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Most people tend to focus on teeth and not the big picture. They see flaws in their smile and want them corrected but many often overlook the lips which frame our smiles. Our lips take a lot of abuse every day. From the wind, the sun, and our own bad habits. Did you know that our lips have no natural protections from the elements like other parts of our body? Our lips have no sweat or oil glands and to make matters worse we often neglect their care. Most of us are not careful enough to protect our lips from exposure to the Herpes virus, which affects the lips with painful blistering sores. By age 50, almost 90% of Americans have been exposed to herpes simplex 1 or 2, the viruses that cause cold sores

Harmful habits

We are often our own worst enemy when it comes to our body. Some habits that are harmful to our lips include:

-Constantly licking or biting our lips – Licking our lips cools and moisturizes them for a short period. Once they dry out, they become even drier than before. On top of that the enzymes in your mouth are also too harsh for your lips. Biting is usually a nervous habit which can cause a large fibrous nodule to form in the lip, or expose us to more bacteria by leaving a chronic open wound on the mouth.

Kissing, and sharing lip products.– Herpes of the lips is usually transferred via kissing an infected person or using their lip product on your lips. Never kiss anyone with sores on their lips, even if it is almost gone! Never borrow lipstick or chapstick from anyone! Children can have a terrible outbreak from being exposed to herpes the first time. Many people don’t realize they are still contagious when their sore is almost gone and will kiss you or your child without thinking twice, you need to keep your eyes open!

Smokingsmoking chronically irritates lip tissue, and can even stain the lips with nicotine.

-Open Mouth Breathing – Breathing through our mouths dries our lips out even more as the air travels in and out of our mouths. Whereas nose breathing will stop that dry air from drying our lips.

Picking– Peeling or picking the chapping skin on your lips can lead to more damage and bleeding. Moisturize your peeling, chapped lips well with vaseline. You will be surprised at how fast they heal when kept moist.

Piercings– lip piercings tend to cause increased saliva, lip licking, and lip biting. This leads to chronically irritated lips.

 Tips To Care For Lips

Choose A Nutritious Diet – Our skin as well as our lips are very dependent on what we eat. Our skin reacts differently to greasy foods vs healthy nutritious ones. Your lips need a continuous intake of vitamins and minerals to stay soft and supple. Vitamins that are important for healthy lips and skin include Vitamin B and Vitamin E. Drinking plenty of water is also very important, because when we are dry we tend to lick our lips more.

Use The Right Lip Moisturizer – Products containing petroleum jelly, beeswax, paraffin, and some sun protection are the most effective. These ingredients do the best job sealing our lips keeping moisture in. In extreme irritations, aloe vera is a great ingredient to look for as well. This is an effective product since it is also has the ability to heal sensitive sunburns. Many people overlook their lips when putting sunscreen on. The lips can burn just like any other part of our skin. Be on the lookout for ingredients like salicylic acid or menthol. They can end up drying your lips out even more.

Lip Enhancements

Lipstick – Beauty experts say the trick is to select a cool toned lipstick with blue undertones that will counteract the yellowing of our teeth. This will make your teeth appear instantly whiter in contrast against the lipstick. Seemingly, instant teeth whitening. Lipstick tips include:

Choose a contrasting lip color.

Choose lipsticks with blue undertone shades, such as bright pinks and reds.

Experiment with bronzing.

Save the gold tones for your eyelids and avoid gold tones near your lips or teeth.

Surgical – This type of enhancement includes the use of implants to make the lips fuller. Another is lip shortening, when the lip appears to be too long.

Injections – The use of dermal fillers (like collagen, Restylen, or Juvederm) give the ability to change lip fullness on a temporary basis. Beware this technique is very dependent on the skill of the injector. These injections normally last from between 4 months and a year. Botox is also used to deaden the lip and help with a gummy smile.

Conclusion

Our lips are an important part of our smiles and should be treated and cared for properly too. A set of healthy, full lips will make our teeth stand out even more. Follow proper care and you will have something to smile about!.

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!