Answering Your Top Periodontal Disease FAQs: Protect Your Gums!

Periodontal (gum) disease has been estimated to affect nearly 50% of American adults, though many people suffering from the condition are unaware that they have it. Our goal at Redmond Art of Dentistry is to prevent oral health issues and educate our patients to help you enjoy a lifetime of optimal dental health.

Here are a few of the most common questions we hear from patients when it comes to gum disease:

What Causes Gum Disease? How Can I Prevent It?

Gum disease is typically caused by poor oral hygiene, though genetics and other factors can play a role. If you do not brush and floss properly, bacteria will begin to form into plaque and tartar, and build up in the spaces between your gums and teeth. Over time, the bacteria will begin to infect the gum tissue, causing inflammation and damage to the gums and the supporting structures of your teeth.

The best way to prevent gum disease is by brushing 2-3 times per day for two minutes, and flossing at least once per day. It’s also important to see the dentist every six months for a check-up and teeth cleaning to remove plaque and tartar.

There are also lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of gum disease, such as ceasing tobacco use and reducing your alcohol intake, as well as maintaining a healthy diet.

Is Gingivitis Reversible?

Yes. Gingivitis is the term used to refer to the first stage of gum disease. This stage of the disease causes inflammation of the gums, but does not cause permanent damage. With proper care, you can reverse the disease and eliminate it completely. At our office, we perform a scaling and root planing procedure for patients with gingivitis to help remove bacteria from underneath your gums and in between your teeth.

However, if you do not seek treatment, your gingivitis may progress into periodontitis. This stage of gum disease is not reversible. The damage done by periodontitis can be minimized and controlled with periodontal maintenance appointments, but you will have the disease for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s so important to get help right away.

Do I Have Gum Disease? What Are the Signs and Symptoms?

There are a few common signs of gum disease that you can look out for. The most common symptoms of disease include:

Gum sensitivity
Gums that appear purplish or dark red
Gum inflammation and puffiness
Bleeding when brushing or flossing
Increased sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure

As gum disease gets worse, other symptoms may include:

  • Halitosis (persistent bad breath)
  • A foul taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away
  • A shift in how your teeth fit together
  • Loosening of one or more teeth, or total tooth loss
  • Crown lengthening (teeth appearing longer due to gum recession)

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you may have gum disease. Contactthe team at Redmond Art of Dentistry to get proper care right away.

My Gums Are Bleeding When I Brush or Floss. Do I Have Gum Disease?

Not necessarily. If you are brushing too hard or using a very stiff-bristled brush, your gums may bleed even if they’re healthy. Bleeding when flossing is also common if you have not maintained a flossing routine in the past, and will usually go away after you’ve flossed consistently for a few weeks. However, if you notice that your gums are bleeding and you also recognize other signs of gum disease as mentioned above, come in for a consultation with Dr. Bickel to ensure that you get the proper treatment.

Have More Questions? Come See Us Today!

At Redmond Art of Dentistry, Dr. Bickel is an expert in periodontal care. If you believe you have gum disease, come in for an appointment right away so our team can give you the care you need to reverse and halt gum disease. Give us a call at (425) 386-7599, or stop by our office at 16455 NE 85th Street, Suite #101, Redmond, WA 98052 for more information.

Can I Really Get a Toothache From Being on an Airplane?

If you’ve ever flown on a plane and experienced a serious toothache that seemed to come out of nowhere, you may be wondering what happened and how you can prevent it from happening again. Air travel is stressful and uncomfortable enough as it is without having to worry about a toothache, too!

Wondering if flying can really cause you to get a toothache, and what to do about it? Find out in this blog post from Redmond Art of Dentistry now!

Can Flying Really Cause a Toothache?

Yes! It’s not all in your head. Flying really can cause a toothache, and the pain can be quite intense. If you’ve never experienced this phenomenon yourself, consider yourself lucky. The pain from a toothache while flying can be quite intense. Why does this happen? Read on and find out.

What Causes Toothaches on Airplanes?

The reason you can get a toothache on an airplane is the same reason that your ears “pop” as you ascend. Airplane cabins are pressurized to maintain proper atmospheric pressure, but usually to a “height” of about 6000-8000 feet above sea level.

As you rise, air expands because there is less atmospheric pressure pushing down on it. This is what causes a toothache! If you have a piece of dental work with an air pocket or tooth decay that has resulted in a trapped air bubble, it will try to expand. If it has nowhere to go, it may press down on your tooth and the underlying nerves, causing a toothache.

It’s important to note that this only happens to unhealthy teeth. Teeth that have a filling should not have air pockets. If a tooth that has been filled becomes painful during a flight, it is a sign that the filling needs to be replaced. If you have a toothache on an airplane, you need dental treatment to restore your teeth!

How Do I Prevent a Toothache on an Airplane?

The best way to prevent yourself from getting a toothache on an airplane is to fix the tooth that is causing the problem. You may have a cavity in one of your teeth that you have not yet noticed, or your old dental work may be failing. Either way, this can lead to an air pocket, and that leads to a toothache in the lower-pressure environment of an airplane. So don’t wait. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bickel now so that you can get your mouth checked out, and determine the source of your issue.

Can I Do Anything About My Toothache While I Fly?

If you don’t have time to see a dentist before your flight, you can treat yourself with ibuprofen and a topical numbing agent like Orajel. This is not a permanent solution, though. Getting a toothache on an airplane is a sign that you need further oral care, so it is important to see a dentist as soon as you can after your trip!

Get Help If You Get Toothaches on Airplanes – Contact Us Now!

You don’t have to live with the pain of a toothache. Dr. Daniel Bickel is an experienced restorative dentist and can treat the cause of your toothache, whether it’s a failing piece of dental work or a cavity. Contact us now at (425) 386-7599 or stop by our office at 16455 NE 85th Street, Suite #101, Redmond, WA 98052 to get started.

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