Posts for category: Oral Health
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.
Let’s put your oral habits to the test and see if you are doing everything you should for your smile.
Most people know to brush and floss their teeth, but you wouldn’t believe how many people don’t actually know the proper technique or how often they actually need to do these things every day in order to keep teeth and gums healthy. Our Huntsville, AL, dentist Dr. Michael Pugh is here to provide you with insight into what constitutes good oral hygiene.
Replace Your Toothbrush Head Regularly
Your toothbrush wasn’t meant to last forever. Even if you have an electric one, you still need to replace the head every three to four months. Why? As you may be able to tell, over time the bristles of the toothbrush begin to splay out. Once this happens the toothbrush head needs to be replaced, as the bristles could end up scratching up and wearing away tooth enamel. Another good rule of thumb is to replace your toothbrush head immediately after an illness to prevent bacteria from infecting you again.
Brush Twice a Day
Most people don’t brush as often as they should or for as long as they should. If you aren’t brushing at least twice a day then you aren’t giving your teeth the thorough cleaning they require. Twice a day for a minimum of two minutes is all that’s needed (however, brushing after meals is also encouraged!). If you aren’t brushing long enough, set a timer to make sure that you are spending enough time caring for your teeth and gums.
Don’t Skip Flossing
We know that flossing isn’t the most fun activity you could do but it’s necessary if you want to keep gums healthy and if you want to keep your teeth safe from decay. While brushing is great for cleaning plaque and food off the back and front surfaces of your teeth, your toothbrush isn’t capable of really cleaning between teeth as precisely as it should. Flossing once a day (preferably before bed) is the best way to ensure that your teeth and gums are truly free from plaque.
Check Your Diet
The foods you eat can also make or break your oral health. If you consume a lot of junk food, sugars and starches (e.g. white bread) then you may be more prone to decay than someone who eats a healthier, smile-friendly diet. Avoid sugary drinks and foods, as well as processed foods and you’ll notice a big difference.
Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL, is here to ensure that you get the professional, compassionate dental care you deserve for the whole family. Whether you just need to schedule a routine checkup or you want to discuss your cosmetic dentistry options, we are here for you.
A toothache can come on slowly or suddenly and often causes serious pain and discomfort if left untreated. However, this unfortunate condition is treatable with the help of your dentist. Dr. Michael Pugh of Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL offers various procedures for diagnosing the cause of and treating toothaches. Find out more about toothaches and what you can do about them.
What causes a toothache?
Toothaches can occur due to various situations. When the nerve, which sends pain signals to the brain, becomes damaged or irritated, you feel it as a toothache. Often, a toothache is a result of tooth decay reaching the tooth’s inner pulp chamber which houses the blood vessels and nerve. However, the nerve can also become damaged by injury or trauma to the tooth. Bruxism (tooth grinding), gum disease, or an abnormal bite can also cause a toothache. Underlying conditions like TMJ disorder cause toothaches due to the tension placed onto the jaw by the condition.
How are toothaches treated?
If you have a toothache, you should schedule an oral examination with your dentist immediately. If a toothache is a result of tooth decay, you will most likely need a root canal. This procedure allows your dentist to preserve the structure of the tooth by removing its contents, cleaning out the infection, and restoring the strength of the tooth with a dental crown. If a toothache is a result of an injury or trauma, your dentist will repair the tooth to relieve the pain. Toothaches caused by an underlying condition require treatment of the condition itself.
Preventing Toothaches in Huntsville, AL
Preventing toothaches is easy with proper oral hygiene. You should see your dentist at least twice a year for regular examinations and cleanings. These appointments will help keep your teeth healthy and clean and allow your dentist to treat existing conditions early before a toothache ever occurs. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once to maintain the results of your regular cleanings.
For more information on toothaches or routine dental examinations, please contact Dr. Michael Pugh at Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, AL. Call (256) 536-3386 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Pugh today!
It's easy to understand why soda is such a popular beverage: it's inexpensive, tastes good and many varieties give that much needed caffeine boost to make it through the morning or the mid-afternoon. However, the negative effects that soda has on your teeth lessens its benefits. Your dentist in Huntsville, Alabama, Dr. Michael Pugh, sees many patients at Artistic Dentistry who have extensive tooth decay due to their soda habit. You'll learn why soda - even the diet alternatives - have earned such a bad reputation.
Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your teeth. But do you know why? It turns out that sugar is easily fermented, or broken down, by the naturally-occurring bacteria in your mouth. As this sugar ferments, it creates an acid that eats away at the healthy structure of teeth. Your Huntsville dentist is particularly concerned about patients who have an all-day soda habit; the teeth are constantly coated in sugar, never giving the saliva much of a chance to rinse it away.
Diet soda was created in the early 1950's for diabetic people who still wanted to enjoy a fizzy beverage; it originally contained a sugar substitute called saccharin. Many decades later, diet soda continues to be popular for those who need or want to regulate their sugar intake - the National Center for Health Statistics estimates that about one-fifth of the population drinks it daily. However, diet soda has never been intended as a dental-friendly drink. Why? Two of the main ingredients in most diet sodas are phosphoric acid and citric acid, which means that the erosive effect on your teeth is still present when you drink sugar-free soft drinks.
While most people can enjoy soda infrequently, dentists agree that the best drink for your teeth, as you might imagine, is pure water. If you think your soda habit may be causing you problems, contact Artistic Dentistry in Huntsville, Alabama to schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Pugh.
When to Visit Your Dentist
- To prevent gum disease. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. If diagnosed in its early stages, gum disease can be easily treated and reversed. However, if you wait for treatment, gum disease will advance to a more serious stage called periodontitis.
- To prevent oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation informs us that someone dies of oral cancer every hour of every day in the United States alone—that’s a lot. Visiting your dentist in Huntsville will help you to prevent this deadly disease because as your teeth are cleaned, your dentist will also perform an oral cancer screening.
- To prevent tooth loss. Gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, which means regular visits are vital to keeping your teeth. Your dentist will help clean your teeth and make sure gum disease is kept at bay.
- To prevent dental emergencies. Most toothaches and dental emergencies can be easily avoided just by regular visits to your dentist. Your dentist maintains the ability to detect any early signs of problems with your teeth and gums, which helps to prevent emergencies later on. However, if you do encounter an emergency due to an injury, etc. then your dentist is available for emergency visits, as well.