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Dental Blog

computer with blog graphicDr. Brian Pitfield has created this informative blog to help educate the community.

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Latest Posts:

What Is A Periodontal Pocket?

Posted on 2/22/2021 by Pine Belt Periodontics
Periodontitis is a serious, albeit fairly common, dental disease that can fortunately be treated easily. While it requires surgery when in the most advanced stages, general periodontitis treatment focuses more on preventative measures rather than a surgical approach. During the progression periodontitis, the gums will start to recede and reveal the dental roots, creating an opening that allows plaque and oral bacteria to live in. This opening is called a periodontal pocket. Oral bacteria like to reside there because commercial toothbrushes and flosses can never reach them. The only solution to get rid of this issue is to come to us for a thorough periodontal prophylaxis treatment. How Periodontal Prophylaxis Works Periodontal prophylaxis to the way we clean the areas under your teeth. We do this by scraping off the plaque and tartar underneath the gums using a scaling tool. This special device comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, letting us clean the areas underneath your gums no matter how big or small they may be. After doing this, the body can then start repairing the area between the tooth and the gums. Smaller periodontal pockets could close on their own, if the area remains clean and free of plaque. Larger periodontal pockets, however, might never close. This could catch plaque again and become home to another colony of oral bacteria. When this happens, we would need dental surgery to fix the area. When Deep Cleaning Is Not Enough Periodontal disease can destroy large areas around the periodontal pocket. It can even destroy the jawbone surface from underneath the teeth. Depending on your case, we may even need to graft bone tissues to strengthen the jaw and a layer of gum tissue to close the gum area. To learn more about periodontal disease and periodontal pockets and determine your risk for them, please do not hesitate to schedule a visit to our office....

Understanding the Difference Between Periodontitis and Gingivitis

Posted on 2/8/2021 by Pine Belt Periodontics
Gum disease occurs in stages, from gingivitis to moderate gum disease to advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis and periodontitis have different symptoms as well as different treatments. Today's blog will help you understand the difference between these two phases of gum disease. What is Gingivitis? When you do not brush and floss your teeth properly, bacteria and food debris accumulate and form a sticky film known as plaque. If plaque is not cleaned off, it hardens into tartar. Unlike plaque, tartar cannot be removed with normal brushing and flossing, so it builds up on the surfaces of teeth, between teeth, and along the gum line. Bacteria, plaque, and tartar irritate your gum tissue and cause inflammation, resulting in gingivitis, the earliest phase of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen, and tender gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth. You might also have bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. When gingivitis is caught early enough, it can often be reversed before it has the chance to develop into periodontitis. Gingivitis is treated by professionally cleaning your teeth to remove all the plaque and tartar buildup, as well as implementing a strict oral hygiene routine for you to follow at home. We might sometimes prescribe a special mouthwash or antibiotics as well. What is Periodontitis? If gingivitis is not caught and treated early enough, though, it will advance into a stage of gum disease called periodontitis. Periodontitis cannot be reversed since by this stage it has already impacted your teeth and bones along with your gum tissue. Periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating “gum pockets” that trap food debris and bacteria and accelerate tooth decay. Gum recession also weakens your teeth and the bones around them, resulting in loose teeth that can eventually fall out. In fact, periodontitis is the top cause of tooth loss among adults. In addition to visually receding gums and loose teeth, advanced periodontal disease can also result in oral abcesses and sensitive teeth. Periodontitis is usually treated with root canal procedures, scaling and root planing, gum pocket reduction, tissue graft surgery, and antibiotics. Since tooth loss is common with advanced periodontitis, treatment would also involve restoring missing teeth using dental implants, bridges, crowns, or dentures. Call our office today if you have questions about gum disease....

When Gums Bleed, How Should You Respond?

Posted on 1/25/2021 by Pine Belt Periodontics
If your gums bleed, it may be a sign that you have gum disease. You should not chalk it off as not being important, as you need to find out the underlying reason for the bleeding. Therefore, one of the first things you need to do is to contact us to schedule a consultation and an exam. What You Should Do While Waiting to See Us Once you set an appointment to have your gums and teeth checked, make a conscientious effort, if you have not done so in the past, to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily. If you have been following this routine, you might be brushing too hard or with the wrong toothbrush. Make sure the head of your toothbrush is made of soft bristles. It may also help to rinse with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide, it has been found, reduces problems with bleeding when used as a rinse. Bleeding gums can also result from added stress. Often, when people are suffering from too much stress, they do not practice regular dental care like they should. Stress also breaks down the body's defenses against disease and infection. Therefore, it helps to find out what is causing your stress and see what you can do about coping. In some instances, you may not be getting enough vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts immune system functioning and reduces the risk of gum disease. What Else Can I Do? Another vitamin you may be missing in your diet that can lead to bleeding gums is vitamin K. You can get this vitamin when you eat certain greens, such as spinach, collard greens, mustard greens and kale. It also helps to rinse with a saltwater rinse. Add a half-teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth for a few seconds 3 or 4 times each day. If the bleeding is from an injury, rinsing with the rinse will keep the mouth clean and clear of bacteria. Never hesitate to call us if your gums start bleeding. Bleeding is not normal. Therefore, having them checked is important to learn the cause of the problem. Contact us for a periodontal exam and consultation today....

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