Easy Ways to Keep Gums Healthy

Your Charleston dentist wants you to know that oral health can be achieved with consistent habits and proper, routine dental care. The foundation to healthy teeth and a beautiful smile is healthy gums. Here are the easiest ways to keep gums healthy for a lifetime.

Floss Regularly

Every time you eat, tiny bits of food get trapped in between teeth and at the gumline. Regular brushing and rinsing can help, but often, there are still bits of food that can’t be reached. Regular flossing ensures that you remove these tiny bits of food so that bacteria doesn’t buildup and destroy your oral health.

Get Professional Dental Cleanings

Dental cleanings go beyond brushing, rinsing, and flossing. Your dental hygienist not only cleans above and below the gum line; they also look for signs that can lead to gum disease. That way, preventative treatments can be done to help protect your teeth. Dentists recommend cleanings at least every six months.

Avoid Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of teeth and gum disease. Even though it may be hard to believe that smoke can cause gum problems, it most certainly does. One reason is that smoking lowers your immune system so that your gums have a harder time fighting off harmful bacteria. Try to quit smoking using ideas your doctor recommends, such as nicotine patches.

Don’t Drink From the Mouthwash Bottle

Many people, especially single folks, assume that it’s okay to drink from the mouthwash bottle since they are the only ones in the household. However, bacteria from your mouth can get into the bottle when you drink from it, thereby rendering the sterilized mouthwash contaminated with bacteria. Instead, use disposable paper cups and use them each time you use your mouthwash.

Use Therapeutic Mouthwash

Everyone wants to have fresh breath, but some of the nice-smelling mouthwashes don’t offer germ-killing benefits. Make sure you choose a therapeutic mouthwash that’s recommended by your dentist. Many of them now come in refreshing flavors that also leave your breath smelling nice.

Contact your Charleston dentist whenever you have concerns about the health of your teeth and gums. And remember, regular dentist appointments are your best defense against gum disease.

 

Treatments For Swollen Gums

An important part of your oral health, swollen gums can make life miserable. Sensitive and painful, they are prone to bleeding when you are brushing or flossing, creating even more problems. Caused most often by such things as gingivitis, malnutrition, infections caused by such problems as tooth decay or herpes, and even pregnancy, it is crucial you address the problem as soon as possible. As for the most common ways swollen gums are treated, there are various medical and home treatment options.

Diagnosing the Problem

If your gums remain swollen for at least two weeks, see your dentist. Along with taking dental x-rays and asking you various health-related questions, your dentist may also order blood tests to determine if you have an infection. If you are pregnant or have had recent dietary changes, be sure to mention this during your visit.

Medical Treatments

If your swollen gums present a serious problem, certain medical treatments may be necessary. While it may be as simple as your dentist prescribing oral rinses and special types of toothpaste, you may also need antibiotics if an infection is present. Should your condition be severe due to gingivitis, surgical procedures such as scaling and root planing may be needed. When this is done, your dentist will scrape away tartar, plaque, and diseased gum tissue from the roots of your teeth, thus letting the remaining healthy gums begin to heal.

Home Treatments

If you have a milder case of swollen gums or have to wait a few days to see your dentist, there are numerous home treatments you can use that are helpful. To begin with, avoid irritants such as alcohol, tobacco, and strong mouthwashes. For many people, rinsing their mouths with a saltwater solution brings relief, while at the same time ridding their mouths of bacteria. Also, you may want to place a warm compress on your face, since this will ease the pain. If you need to decrease swelling, try a cold compress. Finally, drinking plenty of water can stimulate saliva production and reduce bacteria, while brushing and flossing gently can also help.

Since your gums are so important to your oral and overall health, contact your dentist as soon as possible should you have concerns about how to proceed.

 

3 Ways Intraoral Cameras May Be Used During Your Dental Exam

Technology has its place in pretty much all types of medical care, but technology is just as important in the dental care field. Intraoral cameras are a good example. These advanced cameras are very small and may be used during a checkup or during treatment as an assistive technology to the dentist’s work.

1. The dentist may use the camera to get a closer look at a problematic spot.

Even though a dentist is specifically trained to know what they are looking at when they see an issue on a tooth or in your mouth, it can be hard to get close enough to get a good visual look at an issue. Intraoral cameras are small devices that easily fit inside the mouth and can be pointedly placed or aimed at a certain area so the dentist can get an up-close look and make a proper diagnosis.

2. The dentist may use the camera to show you certain attributes of your teeth.

The dentist can tell you what problems with your teeth are, but it is so much better if they can actually show you the problems so you can get a look. The intraoral camera can be connected to an external monitor so you can see exactly what the dentist is looking at when they mention an issue. For example, if you have an area of decay in between two teeth where you can’t see, the intraoral camera can be used to show you what the decay looks like and where it is located.

3. The dentist may use the camera to perform certain dental treatments.

Intraoral cameras may also be used during specific dental treatments. For instance, a camera may be held in place while a dentist does a small filling in a damaged tooth so they have a more precise look at the issue and what needs to be done to correct it.

Schedule Your Appointment for a Dental Checkup in Charleston, WV

Whether it is intraoral cameras or other advanced equipment, these tools make it possible for you to get the best of care for your oral health possible. Reach out to us at the office of Michael J. Tupta DDS to schedule an appointment for a thorough dental checkup today.

 

Are You Experiencing Gum Sensitivity? Here’s What You Need to Know?

Gum sensitivity is one of those dental health issues that sometimes sneaks up on people, which is why some patients struggle with pinpointing an accurate time frame for this condition. However, because gum disease is progressive, it’s important to pay attention to the small, initial signs so that treatment measures can be taken. Gum tissue is amazingly resilient, and patients often find that tenderness, redness, and other signs that gum disease may be on the horizon subside substantially and may even disappear with the right course fo treatment. Here’s what you need to know if you’re experiencing gum sensitivity:

Gum Sensitivity May Signal the Onset of Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a condition that causes sensitivity in the gum tissues. Gums may also be swollen and red, and sometimes, they bleed during or after brushing and/or flossing. Unfortunately, many people tend to put off seeing their dentist when they first notice the signs that gingivitis may be in the house, especially if the symptoms are mild. This is the absolute wrong approach, however — like many dental health issues, gingivitis can actually be reversed if it’s caught early enough. If you don’t catch it early enough, it can develop into a more serious condition of periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a late-stage gum disease with the potential to result in a variety of adverse conditions. Patients who have developed periodontal disease often experience tooth loss, and if the infection becomes serious enough, it may enter the bloodstream and become systemic, which may possibly affect the body’s major organs.

What to Do for Sensitive Gum Tissue

One of the first things you should do if you notice a sudden onset of sensitivity in your gum tissues is to step up your oral hygiene routine. If your toothbrush is sharp and stiff, exchanging it for one that’s soft may be all that’s necessary. You should also add an antibacterial mouthwash to your oral care routine. If sensitivity doesn’t subside after taking these measures, it’s time to schedule an appointment with your oral health care provider.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at your convenience if you have questions about keeping your gum tissues healthy or if you’d like to schedule an appointment.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Procrastinate on Dental Care

When it comes to making and keeping dentist appointments, some people are better than others. If you’re a person who regularly procrastinates on dental care, you may also put off dental problems that come up, or even your personal dental hygiene. Here are X reasons why you should never procrastinate on caring for your teeth and gums.

1. If You Put Off Brushing and Flossing, You Invite Cavities

Experts advise that you brush and floss as soon as possible after each meal. The reason for this is that food gets trapped in between teeth and becomes food for bacteria. As bacteria multiply, they may end up causing cavities in your teeth. The sooner you can remove this trapped food, the better your chances at avoiding cavities. So try to make an effort to brush and floss immediately after eating.

2. If You Avoid the Dentist, Problems Only Escalate

Your dentist has many tools and treatments available to take care of any dental problem that you have. But the earlier your dentist can treat you, the less complicated—and less costly—the treatment will be. When you avoid the dentist, those problems only get worse. Eventually, you could end up with full -blown periodontitis or worse. So why let something small escalate into something more serious? Visit your dentist at least once every six months.

3. If You Ignore Signs of Trouble, You Could End up in Emergency Care

Your teeth and gums always give warning signs when something is amiss. Sometimes it’s swollen or bleeding gums, a tiny throbbing in a tooth, pain when exposed to cold beverages, or something else. These little signs should never be ignored. In other words, they will become big problems, not little ones. They won’t go away on their own. What might happen is that you end up in excruciating pain suddenly and have to rush in to get emergency treatment. And it could have all been avoided if you hadn’t ignored the signs. If you suspect there’s something going on that shouldn’t contact your dentist right away to have it checked out.

Never procrastinate on dental care. These three reasons should help you to see how important it is to have regular dental visits your entire life.

 

Waterlase Dental Treatment: Patient FAQs

Waterlase is a dental laser treatment tool that makes it possible to perform regular dental treatments without the need for shots or major discomfort. Commonly used on children and even pregnant women, this treatment has numerous advantages, including less discomfort for the patient. Take a look at some of the frequently asked questions regarding Waterlase dental treatment.

What exactly is Waterlase dentistry?

Waterlase dentistry is an innovate treatment method that involves the use of a laser that is combined with both water and air to perform certain types of treatments. lasers have been used in other medical procedures for many years, but they have only started showing up in the dental practice field in the last few years. Waterlase can be used to treat multiple conditions, including:

  • to eradicate cavities before a filling
  • to eliminate small fragments of bone after an extraction
  • to properly clean sugar spots from the teeth
  • to prepare a tooth before a crown is added

Why is the Waterlase method better for fillings?

When you get a filling done in the traditional way, the dentist uses a small drill that has a bur on it that breaks away bits of the damaged tooth. Even though this method is effective, the friction from the drill can cause some pain and discomfort for the patient. Plus, it is easy to cause damage to adjacent teeth or the tooth being drilled. Waterlase gives the dentist a gentle and precise way to remove only the damaged parts of the tooth. There is no friction, no heat, and no risks to the surrounding teeth.

Why do patients heal faster after Waterlase treatments?

Waterlase is a gentle and efficient way to perform many common dental procedures. The procedure is non-invasive and is less likely to damage the soft tissues in the mouth than some forms of traditional treatment, such as drilling. Therefore, after a patient has received treatment using Waterlase, there is less discomfort and they can bounce back rather quickly.

Overall, Waterlase dentistry treatment is a valuable component of modern-day dental practice. Reach out to us at the office of Michael J. Tupta for more information about Waterlase and if this is a treatment option we can offer you.

The Benefits of Fluoride

Fluoride is a natural mineral that contains the key element fluorine. It is widely used throughout the world as an additive for drinking water because it is known to promote healthier teeth and gums. Namely, fluoride helps protect teeth from decay and subsequent cavities.

Why do we need fluoride?

Fluoride is necessary for your teeth because it helps you combat cavities. It does this by working with the phosphate and calcium already present in your teeth. Together, these three elements fight against the harmful acids that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities in your mouth.

How can you get more fluoride in your diet?

Many communities and countries throughout the world fortify their public drinking water with fluoride. This does not change the taste of the water and is considered safe. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA) recognizes the practice of fluoridation as completely safe and healthy.

If your community does not fortify their water with fluoride, however, certain over-the-counter dental products can help you get the fluoride you need. For example, fluoride-fortified toothpastes and rinses are widely available.

Finally, you might consider a fluoride treatment. Most dental offices offer these treatments, which are often recommended for children and teens but can also be provided to adults.

What is fluoride treatment?

Fluoride treatments are typical procedures performed in dental offices by hygienists. Generally speaking, the fluoride is applied to the teeth by way of a foam, gel, or varnish. Depending on the product, the fluoride may be painted on the teeth or applied with a mouth guard. After a specified amount of time, the fluoride is then removed and rinsed.

Are you a good candidate for a fluoride treatment?

Not everyone needs fluoride treatments, but your dentist may recommend them for children and teens or some adults who struggle with tooth decay and cavities.

If you are interested in strengthening your tooth enamel with a fluoride treatment or need to book a regular teeth cleaning, you can request an appointment at today by filling out our online appointment request form or calling our office directly at (304) 744-4150.