Our Blog – Sunny Day Dental
Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? If it happens infrequently, perhaps you flossed or brushed too hard. Or maybe you injured your gums eating something hard. However, if you notice bleeding every time that you brush and floss, you should see your dentist. Gums that bleed regularly are often due to gum inflammation, also known as gingivitis.
What is Gum Inflammation?
Gum inflammation is referred to as gingivitis in the dental field. Gingivitis results in gums that are swollen, softer than usual, red instead of a pinkish red colour, and that bleed easily. Plaque build-up around the gums makes its way under the gums as well and irritates the gums.
The best way to prevent gingivitis is to remove the plaque build-up that irritates the gums. When the plaque build-up is soft and newly formed, it is easy to remove it through regular brushing and flossing of the teeth. However, when the plaque build-up is not removed quickly, it hardens. Hardened plaque build-up is referred to as calculus or tartar, and it can only be removed by a dental professional. Unfortunately, the hardened build-up not only irritates the gums but makes it easier for additional new plaque to attach to it and make the problem worse.
While gingivitis is the primary cause in most cases of bleeding gums, other things may lead to gums that bleed easily.
Pregnancy Gingivitis: Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy may cause your gums to bleed easier if there is plaque build-up in the mouth. Regular flossing and brushing help to minimize or prevent this issue.
Uncontrolled Diabetes: Studies have shown the linked effects of gum health and uncontrolled diabetes. When diabetes is not properly controlled, it increases the risk of gum inflammation. Likewise, when gum inflammation is present in the mouth, it makes it harder to control diabetes.
Why worry about bleeding gums?
When bleeding gums are not treated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease that affects the gums and the bone in the mouth that supports the teeth. When periodontitis occurs, it means some amount of bone loss has occurred in the mouth. If periodontitis is not treated, further bone loss occurs and eventually leads to loss of teeth. Additionally, studies show that bacteria in the mouth may enter the bloodstream and affect other areas of the body. Your oral health and overall health are connected.
If you have periodontitis or gingivitis, call us now to schedule your consultation or dental visit. We will happily help you to restore and maintain your oral health.
Many aspects of health are important before and during pregnancy, and oral health is no exception. While many of us know common tips such as having an optimal diet, avoiding tobacco and alcohol, oral health is not something that is commonly discussed. Learn how the state of your oral health impacts your pregnancy.
Oral Health Risks
Recent studies show that active gum disease during pregnancy results in low birth weight babies and pre-term births. An increased risk of developing dental decay, dental erosion, and gum disease exists as well.
Before your pregnancy
Get a dental exam
If your pregnancy is planned, having a complete dental exam is a smart idea. If any dental issues need addressing, obtain treatment first.
Adjust your oral care if necessary
If you know your oral care is lacking, or if you have gum disease, the chances are that it will worsen during your pregnancy. Treating active gum disease, and making preventive changes is vital.
Complete outstanding dental work
While the use of x-rays and fillings during pregnancy is deemed safe, some people like to err on the side of caution by taking care of outstanding dental treatment early. Another consideration is that laying in a dental chair towards the third trimester may be uncomfortable.
During your pregnancy
Dealing with morning sickness, general fatigue, and a sensitive gag reflex during pregnancy makes it hard to commit to good oral care. However, it is necessary to maintain your oral care to ensure that gum disease does not occur.
A common issue during pregnancy is the occurrence of pregnancy gingivitis which results in swollen and bleeding gums. These changes are due to hormones and commonly begin in the first trimester. A regularly followed and proper oral care routine helps with the effects of pregnancy gingivitis. To ensure that gum disease is kept under control, remember to have your regularly scheduled dental hygiene cleanings.
A small number of women may develop a growth on the gums. While it may feel uncomfortable and even bleed, these growths are not cancerous. They may disappear on their own or they can be removed by a dentist. These growths form in response to plaque build-up in the mouth. Ensuring that you have excellent oral hygiene is one way to avoid this issue.
Some women experience vomiting episodes due to morning sickness. Because stomach acid makes contact with teeth during vomiting, steps are needed to minimize damage to teeth. Remember to always rinse after a vomiting episode with a mixture of water and baking soda. Avoid brushing your teeth right after vomiting. The stomach acid softens the enamel so brushing right away will wear away the enamel. Waiting at least thirty minutes before brushing is a good idea.
Talk to your dental professional if you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule your dental exam. Contact us today!
Do you have an area in your mouth where food always tends to get stuck? This is known as a food trap? This is a common complaint heard by dental professionals. Even with diligent brushing and flossing, those with food traps in their teeth may find that they are unable to keep these areas clean. If left untreated, food traps may lead to more serious dental issues.
What causes food traps?
Our teeth are designed to chew and break down our food and ideally deflect the food away instead of trapping it. However, since this isn’t always the case, here are some scenarios that can lead to a food trap forming:
Loose contacts- Our teeth should be tight enough together to prevent food from trapping in between. A loose or open contact between two teeth is the biggest cause of food traps. This can happen when a filling isn’t done tight enough to the neighboring tooth or if teeth shift naturally over time. However, natural teeth can have a loose contact even when there are no fillings present.
Broken tooth- A broken filling or tooth will leave a space that can trap food. There will usually be sharp and uneven areas that will be difficult to keep clean.
Gum recession- Receding gums can result in the loss of the triangle-shaped piece of gum tissue usually found between the teeth.
Without the gum tissue filling in these spaces, food tends to get trapped here.
Dental issues caused by food traps:
Dental cavities- Areas with food traps are prone to decay. When an area is trapping food, it is also trapping bacteria. Certain types of cavity-causing bacteria digest the foods that we eat and produce acids that lead to dental cavities.
Bad breath- The trapped food and bacteria begin to break down. An unpleasant smell is accompanied with the breakdown of food by bacteria.
Sore and bleeding gums- In areas that trap food, patients complain of irritated and sore gums. This is caused by inflammation due to the food and bacteria. Possible trauma to the gums from trying to remove the food is another factor.
Treatment of food traps:
If you have an area that is trapping food, talk to your dentist. Usually, food traps can be eliminated with a simple dental filling to close the contact between the teeth. If left untreated, serious issues with decay or gum disease will occur. Call and book a dental exam today and say goodbye to those annoying food traps for good.
Common causes of bad breath
Poor oral hygiene:
Our mouths are laden with bacteria. We must mechanically remove the bacteria and food particles with thorough brushing and flossing every day. Tongue hygiene is also essential since bacteria love to hang out on the rough surface of the tongue. Brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper daily is very important to prevent bad breath. Using an anti-microbial mouthrinse will also help to keep the odor-causing bacteria at bay.
Inflammation in the mouth affecting the gums (gingivitis) or the gums and the supporting bone (periodontitis) produces a foul odor. Having excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits can treat this condition.
An infected or abscessed tooth or untreated decay can cause a severe odor. Be sure to have regular dental visits to detect any issues that could be causing your bad breath.
Since saliva is our mouth’s natural cleanser, a dry mouth allows for odor-causing bacteria to grow. Those that suffer from chronic dry mouth due to medications or health conditions may find that they have bad breath. Make sure to drink lots of water to counteract this condition. There are also saliva substitutes available to help moisturize the oral tissues. Dry mouth is also the main cause of the dreaded “morning breath” since during the night we produce much less saliva. Excellent oral hygiene before going to bed will help to minimize the chances of waking up with morning breath.
It is common knowledge that smoking causes bad breath. Smoking also leads to dry mouth and periodontal disease which are also major bad breath culprits.
During a sinus infection, there is usually inflammation, an over-production of mucus and a post-nasal drip, all of which can cause bad breath. If you are unable to breathe through the nose, those with sinus infections are forced to breathe through the mouth, which dries out the mouth and worsens the problem. For acute infections, the bad breath usually clears up after the infection is treated. Those that suffer from chronic sinus infections could experience chronic bad breath that may be harder to treat.
Certain foods and drinks may have a lingering effect on our breath. Onions, garlic, and coffee are often the offenders here. Make sure to brush and floss thoroughly after meals to avoid bad breath. Chewing, sugarless gum will help to stimulate the saliva and cleanse the mouth if you are unable to brush right away.
Sometimes bad breath can be caused by more serious health conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes. If you are experiencing bad breath that is not going away, let your dentist know. Call you to schedule your appointment now: (905) 605-5020