Posts for: October, 2019
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the structures around the teeth. Gum disease is caused by dental plaque, a film of bacteria that forms constantly on teeth. In early stages, this plaque can build up on teeth and cause the gums to become inflamed and cause bleeding when brushing and flossing. This is called gingivitis. In advanced stages, gum disease can lead to bone loss and if not maintained, possibly tooth loss. Led by dentist Dr. Steve Rollins, Summit Dental Group (located in Waterford, MI) offers state-of-the-art treatments for gum disease. Here are 5 signs that you may have periodontal disease.
1. Red Gums. Red gums could be a symptom of gum disease. Healthy gums should be pink in color, although they may contain other pigments depending on your ethnic origin. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and can be reversed if caught early enough. No permanent damage has happened yet to the supporting structures of the teeth. It causes the gums to become purple or bright red. If you've noticed that your gums are red don't brush it off. Ignoring the problem will only make matters worse.
2. Receding Gums. Gingival recession, or receding gums, may be an indication that you have gum disease. Gingival recession is a condition in which the gums have pulled away from the teeth. The most common cause of gingival recession is periodontal disease caused by poor oral hygiene. Other causes of gum recession include genetics, brushing aggressively, and teeth grinding.
3. Swollen Gums. Gingivitis causes the gums to become inflamed and swollen. For many people with gum disease, this inflammation is not painful. Swollen gums can have a number of different causes. Other causes of gum inflammation include poorly fitting oral appliances, certain medications, hormonal changes, and nutritional deficiencies. A visit to your dentist is a great place to start to figure out what the problem might be.
4. Bad Breath. Bad breath, also called halitosis, is very common. Bad breath is most frequently associated with gum disease. Most bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth. If you have chronic bad breath, see your dentist immediately because finding out what's causing your bad breath puts you one step closer to getting rid of it. If gum disease is the culprit, mints won't help -- they're just temporarily covering up the problem.
5. Bleeding Gums. If you have periodontal disease, your gums may bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. Don't ignore that blood in your sink. Bleeding gums are not normal, not even when you have your teeth professionally cleaned. The best way to find out what's causing your gums to bleed is to see your dentist in Waterford.
Good oral hygiene and professional care are the keys to fighting gum disease. With increasing evidence that gum disease may affect other areas of your health, it is more important than ever to get it taken care of. If you think you may have gum disease, call Summit Dental Group at (248) 681-3600 today to schedule a dental checkup in Waterford, MI.
Congratulations on taking the first step to achieving periodontal health!
When you hear the word “surgery,” your first thought might be of a high-charged operating room with a surgeon operating intently as a nurse mops sweat from their brow. While there are high-stakes surgeries, most aren’t quite that dramatic.
Dental implant surgery falls into the latter category. It does qualify as a surgical procedure because we make incisions and tissue alterations for the implant. But it’s no more rigorous than a surgical tooth extraction.
Still, if you’re new to implant surgery, it’s natural to feel some apprehension about it. To calm any nervousness, here’s a rundown of what to expect before, during and after the procedure.
Pre-Planning. Implant surgery is usually a routine affair because of meticulous planning beforehand. Often, we map out the implant site using CT scanners or other high-level imaging, identifying obstacles like nerves, blood vessels and sinus cavities, verifying there’s enough bone present to support an implant. With this information we can create a surgical plan or guide for placement in the mouth to accurately situate the implant.
Site Prep. On the day of the surgery we’ll first administer local anesthesia to numb the entire work area to pain. We’ll start with a few small gum incisions to expose the bone. Then using the surgical plan or guide, we’ll create a small channel for the implant with a drilling sequence that successively enlarges it until we achieve the best fit for the implant.
Implant Placement. Once we’ve completed drilling the channel, we’ll remove the implant from its sterile packaging and install it in the channel. After we’ve made any necessary adjustments and verified proper placement with x-rays, we’ll suture the gum tissue back into place.
After the Surgery. You might experience mild to moderate discomfort afterward that’s usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. We can, if necessary, prescribe medication if you require something stronger. We may also prescribe an anti-bacterial mouth rinse for a short time to reduce the risk of infection.
After the implant has integrated with the bone which usually takes about 8-12 weeks, we’ll install your life-like crown or restoration. Your new smile and improved dental function will be well worth the process.
If you would like more information on the process for obtaining dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implant Surgery.”
Dental implants are all the rage—and for good reason: They’re incredibly “tooth-like,” both in appearance and function. They also have a stunningly high success rate: More than 95% of implants still function after ten years. This means out of thousands of implants installed each year, only a handful fail.
But although that’s an amazingly low number, they’re still failures for real people who’ve suffered a loss. If you’re considering dental implants the chances of that being your experience are quite low. But it could still happen.
Here’s a few things you can do to make sure your implants don’t fail.
Stop smoking. Of the small percentage of implant failures, an inordinate number are smokers. A smoker’s chances of implant failure are roughly double those of non-smokers. Smoking, and to some degree any tobacco use, can make your mouth an unhealthier place: Not only can it increase your dental disease risk, but it can interfere with the healing process after implant placement and increase the chances of early failure.
Manage your health. Diabetes and similar systemic conditions can interfere with the healing process too, which could impact your implant attachment to bone. Diabetics thus run a slight risk of implant failure—but actual failures mostly involve patients who don’t have good control of their symptoms. If you’re a diabetic, properly managing your condition will lower your risk of implant failure to nearly identical that of someone without diabetes.
Treat gum disease. Implants in themselves are immune to disease—but the underlying bone that supports them isn’t. A gum disease infection could eventually weaken and diminish the implant-bone attachment. If this happens around an implant, its stability can be severely compromised. The best strategy is to prevent gum disease through daily, thorough brushing and flossing to remove disease-causing dental plaque. And if you see any symptoms like gum swelling, redness or bleeding, see your dentist as soon as possible.
Your implants could serve you well for decades. Just be sure you’re doing the right things to ensure their longevity.
If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method That Rarely Fails.”
When die-hard music fans hear that their favorite performer is canceling a gig, it’s a big disappointment—especially if the excuse seems less than earth-shaking. Recently, British pop sensation Dua Lipa needed to drop two dates from her world tour with Bruno Mars. However, she had a very good reason.
“I’ve been performing with an awful pain due to my wisdom teeth,” the singer tweeted, “and as advised by my dentist and oral surgeon I have had to have them imminently removed.”
The dental problem Lipa had to deal with, impacted wisdom teeth, is not uncommon in young adults. Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt (emerge from beneath the gums), generally making their appearance between the ages of 18-24. But their debut can cause trouble: Many times, these teeth develop in a way that makes it impossible for them to erupt without negatively affecting the healthy teeth nearby. In this situation, the teeth are called “impacted.”
A number of issues can cause impacted wisdom teeth, including a tooth in an abnormal position, a lack of sufficient space in the jaw, or an obstruction that prevents proper emergence. The most common treatment for impaction is to extract (remove) one or more of the wisdom teeth. This is a routine in-office procedure that may be performed by general dentists or dental specialists.
It’s thought that perhaps 7 out of 10 people ages 20-30 have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Some cause pain and need to be removed right away; however, this is not always the case. If a wisdom tooth is found to be impacted and is likely to result in future problems, it may be best to have it extracted before symptoms appear. Unfortunately, even with x-rays and other diagnostic tests, it isn’t always possible to predict exactly when—or if—the tooth will actually begin causing trouble. In some situations, the best option may be to carefully monitor the tooth at regular intervals and wait for a clearer sign of whether extraction is necessary.
So if you’re around the age when wisdom teeth are beginning to appear, make sure not to skip your routine dental appointments. That way, you might avoid emergency surgery when you’ve got other plans—like maybe your own world tour!
If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”