Monday, November 18, 2013

Shockingly, Your Tooth Can Be Dead!

Did you know people can have a tooth that's dead?  It's true, just because a tooth is in your mouth, does not mean it is alive and well.  The inside structure of a tooth is living and can actually die requiring a treatment from a dentist.  People walk around every day with a tooth that needs attention, because it is dead.  So, let's take a look at the facts.

How does a tooth die?

The answer is multi-fold.  A tooth can die for different reasons, such as a deep cavity reaching the living part of the tooth called the pulp. When the pulp becomes infected with bacteria, it dies and a decaying process begins.

Trauma is another way a tooth can die. A sever blow can sever the nerve at the root tip causing it to die. Sometimes, it dies quickly or takes several years.

Dental procedures can cause a tooth to die.  Although the procedures are necessary, it can add stress to teeth, where it may not be able to withstand the drilling. The pulp inflames and dies.

Another reason a tooth can die is it fractures.  Some teeth crack deep into the pulp and can be repaired.  It is possible for the tooth to be cracked, and the only fix is an extraction.

Facts about a dead tooth are universal.

Generally a tooth becomes abscessed after the pulp dies, and requires a root canal to remove the dead, decaying tissue.  An abscess will form at the tip of the root and a pus pocket appear.  The puss formed in the area of the dead tissue, and if left go, will infect the bone around the root.  Sometimes, people develop a pimple on the gums, allowing the pus to drain.  This can cause a bad taste in the mouth.  The infection can spread to neighboring teeth.

In rare cases, people have died. Dead teeth require either a root canal therapy or an dental extraction.  If you have a dead tooth, see a dentist today!  Your health depends on it says +Kirk Kimmerling DDS.

Monday, November 11, 2013

What’s a Geographic or Fissured Tongue?

Most tongues are covered with tiny short, pinkish-white hair-like projections called papillae.  Some people are missing the projections on certain areas of the tongue, creating red spots with smooth raised borders and a map-like appearance.  This is called Geographic tongue.  Tongues can also have grooves of many shapes and sizes, a fissured tongue or scrotal tongue.  Let’s take a quick look at both.

The geographic tongue missing hair-like projections is not a cause for concern, as it is not cancer or infection.  The lesions can heal and reappear on different areas of the tongue in unlimited shapes and sizes.   It is also called benign migratory glossitis.  Although many have no symptoms, the lesions can cause discomfort or a burning sensation when eating spicy or acidic foods.  The cause of geographic tongue is unknown, however family history, genetics, aging and environmental factors are a consideration. 

People with geographic tongue many times also suffer another condition called fissured tongue or scrotal tongue.  The deep grooves in the surface of the tongue can cause discomfort, burning and soreness.  The grooves can differ in people considerable both in number, length, depth and orientation.  Fissures look can appear like maps of lakes and streams, sometimes branching from a large central furrow.

Always consult a dentist to eliminate more serious diseases of the tongue says Marietta dentist, Kirk Kimmerling DDS. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Red Gums, Purple Gums, Bleeding Gums and Gum Disease

The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. It is an inflammation and infection of the gingiva (gums) says a dentist in Marietta, GA.  Many times early gum disease can be reversed by a simple procedure called scaling and root planing performed by your dental office.  Others may need a more extensive gum tissue surgery to halt the disease.  Periodontal disease is usually the result of inadequate hygiene, so it can happen to people of all ages.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film that forms naturally in the mouth.  The plaque contains bacteria that produce toxins that inflame and damage the tissue and supporting bone structure of teeth. Gum tissue that is bright red, purplish-red or bleeds is usually a sign of gingivitis or more advanced disease.  If left untreated, it will advance and teeth will be lost.

Periodontal disease usually can be prevented with good oral hygiene.  Brushing, flossing and professional cleaning appointments are the best defense.  Many people do not realize they have gum disease, since discomfort is not present in the beginning.  At a regular professional cleaning, your dentist can recognize the signs and help patients reverse it, if it has not progressed too far.  If left alone, the health of the gum tissue will deteriorate and supporting bone structure will begin dissolve.  Tissue will recede and begin to pull away from the bacteria ridden teeth.  Pockets will form, continue to deepen, and teeth will eventually need extracted.

Let's examine some interesting facts concerning gum disease;
  • Gum disease can make getting pregnant and carrying a full-term pregnancy more difficult.
  • Hormonal changes, such as menstruation, pregnancy and menopause make it easier to develop gingivitis.
  • Certain illnesses such as HIV can put people at a higher risk for gum disease.
  • Smoking promotes gum disease by making it more difficult for tissue to repair itself.
  • Family's with a history of periodontal disease need to be aware it can contribute to developing gum disease.

What symptoms indicate possible gum disease?
  • Red, purplish-red gums
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Shifting Teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Pocketing around teeth
  • Change of your bite
  • Plaque or tartar buildup around teeth

At your professional cleaning, the bacteria, plaque and tartar will be removed from your teeth allowing the dentist to access the health of your mouth.  He can check for pocketing and measure around each tooth.  A deeper pocket is an indication of more serious gum disease.

The best method to maintain a healthy mouth is to do the following.
  • Purchase a Sonicare Toothbrush and brush at least twice a day for two minutes.
  • Floss daily, and learn to do it properly
  • Eat a well-balanced diet
  • Avoid grinding of your teeth
  • Avoid smoking
  • See a dentist at least twice a year to have your teeth cleaned

Studies confirm the close relationship between oral health and some disease.  The close relationship is the best reason oral hygiene should be high on the daily priority list. Keep your mouth healthy , and your efforts will mean a healthier you, says Marietta Dentist.