July 29th, 2014
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease includes gingivitis (the early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (a more advanced stage of the disease). The condition, which studies have indicated afflicts nearly 80 percent of Americans at some point in their life, causes a chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. You can prevent periodontal disease by brushing and flossing regularly, visiting your dentist twice a year for exams and cleaning, and sticking to a healthy, balanced diet.
Making sure that you practice good dental habits is one of the simplest things that you can do to avoid gum disease. These include:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day with toothpaste containing fluoride. Make sure to brush all sides of your teeth, including brushing your tongue as plaque can cause bad breath, also known as halitosis. We recommend chewing sugar-free gum, especially one containing xylitol, a sugar substitute.
- Using an electric toothbrush removes plaque more effectively than a regular toothbrush. Look for one that has the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval or ask Dr. Johnny Bear during your next visit.
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash such as Listerine. Fluoride or antiplaque mouthwash is also helpful at killing off bacteria in the mouth.
- Flossing once a day helps get rid of particles of food wedged in the crevices between your teeth. Simply curve the floss around each tooth into a U-shape, and slide it gently under the gum line. Move the floss firmly up and down several times to scrape off the plaque. If you’re not sure which floss to buy or how to floss, ask Dr. Johnny Bear during your next visit.
To learn more about preventing gum disease, or to schedule your next visit with Dr. Johnny Bear, please give us a call today!
July 22nd, 2014
Invisalign, which we happily provide at West Jefferson Dental Center, is a great alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment if you've been apprehensive about the thought of metal braces. During your initial visit, the first thing we do is take an impression of your teeth as they are now and digitize it. Using special software, we look at the current positioning of your teeth and compare it to the way your teeth should look.
Invisalign treatment, which consists of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every couple of weeks, can help patients with crowded teeth, crossbites, overbites, underbites and more. Invisalign gradually shifts your teeth into place, creating the dazzling smile you’ve always wanted. During treatment with Dr. Johnny Bear, patients wear the aligners all day and night, except for during meals and when they’re brushing and flossing; cleaning your teeth and eating are a snap since you can easily remove your aligners! And because they’re clear, no one will know that your teeth are steadily straightening!
To find out if you are the right candidate for Invisalign treatment, we invite you to give us a call at our convenient Marrero, LA office and schedule a consultation.
July 15th, 2014
Our team at West Jefferson Dental Center will tell you brushing on a regular basis is critical for a healthy mouth, but you can definitely overdo a good thing. Known as “toothbrush abrasion,” over brushing can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums, not to mention the wearing down of the protective layers of your tooth enamel. Over brushing can also push back your gums, and in the process, expose the dentin layer under the enamel.
“So, how do I avoid over brushing?”
- Use a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush to prevent gum damage and wear on the soft tooth dentin
- Keep in mind which direction bristles face when you brush. They should be perpendicular, not parallel. Place the head of your toothbrush with the tips of the bristles at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and brush away!
- Move the toothbrush with short strokes and a scrubbing motion, several times in each spot – don’t saw back and forth across the teeth with your toothbrush.
- Apply just enough pressure to feel the bristles against the gums. If you are squashing the bristles, you're brushing too hard.
- Replace your toothbrush when you notice frayed and bent bristles.
- Brush for two minutes at a time
If you have any questions about proper brushing techniques, ask us about it at your next appointment or give us a call today!
July 8th, 2014
If you are expecting, it is critical to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure both your health and the health of your little one. This includes maintaining your regimen of brushing twice per day and flossing. It also includes regular visits to our Marrero, LA office, as recommended by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), who suggest that women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy undergo a periodontal evaluation.
Women who are pregnant are particularly susceptible to gingivitis, a mild form of periodontal disease that is characterized by reddening, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. It is a condition that is not to be overlooked and can be treated and reversed by Dr. Johnny Bear.
Research at the University of North Carolina has indicated a connection between periodontal disease and an increased risk of low birth weight, a serious issue that affects roughly one in ten babies born in the United States. Low birth-weight babies may be at risk to have respiratory, intestinal, and heart issues. They also face long-term health problems such as vision and hearing loss, delayed motor skills, and potential learning disabilities, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Besides the possibility of leading to low birth weight of your baby, gingivitis, if left undetected and untreated, can also lead to periodontitis, a much more serious gum disease that attacks the gum tissue and the bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal diseases can lead to tooth loss and are associated with other serious conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Maintaining periodontal health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Seeking timely treatment for gum disease is important not just for your personal health, but also for the health of your baby. Early diagnosis of periodontal disease can give you peace of mind that both you and your baby will be healthy. To learn more about preventing gum disease, or to schedule your periodontal evaluation or cleaning at West Jefferson Dental Center, please give us a call today!