Posts for: October, 2015
Can you have healthy teeth and still have gum disease? Absolutely! And if you don’t believe us, just ask actor David Ramsey. The cast member of TV hits such as Dexter and Arrow said in a recent interview that up to the present day, he has never had a single cavity. Yet at a routine dental visit during his college years, Ramsey’s dentist pointed out how easily his gums bled during the exam. This was an early sign of periodontal (gum) disease, the dentist told him.
“I learned that just because you don’t have cavities, doesn’t mean you don’t have periodontal disease,” Ramsey said.
Apparently, Ramsey had always been very conscientious about brushing his teeth but he never flossed them.
“This isn’t just some strange phenomenon that exists just in my house — a lot of people who brush don’t really floss,” he noted.
Unfortunately, that’s true — and we’d certainly like to change it. So why is flossing so important?
Oral diseases such as tooth decay and periodontal disease often start when dental plaque, a bacteria-laden film that collects on teeth, is allowed to build up. These sticky deposits can harden into a substance called tartar or calculus, which is irritating to the gums and must be removed during a professional teeth cleaning.
Brushing teeth is one way to remove soft plaque, but it is not effective at reaching bacteria or food debris between teeth. That’s where flossing comes in. Floss can fit into spaces that your toothbrush never reaches. In fact, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving about a thirdÂ to half of your tooth surfaces unclean — and, as David Ramsey found out, that’s a path to periodontal disease.
Since then, however, Ramsey has become a meticulous flosser, and he proudly notes that the long-ago dental appointment “was the last we heard of any type of gum disease.”
Let that be the same for you! Just remember to brush and floss, eat a good diet low in sugar, and come in to the dental office for regular professional cleanings.
If you would like more information on flossing or periodontal disease, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease.”
Determining which of your teeth is causing your toothache isn’t always easy — or even if it’s a tooth at all. The pain could be coming from a tooth, the gums, or both. Only a thorough dental examination can pinpoint the exact cause and best course of treatment.
If a decayed tooth is the problem, the pain may be coming from nerves and other tissue deep within the tooth’s pulp. The symptoms could be dull or sharp, constant or intermittent, specific to one area or spread out. It’s even possible for the pain to suddenly subside after a few days. This doesn’t mean the infection has subsided, but rather that the infected nerves have died and no longer transmit pain. Pain can also radiate from the actual source and be felt somewhere else — the pain in your sinuses, for example, could actually originate from an infected back tooth.
If the source is periodontal (gum) disease, the infection has begun in the gum tissues. As they become more inflamed they lose their connectivity with the teeth, bone loss occurs and the gums may “recess” or draw back. This exposes the tooth root, which without the protective cover of the gum tissues becomes highly sensitive to changes in temperature or pressure. As a result you may encounter sharp pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold, or bite down.
Treating these issues will depend on the actual infection source. An infected tooth often requires a root canal treatment to clean out the pulp and root canals of dead or infected tissue, fill them with a special filling, and seal and crown the tooth to prevent future infection. If the source is gum disease, we must manually remove the bacterial plaque causing the disease from all tooth and gum surfaces to stop the infection and allow the gums to heal. In advanced cases, surgical procedures may be necessary to repair damage and encourage new gum and bone growth.
Where dental disease has spread from tooth to gums or vice-versa, you may need treatments for both areas to address your overall condition. Whatever the treatment course, we can put an end to your tooth pain and restore health to your teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on the sources of mouth pain, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Confusing Tooth Pain.”
Find out why getting whitening treatment from your Silver Spring dentist will give you better results.
Not everyone wants to get professional in-office whitening. Some patients enjoy being able to whiten their smiles at home. If you aren’t looking to get whiter results for an approaching event but still want to revive that dull smile then talk to your Silver Spring dentists Dr. Gregory Hysong and Dr. Lynda LePore about supervised at-home tooth whiteners.
What does supervised whitening entail?
While this doesn’t mean that your dentist in Silver Spring, MD makes house calls, we do create an at-home treatment plan that ensures that you get the results you want from your whitening system.
Before you even get your whitening treatment we will perform a physical exam to determine whether bleaching is right for you and your oral health. We will also determine the type of whitening treatment that is right for you, as well as the severity of your stains. By determining the types of stains you have, we can tailor your whitening treatment to give you the best results. While you are whitening from home, you will also come into our office so we can make sure that you are following all instructions and that you are getting the results you want.
How do tooth whitening trays work?
Your whitening trays will be custom-made based on impressions your Silver Spring, MD dentist has taken of your smile. This ensures that the gel comes in contact with as much of your smile as possible to give you even results. These customized trays also reduce the contact that the bleaching gel has with sensitive soft tissue.
Each night you will apply the bleaching agent to the trays and then place the trays on your upper and lower teeth. Depending on the strength of the whitening gel some patients may only need to wear their trays for an hour while others may need to wear them for several hours each night.
What makes supervised at-home whitening different from using commercial products?
First, since commercial products are unsupervised the bleaching agent has a significantly lower concentration of peroxide than supervised at-home whitening. Secondly, over-the-counter whitening products also have a “one size fits all” approach to whitening trays. This means that the trays won’t fit as well, which can irritate gums and other soft tissue.
Want to get a brighter smile from the comfort of your own home? Then it’s time to turn to Colesville Dentistry for all your cosmetic dental needs.