Preventing gum diease
With the aging population keeping more of their teeth for a longer period of time, the treatment of gum disease is increasing. Dr. Antonious has been providing periodontal services for many years. Whether you need a "catch-up" cleaning or periodontal surgery, we can provide it for you in the office, as well as the follow up care. If you have been working with a periodontist, we can communicate with your periodontist and offer other services as needed.
Gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis) is a bacterial infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is usually painless. Most people do not know they have it. It presents itself as a smelly odor in your breath or loosening of your teeth. It attacks below the gum line where it causes the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break apart.
It's possible that a mouth filled with bacteria and their toxins allows a continuous stream of poisons to enter the system. If the bacteria reach your arteries, they may cause the same kind of irritation they caused in your gums and mouth. Arterial wall irritations typically result in a buildup of protective plaque, which in turn can harden, thus blocking blood flow. Without sufficient blood flow, your heart can easily have a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack. Furthermore, loosened arterial plaque can travel through the bloodstream, reach your brain, and cause a stroke.
- Gingivitis: It is a minor bacterial infection in the gums around your teeth. It may be coupled with gums that bleed on gently brushing. There is no loss of bone in the jaw. The treatment is usually a professional cleaning at the dental office.
- Periodontitis: This is a progression of gingivitis. There is radiographically measurable loss of bone in the jaw that holds in the teeth. You may be able to wiggle the teeth with your fingers. Although the lost bone will not come back, treatment focuses on elimination of the harmful bacteria under your gums and above your gums. The treatment is usually very successful.
Things that make you more prone to periodontal disease (pyoria) are:
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Medication such as anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, and more
- Removable dentures that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective due to their age
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Eliminating Plaque at Home
By eliminating plaque in your mouth you can keep your teeth for a very long time. Studies are showing that people are keeping their teeth for a longer period of time because of the emphasis on preventive dental care. Even the most diligent brusher and flosser needs help. We here at Sunnyvale Dental Care can offer you that help.
Good oral hygiene requires an understanding of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless layer of bacteria which builds up on your teeth. As food is ingested, the bacteria is also fed which allows it to multiply. As it multiplies it produces a by-product which is acid. The acid that is produced causes tooth decay and gum disease. If the bacteria containing plaque is not allowed to build up on your teeth, then gum disease and tooth decay never happens.
At any age, you can fight plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy. Simply:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. While you're at it, brush the top surface of your tongue to eliminate bacteria causing bad breath.
- Clean between your teeth daily with floss. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth and under the gums where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Schedule regular check-ups. Even the best home care is not enough for most people to eliminate dental problems. The dental office has special equipment, as well as the trained professionals, and stronger products to provide a superior cleaning.
- Ask our staff about dental sealants. It is a protective coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts. It seals out bacteria in some of the most common places where it can be found.
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Eliminating Tooth Decay
Tooth decay (cavity or caries) can develop on any surface of any tooth. Even with increased brushing, all cavities will increase in size like rust on a car. A decaying tooth often does not hurt. So you may have a cavity and not realize it. The dentist checks for tooth decay at your regular check-ups and will periodically use x-rays to check for decay between teeth. The dentist usually treats tooth decay by cleaning out the cavity and placing filling material in the tooth to restore it to its original size. Dr. Antonious has eliminated decay in thousands of teeth. We realize that what may be a routine for us, might not be for you. We will answer all your questions before beginning.
- Gums that bleed with gentle brushing
- Sore or tender gums
- Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Permanent teeth that are loose or wiggly
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
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Sometimes brushing is not enough. Everyone has hard-to-reach spots in their mouth and brushing doesn’t always fully clean the deep grooves in your teeth – especially in children. When that happens, you are at risk getting cavities in those grooves. Putting sealants on your teeth provides a barrier on the most common area for cavities – the biting surface.
A dental sealant is a coating that bonds to the deep grooves in your tooth’s chewing surface. When sealing a tooth, the grooves of your teeth are filled and the tooth surface becomes smoother — and less likely to harbor cavity causing bacteria. With sealants, tooth brushing becomes easier and more effective against tooth decay.
Sealants are usually applied to children’s teeth as a preventative measure during the years they are more prone to tooth decay. However, adult’s teeth can also be sealed. It is more common to seal "permanent" teeth rather than "baby" teeth, but every person has unique needs. Dr Antonious will recommend sealants on a case-by-case basis. Sealants generally last many years. It is fairly common to see adults with sealants still intact from their childhood.
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Eight Steps To Dental Health
Healty Dental Habits
Brushing and Flossing
Fluoride And Your Teeth
Diet And Your Oral Health
Link Between Oral Health And The Heart
Tobacco And Oral Cancer
Chewing Tobacco And How To Quit
Oral Cancer Screenings