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Gums

Dry Mouth

Why do I have dry mouth?

Dry mouth is a serious dental condition and typically occurs as we age. It is usually caused by medications used, and can also be related to cancer treatments. People with this condition have a decreased salivary flow because the glands that produce saliva have been affected somehow. Many medications cause this condition, and it can be very detrimental to one's teeth because our saliva naturally counteracts the bacteria causing cavities. The best way to treat the condition is to drink plenty of water, and use a saliva-replacement rinse like Biotene or Oasis.

Abscess

What is a dental abscess?

A dental abscess is an infection in the mouth that can be caused by a tooth or gum condition. Dental abscesses can be very painful, or not painful at all. A true abscess is a collection of pus in the bone and or gum tissue. Many times it can be seen on the gum tissue and look like a blister. To treat the condition, the assiciated tooth must either have a root canal or be extracted. However, if it is related to the gums, a proper dental cleaning may be able to resolve the condition. Only a dentist can make these assesments, and perform the proper treatment!

Post-extraction discomfort

What can I do to reduce discomfort after an extraction?

One may use a warm compress to sooth the area. This will help promote circulation and speed healing. Biting a moist teabag releases tannic acid which helps naturally relieve discomfort. Taking 2-3 ibuprofen with 1 extra-strength acetaminophen can be as effective as prescription pain killers as well (be careful not to exceed the maximum dose!).

What type of toothpaste should I use?

What type of toothpaste should I use?

Anything with fluoride! As long as you find toothpaste you like and brush properly, any fluoridated toothpaste is acceptable. Be careful about those with baking soda and some whitening toothpastes, because they can be abrasive and wear away your teeth and gums if one brushes too hard.

Periodontal Pocket

What is a periodontal pocket?

This is the space between the gums and the tooth. When plaque and calculus form here, it creates an infection and inflammation that destroys the jaw bone in that area. These pockets are measured in the dental office in millimeters, and 2-3mm is typically a healthy measurement.

Scaling and Root Planing

What is Scaling and Root Planing?

This is a procedure performed by a dental hygienist or a dentist that removes calculus from below the gum level. Patients typically need this because they have not had regular cleanings or they have very deep periodontal pockets that need to be properly treated. The patient is usually numbed in order to keep them comfortable throughout the procedure.

Tartar

What is tartar?

Tartar (or calculus) is plaque that has been on your teeth for some time and has hardened. This must be removed by a dental hygienist or a dentist. This can also become very detrimental to your gums.

Plaque

What is plaque?

Plaque is the film left on your teeth that causes tooth decay. Plaque can be removed with proper brushing and flossing.

Professional Cleaning

How often should I have my teeth professionally cleaned?

The most common recommendation is every six months. You may need to go more often if your dentist prescribes it. This may be due to your specific oral condition.

Bleeding Gums

Why are my gums bleeding?

Bleeding gums are most commonly an indication of irritation or infection. If you do not brush and floss properly, your gums will likely bleed. They will also bleed even with proper brushing and flossing if you have not had regular professional cleanings.