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Receding gum tissue can be an issue especially as we get older. Normal healthy gum tissue will follow snugly against the conforms of our teeth. Gum recession occurs when the gum tissue recedes or pulls away from teeth exposing the root below. This creates an esthetic issue as well as a functional one. The roots of our teeth do not have a protective layer of enamel. This can make your teeth sensitive to hot and cold as well as increase your risk of tooth decay. Once recession occurs, this tissue cannot grow back to its original state. There are treatments to restore lost gum tissue and bring your smile back to its original healthy state.

What Causes Gum Tissue To Recede?

Several factors can cause our gum tissue to recede including:

-Periodontal Disease (ranges from ginigivitis to advanced periodontitis) - Periodontal disease (also called gum disease), refers infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease — gingivitis — the infection affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved. This inflammation occurs due to an accumulation of bacterial deposits called plaque.

Contributing factors of periodontal disease include:

-poor oral hygiene maintenance

-misaligned or crooked teeth

-damaged or faulty fillings

-bridges or partial dentures that no longer fit

-genetics

-hormonal changes due to pregnancy or oral contraceptives

-medications that cause dry mouth (xerostomia)

-certain immune disorders

-stress

-tobacco use

Periodontal Disease Stages

-Gingivitis causes gum redness, swelling, and sometimes bleeding. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis.

Periodontitis is the advanced stage of periodontal disease and can cause the gums to recede. As the gum and connective tissues pull away from the tooth, a pocket forms between the tooth and gum, which begins to accumulate bacteria. Over time, the bacteria cause further damage and inflammation. If the gums recede too much, it may lead to bone loss, which can cause teeth to loosen or fall out over time.

Is Incorrect Brushing The Cause?

Maintaining a regular brushing and flossing regimen is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene. However, using an incorrect brushing technique could actually contribute to receding gums. The part of the gum that comes into contact with the crown of the tooth is called the gingival margin. Brushing incorrectly or too hard can damage the gingival margin, possibly triggering gum inflammation and recession.

Incorrect brushing techniques can include:

-brushing too forcefully

-using a hard or medium bristled toothbrush

-brushing the teeth in a broad, horizontal motion

Teeth grinding and clenching

Some people grind their teeth together while sleeping. This motion of teeth grinding puts intense pressure on the gums, which can cause them to react by receding over time. Teeth grinding can also cause teeth to become loose in their sockets. Grinding creates deep pockets between the tooth and the gum, where bacteria can collect. These bacteria trigger gum inflammation, which can then worsen gum recession.

Injury

Sustaining direct trauma to the gum tissue may cause the gums to recede in that area. These injuries could include:

-during a fall or other accident

-during dental procedures

-while wearing ill fitting partial dentures

-trauma while playing contact sports

Treatments For Receding Gums

Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing is one of the first treatments for receding gums that a dentist will recommend. This procedure will remove plaque and tartar from below the gumline, where routine brushing cannot reach. Root planing removes plaque and tartar specifically from the roots of teeth. Following removal of plaque and tartar your dentist or hygienist will use special instruments to smooth the roots, which helps the gums re-attach to the tooth.

Gum Tissue Grafting

Your dentist may recommend gum graft surgery if your gums have severely receded to the point where surgical intervention is needed. During gum grafting, a surgeon will take a small piece of gum tissue from a different area in the mouth and transplant it to cover the exposed tooth roots. This gum tissue grafting helps prevent bone loss and the gums from receding farther. It can also protect the previously exposed tooth roots from decay and tooth sensitivity

Pinhole Surgical Technique

Pinhole surgical technique is a fairly new treatment for mild to moderate receding gums. Pinhole Surgical Technique is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no incisions and no suturing. It is a quick and effective treatment for gum recession that is virtually pain-free and requires only a very short recovery time. Patients can resume normal activities the same day as their procedure.

Prevention Of Gum Tissue Recession

-Practice good oral hygiene

The following oral hygiene tips can help avoid receding gum tissue:

-flossing between the teeth at least once per day preferably after each meal

-fluoride toothpaste

-brushing your teeth 2x/day using a soft bristled toothbrush

-using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce bacteria and flush out debris

-choosing a size and shape of toothbrush that allows access to all parts of the mouth

-replacing toothbrushes at least every 2–4 months or as recommended by your dentist

-maintaining a regular schedule of dental appointments

-Wear A Mouthguard

Wearing a mouthguard at night can help prevent gum recession due to teeth grinding. Mouthguards create an even pressure across the jaw and act as a physical barrier to separate the top and bottom teeth. Mouthguards can be bought at your local pharmacy. A dentist can also make a customized mouthguard, which will provide a better fit and be much more comfortable and long lasting

-Replace Dentures That Do Not Fit

Partial dentures that once fit well can become incompatible with the mouth over time. This can happen for several reasons, including:

-the bone and gum ridges shrinking over time

-differences or changes in jaw alignment

-overall wear and tear of the partial dentures over time

Ill fitting partial dentures can rub and irritate the gums, causing the gums to recede around healthy teeth. People can prevent this by replacing partial dentures as needed. If you are concerned have your dentist evaluate your partial dentures at your next visit.

-Maintain Regular Dental Visits

Attending regular dental checkups is vital for detecting the early stages of gum recession. Routine examinations also allow your dentist to identify and replace any failing restorations or ill fitting partial dentures, which can contribute to receding gums.

Gum Recession Conclusion

Unfortunately once the gum tissues have receded, they cannot grow back on their own. With Advancements on treatment your dentist can reattach and restore gum tissue around the teeth. Remember to maintain a good oral hygiene program at home and seeing your dentist regularly can help prevent, slow, or stop gum recession. If you notice changes in your smile speak to your dentist to see what options are right for you.




Periodontal disease is common and unpleasant ranging from its earliest form of ginigivitis all the way to advanced periodontitis. According to ever mounting evidence, it could also play a role in a whole host of seemingly unrelated health problems.Periodontal Disease is a slow, progressive disease that has the capability to destroy our oral and systemic health. Many of the underlying symptoms of periodontal disease take time to manifest themselves and are often ignored. It is important to recognize these signs and symptoms as periodontal disease is the #1 cause of tooth loss in adults. Periodontal disease shows itself in many different forms including aggressive, chronic, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis associated with systemic diseases. Each type of periodontal disease has its own set of characteristics and symptoms, and all require prompt, individualized treatment by your dentist to help slow the progression and hopefully halt the subsequent bone and gum tissue loss. Risk of periodontal disease increases with age. For younger people, dental caries are a more important risk for tooth loss, while for older people, periodontal disease is the more important risk factor. Studies have shown that over 70% of all Americans aged 65 and older have some form of periodontal disease.

The underlying mechanisms behind periodontal disease progression are relatively well understood, and newer research shows that this health problem may play a role in the development of a number of other conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and respiratory disease.

Periodontal Disease And Effects On The Brain

Neurological conditions and periodontal disease are not normally associated together even though they are in close proximity to one another. Recent scientific research has found a link between periodontal disease (and associated tooth loss) with cognitive function. These researchers found that the risk of cognitive decline in older men increases as more teeth are lost. So therefore they concluded that periodontal disease is related to cognitive decline. The research also linked periodontal disease with an increased build up of beta amyloid in the brain. If you are unaware this is the neurological hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. Similar studies have also found evidence that one type of bacteria found in advanced periodontitis can also be found inside the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

Heart Disease Linked To Periodontal Disease?

This area is not 100% linked but correlations can be made between the two. The two diseases share risk factors such as alcohol abuse and using tobacco products. It is believed the 2 diseases are inter related thru inflammation. Inflammation is the bodies protective response to an irritant or pathogen. If left unchecked it can lead to damage to tissues and organs. There are two thoughts on this. One is that the inflammation in the oral cavity ultimately sparks inflammation in the cardiovascular system. The other is that the bacteria related to periodontal disease is also related to heart disease. Bacteria in the gum tissues can enter the blood supply and reach distant destinationsin the body, including the heart, where they can cause inflammation and damage. Researchers have shown evidence that this is possible. Researchers have shown that P. gingivalis (a gram-negative oral anaerobe and considered as a main etiological factor in periodontal diseases) is the most commonly found bacterial species in the coronary artery.

Increased Cancer Risk

Periodontal disease has been found to be associated with a small, but significant, increase in overall cancer risk. Studies have also found a strong link between periodontal disease and overall cancer risk. The link was also significant between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer.

Conclusion

While we are learning new things about the links in our body every day, we need to follow what our doctors and dentists tell us to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


Most people do not realize that our dental health and our general health are inherently linked. Below is a discussion of the various links to be aware of to maintain your health.

Oral Health = Overall Health?

 Just like most areas of the body, your mouth is full of various bacteria — most are just harmless but others can be far more dangerous. Your mouth is the beginning or entry to the digestive and respiratory tracts, and some of these dangerous bacteria have been found to cause disease in the body.
In normal situations, a person’s natural immune system and maintaining good oral health can keep this bacteria in check. However, not following dentist recommended protocols can allow bacteria levels to reach new heights leading to oral disease and infections such as tooth decay and periodontal disease.

Prescription medications can also play a role — such as decongestants (example Sudafed), antihistamines (example Benadryl), painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can cause a condition known as dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to wash away food and neutralizes the acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in helping to protect you from bacteria that can quickly multiply and lead to disease in the mouth and body.

Recent scientific studies have been released suggesting that bacteria found in the mouth and the inflammation associated with the severest form of periodontal disease (periodontitis) might play a factor in some systemic diseases. General disease also has an affect on the oral cavity as well. Diseases such as diabetes and HIV(AIDS), can lower the body’s immune reaction to infection, making oral health problems even more severe.

Conditions can be linked to oral health?

Oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
-Endocarditis - This is an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves (endocardium) and typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body(possibly even the mouth) spread through your bloodstream and attach to certain areas in your heart.
-Cardiovascular disease(Heart Disease) - Although this connection is not yet fully understood, there has been some research suggesting that heart disease, clogged arteries and even stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
-Pregnancy and birth complications - Gum Disease (specifically Periodontitis) has been shown to be linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
-Pneumonia - Certain bacteria in your mouth can be pulled into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases.
Certain conditions also might affect your oral health, including:
-Diabetes - Acts by reducing the body’s resistance to infection, diabetes can put your gums at risk. Periodontal disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Studies have shown that diabetics who have periodontal disease have a more difficult time controlling their blood sugar levels. Regular periodontal care can aid in diabetes control.
-HIV/AIDS - Oral issues, like painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
-Osteoporosisis a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D. This disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain prescription drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a risk of damage to the bones of the jaw.
-Alzheimer’s disease - Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer’s disease progresses probably due to inability to maintain proper dental regimen at home.

Other conditions that are believed to be linked to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren’s syndrome).

It is important that you tell your dentist about the various medications you take and about any changes in your overall health, especially if you’ve recently been ill or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes.

How can I protect my oral health?

 To protect your oral health, practice and maintain a good oral hygiene regimen.
-Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste.
-Floss after every meal.
-Use an antiseptic mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing.
-Eat a balanced diet and limit food with excessive sugars.
-Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
-Maintain a regular schedule of dental checkups and dental cleanings.
-Avoid tobacco use. This includes chewing tobacco.

Conclusion

 Contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. The longer you wait the bigger than issue it may become both for your dental health as well as your overall health. Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.




Stress is a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. Stress can arise from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious.

Too much stress is known to play a role in our overall health but did you know that stress can also cause issues to your smile?

Stress Induced Dental Health Issues

Poor Dental Hygiene

When a person is under a lot of stress they tend to lose focus on basic habits and this can include maintaining optimal dental hygiene. If you do not take care of your dental hygiene on a daily basis, your dental health along with your overall health will begin to suffer and consequences can develop. This is especially important if you already have an issue with periodontal disease. Neglecting any part of your dental hygiene regimen can cause your periodontal disease to worsen. Another issue that can occur from stress is changes to your nutrition. Most people under heavy stress tend to develop very unhealthy eating habits. This can include frequent snacking on greater quantities than normal of sugary foods and drinks. These dietary changes will increase the risk of tooth decay.

An excellent way to defend against stress in your life is to regularly exercise. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help you relieve some of that built up stress and give you an extra energy boost to fight back. Exercise will also boost your immune system which will keep you stronger and healthier over the long haul.

Teeth Grinding (also referred to as Bruxism)

A main factor for people who grind their teeth is due to stress. Bruxism or teeth grinding can occur any time of day or night but it is usually an act we are unaware we are doing. Stress is not the sole cause of bruxism but it can make it worse. Dental issues associated with bruxism can include:

-Headaches

-Pain In Ears

-Wearing down of teeth.

-Temporo mandibular Joint (TMJ) Issues

-Sensitive Teeth

-Chipped or cracked teeth

-Receding gums or teeth with notches along the gum line

Your dentist following a thorough examination may recommend a night guard to wear while you sleep to minimize the damage to your teeth. Generally, if stress is the root cause the bruxism will stop when the stressor(s) are removed.

Sores In The Oral Cavity

Mouth sores come in multiple forms. These forms can include:

-Canker sores. These are tiny ulcers with a white or grayish base and a red border.  There has been extensive debate among scientists regarding what is the root cause of canker sores. Some believe it is an immune system deficiency, bacteria, or even an underlying virus. The consensus belief is that stress can increase the risk of them appearing. Canker sores are not believed to be contagious.

Canker Sores Marielaina Perrone DDS

Canker sores generally last about a week to ten days. Spicy foods along with highly acidic foods should be avoided as they may irritate the sores. Your dentist can recommend a prescribed medicine called Debacterol. This prescription medicine is applied directly to the mouth sore and can reduce symptoms as well as thetime that the sores are present in the mouth.

-Cold sores (also called fever blisters). This type of sore is caused by the herpes simplex virus and are highly contagious. These sores are blisters that are filled with fluid that often appear on or around the lips. They are also seen under the nose or around the chin area. Emotional stress can trigger these sores to develop. Other triggers for these sores include fever, a sunburn, or skin abrasion.

Cold sores generally heal on their own in about 7 days time. Many treatments are available for relief, including over-the-counter remedies and prescription antiviral drugs. Talk to your doctor or dentist if these medications could help you. It is imperative to start treatment as soon as you feel or visually notice the cold sore forming. The sooner you begin treatment the effects of the cold sore can be decreased.

Periodontal Disease (also Known as Gum Disease)

Stress can often lead to depression. Scientific studies have shown that patients who are dealing with depression have 2 times the risk of poor treatment outcomes from periodontal disease treatment compared to those who are not depressed. Most doctors agree that learning healthy strategies to cope with bouts of depression can help reduce the risk of periodontal issues getting worse.  Also, people who are in a depressed state tend to have poor overall hygiene including dental hygiene.

Stress Conclusion

Remember, we all have events that trigger stress during our daily lives. Development of techniques to deal with stress can make a marked difference in the maintanence of our dental health as well as our overall general health. As always, see your dentist for regular dental examinations along with professional cleanings to ensure you can keep your smile looking and feeling as healthy as can be!

Reminder:

-Eat a balanced diet

-Regular Dental Visits

and good oral hygiene help reduce your risks of periodontal disease. Make sure you brush twice a day and floss daily.