The Affordable Dentists in Houston, Texas

​Home Remedies for Bleeding Gums

08-15-2017

By: Michelle Konstantinovsky

Photo Credit: On Pixabay, CC0 License.

Maybe you've been avoiding group photos or even dodging the mirror. The reason? You're finding it tough to flash a smile thanks to swollen, tender, bleeding gums.

The best way to tackle the problem is to brush and floss your teeth and keep up regular visits to your dentist. But you can also check out some home remedies, like rinsing with salt water or trying some herbal products.

What Home Remedies Can and Can't Do

There are many reasons your gums might bleed, but a common cause is gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease.

It happens when plaque, a sticky film made of bacteria, builds up on your teeth because of the starches and sugars in your food. If it stays on your teeth longer than a few days, it can harden under your gums and form a substance called tartar. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, so you may need your dentist to clean your teeth to prevent serious problems.

Home remedies can help with your bleeding gums, but they're not a cure-all. "Part of it you can do yourself, and part of it is impossible," says Craig Zunka, DDS, a Front Royal, VA, dentist and former president of the Holistic Dental Association. "It's not because we don't have good home remedies to use. It's because there's not a good delivery system and knowing how to get under the gum where the disease starts."

Zunka says that rinsing with any home remedy can only get as deep as 3 millimeters under the gums. "But people with gum disease develop little pockets around the teeth that are well in excess of 3 millimeters," he says. "The average is about 5-6, and if it's advanced, it can be 7 to 9."

To get that far down below the gumline, you can't rely on rinsing with remedies alone, Zunka says. He suggests you use a tool called an irrigator, which can help deliver the substance you're using into those deep pockets.

The best way to keep your mouth healthy is to brush and floss your teeth, rinse every day with an antibacterial mouthwash, and keep up with your dentist appointments. Adding some natural treatments to that routine may offer some benefits, but the results can vary from person to person.

"Nothing replaces going to the dentist, but yes, home remedies can be worth a shot," says Mimi Leung, a dental hygienist in San Francisco. "They're usually done with something easy to get and natural. And if you don't notice improvement, you can always go back to the dentist for a recommended treatment."

"Anything you do helps," Zunka says. "And the home remedies can be really effective, especially if you're able to take a sample of the bacteria that's under your gums and use treatments specific to that bacteria."

Work with your dentist, who can figure out the type of bacteria you have and keep track of your progress. It can improve your odds of reaching your gum health goals.

Salt Water

Zunka says rinsing with salt water is a good age-old home remedy that dries up bacteria. To get the most out of your saltwater solution, he suggests you add two other ingredients: baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. They help destroy the bacteria and clean the area.

"Take a little Tupperware container and make a 50/50 mix of salt and baking soda," Zunka says. "Then dip your toothbrush into the hydrogen peroxide and massage your gums and brush your teeth."

Leung agrees that salt water can help, but she cautions people with certain health conditions. "Salt water can help soothe the tissues some, but you have to be careful in patients with high blood pressure," Leung says. She says water that's too salty can actually irritate the tissues in your mouth, so start with a small amount.

Oil Pulling

There's been a lot of discussion in recent years about the possible health benefits of an ancient practice known as oil pulling. It involves swishing oil in your mouth for a period of time to treat conditions that range from migraines to diabetes. Some use it to help with bleeding gums.

The American Dental Association says there isn't enough evidence to support the use of oil pulling to treat gingivitis. A handful of studies, though, show there may be benefits.

For oil pulling, many people rinse with an edible oil like sesame, olive, coconut, or sunflower for anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes. Talk to your dentist before you

Dairy and Crunchy Foods

Milk products have calcium, a nutrient that strengthens your teeth. A 2008 study in the Journal of Periodontology found that people who regularly ate dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, had less gum disease.

Snacking on carrots and celery may help too, but it may be due to their crunch factor, rather than any nutrients they have.

"Crunchy foods can help take the plaque off your teeth, but I haven't seen anything specific about the vitamin A in carrots," Zunka says.

Also, when you chew, your mouth makes more saliva, which washes away food particles and acids that can cause damage. Veggies are also low in sugar and high in water and fiber, which helps clean your teeth.

Herbs and Oils

There's some research that suggests that rinsing with some herbs and oils can help cut down bacteria and inflammation in your mouth.

Zunka says there's a product that's sold over the counter that has peppermint, red thyme, cinnamon bark, Eucalyptus globulus, and lavender oils, as well as extracts from herbs like echinacea. Some researchers say it may help reduce your plaque and gum inflammation.

Zunka also recommends an herb called calendula, commonly known as marigold, for sore gums. Some evidence suggests that it's helpful in fighting plaque and gingivitis.

He says arnica is a good remedy for soreness but adds that it's best to dilute powerful solutions like pure oregano oil, since they can damage your tissue if you use them at full strength.

​Prognathism or Extended Chin

08-07-2017

By: Medline Plus

Prognathism is an extension or bulging out (protrusion) of the lower jaw (mandible). It occurs when the teeth are not properly aligned due to the shape of the face bones.

Prognathism may cause malocclusion (misalignment of the biting surfaces of the upper and lower teeth). It can give a person an angry, or fighter's appearance. Prognathism may be a symptom of other syndromes or conditions.

Causes

An extended (protruding) jaw can be part of a person's normal face shape that is present at birth.

It can also be caused by inherited conditions, such as Crouzon syndrome or basal cell nevus syndrome.

It may develop over time in children or adults as the result of conditions such as gigantism or acromegaly.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

A dentist or orthodontist may be able to treat abnormal alignment of the jaw and teeth. Your primary health care provider should also be involved to check for underlying medical disorders that can be associated with prognathism.

Call a provider if:

You have difficulty talking, biting, or chewing related to the abnormal jaw alignment.

You have concerns about jaw alignment.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will perform a physical exam and ask questions regarding your medical history. Questions may include:

Is there any family history of an unusual jaw shape?

Is there difficulty talking, biting, or chewing?

What other symptoms do you have?

Diagnostic tests may include:

Skull x-ray

Dental x-rays

Imprints of the bite (a plaster mold is made of the teeth)

This condition may be treated with surgery. An oral surgeon, plastic facial surgeon, or ENT specialist may perform this surgery.

How works? Let´s check the video...


​Why do I Need Teeth Removed for my Braces?

08-02-2017

By: Dr. JorgeBnsen

Photo Credit: On Pexels, CC0 License.

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Dentist Extraction“I want a perfect smile, but I don’t want any teeth removed!” This is one of the most common things that I hear from patients during their initial exam in my office. Why do orthodontists recommend that some patients have teeth removed but not others? Why are teeth sometimes extracted as part of having braces?

All of us have two sets of teeth, primary (baby) and permanent (adult). One of the first things your orthodontist will do at your initial consultation is take inventory of which teeth are in your mouth. Although everyone is different, baby teeth usually fall out by a certain age and in a certain order. They can create orthodontic problems if they fall out too early or too late. If they fall out too early, your orthodontist can help you devise a plan for maintaining the space until the permanent replacements come in. If they don’t fall out soon enough, they may create an orthodontic problem or signal that one already exists. Removing primary teeth is sometimes necessary for the normal eruption and development of the teeth that will come in later.

While most parents have no concerns regarding the removal of primary teeth, some do when the permanent ones are involved. There are a variety of reasons why permanent teeth may need to be removed for braces, but here there are three main ones:

The first is crowding. When the amount of space required to align the teeth is less than the space available, either the size of the arches must be increased or the number (or size) of teeth reduced. Mild to moderate crowding can be addressed with expanders and braces alone up until about age 15. (After that, surgery may be necessary to re-open the sutures.) The amount of expansion may be limited by the bone structure, the facial appearance, or the supporting tissues. If a patient has moderate to severe crowding and insufficient gums or bone, permanent teeth will need to be removed to provide the necessary room.

The second reason is protrusion. The position of the lips is determined by the underlying teeth. If the front teeth are already protrusive, removing some on the sides will allow the orthodontist to move the teeth backwards to improve the lip posture. If the lips are in good position already but the underlying teeth are crooked, removing teeth may be necessary to prevent making the teeth and lips stick out.

The third reason is to correct an overbite or underbite. If the upper an lower jaw sizes are mismatched, the ideal treatment is to surgically reposition them. In most patients however, the jaw size discrepancy is small enough that the teeth can be moved to “compensate” for the problem. This eliminates the need for jaw surgery in the majority of overbite patients and some underbite patients. A patient with a moderate overbite is usually receptive to the idea of having two upper bicuspids removed if it prevents the need for surgery.

There are a variety of other reasons your orthodontist may suggest the removal of teeth as part of your treatment. These include asymmetries and missing, impacted, or extra teeth. Treatment is usually faster for your orthodontist if teeth are NOT removed, so you can assume that if he does recommend extractions, they must really be necessary. As always, ask your doctor for a complete explanation of your specific treatment plan. Educated patients are the best patients!





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