suggests coffee may help protect the mouth from oral cancer.
Oral cancer is serious business. Yet, it can be managed when caught early. So, do the right thing and visit your dentist regularly, and get that screening.
Hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day this weekend!
When a man trades in his first name in favor of being called Dad, his life changes forever. And to those who look up to him, this tiny little word has so much more meaning than the three letters could ever hope to contain.
This Father’s Day, we’d like to thank all of the father’s out there for something special.
It may seem rather insignificant to you, but to us, and the ones in your life who love you and look up to you, this little something special is larger than you can imagine. We’d like to thank you … for just being you. We wish you a truly wonderful Father’s Day.
From the entire team at Cary Dental Rejuvenation!
Smile and make someone’s day brighter!
We are happy to have Kristen back at the office and we welcome Kennadi Grace!
Toothache, also referred to as Dental Pain or Dentalgia, is the most common dental emergency. Toothache refers to the pain in the teeth and their supporting structures, which is triggered by dental diseases or pain referred to the teeth by non-dental diseases. What are the most common causes of Toothache? Toothache is a constantly throbbing pain and may be set off by certain foods or drinks. Apart from Tooth Decay, various other dental problems including the following can cause toothache:
- Pulpitis (inflammation of pulp)
- Dental Caries
- Dental Trauma
- Dentin Hypersensitivity
- Tooth Abscess
- Tooth fracture
- A damaged filling
- Infected Gums
- Apical Periodontitis (inflammation of periodontal ligament and alveolar bone)
- Alveolar Osteitis
- Trench Mouth ( a gum infection)
- Acute Pericoronitis of Lower Wisdom Tooth
How can Toothache be treated? The kind of treatment you receive largely depends upon the cause of your toothache. Dentists, after making a complete oral examination may suggest the following treatments:
- If toothache is due to cavity, dentists may fill the cavity or extract your tooth.
- If loose or broken filling is causing the problem, the dentist may put new filling in the place after clearing out the decayed or the broken one.
- Root canal treatment may be suggested for treating the infected gums.
- Pain medicines or antibiotics may be prescribed to speed up healing.
- Treatment of TMJ may involve surgery, stress minimizing techniques and mouth guard to check the tooth grinding.
- To lessen the pain and inflammation associated with toothache, Phototherapy with cold laser may be used.
How to prevent Toothaches? Toothaches can be prevented by strictly following a hygienic oral regime and by keeping your gums and teeth as healthy as possible. For healthy gums and teeth, you need to follow the below listed practices:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride containing toothpaste
- Floss at least for once in a day to clean between your teeth
- Visit your dentists for regular and scheduled dental check-ups and professional cleanings
- Eat healthy diet; consume less sugary foods and drinks
- Do not smoke, as smoking can worsen certain dental problems
Contact Dr. Bikram Singh DMD for the professional and state-of-art treatment of acute and chronic dental problems. We not only provide treatment for the current ailments but also educate you by providing oral hygiene instructions that help you to check the recurrence of dental problems.