Dangers Of Not Flossing Your Teeth

Tucson dentalFlossing is extremely important to your oral hygiene routine. Flossing is a way to remove plaque and food particles in places where a normal toothbrush cannot reach.  Normally this is under the gum line and between your teeth. For your dental health, it comes second only to brushing your teeth. Daily flossing complements tooth brushing.

While talking about oral health, one often comes across terms like plaque, tartar or calculus. Plaque is a thin removable layer of bacteria and sugars formed on teeth and gums. Plaque formation is a natural process as these bacteria are always present in our mouth.  Plaque formation automatically re-starts every 4-12 hours after brushing the teeth. Therefore brushing your teeth twice each day is very important for dental health.

As tooth brushing removes the plaque from the exposed easily approachable areas in mouth, flossing removes plaque layer from the hidden parts of the mouth like the gum line between the teeth. The acids from plaque can harm the enamel of the teeth and constant exposure can form cavities in teeth. If  plaque is not removed it starts to become hard transforming into tartar or calculus layer  after 48 hours This can lead to gingivitis or periodontitis.

One can floss teeth by taking a piece of floss about 18 inches long into your hand. Wind most of the floss around the middle finger of both hands and leave an inch or two of floss to work with. Now hold this floss tightly between your thumbs and index fingers and slide it gently up-and-down between your teeth. When you reach the base of the tooth with the floss make a C curve with the floss passing through your teeth in order to get rid of the entrapped food on your gum. You have to be very gentle when you touch the gums as this soft tissue is very soft and delicate and can easily bruise the gum tissue.

Your overall health depends on good oral hygiene.  Don’t get scolded by your dentist during your next dental check-up.  Brush and floss your teeth twice each day.

Has it been longer than 6 months since your last check-up?  Then isn’t it time to set an appointment with Dr. Riley…..call today 520-297-9069.

Health Conditions Your Dentist May Be The First To Detect

You may never have thought of this but often times your dentist is the cornerstone of your overall health and well-being.tucson dentist

It is common for many of us to think that our oral health is not related to our overall health.  But upon closer examination, your comprehensive health is directly related to the health of your teeth and gums.

Your mouth is a direct entrance to the rest of your body.  Teeth and gums are directly linked to your digestion and bloodstream as well as your nervous, endocrine, lymphatic and skeletal systems.

The harmful organisms, bacteria, that breed in your mouth are easily shared with your entire body.  It is estimated that about 90% of systemic diseases in your body are directly related to conditions in your mouth.  This is why your dentist can often times be your first line of defense in detecting and preventing diseases.

At Arizona Dental Medicine we are trained at diagnosing and treating conditions of your teeth, gums and upper jaw and face.  These are conditions that can impact your overall health.

There are several diseases that your dentist may be the first to detect and diagnose.  Here are 7 of them.

1. Red, sore, swollen and bleeding gums are signs of periodontitis or gum disease.  Periodontitis is proven to be associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

2. Sore, pale gums are an indicator that you have anemia.  Anemia affects about 3.5 million people in the united states.  Left untreated anemia can lead to severe fatigue, heart problems, nerve damage, impaired mental function and even death.

3. Bright red, spongy, inflamed gums that bleed easily is often times a signal of leukemia.

4. Tooth erosion and a breakdown of enamel is an indicator that you may be suffering from eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia.

5. Air blowing on your gums and making them bleed can be an indication of pregnancy.

6. Bad breath, chronic dry mouth, receding gums and gums that bleed easily are often associated with diabetes.

7. White spots and sores that are slow to heal on your gums and other oral tissues in the mouth can be early signs of oral cancer.

Don’t take chances with your health.  If it’s been longer than 6 months, call us today to schedule an appointment.  Early detection of health issues goes a long ways towards reversing them completely. 520-297-9069

Dr. Rochelle Riley’s

Risk Factors Of Periodontal Disease

tucson dentistPeriodontal disease (gum disease) is an infection of the tissues (gums) that support the teeth.  The gums do not attach very firmly to the teeth.  There is a shallow v-shaped gap existing between the teeth and gums where periodontal disease easily thrives.

There is a lot of bacteria in your mouth.  The bacteria and food particles combine and cause a sticky film that clings to your teeth called plaque.  Thorough brushing and flossing every day (best after every meal) removes most of the plaque but all too often not all of it especially around the gum line.  The bacteria in plaque creates a toxin that may injure the gums and all supporting tissues.

There are many factors that increase your chance of developing periodontal disease.  These range from oral habits, diet and disease to pregnancy and medications.

How do you know if you have it?  Here are some of the most common sign and symptoms:

  • Gums may be red, swollen, tender or bleed during brushing/flossing
  • Root surfaces may be exposed
  • Experience pain with chewing or increased sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Calculus or tarter build-up
  • Loose teeth
  • Changes in your bite or tooth position
  • Bad breath

Periodontal disease doesn’t just effect your oral health.  It can effect your overall health in many ways.  It has been known to cause:

Cardiovascular disease and stroke
– As bacteria colonies grow the immune system may not be able to keep them in check.  The oral bacteria can then enter the blood stream and attack the arteries and cardiovascular system.  New research indicates that people with periodontal disease are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Bacterial pneumonia
– The bacteria in your mouth can be inhaled or aspirated into your lungs thus causing infections and pneumonia.

Increased risks during pregnancy
– Studies indicate that women with periodontal disease are more likely to give birth to underweight or premature babies.

Periodontal disease is the primary cause of teeth loss after the age of 35.

Some people are more susceptible than others.  This can be reversed, if caught early, and properly cared for.

Have you had a recent checkup with your dentist to see if you have periodontal disease?  If not then call us at Arizona Dental Medicine to make your appointment today – 520-297-9069.  Your health depends on it!