Archive | Oral Health

Can Periodontal Disease be Cured?

Can Periodontal Disease be Cured?Periodontal disease is a tricky subject. In plain terms, this condition is permanent. Once you have acquired a periodontal disease, the damage cannot be undone. However, if you follow the instructions of your dental team you can fight the disease to a standstill. Slowing or stopping the advance of periodontal gum disease is the goal once you have this disease. It can be done in the early stages, with the proper treatment.

What is periodontal gum disease?

Periodontal gum disease is an infection of the gums. At their root, periodontal disease causes are the same as those behind gingivitis, which starts with a low-level amount of swelling and bleeding of the gums. As the disease advances, the infection can spread into the supporting tissues, and even into your bones. This causes the gums to recede from the teeth. If the supporting bone and tissue is infected and worn away, teeth can become so loose they fall out or need to be extracted.

Periodontal disease has also been correlated with increased risks of disease in other parts of the body. Heart disease and respiratory infections are both positively correlated with periodontal disease. Preventing periodontal disease, or keeping yours in check, helps to lower your chances of running afoul of these other diseases.

Signs of periodontal disease

The signs of periodontal infection start subtly. You’ll notice frequent bleeding of your gums when you brush or floss. You will have persistent bad breath and/or a bad taste in your mouth. On the other hand, it’s possible not to notice any of these symptoms and still have periodontal disease. Your dentist can diagnose it when the symptoms are still mild enough to be overlooked by you.

In more advanced stages, the symptoms include frequent infection, exposure of the roots of the teeth, and loss of mass in the jaw as the bone is eroded by infection. The fact that there is a problem will be obvious before things advance this far. At this point, a specialist will probably be required.

Periodontal disease stages

Periodontal disease starts slowly. The first sign is redness, slight swelling of the gums, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. Most people consider bleeding while flossing to be normal. The truth is that gentle pressure should not cause your gums to bleed. Rigorous brushing, flossing, and treatments from your dentist help to halt any periodontal diseases in the early stages. Aggressive treatment is required to prevent it from going further.

If periodontal disease isn’t caught in its gingivitis stage, things get worse. Gums become more swollen and eventually begin to recede. This exposes the roots of the teeth and leads to sensitivity to temperature or pressure. The gums can also form pockets that are very difficult to clean. This speeds the progression of the disease and also provides ample opportunity for cavities to form. Typically, the damage done at this stage is permanent. Treatment can halt progression, however, so things may not have to get worse.

In even more extreme cases, the bone has worn away. You are prone to abscesses and frequent foul-tasting and foul-smelling infections. Your teeth are very loose and may fall out. If they don’t, physically removing them may be your only way to treat the deep infection above the gum-line.

Periodontal disease treatment

The best treatment for periodontal disease is to attack the gingivitis at the root of the problem.  This can be achieved by a thorough cleaning by your dentist. Following that, rigorous daily brushing and flossing should soon get your teeth back into top shape. Treating periodontal disease can take as little as one visit and a few weeks to see a vast improvement. Practicing good oral hygiene habits is the best change that you can make.

Periodontal gum disease treatment at the middle stages require a more invasive cleaning. The roots of the teeth are cleaned from tough tartar build up and your gums can reattach to clean roots. Because it’s more invasive than a basic cleaning, this particular treatment of periodontal disease is done with anesthetic. It frequently takes more than one visit to set your gums on the path to recovery. Unfortunately, the most advanced cases need more than this. From this point, the more advanced methods used to protect teeth and heal gums is dependent on your unique situation.

Periodontal disease can be cured only in its earliest stages. After that, you can fight to halt the progression of the disease. In the most extreme cases, however, surgical intervention and deep-root cleaning may be necessary. If you suspect a periodontal disease in your mouth, don’t hesitate to contact our office. Let us help you begin treatment for a healthy mouth.

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What is Gingivitis?

What is gingivitisYou just left your dentist and the news wasn’t great. What you thought was a simple case of brushing too hard, has now been diagnosed as gingivitis. Like most people, you wonder if you could have done more to prevent this. You may also be wondering just what exactly gingivitis is. Look no further, we have the answers to your gingivitis questions.

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is defined as inflammation of the gums. It’s a simple definition for a surprisingly complex topic. When diagnosed with gingivitis, the definition is more than a symptom of inflammation. Gingivitis is described as tender, swollen gums. They could also be bright red and sensitive to heat, cold, and pressure. While gingivitis is a common problem, it could potentially lead to other gum diseases and eventual tooth loss.

Can You Catch Gingivitis?

Most people don’t realize that gingivitis is contagious. Because it’s considered an infection, it acts just like other infections. Therefore, if you sharing food or even kiss someone with gingivitis, you can absolutely introduce those bacteria to your mouth. So yes, you should take caution if you’re regularly with someone with gingivitis.

The good news is that by taking care of your own oral health, this disease is treatable. Brushing, rinsing, and flossing help prevents germs from settling into your gums. Just like the rest of your body fights infection best when it’s healthy, healthy gums withstand a brush with bacteria.

How Do You Get Gingivitis?

The life of gingivitis starts out as a simple plaque source. When you eat or drink, the bacteria on your teeth eat the same food you do. Unfortunately, they also excrete that food, in the form of plaque. Plaque is the soft, almost white substance that you brush and floss off every time you clean your teeth. Plaque is not good, but regularly brushing and flossing keeps it mild. When you miss your cleaning, plaque builds up and accumulates into tartar. This is a hard substance that is very difficult to get off on your own. Most people experience some tartar build up, but have it removed during regular cleanings. This is why your six-month cleanings at the dentist are important; they keep tartar build-up under control.

When left unchecked, tartar begins to extend above and below the gum line. In time, gingivitis develops. Your gums become soft, inflamed, and sensitive. Gingivitis symptoms make your mouth so uncomfortable. If left uncheck, gingivitis eventually causes gum separation, bad breath, and bleeding.

How to Get Rid of Gingivitis

There are home remedies that claim to address gingivitis, however, it’s best if you see your dentist about it. Because the root cause of gingivitis is tartar build up under your gums, it’s difficult for your toothbrush to reach all these areas. The symptoms of gingivitis can be treated with home remedies. For example, gently swishing diluted hydrogen peroxide helps to treat symptoms in your gums. However, to cure gingivitis, you should make a trip to see your dentist. They can clean your teeth and help you establish the good brushing and flossing habits that will keep you healthy.

How to Prevent Gingivitis

You can prevent gingivitis the same way you prevent cavities, with brushing and flossing. The best way to prevent gingivitis is to stop plaque from building up and forming tartar, to begin with. You can begin by carrying a small, travel toothbrush and travel floss with you to work, etc. In time, brushing becomes a simple habit. Until then, make yourself a checklist and check off brushing and flossing 3-4 times a day. Your teeth will thank you.

Gingivitis symptoms are uncomfortable even at the start, but they just get worse with time. Your dentist can diagnose gingivitis and help you control it. You’re going to have to prevent gingivitis yourself, through good brushing and flossing. If someone you love has gingivitis, exercise caution. Yes, it can be contagious—but you can protect yourself.

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Top 8 Dental Tips for Kids Dental Care

kids dental care,dental care for kids,kids bad teeth,dental tips for kids,health tips for kids,dental sealants for kids,baby teeth development,brushing baby teeth,age children lose teeth,age kids lose teeth,dental care for children,baby brushing teeth,oral hygiene for children,tooth brushing for kids,baby teeth care,baby dental care,dental health for kids,tooth decay in children,baby teeth brushing,kids oral health,oral health in childrenLike most parents, taking your kids to the dentist is just as terrifying for you, as it is for your kids. You worry that they’ll find a mouth full of cavities or worse. It’s one thing to teach dental hygiene, it’s another to trust your kids to follow it. Dental care for kids isn’t always easy. These tips will help you prepare your kids for a lifetime of good oral health. Begin implementing them as early as possible for the best results.

1. Dental care for kids starts young

The sooner you get your children used to taking care of their teeth, the smoother it will be for all of you. As soon as your baby begins teething you should begin brushing. An early trip to the dentist can nip future troubles in the bud!

2. Make it a habit

The goal of all your practice with your children should be to make good oral care a habit. That way they’ll do it on their own. They’ll keep up their practices long after they move out on their own. So make it part of their bedtime routine, and make sure that you keep it consistent.

3. Dental sealants for kids help a lot

Baby teeth aren’t that tough. Dental sealants for kids can help them avoid painful cavities when they’re young. They may not get the hang of brushing for several years. Early cavities can also increase their anxiety around the dentist. That won’t help either of you feel better!

4. Tooth brushing games for kids

Tooth brushing for kids seems to be on par with broccoli. Sure, it’s good for them, but that won’t stop them from throwing a fit about it. Set up a timer or use chewable dye tablets to highlight plaque. It can help make brushing their teeth fun—and therefore easier to handle.

5. Oral health in children has long term effects

Good oral health in children will help them stay healthier in general. Everyone’s mouth is crawling with bacteria. When their gums and teeth are healthy, there’s a lower chance of bacteria entering the blood stream. They can also nip some colds and sinus infections in the bud.

6. Tooth decay in children is often a diet problem

Tooth decay in children can be nipped in the bud with diet changes. Keep sugary treats just that—rare treats. Don’t let them drink pure juice. It can have more sugar than a soda! Make sure they’re eating lots of vegetables that will help clean their teeth as they chew.

7. Have an orthodontist evaluate baby teeth development

One trip to the orthodontist can help you prepare for the future. If your little one is going to need braces, it’s best to figure that out quickly. You can also tell if your child has been sucking on their thumb, and other bad habits, based on how their teeth are coming in. The orthodontist will have plenty of tips on aiding baby teeth development.

8. Stick with regular appointments

The best thing you can do for your children’s teeth is bring them to the dentist on time. Regular checkups and cleanings will keep them on the right path. You can course correct if they start having problems. Best of all, you’ll catch problems early. The sooner you can get cavities filled, the lower the odds your child will need more advanced procedures like root canals.

Give your child the best start in life with good oral hygiene habits. Take them to the dentist, make sure they have a balanced diet, and do what you can to make visiting the dentist stress-free. You’ll set them up for a lifetime of success.  Dr. Peabody is ready to help!

 

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Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting times in your life. However, pregnancy has a profound impact on oral health—and vice versa. Tooth pain during pregnancy is very common. Other tooth issues common in pregnancy include cavities and gingivitis. This article will discuss a rundown of pregnancy and oral health. For example, what to expect while pregnant, what to consider for the health of your baby, and what procedures you can and can’t get while pregnant.

What are the risks to myself

Don’t be alarmed if you get a cavity while pregnant. During pregnancy, the body changes its hormone levels. Some of these can make it easier for plaque to build up, leading to gingivitis and cavities. Aching teeth during pregnancy is usually attributed to one of those two causes. Moreover, if you already had swollen, painful gums, pregnancy often makes your condition worse.

One distressing, but usually benign side effect of pregnancy on teeth, is the presence of oral tumors. These typically grow during the pregnancy, but shrink when the baby is born. Fortunately, they typically don’t require treatment, unless they cause excessive discomfort, or make chewing and brushing difficult.

What are the risks for the baby

While cavities and gingivitis typically aren’t that bad for the mother, they can be difficult for a baby. Having moderate to severe gingivitis increases the risk of premature, low birthweight babies. With that in mind, it’s best for pregnant women to seek dental care at every stage of pregnancy.

Can I go to the dentist while pregnant

You may wonder if a dental visit is possible during your pregnancy.  Yes, pregnancy dental care is not only possible, but highly encouraged. Getting dental work while pregnant will reduce the risk of gingivitis, and help you keep that risk low for your whole pregnancy. You should aim to get one cleaning per trimester of your pregnancy. If you discover gums bleeding during pregnancy, call your dentist. Even if you’re practicing good oral hygiene, your risk of dental problems is elevated.

Your dentist can perform many basic procedures. Cleanings are fine, and filling basic cavities can be handled as well. If you’re experiencing an emergency, your dentist will find some way to help you. You cannot live while needing a root canal until the baby is born, for example. In general, however, preventative measures like using fluoride during pregnancy are better than tackling issues that crop up.

What procedures should I avoid while pregnant

Unfortunately, there is no direct answer for all dental procedures. For example, getting dental X rays while pregnant is a gray area. If you’re struggling with a dental emergency, they may be unavoidable. On the other hand, your dentist will want to limit these as much as possible. If you scheduled any cosmetic procedures prior to your pregnancy, you will more than likely have to reschedule them. Anything that requires more than local anesthesia, and anything that requires medication, will be limited.

Pregnancy health is a holistic topic. Good oral health will help you have a healthy baby. Pregnancy itself can work against you, making you more prone to cavities and gingivitis. Together, alongside Dr. Peabody, we can map out a plan to limit cavities while pregnant and keep gingivitis at bay.

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Questions to ask a Santa Cruz Dentist Before Getting Dental Implants

Santa Cruz Dental Implant Three Questions to AskSanta Cruz is a city known for its deep tans and California smiles. Santa Cruz dental implants are becoming a popular alternative to dentures, for people looking to improve their smile. You may have heard about dental implants from a friend or your dentist. Before you getting your assessment, there are three important questions to ask. These questions cover the basics for a healthy transplant and a safe surgery.

1. What are the odds my body will reject the implant

The first and most important question to ask your dentist is whether your body can handle the implant. The titanium alloy used to make the screws is actually very rare. Because of this, allergies to the alloy are likewise very rare, but can happen. If you haven’t had contact with the metal before, there’s no way to know for sure if your body will reject the implant. However, if you have certain allergies the dentist can tell you that it’s more likely that you’ll have a reaction compared to other people. Likewise, if you already have titanium alloys in your body from other surgeries, your dentist can tell you if that’s enough to show that you probably won’t have a reaction to the implant.

2. Are my gums and bone structure healthy enough for an implant

This next question is equally important. Your dentist will need to examine your teeth and gums to verify if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. You need to have strong bone structure and healthy gums before the implant will take.

If your teeth and gums are not currently in the best condition to receive an implant, ask your Santa Cruz dental implant specialist what steps to take in order to get there. In general, brushing and flossing is the best way to help your gums improve. If you’ve been taking only average care of your teeth, your Santa Cruz dental implant specialist may need to see a certain amount of improvement from your gums before they clear you for surgery.

3. Will any of my medications complicate the procedure

Be sure you disclose any medications you are taking, to your dentist, at each visit. Even still, take special care to mention all of your medications at your evaluation and ask if any of them pose a problem. Some medications that increase bleeding, for example, also increase the risk associated with the procedure. You may have to work something out between your medical needs and your dental needs so that you either find an alternative to dental implants or find an alternative treatment that will allow you to have your surgery without risk.

Don’t waste time.

Be sure to ask your Santa Cruz dental specialist, Dr. Peabody, these three questions. Making sure your teeth and gums are healthy and compatible to implants is an important step. In addition, let your specialist know if you have any allergies or are taking any medications, as these are factors in determining whether you are a good candidate for implants. If you find that you are an excellent candidate for implants, contact Dr. Peabody, your Santa Cruz dental implant specialist and get started on the road to an attractive smile!

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Tooth Erosion: How to prevent it

Tooth Erosion Site

A common dental problem among our Dr. Peabody DDS patients is tooth erosion. The outer layer of teeth is called enamel. Enamel protects your teeth from normal every day wear and tear that result from eating and drinking. The enamel of the teeth is the strongest substance in the body. Though incredibly strong, enamel in the teeth can be worn down by acid and bacteria commonly found in the mouth, among other causes. Normal wear and tear, acid, and bacteria erode the enamel of the teeth will result in tooth erosion. It is essential for our Santa Cruz tooth erosion patients to understand how to prevent tooth erosion from occurring and to treat it once it has occurred.

What Causes Tooth Erosion? Continue Reading →

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Get your Dental Exam: Healthy Mouth = Happy Life

Healthy Smile Happy Life SiteTaking good care of your oral hygiene does more than help guarantee you have a bright, white smile. A healthy mouth and healthy body go hand-in-hand. Good oral hygiene and oral health can improve your overall health, reducing the risk of disease and sometimes even preserving your memory as you get older.

At the office of Dr. Guy Peabody, a Santa Cruz Dentist, we always say it is never too early to start educating children to take care of their teeth. Healthy habits learned in adolescence can save a lot of money and headache in adulthood. The expression, “healthy mouth, healthy life,” really is true — and is backed up by growing scientific evidence.

Here are six ways that having healthy teeth and gums Continue Reading →

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Teeth Whitening for LIFE!

Teeth Whitening in Santa Cruz

THREE GREAT REASONS TO HAVE YOUR TEETH WHITENED BY PROFESSIONALS

These days, it seems like there are hundreds of ways to whiten your teeth. It’s easy to walk into any pharmacy or grocery store and pick up a home whitening kit or one of the many varieties of whitening toothpastes out there. But before you get too carried away, here are some points about teeth whitening that you should Continue Reading →

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Swollen Gums? Not in Santa Cruz!

GumsWritingSmallFour Home Remedies for Swollen Gums

Swollen gums can be irritating, but they are nothing that good old-fashioned home remedies cannot fix. Swelling of the gums is often caused by poor oral hygiene and gingivitis. If gingivitis is mistreated and not addressed in a timely fashion, it can get progressively worse and might turn into periodontal disease, which is much more serious than gingivitis. While committing to consistent oral hygiene practices might be able to prevent gum problems, it is important to know how to treat swollen gums in case the problem arises. Here are four home remedies that  Dr. Guy Peabody, your local Santa Cruz dentist, suggests trying when you have swollen gums.

#1 – Warm salt water

Although it seems almost too simple, warm salt water can make a massive Continue Reading →

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TONGUE BRUSHING

 

tongue ScrapeMore than seventy percent of the bacteria in the mouth reside on the convoluted surface of the tongue. A majority of the remainder is around the gum line of the teeth. To reduce the number of these bacteria is to control problems with mouth odor. Some individuals have more trouble than others because we all have a unique formulation of these microorganisms and some varieties produce more of the sulfurous compounds which are the big offenders in cases of bad breath.

Dr. Guy Peabody D.D.S., your Santa Cruz Dentist, recommends Continue Reading →

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