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Many people think it is okay for some gum bleeding during brushing or flossing but that is simply not true. Bleeding gums equal unhealthy gums. Periodontal disease canBleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS creep up silently attacking your gums and bone in your mouth. This is especially important with recent studies showing periodontal disease being linked to systemic diseases like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.

In most cases, inflamed, swollen and bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis. However,  there are a number of other factors that could be causing your gum problems. Whatever the cause of sore, painful gums, there are steps you can take to minimize gum damage and discomfort. Some people avoid dental cleanings at home or in the dental office because it always makes them bleed. What they need to understand is, that the only reason they are bleeding is because they have become inflamed. Once you have your teeth cleaned and are taught proper oral hygiene techniques, it takes about 2 weeks of bleeding gums before they heal and stop bleeding. You just have to put up with some soreness and tough it out to get results. Once your gums have healed you will be amazed how good they feel, and how the bleeding just stops.

Reasons For Gum Inflammation and Bleeding

Poor dental hygiene

-Open mouth breathing

Medication causing tissue overgrowth, or poor healing

-Acid reflux (GERD)

-Poor nutrition

-Systemic Disease

Other Factors That Cause Bleeding Gums

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy has many side effects. One of those side effects can include painful, swollen, and bleeding gums. Another gum issue from chemotherapy is stomatitis. This

Bleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS

causes the development of painful sores and ulcers on the gums and throughout the mouth.

Tobacco use

Smoking or using other tobacco products can be very damaging to your gum tissue, and people who smoke are much more likely to develop periodontal disease than those who do not. Smokers often find that their smoking habit gives you a number of gum problems from sensitive gums that bleed to painful sores in your mouth.

Hormone Irregularities

Some women find that they experience gum problems during menstruation or pregnancy (and even menopause). The hormonal increase during puberty can elevate blood flow to the gums, making them red, swollen, and sensitive. For women with menstrual gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen, and have an increased likelihood to bleed shortly before each menstrual period. These problems typically subside after menstruation begins. Pregnancy gingivitis typically starts in the second or third month of pregnancy and continues through the eighth month, causing sore, swollen, and bleeding gums. The use of birth control products (oral and injectables) may cause similar gum problems. Though uncommon, some women going through menopause may find that their gums become extremely dry and therefore sore and more likely to bleed.

 Gum Damage From Brushing and Flossing

The most common cause of bleeding gums is not following proper techniques when flossing and brushing. This allows harmful bacteria to accumulate, and can lead to damage to your gums. The gingival tissue in the mouth can be strengthened considerably with proper hygiene. Normal brushing and flossing of healthy, pink, firm gum tissue does not elicit bleeding.

Whether you choose a manual or electric toothbrush, choose one with soft nylon bristles that have blunted ends. Even though you can find brushes with medium or hard bristles, they may damage the enamel on your teeth or cause gum recession.

When you brush, make sure you use gentle, circular motions to massage and clean the teeth and gums. While many people use a back-and-forth motion, this motion canBleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS actually irritate and damage your gums, making them sore and more likely to recede.

We all know the importance of flossing every day to help remove plaque from places where your toothbrush cannot reach. Make sure that you have been taught to properly floss and brush by a professional.Be gentle and thorough when you brush and when you floss. Floss between your teeth by carefully sliding it up and down, following the curve of each tooth, and do not use a shoeshine or slicing motion.

Stages Of Periodontal Disease

Recent studies show 50-75% of American adults over the age of 35 suffer from some form of periodontal disease. The majority with periodontal disease have the earliest form, called gingivitis (reversible with treatment), about 10-15% of the population has the much more advanced type of periodontal disease known as periodontitis (controllable but not reversible).

Poor oral hygiene leads to a build up of bacteria and plaque in the mouth around teeth. This build up of bacteria may cause your gums to become inflamed, which results in red, swollen, or bleeding gums. Most people with gingivitis do not notice any symptoms initially. If you diagnose gingivitis early, it can be reversed and healed with proper oral hygiene maintenance. Gingivitis, if left untreated, can and will progress, and ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

-Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums

-Gums that bleed during and after toothbrushing or during flossing.

-Loose teeth

-Shifting of teeth or changes in the way your teeth bite together

-Persistent bad breath (halitosis) or a foul taste in the mouth

-Receding Gums

Bleeding Gums Marielaina Perrone DDS

-Red, swollen, or tender gums

As gingivitis progresses, it develops into periodontitis. This a condition in which the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place can begin to break down. The bacteria on the

teeth release toxic substances that harm your gums and cause them to become infected. The infection and the inflammation that result when your body attacks the bacteria can break down your gums and the bone in your jaw supporting the teeth. You may experience exceptionally swollen, painful gums that are likely to bleed. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

Tips To Prevent Bleeding Gums

Visit dentist regularly.  This should include dental examinations, x-rays, and professional cleanings.

-Brush Twice a Day and follow proper brushing technique. If you’re not sure what to do, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for a quick lesson at your next visit.

-Floss daily. Flossing takes but a minute or two a day to do but the effects are far reaching in terms of keeping you gums healthy.

-Eat a well-balanced nutritious diet.

-Stay Hydrated by Drinking plenty of water.

-Do Not Smoke!

-Relax. Being stressed out raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol, increasing the likelihood of inflammation throughout your body, including in your gums.

Conclusion

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is not a difficult job. It just requires knowing the proper techniques, creating daily habits, and visiting your dentist on a regular basis for check ups and professional cleanings. In the long run it will be well worth it as you save your teeth for a lifetime!

Most people would love a bright, white smile. A smile is one of the first things people notice when they meet or greet us. Did you know there are ways you can achieve this at home during your regular schedule as well as with some help from your dentist?

A smile that is dull and lifeless tends to make us feel less confident about ourselves and in turn makes us look older than we really are to people we meet. Whereas a bright shiny sparkle, gives people a self confidence boost as well as change how people look at them. Studies have shown people with whiter, brighter smiles are almost always percieved by others to be younger than they really are.

Luckily, there are some ways to maintain a white bright smile both on our own as well as with help from your dentist.

Top Tips for a Whiter, Brighter Smile

Focus on Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene. It is amazing how little time it takes in our day to keep our teeth brushed, flossed, and rinsed and still many of us do not find the time to do it right. Brushing at least twice a day is recommended (but brushing after every meal is even better!), flossing at least once a day and rinsing with an antibacterial or fluoride rinse. Flossing reaches areas even the best brushers and rinsing cannot ever dare to reach. If a build up of plaque is allowed to go unchecked it will make it easier for stains from foods, red wines, or tobacco to accumulate. A great product to try is Periogen, it removes stains, tartar, and plaque between dental cleanings.

Keep Away From the Enemy. Avoid or minimize the intake of sugary drinks and foods, especially sticky candies (like gummy bears or fruit roll-ups). Acidic foods (like citrus juices) may appear healthy but are not very good for maintaining a neutral balance in your mouth or for your teeth. High intake of sugar and acids, and repetitive intake of them, can weaken tooth enamel and create an environment for cavity causing bacteria to grow and thrive. This can eventually result in enamel wear, tooth decay and discoloration on the teeth.

There are many foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth. These include red wine, coffee, tea, and sodas. A big no-no if you want to keep your teeth white and bright, is tobacco use. Smoking will yellow your teeth and age you very quickly.

Change your Diet. Maintaining a healthy mouth is directly connected with keeping your smile as bright and white as possible. You need to start with a balanced diet with certain nutrients to help keep away oral health problems that can take away from a beautiful smile. These problems include, tooth cavities, tooth erosion, and periodontal disease. Some of the best foods for teeth and mouth are foods high in calcium and low in fat. These include milk, cheeses, cruciferous vegetables (these are mainly green leafy vegetables like broccoli), or soy products.

Vitamin C is another very important nutrient that helps maintain strong teeth by working as an antioxidant to repair tissue and prevent disease-causing bacteria from penetrating the gums. The cruciferous veggies (particularly broccoli) will do a double job, since they are rich in both calcium and vitamin C.

Any crunchy fruits and veggies, like apples and carrots, are also good for your teeth. This is because chewing them will increase salivary production which can help protect the teeth from plaque-causing bacteria by breaking down food caught between teeth and rinsing the mouth by neutralizing bad acids.

Drinking lots of water also helps rid your mouth of such bacteria (especially after meals) while also helping to prevent stains and protect your teeth from the harmful effects of acidic foods and beverages. Chewing sugarless gum is another easy way to increase salivary production. The saliva is a natural way to fight acid and keep your teeth looking bright and white.

Use Makeup to your Advantage. This is mainly for the women but choosing the right shades of makeup can make a big difference to how your teeth look to others.

1) Choose a Color that Contrasts with natural tones.  A punch of red or pink tone on your cheeks and lips stands out from your dazzling smile while beige or orangey shades blend into discolored teeth. Bright orange and yellow toned reds, actually emphasize the yellow tones that can be in your teeth.

2) Choose lipsticks with blue undertone shades (bright pinks and reds). They pick up the reflective edging on your teeth making your smile appear whiter.

3) Experiment with bronzing. Darker complexions can offset white teeth. Sweep bronzer over the high points of your face. These areas include the hairline, bridge of your nose, cheek bones and tip of your chin. Your teeth will receive an instant benefit and appear whiter.

4) Sparkle it up!. Dab an opalescent illuminator on the Cupid’s bow of your mouth. This allows the white luminescence to pick up reflection off your teeth.

5) Save the gold tones for your eyelids and avoid gold tones near your lips or teeth. The shine from gold too closely resembles yellow. This will accentuate stains and make teeth appear darker yellow.

Teeth Whitening for a Whiter, Brighter Smile. Teeth whitening can be done a few ways. These can include Do It Yourself (DIY) teeth whitening or in office professional teeth whitening.

1) DIY Teeth Whitening. This is a more inexpensive method but can be very effective depending on the individual. This can include, teeth whitening toothpastes and teeth whitening strips. Using the teeth whitening strips and whitening toothpaste in combination can be very effective as the whitening toothpaste removes the out stains and the teeth whitening strips are able to penetrate deeper into the tooth to remove deeper stains.

2) Professional Teeth Whitening. This type of teeth whitening is definitely more expensive but the teeth whitening results are usually much more effective and achieved in a much faster amount of time. The concentration of the teeth whitening agent is much higher when used by a dentist and therefore will get better results in a shorter period of time.

So there you have it, some very effective tips to keep your smile whiter and brighter. A whiter smile will make you feel better about yourself and change the way people look at you. It can open a whole new world for you.



When you’re pregnant, you become very aware of how important it is to take extra special care of your body. You should also know that pregnancy is a time to take extra special care of your teeth and gums. That’s because hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy can increase your chances of developing cavitiesgingivitis, and advancement of periodontal disease (gum disease).Women with periodontal disease are 7 times more likely to have preterm births and low birth weight babies in certain studies.

Preventive dental cleanings and regular dental exams during pregnancy are not only completely safe, but are highly recommended by both dentists and physicians alike. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes to a  woman’s body. This increase in hormones causes the gums to bleed easily, become inflamed, and trap food causing increased irritation to your gingival tissue.

 It is believed that periodontal disease may lead to premature birth by the spread of oral bacteria to the placenta or amniotic fluid. Systemic inflammation caused by periodontitis may also lead to preterm labor and membrane rupture.  The probable culprit is a chemical called prostaglandin, released into the bloodstream during inflammation, which can induce labor. Prostaglandin is released in very high levels in severe cases of periodontal disease.

Almost one half of women experience pregnancy gingivitis, starting in the 2nd or 3rd month of pregnancy. It generally increases in severity all the way through to the eighth month. Pregnancy gingivitisThis pregnancy gingivitis can be very uncomfortable and cause inflammation, bleeding, redness or tenderness in the gums. If you already have poor oral hygiene and gum disease before pregnancy begins, expect an extreme progression in your periodontal condition as you end your first trimester and onward. In some women, gums swollen by pregnancy gingivitis can react strongly to irritants and form large growths. These are called pregnancy tumors. These are not cancerous and are usually painless in nature. This tumor may require removal by a dentist if it persists.

If you are planning to get pregnant, it is a good idea to see your dentist prior to trying to concieve to ensure your oral health is fine. You should have a thorough exam at this time along with a cleaning and complete treatment on any othe issues you might have to stave off complications during pregnancy.

Once pregnant, there are a few tips to follow:

-Dental treatment such as cavity fillings and crowns should be treated to reduce the chance of infection. If dental work is to be completed during pregnancy, the second trimester is the optimum time. Once you reach the third trimester, it may be very uncomfortable and/or difficult to lie on your back for any extended period of time to recieve treatment

-Elective treatments (for example, teeth whitening or other cosmetic dentistry procedures) should be postponed until after the birth of your new child. It is best to avoid exposing the developing baby to any risks, no matter how small they may be.

-Try to maintain good oral hygiene habits during pregnancy. This includes brushing properly after every meal and flossing every day. If you combine this routine with a healthy, well balanced diet (also limit between meal snacks) and regular dental visits, you will not only help avoid dental problems of your own,  but you will also contribute to the healthy development of your coming baby. Your baby’s teeth first begin to develop at about three months or so into pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are a good source of the essential minerals and are good for the developing teeth, gums, and bones of the baby.

-Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking. This includes any medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may make changes your dental treatment plan for your individual case. Certain drugs (for example, tetracycline) can affect the development of your baby’s teeth and should not be prescribed during pregnancy.

Lidocaine is the most commonly used anesthetic drug used for dental work. Lidocaine will cross the placenta after administration. If dental work is needed the amount of anesthesia given should be as little as needed, but still enough to make you comfortable during your dental work. Request additional anesthetic if you are still experiencing pain. When mom is comfortable, the amount of stress you and the baby will feel will be reduced.

Preventing or removing dental infection often involves the use of antibiotics. Antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, which are labeled safe in pregnancy, may be prescribed after your procedure with no worries about the health of your baby.

-Dental x-rays should be avoided whenever possible during pregnancy. If X-rays are needed (such as during a dental emergency), your dentist will use extreme caution to protect you and your baby. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in the past.

The American College of Radiology studies have shown no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus.

During the first trimester is when fetal organ development occurs so it is best to avoid all possible risks at this time if possible.

-Loose teeth. As levels of progesterone and estrogen increase it can affect the ligaments and bones that support and stabilize the teeth, causing teeth to loosen during pregnancy. This can happen even without the presence of periodontal disease.

-If morning sickness may be keeping you from brushing your teeth regularly, change to a neutral tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.

-Rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting.

Is a Pregnant Woman at Greater Risk for Tooth Decay?

YES. We have all heard about pregnancy cravings. Sweet cravings are quite common for women during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of tooth decay developing. Some recent studies have also shown that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay is passed on from the mother to the child. So be careful of what you eat. Also, during pregnancy, increased acidity in the mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. Vomiting during pregnancy (especially during morning sickness period) can make the problem worse by exposing the teeth to a high quantity of gastric acid. If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a solution of baking soda and water after vomiting. Use one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and mix.

Should I Share the News with my Dentist That I Am Pregnant?

Your dentist should know as soon as you believe you are pregnant. It is best to avoid taking any unnecessary X-rays during your pregnancy. You should also let your dentist know if you are trying to get pregnant. Having this knowledge can help in planning X-rays or other treatments that are needed.

After you have had your baby if you experienced any type of gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.

As a mother to be, what you do to take care of your health (including your diet) affects the development of your baby’s teeth and gums as well as their entire bodies. And as your body goes through a process of change, it is also important to pay particular attention to your own oral hygiene. Maintaining a good daily oral routine can help keep potential problems from developing.

Don’t forget that this is a time in your life to enjoy the natural changes that take place in your body, relax, and get ready to welcome your new baby into the world. So radiate health by keeping your smile bright and teeth healthy for many years to come.