Your Gums Matter
When most people picture beautiful smiles, they think about the shape, color, and spacing of their teeth. However, those pink gums are just as crucial to the overall look and health of your teeth. Unfortunately, if you aren’t careful, your gums could recede away from your gum line, making your mouth look unhealthy. Recessed gums can also cause extreme dental sensitivity, since the area near your dental roots has a thinner layer of protective enamel.
Why Gums Recede
If your gums look like they are running for cover, you might wonder why. Here are a few common reasons that gums recede in the first place:
- Over-Aggressive Brushing: Have you ever been told by your dentist that you are a hard brusher? If you grip your toothbrush improperly or push too hard, it can rub away gum tissue.
- Poor Oral Hygiene Habits: If plaque and tartar aren’t removed through normal brushing and flossing, bacteria can collect in pockets underneath your gums. As the bacteria multiplies, it can irritate your gums and cause cell death, which leads to recession. If the biofilm isn’t removed, it can even cause gum disease or periodontitis, which can make your teeth fall out altogether.
- Hormonal Changes: Even simple hormonal changes can alter the way that your gums look. As you get older, you might experience gum recession, which can make your mouth uncomfortable.
- Genetics: If your parents suffered from a receding gum line, you might too. Talk with your parents and your grandparents to see if recessed gums run in your family.
- Injury: Oral injuries can also contribute to a recessed gum line. Once an injury has occurred, gum tissue might not grow back, which can leave your dental roots vulnerable to damage.
Ways We Can Help
Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for gum recession. In addition to traditional gum grafting procedures, our periodontists can also use the pinhole surgical technique. During this procedure, the periodontist makes a small incision and uses a tool to gently push down your gum tissue. This procedure is incredibly effective and requires very little recovery time.
If you suspect that your gums are receding, don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment. We would be happy to evaluate your overall dental health and make a recommendation based on your current condition. We can also talk with you about the average costs, recovery times, and details of each procedure.
To all those who have been part of the Arizona Periodontal family this year,
Thank you for bringing joy to our office and allowing us to keep doing the work we love. To our patients, thank you for giving us the opportunity to help meet your dental needs. We hope that you’ll keep smiling brightly. To our staff, we love being able to work with you and appreciate everything you do to keep the practice running smoothly. Keep being awesome! We are looking forward to another excellent year together.
Dr. Trujillo and Dr. Sanders
As the leaves fall and the frost begins to bite, we at Arizona Periodontal Group want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving! This is a time for celebration, for gratitude, for family—and of course, for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.
This Thanksgiving, please remember to be thankful for your beautiful and healthy teeth, and show that gratitude by taking care of them. As you feast on turkey, sweet potatoes, and stuffing, remember that the bacteria in your mouth will be having a Thanksgiving feast of their own. The extra sugar in that pie and cranberry sauce can increase bacterial growth and put your teeth at a heightened risk of decay. It’s important to remember to brush and floss, even in the midst of a busy holiday; dental plaque left in place becomes dental tartar, which you will need professional help to remove. You should especially be on the lookout for possible staining, as wine and after-dinner coffee can put dark spots on your enamel. If you do notice any problems with your teeth, our office will reopen after the holiday to help return your smile to its full health and beauty.
Let this Thanksgiving be a perfect start to the upcoming holiday season. We wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and a year full of beautiful smiles! And if you need us, please call or request an appointment online.
Your friends at Arizona Periodontal Group
As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, your attention might turn to your ever-expanding waistline and your unfinished extra bedroom. However, pregnancy can affect more than just your pant size and your stress level; it can also affect your teeth.
Pregnancy Can Be Hard On Your Smile
When you are pregnant, your hormonal levels change significantly. Increased levels of progesterone can make it easier for oral bacteria levels to get out of control, as well as exaggerate your body’s natural response to the toxins that those bacteria can produce. This hormone influx creates the perfect storm for inflammation and dental decay, which is why an estimated 40% of all women develop gingivitis or periodontal disease during some part of their pregnancy.
How Periodontal Disease Could Affect Your Pregnancy
Pregnancy-related gingivitis can do more than stink up your breath and exacerbate oral decay. Gingivitis and periodontal disease during pregnancy can also cause:
- Oral Tumors: The extra inflammation that gingivitis can create can sometimes spark tissue growths under the gum line in some pregnant women. These tumors can make it uncomfortable to eat and talk, and they can even bleed or crust over.
- Low Birth Weight Babies: Research has also shown that women with periodontal disease are more prone to delivering low-birth weight babies. A lower birth weight has also been tied to developmental issues such as learning disabilities and delayed motor skills.
- Pre-Term Delivery: Women with gingivitis or periodontal disease are also more likely to deliver their babies prematurely. In fact, mothers with extreme periodontal disease were more likely to deliver as early as 32 weeks; two full months ahead of schedule.
Prevent Dental Problems During Pregnancy
To protect your baby, take your dental health seriously. Schedule a checkup with Dr. Trujillo as soon as you find out that you are expecting. Talk with your doctor if you notice any dental changes, such as red, swollen gums or bad breath. Focus on preventative care such as proper brushing and flossing. Try to address dental health problems early, before they have time to grow into larger problems.
If you have questions about how to care for your teeth during your pregnancy, make an appointment to talk with Dr. Trujillo. We would be more than happy to evaluate your smile, make suggestions, and help you to track your oral health.
Although you might be tempted to ignore dental issues, a little negligence could lead to gingivitis, which can turn into periodontal disease. In addition to making your teeth fall out, periodontal disease has been linked to other dangerous medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Fortunately, you might be able to fend off serious ailments by focusing on eliminating gingivitis. Here are a few symptoms of gingivitis, so that you know what to look out for:
Symptoms of Gingivitis
- Red, Inflamed Gums: While healthy gums are light pink and pretty, gums infected with gingivitis are red, inflamed, and bleed easily. Pay attention to how your gums look and react when you floss. If you notice extra bleeding, ask your doctor about gingivitis.
- Bad Breath: Gingivitis creates pockets of infection underneath your gum line along your teeth. Unfortunately, these areas collect bacteria rapidly, leaving you with terrible breath.
- A Receding Gum Line: Unhappy, inflamed gums can even recede from your teeth, exposing sensitive dental roots.
If red, inflamed gums and terrible breath don’t sound like symptoms you want to cope with, here are some suggestions to avoid developing gingivitis.
How to Avoid Gingivitis
- Don’t Skip Regular Dental Checkups: Don’t skip the chance to talk with a professional about your overall dental health. Visit your dentist twice a year, or as often as your dental insurance will allow.
- Focus Oral Hygiene: To keep your smile pristine, brush twice a day and floss before you go to bed. Consider flossing after you brush but before you rinse, so that you can work toothpaste between your teeth.
- Avoid Smoking and Chewing Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco can be hard on your oral tissues, which can make it hard for teeth and gums to heal. If you smoke or chew, talk with your family doctor about helping you to quit. Today, there are effective medications that can take the edge off of tobacco cravings—which might improve your chances of quitting.
- Know Your Family History: If your parents suffer from gum disease, you might be susceptible to the condition as well. Talk with your parents and grandparents to see if gum disease runs in your family.
Do you suspect that you have a problem with gingivitis? Make an appointment with Dr. Trujillo today. He will carefully evaluate your oral health and take the necessary steps to ward off gum disease. Call us or request an appointment online.