According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of the adults over 30 in the United States suffer from gum disease. Untreated periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss, making caring for your gums as well as your teeth crucial to the health of your smile. Find out more about periodontal disease and how you can spot its symptoms with Dr. Lucas Nazario-Correa at Smile Forever Family Dentistry in Morrisville, NC.
Do I have gum disease?
Identifying gum disease early is a crucial part of successful treatment with minimal complications. Some of the signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- bleeding, tender gums
- red or swollen gums
- sensitive teeth
- unexplained bad breath
- receding gums
- painful chewing
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease originates from tooth decay. As decay forms, bacteria harden from sticky plaque into tartar. The longer these substances remain on the teeth, the more damage they do. The bacteria begins irritating the gums, causing inflammation, discomfort, and other symptoms. This inflammation is called gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. As the disease progresses, the gums begin pulling away from the teeth and the bone begins to degrade, or atrophy. This stage of gum disease is classified as periodontitis.
Gum Disease Treatments in Morrisville, NC
Since gingivitis does not cause the breakdown of tissue or bone, your dentist may suggest a simple teeth cleaning and treatment in the form of regular flossing. Flossing at least once daily removes the bacteria from under the gums and treats gingivitis. It is a myth that bleeding gums mean you should stop flossing. The truth is actually the opposite; bleeding gums are one of the first signs of gingivitis, which you should clear up by flossing. Periodontitis requires more in-depth treatment in the form of a periodontal cleaning or, in severe cases, flap surgery. Your dentist can help you determine the best treatment for your gum disease.
For more information on gum disease, please contact Dr. Nazario-Correa at Smile Forever Family Dentistry in Morrisville, NC. Call (919) 415-2039 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Nazario-Correa today!
Most dental treatments only tackle one problem. Fillings restore teeth damaged by tooth decay, while dental implants replace missing teeth. Unlike these treatments, crowns address multiple dental issues. Dr. Lucas Nazario-Correa in Morrisville, NC, discusses the various ways crowns can improve your smile.
What are crowns?
A crown looks like a tooth without roots. If you turn the crown over, you'll notice that it's hollow. Crowns, also called caps, are designed to slip over teeth and are attached with dental cement. Crowns improve the appearance of teeth and also offer strength and stability. Porcelain, resin, and porcelain-fused-to-metal are the most common materials used to make crowns.
What do crowns do?
When you visit our Morrisville office, Dr. Nazario-Correa may recommend a crown if you're concerned about one of these issues:
- Fractures: Crowns are used to cover the jagged edges of broken teeth and also restore their functionality.
- Cracks: A cracked tooth increases your risk of developing a fracture. Crowns prevent teeth from breaking and also stop bacteria from invading your tooth through the crack.
- Strength: Weak teeth are also at risk of fracturing. Some people just have naturally weak teeth, while others notice that their teeth have become weaker with age. Weakening also occurs if you've had a dental procedure that involved the removal of a large amount of tooth structure, such as a root canal or large filling.
- Shape: You would think that every one of your teeth would look exactly the same, but that's not always the case. Crowns can transform teeth that are oddly shaped or crooked.
- Length: Do you grind your teeth at night? If you do, you may eventually wear down the enamel on your teeth, shortening them. Crowns restore the normal height of teeth.
- Cosmetic Issues: Crowns are often used to hide discolored teeth or other cosmetic issues.
- Missing Teeth: Crowns are attached to the top of dental implants and are used in bridges.
Are you interested in learning if crowns are a good choice for you? Call Dr. Nazario-Correa in Morrisville, NC, at (919) 415-2039 to schedule an appointment.
Ouch! Maybe it’s a fresh smoothie, a spoonful of ice cream, or even just a sip of ice water—but there it is, throbbing tooth pain.
There are many reasons why you might be experiencing tooth sensitivity to cold. Fortunately, you can take several steps to remedy this yourself, including checking with your dentist.
Other symptoms often accompany sensitivity to cold, including:
- Sensitivity to hot foods
- Pain when biting or chewing
- Persistent dull or throbbing tooth pain
But what conditions cause these kinds of tooth sensitivity?
Tooth enamel, the hardest substance in your body, covers your tooth above the gumline. However, the root of your tooth, the part normally covered by your gums, does not have this protective layer. If you don’t brush and floss regularly—or if you brush and floss too vigorously—your gums may recede, exposing the roots of one or more of your teeth.
If you have exposed roots, the best course of action is to follow general oral hygiene. Continue brushing and flossing, but use a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth. If the pain continues, though, make sure to see your dentist.
Small cavities can also become sensitive to cold food or drinks. Cavities occur in the enamel itself, and expose the nerve inside your tooth to cold, heat, and other sources of discomfort.
While you should continue flossing and brushing, you should see a dentist to diagnose and treat your condition. If the cavity is small, a dentist can remove the decayed area and fill the tooth. If it’s more serious, you may need a root canal to clean out the decay, disinfect the root, and seal the tooth.
Sensitivity after Dental Work
Sometimes dental work can temporarily cause your teeth to become sensitive to cold or hot foods, from a few days to a week or longer if you’ve had a filling or a crown placed.
In these cases, over the counter pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen should bring you relief. But if the pain persists or worsens, definitely contact your dentist!
How Can I Get Rid of Tooth Pain?
In general, you can address temporary tooth sensitivity to cold with the standard elements of good oral hygiene: regular brushing and flossing, as well as routine preventive care visits to your dentist. Consider using toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth or adding a fluoride mouth rinse to your daily routine.
However, if your sensitivity lingers, it could indicate that you have a more serious dental condition. The pulp—the interior of your teeth—could be damaged, either from long-term tooth decay or an injury. It’s important to see a dentist before you develop an infection that could put your tooth at risk.
If you have any concerns over increased or recent tooth sensitivity to cold—or heat— Smile Forever Family Dentistry is always here to help. Make an appointment and get your tooth checked out before it has a chance to turn into something more serious.
As the holiday season continues in full effect, a lot of people get in the mood for giving. With Thanksgiving just over, you probably ate so much that you envy cows and their four stomachs. But before you delve into eggnog, cookies, prime rib, and fruitcake (Well, we aren’t sure anyone has eaten fruitcake in the last two decades, but it’s synonymous with the holidays, so…), you should consider donating to a charity. With so many charities to choose from, it can be hard to make a decision on what cause you want to be apart of. Below are a few charities that focus on dental needs.
- National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) – Through various programs and initiatives, NCOHF aims to helps children of all ages by educating them on preventative oral care, as well as providing oral health products to those in need. Since the NCOHF gets funding from bigger partnerships, all donations made go directly to the programs and not administrative or fundraising efforts.
- Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) – DLN provides the less fortunate with dental services by organizing the logistics for volunteer dentists and labs. DLN has an agreement with dentists that they will do at least one to two cases per year. While most low-income dental clinics provide only basic or emergency services, DLN is proud to have dentists who perform extensive dentistry for low-income and disabled/elderly people.
- Global Dental Relief (GDR) – GDR gives children in impoverished areas around the world much-needed oral care, and also educates them on how to properly to take care of their teeth. They organize multiple relief trips a year to Nepal, India, Guatemala, Kenya and Cambodia.
If these charities aren’t tugging on your (golden) heart strings, check out Just Give to find one that may persuade you to donate or volunteer. Just Give allows you to search for local charities — that way you know the money or time you’re donating is going back into your community. Additionally if you don’t know much about a charity, visit Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator rates non-profit organizations on financial efficiency and transparency. Before donating to a charity you like, be sure to check out if the organization is of high quality or not.
As we continue to enjoy our holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones, please take the time to look into a charity that resonates with you. It only takes a little bit of your time and effort to make someone else’s year.
What You Need To Know:
The Effect Diabetes Has On Oral Health
Diabetes affects every aspect of your life. From ensuring your blood sugar is at the right level to keeping up with regular exercise, managing diabetes is no easy task. You must be aware of many complications that can arise from diabetes, and your oral health is no exception. Since it’s National Diabetes Month, we have provided information and tips to consider regarding the relationship between diabetes and your oral health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29.1 million Americans have diabetes—and 8.1 million of those do not know they have the disease. If you’re not sure if you might have diabetes, the first step to taking care of your body is finding out if that’s the case. Some common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Blurred vision
- Hunger and fatigue
- Peeing more frequently while also being thirstier
- Dry mouth and itchy skin
More symptoms that can indicate longer term damage caused by diabetes include:
- Yeast Infections (for both genders)
- Pain or numbness in your legs and feet
- Cuts or sores that heal slowly
If you are experiencing these symptoms, go see your physician and get tested for diabetes. For your oral health, the symptoms take a while longer to show that actual damage that is occurring in your mouth if left untreated. Keep notice for symptoms like:
- Puffy, swollen gums that bleed when brushed or flossed
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
These are all signs of gingivitis, which if left untreated, can turn into periodontitis.
How does diabetes contribute to gum disease?
There are a few major ways diabetes affects your mouth. First, if your blood sugar levels are left unchecked, the glucose level of your saliva rises. Glucose is a type of sugar, and bacteria loves sugar, which will speed up the progress of gum disease. Second, with diabetes, your blood vessels thicken, making it harder for them to deliver oxygen and nutrients, as well as to take away waste. Lastly, a symptom of diabetes is dry mouth. Saliva helps keep the bacteria from sticking to your teeth, and a lack of saliva makes it easier for plaque and tartar to develop.
How do I prevent gum disease caused by diabetes?
- Control your blood sugar levels. This is done in many ways, such as taking insulin injections, eating different foods, exercising, and visiting your physician regularly.
- Brush and floss every day — This advice may seem obvious, but it’s tried and true. Removing plaque from your gumline and stimulating your gums are an excellent way to prevent gum disease.
- Visit your dentist for teeth cleanings — If you don’t have signs of gum disease yet, stay up to date on your regular teeth cleaning every six months. If you do have gingivitis or periodontal disease, a deeper clean will be required to prevent further tooth damage.
Whether you have diabetes or not, it is still very important to take care of your mouth. Recent studies have shown that not only are people with diabetes more likely to be afflicted by periodontal disease, but people with periodontal disease are more susceptible to getting diabetes as well.
While diabetes and periodontal disease can affect your quality of life, if treated early and often, you can mitigate much damage caused by these diseases. Call (919) 415-2039 to see how we can help today.
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