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Dr. Caye and his team at Premier Dental join dental practices and professionals around the country each September in celebration of National Gum Care Month. Why is gum care so important? Let’s dive in and find out!!

You may not have heard of Periodontal Disease, if you visit your dentist regularly and you haven’t – that’s probably a good sign! Periodontal Disease is also known as Gum Disease and almost 50% of adults have some form it. Here’s the scary part – if left untreated, it can lead to even more serious problems, ranging from tooth loss to heart disease.

Yes … that’s why Gum Care Month is SO IMORTANT!! However, Gum Disease can be prevented!

There are several preventative actions you can take to help avoid the onset of gum disease. We want you to be on the lookout for these tell-tale signs so, we’ve gathered some interesting information and statistics for you as well.

 

The Basics: What is Gum Disease?

There are two forms of Gum Disease:

  • Gingivitis: early stage of Gum Disease that can be reversed
  • Periodontitis: if untreated, tooth loss may result

Periodontal disease starts with a sticky film of plaque bacteria that forms on your teeth, just like tooth decay (when you’re getting a cavity). If plaque is not removed, it will collect around your gum line and they’ll become inflamed and irritated. This early stage of gum disease is called Gingivitis. The good news is that it can be reversed easily with consistent and thorough brushing and flossing.

However, if it is not removed regularly, this plaque will harden into tartar. Your gums become increasingly red, swollen, and inflamed as tartar builds up around the gum line and they will eventually pull away from the tooth, forming a loose pocket. As more bacteria and tarter accumulate in these “pockets”, the destructive toxins begin to infect and destroy the gums, bone and ligaments that support your teeth. This advanced phase of Gum Disease is called Periodontitis, or Periodontal Disease. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, because the gums can no longer hold your teeth in place.

 

Gum Care Month: Tooth Loss Stats

Here are a few staggering statistics we’d like to share with you during Gum Care Month:

  • Missing 1 tooth: the average person age 20-39
  • Missing 3+ teeth: the average 40-49-year old
  • Missing 8 teeth: the average 60+ person

We know what you’re thinking … I had my 4 wisdom teeth pulled!! No wonder these numbers are so high!! Bad News: These statistics do NOT include wisdom teeth that have been removed AND this tooth loss is typically caused by gum disease.

Related Article: Dentures vs Dental Implants: Everything You Need to Know

 

Gum Disease: Doesn’t Just Affect Older People

There are different forms of Periodontitis and it is more serious than it may seem at first.

Aggressive Periodontitis:

  • rapid gum recession
  • occurring during a period of growth in young people
  • due to vitamin depletion, not bacteria

Chronic Periodontitis:

  • periods of rapid progression and then periods of remission
  • can happen on its own or in response to dental treatment

 

Gum Disease Can Affect More Than Your Smile

Cosmetic:

It’s a well-known fact that people with a healthy smile tend to look younger. However, Periodontitis affects much more than the aesthetic look of your pearly white smile and is important for more than cosmetic reasons.

Function:

It’s also easy to understand that it’s easier to talk and chew when your teeth are functional and it’s less costly to keep all of your own teeth.

Overall Health:

Gum disease is also a systemic disease that is related to the body’s reaction to bacteria that can have far-reaching effects on your overall health. By completely avoiding periodontal disease or treating it, you’re helping to protect your body from other systemic inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. As well as, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and cancer.

Related Article: Dental Awareness: Is My Overall Health Really Tied to My Oral Health?

 

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? If so, you can assume your gums are sick. Symptoms are key … if you are experiencing ANY gum bleeding, notice any gum pain or mouth sores, and/or pick up on a sour taste in your mouth, do not hesitate – it’s time to schedule a visit to your dentist! Remember, you can reverse the early stages of Gum Disease, but the only way to keep Gingivitis from progressing into Periodontal Disease and other problems is dental treatment.

Here is a more extensive list of symptoms:

  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • bleeding gums
  • painful to chew
  • sensitive teeth and gums
  • loose teeth
  • receding gums
  • you may have a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
  • uneven bite
  • ill-fitting dentures

 

What do Healthy Gums Look Like?

Healthy gums are pink, firm, and they do not bleed.

Keeping your gums firm, pink and healthy isn’t difficult, but it does require consistent healthy oral care habits. Your main focus is to keep the harmful oral bacteria to a minimum, not just during gum care month, but always!

Daily Tips & Tricks for Healthy Gums:

  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush thoroughly at least twice a day.
  • Replace toothbrushes every 3 months; frayed bristles don’t clean as well (and old toothbrushes can store bacteria).
  • Flossing once a day is a must.
  • Rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria in the mouth.
  • Fight dry mouth by sipping water throughout the day, chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless lozenges. Dry mouth creates an environment where bacteria can thrive. Numerous medications and certain illnesses can cause dry mouth.
  • Schedule routine dental appointments every 6 months that include a professional cleaning.
  • Stop Smoking! Tobacco, of any kind, increases the risk of gum disease and makes it harder for gums to heal.
  • DO NOT VAPE! Vaping is not an alternative, even if you’re not using nicotine.
  • If you are Diabetic, you need to be diligent about keeping your diabetes under control, since high sugar levels can increase your risk for gum disease.
  • Opt for healthy snacks. Healthy foods can help lower the risk of gum disease. Bacteria love sugar, so as an alternative, consume water, milk, yogurts, apples, and other healthy options.

If you have children, take this opportunity to review their dental care routines and emphasize the importance of daily tooth care. A clean mouth can´t get sick!

Related Article: Children’s Dental Health is Important at Premier Dental

 

When almost half of Americans suffer some form of gum disease, why wait?

Now you understand why we take Gum Care Month seriously and keeping your gums healthy is such an important task – they keep your teeth in place! AND you know what to do to help keep you and your smile in the best possible health and avoid Gum Disease.

If you have questions or concerns about your gum health, please give us a call, Dr. Caye and his experienced team at Premier Dental in Lee’s Summit will be happy to schedule your dental appointment and help you keep your gums, teeth and mouth healthy. Enjoy National Gum Care Month and please call our office at 816-600-6330 to schedule your dental appointment.

Dr. Stephan Caye and his friendly, experienced team at Premier Dental offer affordable family dentistry and invisible braces in the Lee’s Summit, MO area. Our office is conveniently located off of Highway 50 and SE Blue Parkway. We offer appointment times Monday through Friday to meet your needs. At Premier Dental, we provide most dental health services, from family and general dentistry to specialty procedures, including tooth replacement options, such as dental implants and dentures, endodontic or root canal treatment, teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistryemergency dental care and much more. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Please call us at (816) 600-6330 to schedule an appointment.

dental-health-for-men

Beards, manscaping, hair gel, man caves, and self-grooming galore! In today’s world, men are taking charge of their aesthetic and their health, and dental health should be no different … that’s why we’re tackling dental health for men in this article.

Good dental health for men equals good overall health, as all parts of the body are interconnected. In fact, men are more commonly dealing with gum disease than women, making oral health even more important.

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lees-summit-dentist

Dear Premier Dental Family,

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines, including routine dental appointments.

While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

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We’re SMILING because February is National Childrens Dental Health Month and we LOVE our Little Patients!! When you have small kiddos, like we do, it can be overwhelming to make sure you’re doing “all the things” to keep these tiny humans healthy and happy! To take some of the guess work out of this subject, we’re going to focus this blog on some questions about childrens dental health that we, as dental professionals AND parents, can answer.

First, let’s explain what National Childrens Dental Health Month is … it was introduced in the month of February by the American Dental Association as an observance to bring together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, healthcare providers, and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their parents, caregivers, teachers and many others.

For us, it’s a great opportunity to promote the benefits of childrens dental health, because developing healthy dental habits at an early age, including brushing and scheduling regular dental visits, helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

We want our patients to have beautiful, healthy smiles and we love to help educate families about their dental health, so let’s get started!

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Eating Disorders Can Cause Dental Problems

The body is all interconnected. When something is wrong in one area, other areas can also be greatly affected. Eating disorders are an example of this phenomenon within the body.

Related Article: Oral Health Problems and Overall Health: How Connected Are They?

When you experience an eating disorder, other parts of your body, such as your teeth and gums, may be affected in a way you never thought possible. For example, eating behaviors can affect your oral health in many ways, such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Soft palate damage
  • Tissue/enamel loss
  • Redness and cuts inside the mouth
  • Discoloration
  • And more

See more information HERE regarding signs, symptoms, side effects and dental problems caused by bulimia from EatingDisorderHope.com.

Related Article: Tooth Decay: Don’t Be A Statistic 

Your Dentist Can Help

According to Eating Disorder Hope, “dentists are recognized as being some of the first health care professionals to whom a previously undiagnosed eating disorder patient (EDP) may present.”

Read more on the resources provided by Eating Disorder Hope HERE.

Dentists can be essential in identifying the first signs of an eating disorder. Without identifying dental issues, someone could live with an eating disorder for years without any help. If your dentist asks you about your signs or symptoms, consider being honest and open with them to take the first step toward recovery and improved oral health.

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Ghosts, goblins, hauntings, and scary sightings. Halloween is a day where adults and kids alike can forget about being themselves for a day and transform into something, or someone, else. Whether you have plans to dress up as someone frightening or adorable, be aware of the effects certain candies and treats can have on you, or your kids, teeth. Make the most out of Halloween by having a few treats, without overindulging, and keep tooth decay at bay.

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avoid-gum-disease

Poor dental hygiene can lead to problems that are more severe than the average cavity or case of bad breath. Gum disease is most commonly the result of poor dental hygiene and is the inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, according to www.medicinenet.com. Knowing the signs, symptoms, and treatment for various stages of gum disease can set you on a proactive path to avoiding a disappointing dental visit.

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Proper oral hygiene practices are necessary to ensure that teeth, gums, tongue, and cheeks are in top condition.

In the United States, oral health is a significant concern. Although patients are often encouraged to adopt healthy oral habits, not many people adhere to these principles. As a result, a vast number of U.S. citizens, both young and old, are suffering from the adverse impacts of oral disease. Presently, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among adolescents — a statistic that signifies the gravity of the dental health crisis affecting the United States.

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