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Monthly Archives: August 2015

ABOUT GUM DISEASE

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About Gum Disease

about gum diseaseHealthy gums are firm, and don’t bleed. They fit snugly around the teeth.

Gingivitis is a condition where a person has mildly inflamed gums that may appear red or swollen and may bleed during brushing or flossing.

It can be painless, and at the beginning of the inflammation of the gum line you may not know you have a problem. But it can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease:

STAGES OF GUM DISEASE

  1. Gingivitis – the earliest stage of gum disease.
  2. Periodontitis – the stage where the supporting bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place are irreversibly damaged. Your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line, which traps food and plaque. You should seek proper dental treatment and improve your home care to help prevent further damage.
  3. Advanced periodontitis – This is the final stage of gum disease, when the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, which can cause your teeth to shift or loosen. Your bite can be affected and if aggressive treatment can’t save your teeth, they may need to be removed.

HOW DOES GUM DISEASE HAPPEN?

It is an inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque that can build up and then the bacteria will infect not only your gums but eventually the bone that support the teeth and even the teeth themselves. Eventually this damage will cause the teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed by a dentist.

WARNING SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE

Gum disease commonly occurs among adults over age 25. However, it can start at any age. It can be reversed and detected early, if you see your dentist. These are some of the symptoms:

  1. Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
  2. Gums that are red, puffy, swollen or tender
  3. Gums that have separated, or pulled away from your teeth creating a pocket
  4. Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
  5. Changes in the way your teeth fit together while biting
  6. Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
  7. Visible pus surrounding the teeth and gums

PREVENTING GUM DISEASE

After our description, we’re sure you don’t want gum disease to happen to you. As endodontists serving New York City, we’ve seen our share of gum and tooth damage. It is preventable with good oral care that includes:

  1. Proper brushing and flossing
  2. Using antibacterial toothpaste and mouthwash killing bacteria
  3. A saltwater mouth rinse
  4. Bi-annual dental visits for cleaning and check-ups.
  5. Deep Cleaning, by a Dentist, when you need it

It is important that you have dental checkups, at least annually to prevent gum disease. Especially, people with heart disease or diabetes need to be aware of and work to prevent gum disease. Ask your New York City root canal endodontist if you have any questions, we are here for your dental health.

What dentist to use – How to choose

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How to choose a Dentist

Not all dentists are alike. You obviously have choices, so do you like your current dentist? If not, there’s no reason not to change. You have choices in dental care and the reality is that some dentists are better than others. Just like any profession, some are more skilled and have better customer care and “bedside manner”. Don’t feel guilty about switching, because your dental health is important. You need your teeth for your lifetime!

how to choose a dentistSo how do you choose a dentist? Random selection from an online search or just responding to a postcard you got in the mail? We recommend doing a little homework.

Here’s some helpful guidance on how to choose a dentist.

First it’s best if they are within 10 miles of your home or work, otherwise, you are less likely to make and keep your appointments. Convenience is important. Second, they have to have hours you can work with. They also have to have an appealing, very clean office. You can pay them a visit in advance before choosing them, just let them know you’d like to do so.

Once you’ve made a selection, it’s time to check on their background and training. You can start by finding out if they are a member of the American Dental Association. Seven out of 10 dentists are and so this gives them credibility and is a reassurance for you the patient. Members of this organization agree to abide by the high ethical standards set by the ADA.

When you first call or visit your prospective dentist, ask what degree he or she has. You are looking for a DDS—Dr. of Dental Surgery or DMD—Dr. of Dental Medicine, which are the same degree. Confirm that they are board certified by the ADA.

If you can meet the dentist in person, even just briefly, or speak to them on the phone, that’s great because it gives you a chance to get a feel for their personality and client relationships. Are they personable, do they explain themselves well? It’s ok to ask questions. A good one to ask is, “what if I have a serious dental issue outside of normal hours, like I crack or lose a tooth?” How does their office accommodate a dental emergency?

It’s also very important to find out up front how they bill, and what they charge. What will your costs be? And confirm that they take your insurance if you have it. If you don’t’ have insurance, do they allow installment payments on higher cost dental procedures? If you need a root canal, do they send you to an endodontist (root canal specialist)?

What’s really ideal is if you can identify and speak to an actual client of your prospective dentist, or read prior client testimonials. That is the best feedback you can find. The bottom line is, you can look at online reviews, read about the dentist you’ve chosen, and gain some insight. But meeting the dentist in person before becoming a client is your best way to know if you will like them and want to use their services for years to come.

As New York City Endontists, we have seen the work of sub-standard dentists and excellent dentists. If you need a referral, call Fifth Avenue Endodontics and we’d be happy to share some names of dentists with you.