The Link Between Heart Disease and Gum Health [INFOGRAPHIC]

You probably know that proper brushing and flossing can help you have healthy teeth and gums. Did you also know that your oral hygiene can have a significant impact on the health of the rest of your body? Though researchers have yet to determine the exact relationship, periodontal disease has been shown to be connected to heart disease. It’s possible that the inflammation from gum disease affects the blood vessels, contributing to atherosclerosis. If you have red, swollen, or tender gums, it’s important to visit a periodontist serving Middletown for the benefit of your oral health and your overall health. Take a look at this infographic to learn more about periodontal disease and how it could be related to your heart health. Please share with your friends and family!

Gum Disease Infographic

Tips for Brushing Your Teeth When You Have Braces

When you first get braces near Middletown or Walden, one of the first things you’ll discover is how the process of brushing your teeth is not what it once was. However, keeping up with your oral hygiene is essential for preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It can seem challenging at first, but with a little practice and a bit of know-how, you’ll soon be brushing and flossing around your braces like a pro.

Start by brushing both above and below each bracket, angling the toothbrush toward the bracket to remove any food or bacteria that may have accumulated there. Next, use a proxy brush or orthodontic pick to clean the vertical space between the teeth. If you need a little more help or visual demonstration, check out this video. Your orthodontist will also be more than happy to show you how to brush with braces, so don’t be afraid to ask the next time you have an appointment if you’re still not quite sure that you have it down right.

What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

If you begin to experience symptoms of an oral health problem that involves your gums, it’s a good idea to visit a periodontist serving Middletown or Walden. The most common cause of gum problems is periodontal disease, which can become quite severe when left untreated. You may have periodontal disease if you have noticed any of the following symptoms.

Gums Are Red, Swollen, Tender, or Bleed Easily
Because periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, early symptoms are typically inflammation and irritation. Gums may bleed when you brush your teeth or floss, or they may appear red or purplish. Brushing and flossing may cause some discomfort due to gum tenderness. You may also experience a malodorous breath and have a bad taste in your mouth, no matter how often you Periodontist serving Middletown brush or rinse with mouthwash.

Gums Recede from the Teeth
When periodontal disease progresses beyond the first stage—called gingivitis—damage to the soft tissues begins. You may notice that your teeth appear longer than before. This is usually due to the gums pulling away, or receding, from the teeth in response to the infection. Pockets form and deepen between the gums and teeth, giving food and bacteria more spaces to hide and do damage; pus may even be present in these pockets. You may notice increased tooth sensitivity as well, as more of each tooth’s root becomes exposed.

Teeth Become Loose or Shift in Position
If you do not seek treatment from your dentist or periodontist in the early stages of periodontal disease , its progression can lead to loose teeth and eventual tooth loss. As the infection erodes away the soft and connective tissues in the gums, there will be less and less left to hold the teeth in place. This can cause the teeth to develop gaps between them, or shift out of place completely and cause a maligned bite.

Spotlight on TMJ

TMJ syndrome is a relatively common disorder that affects the muscles and nerves in and around the joint in the jaw. Patients experiencing discomfort with their TMJ may not even recognize the source of their pain, much less that there are treatment options available for TMJ near Middletown or Walden.

Since TMJ disorders can have a variety of causes, it’s best to visit your dental office for evaluation. A skilled dentist will take factors such as your lifestyle, anatomy, and risk factors into consideration to try to determine what’s causing your discomfort. After the likely cause has been identified, your dentist will offer you a treatment plan. This can range from wearing a nightguard when sleeping to undergoing surgery in the most severe cases.

Since the treatment for TMJ depends on the cause, it’s important not to attempt to self-diagnose and treat. You could end up doing more harm than good and creating more problems for yourself. If you have pain, popping or clicking in the jaw, facial swelling, or any other symptoms of TMJ syndrome, schedule an appointment at your dentist’s office for assessment.

TMJ near Middletown

Get the Facts about Orthodontic Care

Orthodontic braces have the ability to completely transform a person’s appearance and oral health for the better. Before investing in orthodontics in Middletown or Walden, however, it’s important to understand both why you or your child may need them, as well as what is involved. Braces are a commitment that must be taken seriously if optimal results are to be reached. Here’s what you need to know:

Orthodontics Improve More than Appearance
You can have teeth that appear straight and still need braces. Orthodontics are designed to correct the alignment of your teeth, which includes your bite. If your bite is maligned, it can place excess force on your biting surfaces, create difficulty in eating and speaking, and even increase your risk for developing a TMJ disorder.

Orthodontics in Middletown

Choosing the Right Orthodontist Is Essential
Getting orthodontic treatment is an investment in your smile, so it only makes sense to choose a board-certified orthodontist who has completed the extra training beyond dental school required to ensure optimal results. Don’t feel like you have to go with the first orthodontist that you consult with; it is highly encouraged to seek two to three opinions before beginning treatment, especially if extractions have been recommended. Keep in mind that you’ll be spending approximately the next two years, or maybe even longer, with the orthodontist you choose.

Proper Hygiene and Maintenance Are Vital
Failure to brush and floss as recommended can lead to a host of problems you simply don’t want to deal with any time, but especially when you have braces. Dental decay and periodontal disease can wreak havoc on the investment you’ve made, and may set back or require your treatment to end altogether. You could end up with a mouth full of perfectly straight, yet decayed or stained teeth after your treatment of you are not vigilant about your oral hygiene.