Posts for: April, 2021
It often begins without you realizing it—spreading ever deeper into the gums and damaging tissue attachments, teeth and supporting bone in its way. In the end, it could cause you to lose your teeth.
This is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection caused by dental plaque, a thin biofilm that accumulates on tooth surfaces. It in turn triggers chronic inflammation, which can cause the gum attachments to teeth to weaken. Detaching gum ligaments may then produce diseased voids—periodontal pockets—that can widen the gap between the teeth and the gums down to the roots.
There is one primary treatment objective for gum disease: uncover and remove any and all plaque and tartar (hardened plaque). If the infection has advanced no further than surface gum tissues, it may simply be a matter of removing plaque at or just below the gum line with hand instruments called scalers or ultrasonic equipment.
The disease, however, is often discovered in more advanced stages: The initial signs of swollen, reddened or bleeding gums might have been ignored or simply didn't appear. Even so, the objective of plaque and tartar removal remains the same, albeit the procedures may be more invasive.
For example, we may need to surgically access areas deep below the gum line. This involves a procedure called flap surgery, which creates an opening in the gum tissues resembling the flap of an envelope. Once the root or bone is exposed, we can then remove any plaque and/or tartar deposits and perform other actions to boost healing.
Antibiotics or other antibacterial substances might also be needed for stopping an infection in advanced stages. Some like the antibiotic tetracycline can be applied topically to the affected areas to directly stop inflammation and infection; others like mouthrinses with chlorhexidine might be used to fight bacteria for an extended period.
Although effective, treatment for advanced gum disease may need to continue indefinitely. The better approach is to focus on preventing a gum infection through daily brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings. And at the first sign of problems with your teeth and gums, see us as soon as possible—the earlier in the disease progression that we can begin treatment, the better the outcome.
If you would like more information on preventing and treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”
Replacing lost teeth can help boost your self-confidence and improve your chewing ability. If you've lost one or more teeth, dental implants, a replacement option provided by your Westfield, IN, dentists at Krause Dental, can help you restore your smile.
How dental implants work
Dental implants restore your missing tooth roots. They're paired with dental crowns, restorations that replace the visible parts of your teeth, to completely restore missing teeth. Implants are titanium posts that are placed in your jaw during minor surgery. Once the implants are in place, they begin to bond to the jawbone in as little as three to six months. The custom-made crown is then placed and you have a new tooth.
When dental implants are a good option
Dental implants may be the right choice for you if:
- Are Concerned About Your Appearance: Tooth loss can definitely affect your self-esteem. It's hard to feel confident when you have a gap in your smile. Since your dental crowns are made from an impression of your mouth taken in the Westfield, IN, dental office, your new teeth will look completely natural. In fact, no one will know you've experienced tooth loss.
- Prefer a Long-Lasting Option: Thanks to their bonding ability, dental implants become a permanent part of your jawbone. In most cases, they'll never need to be replaced.
- Don't Want to Change Your Eating Habits: You'll need to avoid tough or sticky foods with some restorations, but not dental implants. Since the implants are securely attached to your jawbone, they provide excellent biting power.
- Want an Easy Care Restoration: You'll care for your implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. Daily brushing and flossing will keep the implants healthy. Good oral hygiene is particularly important, as it reduces the risk of an infection that could loosen your implants.
- Are in Good Health: Good general and oral health are the key requirements for dental implants. If you're in the midst of chemotherapy or are currently suffering from gum disease, you'll need to wait until your treatment is complete. Implants aren't a good choice if you have an immune condition or take medications that suppress the immune system, as healing can be affected. Tobacco use also affects healing. If you plan to continue to smoke after receiving implants, another type of restoration may be a better choice.
Renew your smile with dental implants! Call Krause Dental to schedule your appointment with your dentists in Westfield, IN, by dialing (317) 399-9329.
Is a “teeth crush” a thing? According to a recent confession by Lucy Hale, it is. Hale, who has played Aria Montgomery for seven seasons on the hit TV show Pretty Little Liars, admitted her fascination with other people's smiles to Kelly Clarkson during a recent episode of the latter's talk show (Clarkson seems to share her obsession).
Among Hale's favorite “grills”: rappers Cardi B and Post Malone, Julia Roberts, Drake and Madonna. Although some of their smiles aren't picture-perfect, Hale admires how the person makes it work for them: “I love when you embrace what makes you quirky.”
So, how can you make your smile more attractive, but uniquely you? Here are a few ways to gain a smile that other people just might “crush” over.
Keep it clean. Actually, one of the best things you can do to maintain an attractive smile is to brush and floss daily to remove bacterial plaque. Consistent oral hygiene offers a “twofer”: It removes the plaque that can dull your teeth, and it lowers your risk of dental disease that could also foul up your smile. In addition to your daily oral hygiene routine at home, professional teeth cleanings are necessary to get at those hard-to-reach spots you miss with your toothbrush and floss and to remove tartar (calculus) that requires the use of special tools.
Brighten things up. Even with dedicated hygiene, teeth may still yellow from staining and aging. But teeth-whitening techniques can put the dazzle back in your smile. In just one visit to the dental office, it's possible to lighten teeth by up to ten shades for a difference you can see right away. It's also possible to do teeth whitening at home over several weeks using custom-made trays that fit over your teeth and safe whitening solutions that we provide.
Hide tooth flaws. Chipped, stained or slightly gapped teeth can detract from your smile. But bonding or dental veneers, thin layers of porcelain custom-made for your teeth, mask those unsightly blemishes. Minimally invasive, these techniques can turn a lackluster smile into one that gets noticed.
Straighten out your smile. Although the main goal for orthodontically straightening teeth is to improve dental health and function, it can also give you a more attractive smile. And even if you're well past your teen years, it's not too late: As long as you're reasonably healthy, you can straighten a crooked smile with braces or clear aligners at any age.
Sometimes a simple technique or procedure can work wonders, but perhaps your smile could benefit more from a full makeover. If this is your situation, talk to us about a more comprehensive smile renovation. Treatments like dental implants for missing teeth combined with various tooth replacement options, crown lengthening for gummy smiles or tooth extractions to help orthodontics can be combined to completely transform your smile.
There's no need to put up with a smile that's less than you want it to be. Whether a simple cosmetic procedure or a multi-specialty makeover, you can have a smile that puts the “crush” in “teeth crush.”
If you would like more information about cosmetic measures for enhancing your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Porcelain Veneers.”