Modern dental technology and treatments are helping American adults enjoy better oral health well into old age, but periodontal (gum) disease is still a big problem. Advanced gum disease (periodontitis) is still the leading cause of tooth loss in adults according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (National Institutes of Health). Periodontal disease is progressive, so catching it early is the best way to preserve your oral health and protect yourself from tooth loss. Dr. Michael Pugh, your Huntsville, AL, dentist offers preventive and treatment options for every stage of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease Prevention and Treatment in Huntsville, AL
Periodontal disease develops in stages, and gets progressively worse if left untreated. Some people don't experience symptoms until the disease has advanced from the gums to the bone tissue, which can ultimately result in tooth loss. One of the earliest warning signs of gum disease is tender, bleeding gums, which is a common symptom of gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
Gingivitis is caused by inflamed gum tissue due to plaque buildup, but the good news is that when diagnosed and treated early, gingivitis is reversible if it is still localized to the gums and has not spread to the connective tissue that stabilize and keep your teeth in place.
The next stage after gingivitis is periodontitis. At this point, the bone tissue and fibers that support your teeth and gums is affected. One of the most common symptoms of periodontitis is pockets at the gumline that can collect food and bacteria. There are still options available to treat the existing damage and prevent it from getting worse.
The last stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis, which causes bone loss and tissue deterioration that can loosen your teeth and increase the risk of tooth loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red/puffy/swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
- Visible gum recession
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Signs of infection like pus
Your best defense against gum disease starts at home. Be sure to brush after every meal and floss at least once a day every day to prevent bacteria buildup and plaque formation. In addition to good oral hygiene, you must also schedule regular visits to the dentist for a check up and professional cleaning every six months to a year.
Find a Dentist in Huntsville, AL
For more information about periodontal disease prevention and treatment, contact Dr. Pugh by calling (256) 536-3386 to schedule an appointment.
A toothache can indicate several things but is most often the sign of a heavily decayed tooth. Though many people believe that they should not see their dentist until they experience a toothache, this unfortunate situation is actually one of the final stages of tooth decay. Find out more about toothaches and why you shouldn’t ignore them with Dr. Michael Pugh at Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL.
What can a toothache indicate?
The tooth is made up of three main parts: the hard enamel outer surface, the softer dentin under the enamel, and the pulp chamber which lies deep within the tooth. The inner pulp chamber houses the tooth’s soft tissues, including its nerves — the part of the tooth which feels pain. If the nerve becomes damaged, exposed, or infected by tooth decay, it causes a toothache.
When do I need to see my dentist for a toothache?
Though many people believe that a toothache is the push they need to schedule a dentist’s appointment, this is actually the end stage of a condition which can be easily treated in its earlier stages — before it becomes painful. The American Dental Association recommends that you see your dentist twice a year for examinations and preventative cleanings. These appointments help you avoid a toothache by removing the decay-causing substances from the teeth and ensuring that the decay does not eat its way through the tooth to infect the inner pulp chamber.
Toothache Treatments in Huntsville, AL
If you experience a toothache, chances are you have a heavily decayed tooth. In this case, a root canal — a dental treatment which removes the inner tissue from the tooth’s pulp chamber — becomes necessary. This process takes about an hour and is accompanied by a local anesthetic to ensure you do not feel any discomfort.
For more information on toothaches and when you should see your doctor, please contact Dr. Michael Pugh at Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL. Call (256) 536-3386 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Pugh today!
Find out how a dental crown could provide a damaged tooth with protection.
Has our Huntsville, AL, dentist told you that you require a dental crown? If so, you may be wondering why you need one and what it can do to improve the health of your smile. Essentially a tooth-shaped cap, a crown is commonly placed over the visible portion of the tooth to protect and support it if it’s damaged or weak. A tooth can become damaged by decay, injury or an infection. By placing a dental crown, our Huntsville, AL, restorative dentist, Dr. Michael Pugh, can improve the tooth’s shape, appearance, durability, and strength.
When would a dentist recommend getting a dental crown?
There are many people who can benefit from getting a dental crown, and you may need one if you are dealing with:
- A weak tooth that may fracture or break
- A cracked tooth
- A tooth that is extremely worn
- A tooth that has a large filling that can no longer support the tooth
- A misshapen or severely discolored tooth
Along with these scenarios, you may also require a dental crown if you are dealing with tooth loss. How? Well, if you choose to get a dental implant, the visible portion of the implant will actually be a dental crown, which will be cemented into place over the implant, which lies under the gums within the jawbone. If you choose to get a fixed dental bridge, we will also need to place dental crowns over natural teeth that surround the gap in order to hold the false teeth in place.
How long do dental crowns last?
While a crown will not last forever, the longevity of your new restoration does depend on you and how well you care for it. Crowns usually last anywhere from five to 15 years, however, there is a possibility for them to last longer if you care for them properly. This means maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting your dentist every six months for checkups and cleanings. You should also avoid bad habits such as chewing ice or biting your fingernails, which could damage the crown.
Interested? Give us a call!
If you want to learn more about getting a dental crown and whether it could benefit your smile, call Artistic Dentistry's Huntsville office at (256) 536-3386 today to learn more.
How your dentist in Huntsville, Alabama can help you
There is a lot of information out there about root canal treatment and you deserve to know the facts. Dr. Michael Pugh in Huntsville, Alabama, can help you separate fact from fiction when it comes to root canal treatment. Here are just a few of the common questions and answers about root canal treatment.
What are some of the signs and symptoms you may need a root canal?
- Tooth pain that doesn’t go away, even after dental treatment
- Throbbing, aching pain or pressure that continues throughout the day
- Sharp, stabbing pain when you bite down
- Throbbing pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods or beverages
- A red or white bump on your gums next to the root of a tooth
- Blood or pus draining from the bump on your gums
Do root canals hurt?
Root canals relieve pain and pressure associated with abscesses and dental infections. Don't worry about discomfort, root canal treatment is performed while your tooth and the surrounding gum tissue is profoundly numb. Your dentist will use a wide range of anesthesia techniques including local anesthetic, sedation, or medication. Typically, you will not feel pain during the procedure.
How many appointments does a root canal take?
Typically, root canal therapy requires at least two appointments. At the first appointment, a small opening is made in the top of your tooth and the nerves and blood supply to the tooth are removed through the opening. A sedative is placed inside your tooth to help relieve pain and pressure. After your tooth has calmed down and is no longer painful, it is filled in with an inert material and resealed.
Do I need a dental crown after root canal treatment?
It is best to have a crown placed after your tooth has had a root canal because after the blood supply and nerves are removed, a tooth can become brittle and more prone to breaking. A dental crown protects your entire tooth from the stress of biting and chewing.
These are just a few of the common questions and answers related to root canal treatment. To find out more about root canal therapy and other restorative, cosmetic, and preventive dental services, call Dr. Michael Pugh in Huntsville, Alabama today! (256) 536-3386.
When was the last time you saw your dentist for a routine checkup?
Not sure the last time you saw your dentist? If so, you aren’t alone. One study found that as many as one in three Americans didn’t see the dentist that year. Since everyone is supposed to get routine dental checkups every six months, this news is deeply concerning. Our Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh is here to tell you why these six-month dental visits are important for patients of all ages and why people don’t often come in as regularly as they should.
Why People Don’t See the Dentist
There are many reasons people choose not to come in for routine checkups. If you want to maintain good oral health for the rest of your life the only way to do it is to see your Huntsville, AL, general dentist regularly and to have a trusting relationship with our team so that you know you are getting the best care possible.
Many people choose not to see the dentist due to financial constraints, busy schedules or dental phobias. Trust us; we’ve heard it all. But there are ways to face these underlying issues so you can ultimately get the proper care your teeth and gums deserve.
Dealing with financial issues? Talk to us. Our dental team understands that medical care can be expensive sometimes and we want to work with your family to ensure that everyone gets the dentistry they need without breaking the bank. Plus, these two visits a year are less expensive than needing extensive dental work to repair and restore a damaged smile.
Is your schedule too hectic? We know that life can sometimes get in the way of your medical care. We would be happy to work with your busy schedule to find a time that works best for you and that doesn’t add more stress to your routine.
Scared of the dentist? We know this is a real fear for many. If you haven’t visited the dentist in a while give us a call and let us know. We are sensitive to our patient’s fears and anxieties and want to help make dental visits stress-free and easy on you.
The Importance of Routine Dental Checkups
Most of the time common problems such as gum disease and cavities don’t present with symptoms. This means that the only way to catch these issues before they cause damage is to come in for checkups every six months. During these checkups we also:
- Remove plaque and tartar buildup, the leading causes of cavities and gum disease
- Remove surface stains from teeth for a whiter smile
- Screen for and detect early warning signs of oral cancer
- Address any questions or concerns you have about your oral health
- Provide recommendations for certain dental treatments that could improve your smile
What are you waiting for? Give your smile the care it deserves by calling Dr. Michael Pugh in Huntsville, AL today to schedule a cleaning for yourself or a member of your family.
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