Gingivitis is a type of gum disease and is the mildest stage of gum disease. At its core, gingivitis means that there is an active infection in the gum tissue, but it can be treated and cured if it’s caught and treated by your dentist in Lawrenceville before it has a chance to progress into a more severe infection. If gingivitis is not treated, it can cause tooth loss and even increase the risk of heart disease or stroke.
The most common cause of gingivitis is poor dental hygiene. When teeth aren’t thoroughly cleaned with daily brushing and flossing, plaque can build up on and in between teeth. Now, while plaque is completely normal, brushing and flossing typically remove it. But when plaque is left to build up, the bacteria in the plaque can cause problems. Not only can these bacteria cause an infection in the gum tissue, but they can also cause tooth decay and increase the risk of cavities. Additionally, plaque can also harden into tartar, which can only be removed by your dentist in Lawrenceville.
However, poor dental hygiene isn’t the only cause of gingivitis, and even those who take great care of their teeth may still develop it. Some other causes of gingivitis include:
- Hormonal changes that can occur during pregnancy, menopause, or puberty
- Some diseases such as cancer and diabetes
- Dry mouth, which can be caused by certain medications
- Tobacco use
Signs & Symptoms
One of the tough parts about gingivitis is that it can show no signs or symptoms until it develops into a more severe stage of gum disease. However, some of the early warning signs of gingivitis may include:
- Bright red gums
- Tender or painful gums
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
- Swelling of the gums
- Receding gums
If you notice any signs of gingivitis, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lawrenceville as soon as possible.
Gingivitis will need to be treated by your dentist and may include a deep cleaning or the use of an antibiotic. Your dentist in Lawrenceville may also recommend that you come in for dental cleanings more than twice a year to keep your gums healthy. Additionally, treatment to fix hard-to-clean crooked teeth or poor-fitting dentures or restorations may be part of your treatment plan.
The best way to protect yourself against gingivitis is to take excellent care of your teeth by brushing and flossing every day. It’s also important to keep your dental appointments as scheduled so any problems can be caught early when treatment is often more successful.
If you’ve been putting off your dental appointments, do your health a favor and schedule a visit today.
Eating a well-balanced diet, including plenty of fruits and vegetables, can go a long way in reducing the risk of serious health concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Yet according to the CDC, less than 10% of American adults are getting enough vegetables and only 12% are eating the recommended amount of fruits. This is one reason why the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsors National Nutrition Month every March, and it’s an event also supported by your dentist in Lawrenceville. After all, nutrition doesn’t only affect whole-body health, it also affects oral health.
National Nutrition Month
The purpose of National Nutrition Month is to help raise awareness of how eating right can help fuel your body and protect your health. But is nutrition so complicated that it requires an entire 31 days and a whole awareness campaign? In short, yes, nutrition can be complicated, which may explain why many Americans don’t eat a well-balanced diet.
We know we should eat our vegetables. We know we should avoid high-fat foods. Yet many of us don’t get close to eating enough of what we should and eat more of what we shouldn’t. How can this be? Well, the truth is, nutrition is confusing. So much so that the Food Pyramid Guide from the United States Department of Agriculture has changed two times since it was originally created in 1992. Nutritional standards don’t fall into a one-size-fits-all recommendation, and food group intakes vary based on gender, age, height, weight, and activity level, among other things. This is where a site like MyPlate can help. Input your information and find your individual nutritional needs so you can start to find foods that fit your needs. Eating properly can help your body function well, protect your health, and, as your dentist in Lawrenceville knows, protect your smile.
Eat Well, Smile Well
Research shows a strong correlation between whole-body health and oral health. This connection extends to include what we eat. After all, those who eat a balanced diet are often healthier and also typically have better oral health. When choosing foods for you and your family, look to pick options that are both recommended in your MyPlate account and ones that can also help your smile. Some smile-friendly foods include:
- Fatty Fish
When in doubt, pick foods that you know are good for your body. Chances are, they’re also good for your teeth.
A Note About Sugar
It’s no secret that your dentist in Lawrenceville doesn’t like sugar, but you should know that sweet treats packed with sugar aren’t only dangerous to your teeth, they can also put your overall health at risk. Sugar is a high-calorie food, and when consumed in large amounts it can cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease. However, it’s not only sweet foods that show a high sugar content on the label that are concerning. Foods that are high in carbohydrates can also affect your body and your teeth similarly to sugars. Try your best to limit the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in your diet.
Eating well is one of the best ways to protect your body from disease. It’s also one of the best ways to protect your teeth. So this National Nutrition Month, commit to finding your individual nutritional needs and stick to eating well.
Any type of ongoing tooth pain usually means something isn’t quite right. But does that mean every toothache requires a visit to your dentist in Lawrenceville? The short answer — probably. However, if your pain lasts for 2 or more days, isn’t reduced with painkillers, and is paired with swelling or a bad taste in your mouth, you need to get to a dentist.
Understanding Different Types of Tooth Pain
Different types of tooth pain could indicate different types of problems, and it’s important to know what various feelings could mean. Being able to explain your pain to your dentist in Lawrenceville can help find the underlying cause and get you treated and out of pain quickly. The following pain descriptors are to be used for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose any problem. Always see your dentist.
Dull, Chronic Ache
A constant, dull ache is the most common type of toothache and could be a sign of anything from a piece of food lodged in your gums or between your teeth to an abscess. This type of pain can also be a sign of tooth grinding. If not treated, grinding your teeth can lead to broken or chipped teeth and TMJ disorder. You may be able to get relief by gently flossing your teeth to remove a leftover food particle, but if that doesn’t work you should see your dentist for a more thorough evaluation.
A lot of people have sensitive teeth, and sometimes it’s managed well by using the right toothpaste and regular cleanings. But extreme sensitivity to hot or cold things may also be a sign of something more serious. Tooth sensitivity that doesn’t go away after about 30 seconds could indicate gum disease, tooth decay, worn enamel, or fractured teeth.
Constant throbbing tooth pain can be a major distraction and keep you from doing other things such as working productively and sleeping. If it doesn’t go away it may be a sign of a cracked tooth, dying nerve, abscess or other infection, or an oral lesion. Call your dentist to find out and get relief.
A sharp, stabbing pain always requires a visit to your dentist and will most likely require some sort of restorative dentistry treatment. Sharp pain could mean you have a cavity, a cracked or broken tooth, or you have an old dental restoration such as a crown or filling that needs attention.
As we mentioned before, any type of tooth pain typically means something isn’t right and you should see your dentist in Lawrenceville for an exam, diagnosis, and treatment plan sooner rather than later.
Over the past year, some dental offices have been reporting higher rates of cracked teeth than in years’ past. Take this dentist’s experience documented in the New York Times for example. So, is there some weird connection between COVID-19 and cracked teeth? Well, kind of. While cracked teeth are not directly related to the virus they can be an unwanted side effect of the stress caused by the pandemic. As we all know, stress can affect our health in many ways, and your dentist in Lawrenceville wants you to know that your oral health is no exception.
Stress can put us at increased risk for heart disease, digestive problems, and can even reduce the effectiveness of our immune systems, which is the opposite of what we want nowadays. When we are stressed out, our bodies also respond with subconscious reactions such as increased sweating, rapid heart rate, and the inability to concentrate. Another common reaction that many of us experience, but may not even be aware of, is clenching or grinding our teeth.
Repeatedly squeezing or grinding our top teeth against our bottom teeth puts unnatural pressure on the teeth themselves, as well as the jaw joint. When this happens a lot, like during periods when you’re more stressed than normal, it can increase the likelihood of tooth damage such as cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. It can also cause jaw muscles to become sore and may even lead to TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. While your dentist in Lawrenceville can help fix any tooth damage that may occur and may even be able to help relieve TMJ pain, it’s best to try to avoid those problems in the first place.
Gum disease is usually associated with poor oral health, ineffective oral hygiene habits, or a result of tobacco use. But long periods of high stress levels can also increase the risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease is a serious condition that requires an early diagnosis and treatment to keep it from progressing into an irreversible problem. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and increase the risk of other whole-body health problems such as heart disease, kidney disease, and some cancers. Keep an eye out for some of the common signs of gum disease including:
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath that doesn’t go away
If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist in Lawrenceville.
Keep Calm & Stay Healthy
It’s only natural to feel stressed out occasionally, and more so in today’s uncertain world. But to protect your health and smile, try to keep stress levels in check and use stress-reduction techniques such as:
- Sleeping. Getting 8 hours of sleep a night is an important part of staying healthy as it gives your body time to recover.
- Meditating. Mediating can lower heart rate and, in turn, stress levels. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and feel the stress melt away.
- Exercising. Increasing your heart rate (in a good way) through exercise can release endorphins and make you feel happier and less stressed out.
Finding the right stress-reduction technique can take some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Whatever works for you, stick to it to help manage your stress and protect your health.
Even though 2020 is over and we can start to leave a lot of that crazy year behind us, one thing remains a constant in our everyday lives — face masks. Masks have become commonplace throughout the United States to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and are seen everywhere we go. From grocery stores to department stores, facemasks are here to stay (at least for a little while longer). But daily, long-term use of masks may cause some concerns for your dentist in Lawrenceville.
*An Important Note About Facemasks
Before we dive any further, we need to be clear that what we’re about to discuss does not outweigh the importance of continuing to wear a mask when in public or around other people. Please continue wearing masks when appropriate and use the provided tips to help combat any concerns we cover herein.
Most of us were not used to ever wearing a mask, let alone wearing them daily and for hours at a time. Because of this, some of our bodies needed to adjust to this new norm. One of the most common ways we adjusted was to start breathing out of our mouths instead of our noses. However, while this type of breathing may feel more comfortable, it is what concerns your dentist in Lawrenceville.
Mouth breathing, whether due to wearing a mask or for other reasons such as a stuffy nose, can quickly dry out saliva. This reduction in saliva will cause our mouths to dry out and feel uncomfortable. But the discomfort of dry mouth isn’t the only thing that’s concerning. Without saliva, bad bacteria and acids are left behind which can increase the risk of decay and other problems.
Bad Breath & Cavities
The bacteria and acid buildup that often occurs as a side effect of dry mouth puts our teeth at risk for decay and cavities. Since dangerous acid is left behind and not neutralized by saliva, the acid can wear away at the enamel, making it easy for bacteria to settle in and cause cavities. Additionally, these same bacteria will feed on anything left behind in the mouth and continue to produce even more acid, and the cycle continues. What’s more, is these bacteria will also produce a smelly byproduct and can cause bad breath.
Avoiding Dry Mouth
Now, while the above may seem concerning, the good news about all of this is that your dentist in Lawrenceville knows of some simple things you can do to reduce the risk of dry mouth and the concerns that go along with it including:
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep the mouth hydrated and moist.
- Sucking on sugar-free hard candies or chewing gum with Xylitol. Both of these tricks can stimulate saliva production.
- Brushing and flossing every day to help remove bacteria buildup.
Dry mouth can be more than uncomfortable, but there are ways your dentist in Lawrenceville can help. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to find the best dry mouth solution for you.
There are plenty of reasons why someone may not love the way their smile looks. Maybe their teeth aren’t white enough or perhaps they’re crooked or worn down. Whatever the reason, there’s a cosmetic dentistry solution from your dentist in Lawrenceville that can transform your smile into one you’re proud of and can’t wait to show off. Better yet, many of these treatments are fast and easy so you can get a new look quickly.
Top 5 Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions
Depending on your specific wants and needs, your dentist in Lawrenceville can recommend the best cosmetic dentistry treatment, or combination of treatments, for your smile goals. Here are some of the most popular cosmetic dentistry solutions available to patients.
- Teeth Whitening
One of the easiest ways to boost your smile’s appearance is to change the color of your teeth. However, finding the best teeth whitening treatment in Lawrenceville can be confusing. From over-the-counter whitening strips and pens to glowing trays that you can buy online, there are tons of teeth whitening solutions available. It’s important to know that not all of these treatments are created equal. We recommend talking with your dentist about getting professional teeth whitening treatment before investing in any product. Your dentist will want to make sure that your teeth are healthy enough for whitening and can help make the best recommendation to get you the results you want.
- Dental Veneers
Veneers are a perfect cosmetic dentistry solution if you want to whiten your teeth and a traditional whitening product won’t work, if you have chipped, broken, or crooked teeth, or if you want to change the length or shape of your teeth. As the name suggests, veneers essentially cover up the natural tooth and are custom-made to give you the shape and color you’re looking for.
If veneers aren’t an option for you, there is an alternative. Cosmetic bonding can also cover up undesirable stains, fix tiny chips or cracks, or change the appearance of crooked or uneven teeth. Talk with your dentist to see if cosmetic bonding is right for you.
- Orthodontics & Clear Aligners
A crooked smile or overlapping teeth can make you want to hide your smile. Even those who had braces as a child can see their teeth shift over time. But thanks to advancements in dental technology, there are many types of orthodontics available to help straighten your smile. From traditional braces, clear braces, or clear aligners, you’re sure to find the right solution for your teeth and your lifestyle.
- Smile Makeover
Occasionally, your dentist will recommend a combination of cosmetic dentistry solutions to get you the smile you want. This is known as a smile-makeover or a full-mouth restoration and can completely transform your smile. Your dentist will create a custom plan for you that can fix things such as:
- Uneven Teeth
- Broken Teeth
- Stained Teeth
- A Gummy Smile
- Dark Metal Fillings
While cosmetic dentistry can enhance your smile, it’s still important to take care of your teeth so your treatment lasts and your mouth stays healthy. After all, oral health involves more than just your smile. Make sure you brush for two minutes every day, floss once a day, and see your dentist in Lawrenceville at least twice a year to keep your teeth, gums, and entire mouth protected.
Toothaches can happen at any time and they can happen to anyone. But that doesn’t necessarily make having a toothache feel any better. When it comes to finding out what’s causing your tooth pain, and how to treat it, there are few steps you can take. However, please note if you’re currently experiencing tooth pain, stop reading, and call your dentist in Lawrenceville immediately.
Know Your Pain
Different things can cause different types of tooth pain, so it’s important to try to identify what type of tooth pain you’re experiencing, if it gets worse with certain activities, and if it’s paired with pain anywhere else in your body. Let’s take a look at a few scenarios.
- If Pain Gets Worse When Eating Sweets you may have a cavity. A cavity, also known as tooth decay, is an area of your tooth that has, well, decayed. When cavities are little they’re easy to fix with dental fillings, and you may not even know you had a cavity or had any pain. It’s common for tiny cavities to cause little zings of pain when anything sweet touches them. Additionally, if cavities aren’t treated when they’re little, they will grow and start to affect the inner tooth nerves. That’s where the pain comes into play, either while eating sweets or not.
- If Your Pain is a Throbbing Type of Pain it can be harder to know what’s really causing your pain. Throbbing tooth pain can be a sign of a cracked tooth, an abscess, or simply something stuck in your gums. A cracked tooth may not immediately cause symptoms, and you probably won’t be able to see it, but if the crack affects the nerves you will feel throbbing pain. Additionally, an abscess, which is essentially a pocket of bacterial infection, can also cause throbbing but is also usually associated with other symptoms such as a bad taste in the mouth, pain in the ears or jaw, or swelling
- If The Pain Zings While Biting may be a sign of TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. This condition affects the jaw joints and can be caused by numerous things, including teeth clenching or a grinding habit. If your pain gets worse when chewing or biting, zings throughout your mouth, and is accompanied by headaches, jaw pain, or facial pain, talk to your dentist about TMJ disorder and treatment. If not treated, headaches can become worse, teeth can become damaged if you clench and grind, and it can become increasingly painful to chew.
Again, we can’t stress enough just how important it is to see your dentist in Lawrenceville for a proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment. However, there are a few ways you can reduce tooth pain at home.
At-home toothache relief can help make the pain more bearable before your dental appointment. Different people respond differently to each of these, so try a few options to find what works best for you and your situation.
- Floss. Simply flossing can help relieve a toothache, especially if the source of the pain is a forgotten piece of food that wedged its way between teeth or up under the gums. Make sure to floss gently and don’t overdo it. Too much flossing can cause more pain.
- Ice. Ice can reduce any swelling, reduce inflammation, and ease the pain. Make sure that you cover your ice pack in a towel or t-shirt before placing it on the outside of your cheek in the affected area. Leave it on for 15 minutes, give yourself at least a 15-minute break, and reapply.
- Anesthetic. Over-the-counter oral anesthetic can numb the pain, at least for a little while. Use your preferred anesthetic as directed.
- Salt Water. Salt water isn’t only good for relieving a sore throat, it can also help relieve tooth pain. Swish some warm salt water around in your mouth, spit it out, and repeat a few more times. The salt will help remove any fluid that may be putting pressure on the nerves.
- Anti-inflammatory Medicine. If you can take anti-inflammatories, they can help to reduce toothache pain by decreasing swelling and pressure on the nerves. Use these only as directed and no matter what the old wives’ tale tells you, do not put any pill directly on the gums or tooth!
Remember, these are temporary, short-term solutions. None are meant to be a permanent fix. Tooth pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right, and you should still see your dentist in Lawrenceville for a thorough exam, diagnosis, and custom treatment plan to fix the pain at its source.
Everyone wants a bright, white smile. But everyday things can take their toll on teeth and cause staining or discoloration. From coffee to wine, to certain medications and beets, it seems that everything we consume can transform our pearly whites into dull, discolored teeth. But, as your dentist in Lawrenceville knows, we don’t need to sit back and simply accept a non-ideal smile. In fact, there are things you can do to protect against tooth staining.
- Use Straws
As wine or coffee passes over your teeth, it’s essentially bathing your teeth in staining agents. However, if you use straws instead of sipping directly out of a cup, the liquid bypasses teeth and doesn’t have a chance to stick around, soak in, and cause stains. You may want to consider buying a reusable straw that you can take anywhere. Some restaurants don’t hand out straws anymore, and reusable straws are more environmentally friendly.
- Switch Your Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Sometimes removing stains is as easy as using the right toothpaste and toothbrush. Whitening toothpaste can safely effectively remove surface stains caused by foods and drinks. Find a toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, so you know you’re buying a brand that’s not only safe but also works. Switching from a manual toothbrush to an electric toothbrush can make brushing sessions more efficient and can help you brush each area of your smile for 30 seconds. We recommend talking with your dentist in Lawrenceville about which products are best for your teeth.
- Brush Your Teeth
You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time to remove bacteria and plaque buildup and to keep your teeth healthy. However, you should also try to brush your teeth after meals. Removing any staining foods or drinks that came in contact with your teeth during dinner quickly and efficiently can work wonders in reducing the likelihood and severity of stains. However, there are bound to be times when brushing your teeth after a meal isn’t possible. When that happens, rinsing your mouth out with water or chewing sugarless gum can also help.
- Dental Cleanings
Besides practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and after meals, it’s also crucial that you get professional dental cleanings twice a year. These cleanings can help remove surface stains and brighten your smile. They’re also a great time to talk with your dentist in Lawrenceville about any concerns you may have about the appearance or health of your smile so you can work together to find solutions that fit your wants and needs.
Tooth discoloration is almost inevitable, even if you follow the tips above perfectly. But we believe that nobody should have to live with a dull smile. Thankfully, there are plenty of cosmetic dentistry treatments available to fix anything that bothers you. From smile whitening to veneers, your ideal smile is possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
We’ve all been there — sitting in the dentist’s chair, feeling a little bit guilty about our brushing habits (or lack thereof), and worrying about what our dentist is about to say. But is there anything to actually worry about? Can your dentist in Lawrenceville really tell if you don’t brush your teeth as often or as well as you should? Well, it turns out that your dentist not only knows if you brush your teeth, but they also know a lot more about you, even if you don’t tell them.
Every time you visit your dentist in Lawrenceville, there are a few key things we’re looking for — cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer, among other things. But we can also know things about your habits such as:
- How Often You Floss
We can tell if you quickly flossed last night or in the parking lot before your appointment. We can also tell if this was one of the only times you flossed since your last visit. Your gums will appear red, maybe even a bit swollen, and there’s a good chance that they’ll bleed during your cleaning. Patients who floss regularly tend to have pink gums, no or little blood, and no swelling. So while we appreciate that last-ditch flossing effort, please try to floss more frequently.
- You Smoke
Even if you don’t share your tobacco habits with your dental team (which you should, by the way), they can still tell if you’re a smoker. The dead giveaway is often the smell. Even if you try to cover up cigarette smoke with gum or mouthwash, the smell can still linger around in the soft tissues of your mouth. Additionally, if your dentist in Lawrenceville notices any yellowing or staining of the teeth, they may also suspect tobacco use.
- You’re a Nail Biter
While nail-biting may seem like a non-dental issue, the truth is, this habit can greatly affect your oral health. Your dentist doesn’t even need to look at your hands to know if you bite your nails either. Nail biters often have tiny chips or cracks in their teeth and may even have shortened, worn down teeth and jaw pain… all of which can create additional problems such as cavities and TMD/TMJ disorder.
- You Drink A Lot of Soda
Everyone knows that sugary drinks such as soda can damage your teeth, but can your dentist actually know if you drink soda if you don’t tell them? Yes! And it’s not the sugar that gives it away. The acid in soda, and other acidic drinks, wear away at tooth enamel in a particular pattern, giving away your soda-drinking secret.
It’s important to share your health history and habits with your dentist in Lawrenceville, even if you’re embarrassed. Knowing what outside factors may be affecting your oral health is crucial to providing you great, personalized dental care and keeping you healthy. We’re not here to judge, but we are here to help.
Every time you visit your dentist in Lawrenceville you will most likely review your health history and discuss any changes that may have happened since your last appointment. This is an important part of making sure you get the best dental care, but why? Your dentist needs to know what may be going on in other areas of your body because sometimes whole-body problems such as diabetes can increase your risk of dental problems. During this Diabetes Awareness Month, we want to share a few reasons why diabetics may need more dental care than non-diabetics.
Diabetes & Gum Disease
One of the main reasons diabetics may need more dental care is because of the strong link between diabetes and gum disease. In fact, diabetics are at greater risk for gum disease than those without diabetes. Gum disease is an infection that affects the gum tissues. It’s caused by an increase in bacteria that have worked their way up under the gum line. Gum disease can put someone at risk for tooth loss and whole-body problems such as heart disease. But that’s not all. Gum disease, like any infection, can also cause blood sugar levels to increase, making diabetes more difficult to manage.
Caring for Your Oral Health
Because of the increased risk of gum disease, your dentist in Lawrenceville recommends that diabetics commit to following good oral hygiene habits. The best way to protect your teeth is to brush for two minutes every day and gently scrub your tongue to remove bacteria. Additionally, make sure you floss daily. Choose a toothpaste that contains fluoride for added defense, brush in gentle circles, and use a brush with soft bristles. This will help thoroughly clean your teeth without damaging them. And as always, make sure you also see your dentist every six months.
Measure Blood Glucose
The 30 million Americans living with diabetes know just how important it is to measure their blood sugar regularly. They also know that keeping blood glucose levels in check is crucial to protecting their health. Your dentist in Lawrenceville encourages all diabetics to measure and record their blood sugar levels daily. Your dental team may even ask for the results of some of your diabetes blood tests (the A1C or fasting blood glucose) or about your need for antibiotics before and after dental treatment for uncontrolled diabetes.
Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy
Avoiding or limiting sugary foods is an everyday part of a diabetic’s life, and it should come as no surprise that this can help protect your teeth, too. But eating healthy goes beyond restricting sugar. Diabetics can benefit from choosing fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. Of course, we always recommend working with your doctor to find a diet plan that’s right for you.
The team at our dental office in Lawrenceville believes in caring for our patients’ overall health. This means asking for health history, changes in health, and changes in medication. If you’re diabetic, sharing this information can help us better protect your oral and overall health.