Gum Disease

Why Are My Gums Receding?

Man suffering from tooth ache in morning Have you noticed that you are seeing more teeth and less gums lately? It can be upsetting, especially if you know that you take very good care of your teeth. Why are your gums receding, and what can be done about it?

What causes gum recession?

Unfortunately, you may notice gum recession even if you take care of your teeth just as you are supposed to, because gum recession can run in families. However, it can also be the result of years of tobacco use, periodontal disease, a lack of dental care, an oral piercing, a misaligned bite, overaggressive tooth brushing, or years of grinding your teeth.

If your gums are receding, you are at risk for some serious problems – as the gum tissue wears away, the lower parts of your teeth are exposed. Bacteria may begin to collect in the “pockets” that form between your teeth and gums as your gums pull away. If not treated, this can lead to tooth and gum damage, and even eventually damage to the jawbone.

Preventing gum recession

If you have been lax in your oral health care, developing good habits can help to prevent gum recession and can help keep teeth healthy if your gums are receding. Brush at least twice a day, with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss thoroughly at least once a day, eat a healthy diet, and see your dentist at least twice a year.

Gum recession can’t be reversed, but it can be treated to protect your teeth from damage. If your gums are receding, your dentist may recommend a scaling and planing – a deep cleaning of that area in between the gums and the teeth. If the recession is serious, he or she might recommend a soft tissue graft, in which tissue is taken from the top of the mouth and attached to the area of recession.

Are you concerned that your gums are receding? Or is it just time to finally schedule that cleaning and checkup you’ve been putting off? Contact Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center for an appointment today! Call the East Norriton, PA, office, at (610) 272-6949!

Is your oral piercing affecting your oral health?

Cosmetic procedure for piercing the tongue Do you have an oral piercing, or are you thinking about getting one? They are very popular, but they can cause damage to your teeth and gums, something you might want to think about if you have spent a lot of time and effort getting work done on your teeth. Here is some more information on oral piercings and how they can affect the health of your teeth and gums.

What damage can an oral piercing do?

Here are some of the risks that come with an oral piercing, if it is constantly rubbing up against your teeth and gums:

• Damage to your teeth such as chips and cracks (which can lead to a tooth infection)

• Damage to crowns and other restorations

• Damage to your gums, which can cause gum recession

An oral piercing can also lead to the production of excessive saliva, which can make it difficult to speak, chew, and swallow. And, in the worst case scenario, an oral piercing can lead to an infection spreading to the rest of your body, if bacteria in your mouth gets into the piercing, which can lead to severe health problems such as endocarditis (inflammation of the heart).

Taking care of your oral piercing

If you do decide to get an oral piercing, the most important thing to keep in mind is to keep it and your mouth very clean. Brush and floss often, and make sure you see your dentist at least twice a year so that he or she can check for any issues.

If you play a sport or take part in any activity where there is any chance your piercing could get ripped out or smashed against your teeth, make sure you take it out before you play. Avoid playing with your piercing and don’t put objects such as pen caps in your mouth, as these can carry bacteria that can cause infection.

Hopefully, you will be very happy with your piercing and it will never cause you any problems. But if it does, call Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center in East Norriton, PA, for an appointment, at (610) 272-6949!

What is scaling and planing?

happy woman smiling looking beautiful and elegant Has your dentist recommended a scaling and planing? It might sound like some kind of dental torture, but it’s not really. It’s actually a procedure that can protect your teeth from damage and keep your mouth healthy. Read on for more information on scaling and planing and why it’s nothing to be scared of!

Do you need a scaling and planing?

This procedure, which is actually very common, is nonsurgical and is simply a deep cleaning underneath the gums. As the name implies, there are two steps to this procedure, which are typically done together. The “scaling” involves cleaning the portion of the tooth that is deep beneath the gums, while the “planing” is done to smooth out any rough patches on the tooth root, which can help to prevent bacteria and plaque from adhering.

Scaling and planing may be recommended if plaque (that sticky film that is filled with bacteria) has had a chance to build up on your teeth. When it gets really bad, the gums become inflamed and irritated and eventually start to pull away from the teeth. This forms “pockets,” which traps even more plaque and bacteria. This can lead to gum disease and eventually even tooth loss.

All of this plaque build-up is very difficult to remove with brushing and flossing, and over time it gets to be so bad that even a regular cleaning at your dentist’s office can’t even remove it. After a scaling and planing procedure, the gums will be healthy once again and they will start to reattach to the teeth.

It may take more than one visit to really get your teeth clean with a scaling and planing procedure, and it may leave your gums sensitive, swollen, and tender for about a week afterward.

Scaling and planing really isn’t dental torture. It is an important procedure that can help to make sure your teeth and gums stay healthy. Make an appointment with the staff at the Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center if you are having tooth pain or if you need help with your oral health. Call (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!

What is that spot on my gums?

woman suffering from tooth sensitivity At the very least it can be a surprise when you see it – at the worst it can cause you to panic just a bit. One day you are flossing or brushing, and you happen to notice an ugly black spot on your gums. But is this spot something you should be concerned about? Should you rush to your dentist or can it wait until your next cleaning appointment?

Should you be worried?

The answer is, most likely, “no.” That spot on your gums is most likely what is known as an “amalgam tattoo,” and they are fairly common. They might be black, grey, or a bluish color. They are found in patients who had metal amalgam fillings in the past – cavity fillings made up of a combination of metals, such as tin, mercury, silver, and copper (nowadays, composite materials and ceramics are used for fillings). These fillings may have been placed a long time ago; over time they can sink down into the gums or even the lips or cheeks. They can be pushed out of the tooth and into tissue when your dentist removes this amalgam filling or when tooth decay is being removed.

Although the odds are pretty good that your spot is an amalgam tattoo, you should also know that these can look very similar to mucosal melanomas, which are rare but deadly. Mucosal melanomas are typically found in people who have used tobacco for many years, on the palate or the inner part of the sinus cavity. Besides the spot in your mouth, other signs of a mucosal melanoma are that your mouth feels painful and swollen and your dentures don’t fit as well as they used to. If you think you might have a mucosal melanoma, you should see your dentist or doctor right away.

If you notice a spot on your gums, it’s probably nothing to worry about – but do mention it to your dentist if you are concerned. Dr. Bentz and the staff at the Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center can help you to keep your teeth and gums healthy and problem-free. Call (610) 272-6949 for an appointment today!

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