How to Brush Your Teeth

August 9, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

 Happy National Toothbrush Day!

A great refresher for your oral hygiene.

http://www.crest.com/dental-hygiene-topics/how-to-brush-your-teeth.aspx#3

Flashing your best, most healthy smile means brushing well and often. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth twice a day for dental hygiene and to help promote dental health. Make the most of that time by giving your brushing technique a refresher.

Tooth Brushing Technique

You’ve been brushing your teeth your whole life, but are you getting the most from your efforts? The following technique will help you get the most thorough clean.

  1. On the outer and inner surfaces, brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle in short half-tooth-wide strokes against the gum line.
  2. On chewing surfaces, hold the brush flat and brush back and forth.
  3. On inside surfaces of front teeth, tilt brush vertically and use gentle up and down strokes with toe of brush.
  4. Brush the tongue in a back-to-front sweeping motion to remove food particles and freshen your mouth.

Remember to spend at least 30 seconds on each quadrant of your mouth, adding up to two minutes each time you brush.

Choose the Right Toothpaste

Crest toothpastes contain fluoride, which helps strengthen weak spots and prevent tooth cavities. And whether you’re looking for tartar protection, a rush of flavor, or dentist-inspired protection, we’ve got a toothpaste that’s right for you.

Change Your Toothbrush

Most dental professionals recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months. To remind yourself, write the date you should change your toothbrush in permanent marker on the handle.

Women and Gum Disease

February 21, 2012  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

http://www.perio.org/consumer/women.htm

Did you know that puberty and pregnancy influence a women’s smile? Due to hormonal fluctuations in a womans lifetime, these changes in your body can affect many tissues, including the gums.

A study published in the January 1999 issue of the Journal of Periodontology reports that at least 23 percent of women ages 30 to 54 have periodontitis (an advanced state of periodontal disease in which there is active destruction of the periodontal supporting tissues). And, 44 percent of women ages 55 to 90 who still have their teeth have periodontitis.

Because periodontal disease is often a “silent” disease, many women do not realize they have it until it reaches an advanced state. However, at each stage of your life, you can take steps to protect your oral health.

Puberty

During puberty, an increased level  hormones causes increased blood circulation to the gums. This may cause an increase in the gum’s sensitivity and lead to a greater reaction to any irritation, including food particles and plaque. During this time, the gums may become swollen, turn red and feel tender.

As a young woman progresses through puberty, the tendency for her gums to swell in response to irritants will lessen. However, during puberty, it is important to follow a good at-home oral hygiene regimen, including regular brushing and flossing, and regular dental care. In some cases, a dental professional may recommend periodontal therapy to help prevent damage to the tissues and bone surrounding the teeth.

Menstruation

Occasionally, some women experience menstruation gingivitis. Women with this condition may experience bleeding gums, bright red and swollen gums and sores on the inside of the cheek. Menstruation gingivitis typically occurs right before a woman’s period and clears up once her period has started.

Pregnancy

Women may experience increased gingivitis or pregnancy gingivitis beginning in the second or third month of pregnancy that increases in severity throughout the eighth month. During this time, some women may notice swelling, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gum tissue.

In some cases, gums swollen by pregnancy gingivitis can react strongly to irritants and form large lumps. These growths, called pregnancy tumors, are not cancerous and are generally painless. If the tumor persists, it may require removal by a periodontist.

Studies have shown a possible relationship between periodontal disease and pre-term, low-birth-weight babies. Any infection, including periodontal infection, is cause for concern during pregnancy. In fact, pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small! If you are planning to become pregnant, be sure to include a periodontal evaluation as part of your prenatal care.

 

Women who use oral contraceptives may be susceptible to the same oral health conditions that affect pregnant women. They may experience red, bleeding and swollen gums. Women who use oral contraceptives should know that taking drugs sometimes used to help treat periodontal disease, such as antibiotics, may lessen the effect of an oral contraceptive.

Menopause and Post-Menopause

Women who are menopausal or post-menopausal may experience changes in their mouths. They may notice discomfort in the mouth, including dry mouth, pain and burning sensations in the gum tissue and altered taste, especially salty, peppery or sour.

In addition, menopausal gingivostomatitis affects a small percentage of women. Gums that look dry or shiny, bleed easily and range from abnormally pale to deep red mark this condition. Most women find that estrogen supplements help to relieve these symptoms.

Bone loss is associated with both periodontal disease and osteoporosis. Research is being done to determine whether the two are related. Women considering Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to help fight osteoporosis should note that this may help protect their teeth as well as other parts of the body.

Steps to Protect Oral Health

Careful periodontal monitoring and excellent oral hygiene is especially important for women who may be noticing changes in their mouths during times of hormonal fluctuation. To help ensure good oral (and overall) health, be sure to:

  • See a dental professional for cleaning at least twice a year.
  • See a periodontist in your area if you or your dentist notice problems with your gum tissue. Problems may include:
    • Bleeding gums during brushing
    • Red, swollen or tender gums
    • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
    • Persistent bad breath
    • Pus between the teeth and gums
    • Loose or separating teeth
    • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
    • A change in the fit of your dentures
  • Keep your dental professionals informed about any medications you are taking and any changes in your health history.
  • Brush and floss properly every day. Review your techniques with a dental professional.
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