What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontitis is a serious gum infection that destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Periodontitis can cause tooth loss or worse, an increased risk of heart attack or stroke and other serious health problems.

The word periodontal literally means “surrounding a tooth.” Therefore, periodontal disease refers to when the gums, teeth, and bones around the teeth become infected, Periodontitis is common but largely preventable. It is manifested in two forms: periodontitis and gingivitis. Daily brushing and flossing and regular professional dental cleanings can greatly reduce your chance of developing periodontitis.


How is periodontal disease treated?

Scaling and root planing is a method of treating periodontal disease when pockets are greater than 3 mm.  Scaling is used to remove plaque and calculus below the gumline and the tooth’s surfaces will be smoothed or planed.  This allows the gum tissue to heal and makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.  A local anesthetic may be used to reduce any patient discomfort.


Why do I need a crown?

A crown is a dental restoration that braces and protects the tooth from fracturing under the heavy forces of biting and chewing as well as seals the tooth from the destructive and infectious affects of bacteria within the saliva.

A crown can be used to:

  • restore a tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to provide support for a large filling
  • attach a bridge to replace the missing teeth
  • protect a weak tooth from fracturing from decay or after a root canal
  • restore a fractured tooth
  • cover a badly shaped or discolored tooth
  • cover a dental implant

Does a root canal hurt?

You hear time and time again that root canals are painful.  Even in a popular kids movie, “Finding Nemo,” the fish watched the dentist perform a root canal from their aquarium as the patient flails and screams in pain as the dentist stabs him with his torture devices.

This may have been the case years ago, but this is not true anymore.

The procedure know at root canal therapy is done to remove the pulp tissue from the canal space that runs down the middle of the root of a tooth.  Once the pulp tissue is removed, a special root canal filling is placed within the root. The core of the tooth is then strengthened with a type of core build up. Then, normally a crown will go on top.

Root canals are done when decay, cracks, or old fillings or crowns go deep into the tooth. Often this causes a toothache. Many times, there is no preceding pain at all. These are also done when a tooth becomes infected, or abscessed. This condition can also be very painful, or it can exist and the patient has no idea it’s there.

How do I prevent cavities in my children?

Preventing tooth decay in children is especially important to preserve the natural spaces for adult teeth to grow in one day. Plus, cavities can cause pain for children, and ultimately other issues like; sleeplessness, unexplained sickness, fever, lack of eating and drinking, crankiness, and just plain old uncooperativeness. It can even cause social distress, because a child could lose confidence in themselves, they become self conscious, and other kids end up teasing them.

Proper dental care begins even before a baby’s first tooth appears. Remember that just because you can’t see the teeth doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Teeth actually begin to form in the second trimester of pregnancy. At birth your baby has 20 primary teeth, some of which are fully developed in the jaw.

Running a damp washcloth over your baby’s gums following feedings can prevent buildup of damaging bacteria. Once your child has a few teeth showing, you can brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush or rub them with gauze at the end of the day.

Even babies can have problems with dental decay when parents do not practice good feeding habits. Putting a baby to sleep with a bottle in his or her mouth may be convenient in the short term — but it can harm the baby’s teeth. When the sugars from juice or milk remain on a baby’s teeth for hours, they may eat away at the enamel, creating a condition known as bottle mouth. Pocked, pitted, or discolored front teeth are signs of bottle mouth. Severe cases result in cavities and the need to pull all the front teeth until the permanent ones grow in.

Parents and childcare providers should help young kids set specific times for drinking each day because sucking on a bottle throughout the day can be equally damaging to young teeth