Gingivitis | Hoboken Dentist

close up smile red lipstickExperts estimate that as many as 70% of Americans suffer from some level of gum disease. The mildest form – gingivitis – is both easily treated, and easily prevented, with proper oral hygiene. Knowing the causes and symptoms can help patients identify problems before they become serious, and treat them before they advance into full periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease, including gingivitis, is characterized by the presence of bacterial colonies within the gums, causing infections, inflammation, pain, and soreness. As the bacteria multiplies and feeds, it creates acids that damage teeth, gum tissue, and even bone. While healthy gums can resist superficial bacteria, poor oral hygiene allows bacteria to remain in constant contact with gums, which inevitably allows the bacteria to penetrate below the gum line, where brushing, flossing, and mouthwash have little impact.

The primary symptoms of gingivitis are red, sore, swollen gums that bleed easily. Many people will suspect a problem when they see blood on their toothbrush or bleeding after flossing. It’s likely that early phases of gingivitis will have little to no pain – in this phase, professional cleaning, brushing and flossing properly and regularly may be enough to impact the bacterial colonies beneath the gums. Visiting a dentist will allow the dentist to assess the extent of the bacterial presence, and your dentist may recommend deeper cleaning (such as periodontal scaling) to help clean the bacteria from below the gum line.

If you see blood on your toothbrush, or if your gums bleed when you floss, it’s likely that you’re in the early phases of gingivitis/periodontal disease. While you don’t need to panic, you should be aware that the problem could become very severe if left untreated. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, and schedule a routine professional cleaning. If you have questions about the impact of gingivitis, ask your dentist during your next appointment.

For more information about oral health by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.

Halloween & Your Childs Oral Health | Hoboken Pediatric Dentist

57224815Most dentists agree: Halloween can be scary for parents, but it’s OK to let kids enjoy some treats. While tooth decay is a serious concern, parents can enforce a few simple rules to make Halloween candy safe and fun for their children.

First, understand the risk. The problem of Halloween candy is simple: eating candy day after day allows bacteria-fueling sugars and enamel-weakening acid to sit on teeth, breaking down the protective layers and encouraging decay. Once bacterial colonies begin to set in, the tooth material will be damaged, leading to cavities, fillings, and in some (hopefully rare) cases, full extraction.

Knowing that the risk is related to allowing sugar and acid to sit on the teeth, parents should realize that it’s not the amount of sugar consumed, but the amount of time children are allowed to keep the sugar on their teeth. Where teeth are concerned, it’s less damaging to teeth for a child to eat five chocolate bars in 5 minutes than one bar every hour for five hours – if they’re eaten quickly, the child should brush his or her teeth immediately after finishing, which then cleans the sugar and acid from the teeth.

It’s important to note that not all candy is created equally. While chocolate is often considered bad by many parents, it’s fairly easy to brush off of teeth. Sticky, gummy candies are likely to get stuck to teeth and survive the brushing process. Sour candies tend to be more acidic, which weakens enamel. Chips and pretzels tend to soften and stick to teeth.

Finally, remember that just because Halloween candy is OK from a dental perspective, childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes are a growing problem, and parents should encourage moderation in their treat-seeking children. Set and enforce limits – while kids should be encouraged to enjoy Halloween, they shouldn’t be allowed to eat all of the candy they can gather, and diabetic (or pre-diabetic) children should be especially limited in their treat consumption.

If you have questions about Halloween candy and your children’s dental health, ask your dentist. They’ll be more than happy to help explain the pros, cons, dos, and don’ts of enjoying treat filled holidays.

For more information about oral health by Dental Associated of Hoboken in Hoboken, NJ call 201-795-2111 or visit www.dentalassociatesofhoboken.com.

Dental Associates of Hoboken also proudly accept patients from Hoboken, Weehawken, Jersey City, Union City, North Bergen, Newark, and surrounding areas.