Posts for: May, 2014

By drscotto@drscotto.com
May 27, 2014
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Schenectady gum diseaseOur teeth tend to get much more attention than our gums. Since the gums aren’t the prominent part of the smile, they can be overlooked. It's time to improve periodontal awareness! Your gums are actually an important source of support – and a crucial part of your overall oral health. 

When your gums are in trouble, they’ll start to show some signs of impending problems. Pay close attention to your gum line and you’ll be able to respond right away. Early periodontal treatment will help prevent serious damage from taking hold.

Early Signs of Gum Disease

When your gums are healthy, they should not look dark in color, swollen, or feel tender. They should be pink, smooth, and tight around the teeth. If you notice your gums bleeding when you floss, don’t panic: this is more likely a result of infrequent flossing, rather than disease. If you haven’t been flossing daily, your gums can bleed slightly when you take regular flossing up. The discomfort should fade within a week of consistent oral hygiene (and if it doesn't, then there may be a bigger problem).

Diseased gums are a different story. When your oral hygiene isn’t sufficient, plaque begins to build up on your tooth surfaces and tooth roots. The presence of additional bacteria causes your gums to become irritated and inflamed. At this point, you are experiencing gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. When your gums are beginning to suffer, you may start to see a few changes taking place in your mouth. If disease is allowed to progress, these will intensify. The most common include:

  • Red or purple gums
  • Tender, painful gums
  • Gums that bleed easily (often when you floss or brush)
  • Swollen, puffy gums
  • Loose-feeling teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth, with pockets forming between them
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Pus at the gum line
  • A change in your bite

Gum disease is a particularly sinister dental problem because it can advance without betraying symptoms (taking a silent hold). For this reason, it’s absolutely necessary that you schedule regular dental exams. If the signs of disease aren’t apparent enough for you to notice them on your own, Dr. Scotto will be able to pinpoint problems and take action.

Why We Strive to Detect Periodontal Disease ASAPSchenectady periodontal treatment

As gum disease advances, it damages your teeth, gums, and bone. The gum line will recede and change, altering your smile. Your teeth will lose support and feel loose or shift, making your bite uncomfortable. If the disease becomes serious, tooth loss could occur. By catching gum disease early on, we can prevent these problems. Treatment will be less invasive, and there will be a lower chance of gum disease returning.

Periodontal Treatment in Schenectady

Exactly what does periodontal disease treatment entail? The first step will be something similar to a standard teeth cleaning. Scaling and root planing, also referred to as deep cleaning, remove plaque from teeth and tooth roots (below the gum line). SRP is typically accompanied by local anesthesia, so that patients don’t experience discomfort. Patients may also benefit from the use of antibiotics to help prevent the return of disease.

Post-periodontal disease, patients need to take a few extra precautions. There will be a certain oral hygiene regimen to follow that may involve medicated mouthwash or special flossing practices. We will outline everything you can do to fight recurring problems. You may need to visit our office more frequently in the future, so that we can monitor for signs of returning problems.

If you ever have questions about your periodontal health, we would love to help. Simply contact our office for answers.

Schenectady Periodontal Treatment | Schenectady Gum Disease | Schenectady Periodontal Disease

By drscotto@drscotto.com
May 08, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
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Schenectady mouth guardWe all want our smiles to last. The emotional, social, and professional benefits that stem from strong, gorgeous teeth are immeasurable. If there were a preventive step you could take today to see healthier teeth down the line, wouldn’t you choose to take it? That prevention is exactly what a mouth guard can offer. Depending on your habits and your dental needs, a guard could protect your enamel and keep your beautiful smile in place. Read on to learn more about whether a mouth guard has a role to play in your life.

When A Mouth Guard Makes Sense

The phrase “mouth guard” refers to any kind of apparatus that fits into your mouth to protect some aspect of your dental health. Different guards vary to fit the patient’s individual needs. They are typically made of plastic.

In general, a guard is recommended when your mouth is exposed to the potential for damage. What does this mean, exactly? If there’s a chance that your teeth could be harmed, then it’s wise to wear the guard before that can occur. Potential sources of dental trauma include teeth grinding, physical activity, and TMJ disorders. Different types of mouth guards accommodate the forces behind each of these problems. By protecting your enamel, stabilizing your jaw, or manipulating oral tissues in another way, a guard allows your to take control of the issue.

Common types of mouth guards include:

  1. Grinding Guard – Bruxism is a common problem among adults. Chronic teeth grinding and clenching affects quality of sleep, causes gums to recede, breaks existing dental work, and damages enamel. It most often takes place during the night, when you aren’t conscious of your jaw muscle contractions. Because grinding can be aggravated by stress, and because it’s an unconscious action, it’s tough to take control of your bruxing. A mouth guard will fit over the teeth, protecting them from the forces of grinding.
  2. Sports Guard – During athletic activity, your teeth are likely to get jostled or bumped. A guard protects your teeth from catastrophes, and can prevent the need for restorative surgery after an accident on the field.
  3. TMJ Splint – A TMJ disorder takes hold when your jaw muscles routinely behave in harmful ways. By stabilizing the lower jaw, a TMJ guard protects the jaw joint from becoming inflamed, exhausted, or damaged. This type of guard usually connects the upper and lower jaws to control jaw movement.
  4. Sleep Apnea Guard – A mouth guard can actually help assuage the effects of snoring and sleep apnea. Some types of sleep apnea can be treated with a guard that pulls the tongue slightly forward, leaving the airway unobstructed. 

Occlusal Guards Available at Our Schenectady Office

Schenectady mouth guardWhile patients choose to get over-the-counter (OTC) guards, we recommend custom-made guards. These are made by a dental lab from impressions of your teeth, and fit perfectly. Patients feel comfortable when wearing custom guards, and the guards are likely to be more effective at protecting against the target problem. A recent study published in General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s clinical journal, actually found that athletes using OTC guards were more likely to experience mild concussions than those wearing custom guards. Why not protect your teeth (and your brain!) as well as possible?

If you’re interested in getting a custom guard, schedule an appointment. Dr. Scotto will examine your mouth and determine the proper guard type. We will then take impressions to make a precise, well-fitting guard. Don’t hesitate to take the best possible care of your teeth, your jaw, and your well-being.




Robert M. Scotto, D.D.S.
615 Union St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
518-374-9770

  

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