The 6 Biggest Gum Disease Culprits

When we brush or floss and it caused our gums to bleed, that’s usually a sign it needs more attention. Swelling and bleeding are visible signs of periodontal or gum disease. Three-fourths of U.S. adults develop some form of gum disease. As with any disease, early detection is critical. Here are some of the most common causes of gum disease, along with some ways to prevent it.

6 Causes of Gum Disease

Plaque

The leading cause of gum disease is a plaque or the film around your teeth that builds up due to improper teeth cleansing. Plaque is a bacterial biofilm that is a breeding ground for more bacteria and can cause gum disease and decay. With proper home care, plaque can be removed. However, it is important to schedule your regular dental visits so that a dental hygienist can assess how you are caring for your teeth and help you to improve your daily oral habits.

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Medicine

Medications can affect your dental health in a variety of ways. One of the common side-effects leading to gum disease is dry mouth or xerostomia. When you have dry mouth, you create a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. By reducing your saliva, medications also affect the way your mouth breaks down food, allowing plaque to build up.

Nutrition

Nutrition, or the lack thereof, is one reason we get gum disease. Our overall health and what we eat each affect our oral health. Eating food that is high in both sugar and acidity can change both of those factors. For starters, foods that are rich in sugars have a deficiency in water and Vitamin C, which is both necessary for maintaining healthy gums. Sugars and acids also are the most significant reasons our teeth and gums break down and become unhealthy.

Misaligned/Crowded Teeth

Uneven and overlapping teeth can make cleaning teeth difficult, which may lead to more plaque build-up. This increased plaque is what causes gum disease. Luckily, no matter how crowded your teeth are, there are always options for repair.

Tobacco The 6 Biggest Gum Disease Culprits

Smoking and chewing tobacco both have an impressively broad array of adverse effects on your health including your oral health. Cigarettes are full of chemicals that destroy your teeth and gums. If you smoke or use tobacco, your risk of getting periodontal disease dramatically increases.

Smoking decreases the blood flow to the oral mucosa, which can cause gums to appear healthier than they are. It is essential to have periodontal assessments done to diagnose periodontal disease. So, if you have bleeding gums, get to your dentist right away.

Hormones

Unfortunately, we can’t always control our bodies. Our bodies change and make adjustments all the time. During these times, maintaining balance can be difficult. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes, and during pregnancy, women will find that is more difficult to keep their gums completely healthy. Inflamed gums that bleed is a side-effect of pregnancy, so routine dental care is not only safe but an essential part of prenatal care.

The Best Gum Disease Solution

There are plenty of reasons we get gum disease, but no matter what, the best solution is preventative dentistry. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and scheduling an appointment with your dentist is the best way to prevent gum disease or diagnose and treat it. Learn more about gum disease health.

The Strangest Mouth Conditions (and How to Avoid Them)

Dry mouth, bleeding sores, and swollen gums—those are all prevalent oral health issues. We’ve discussed them quite a bit. But for a little more unusual symptoms in the mouth, you may be a little unprepared if you’re not completely aware of their existence. Here are some of the more strange mouth diseases you could encounter, and how to prevent yourself from experiencing them.

Strange Mouth Diseases  

“Furry” tongue The Strangest Mouth Conditions (and How to Avoid Them)

A white furry and coated tongue is generally a sign of some infections. It’s a temporary condition, usually lasting less than two weeks and is almost always never a cause for concern. However, if alongside a white coated tongue, you’re experiencing pain or the symptoms stay for an extended period, it’s important you see a dentist right away.

Sometimes, white patches on your tongue can be caused by Leukoplakia, which is the most common of white tongue culprits. It is the result of an overproduction of cells in the lining of the mouth and tongue. When this happens, a protein known as keratin is deposited, causing discoloration.

The white “fur” obviously isn’t fur. In cases where Leukoplakia isn’t present, it’s generally caused by a buildup of fungus or bacteria, so what you’re seeing and feeling in your mouth is just that: bacterial build up or fungal yeast.

The best way to avoid a white coated tongue is, in most cases, good oral health care. Alongside your regular brushing and flossing, make sure to brush your tongue. Tongue scrapers have been known to greatly reduce mouth bacteria and bad breath.

Burning mouth syndrome

Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is either painful burning or a tingling sensation in your mouth. This perpetual irritation has many potential causes of diabetes to thyroid disorders. It has also been linked to high blood pressure and drug use. These common causes can help your dental professional in identifying the cause, considering how hard it can sometimes be to find an exact cause.

The problem with BMS is that the doctor must rule out every other possibility before diagnosing it. Since it’s a condition that is very hard to determine the cause of, there is no one way to treat it. Treatments may range from vitamin or mineral supplements to stimulating saliva production.

BMS can range drastically from moderate to severe. Some patients who suffer from BMS endure constant scalding pain for months or even years. It is more common in women than men and, recently, one female patient helped make a breakthrough in finding out what causes BMS.

The best way to avoid BMS is to avoid harmful substances. It’s a bit of a no-brainer, but avoiding tobacco, spicy or acidic foods, and alcohol is the only advisable preventative measure for BMS, since there’s not just one cause of it, and the disease is overall rather mysterious.

Mysterious metallic tastes

Sometimes we get a bad taste in our mouths, and we can’t get rid of them. The usual measure would be to brush our teeth or rinse our mouths out. But when you get the overwhelming taste of pocket change in your mouth, and it won’t go away, it can be very distracting and even upsetting.

A few different things can cause a random taste of metal in your mouth, commonly known as parageusia. We’ve discussed how medicine can create a metallic taste in your mouth, but pregnancy or diseases like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s can be causes as well.

Since your sense of taste is closely related to your sense of smell, sinus and nasal issues can create this mysterious taste. It’s very common, in fact. If you suffer from allergies, sinus infections, or the common cold, you are likely to experience this at least subtly.

Since there are so many causes for this taste change, we can’t limit the preventative measure down to one thing. It may not always be avoidable either. If the reason for the taste change is a sinus infection or a cold, there isn’t much to do besides taking in a lot of vitamins to minimize the effects of getting sick.

Sometimes when medications cause this problem, the medications we take are required, so it isn’t advised to stop making them without discussing it with a doctor first. However, another cause of this taste change is poor oral health. That is something you can work on to minimize the chances of this happening.

Skin peeling inside the mouth

The skin in your mouth is a wet, mucous membrane, so when it starts to dry out and peel, you’ll notice almost immediately. Usually happening inside the cheek, you’ll see your skin begin to lift off the surface and come off completely.

There are a few reasons the skin in your mouth could peel. First of all, it may be caused by a slight allergic reaction to your toothpaste. This is rather common and not very serious, but it’s essential that you switch toothpaste and talk to a dentist as allergies can worsen over time.

In worse cases, mouth peeling can be a sign of horrible gingivitis or untreated gum disease. If this occurs, you’ll see your gum line receding before it starts to peel away, and you’ll need to see a dentist ASAP. Another more painful cause of mouth skin peeling away is a canker sore or ulcer.

Worst case scenario, you may have Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. This condition is an immune hypersensitivity that can cause your mucous membranes to peel and fall away. Other symptoms of SJS are a headache, malaise, joint pain, sputum expelled from coughs, and painful rashes and lesions. This is a severe condition that requires immediate medical attention.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome can only be contracted from certain medicines or bacterial infections. It’s important to stay on top of that and be careful. If you ever get SJS, let your doctor know you’ve had it, so they can help you avoid getting it in the future.

For other instances of ulcers and gingivitis, make sure you maintain superb oral health. Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you start to experience symptoms of infection. The number one thing is knowing how to avoid mouth disease. Also how to handle it when it comes so that you can prevent worsening symptoms.

The Best Way to Avoid Strange Mouth Diseases

Dr. Balle and Dr. Guild from Balle & Associates are trained to find and treat familiar and strange mouth diseases. The number one way to avoid any peculiar mouth conditions is by getting treated by the top dentists. When it comes to your oral health, the team is more than qualified to handle an array of oral health issues. Schedule your appointment with us today.

Modern Dental Technology: AI Controlled Toothbrushes?

Dental technology sure has come a long way. We have dental tools that, a hundred years ago, we never could have dreamt of. A good example of inventive modern dental technology is an AI controlled toothbrush. Yes, you can actually utilize this smart technology in your very own home while cleaning your teeth.

Learn more about it.

Artificial Intelligence and Modern Dental Technology Modern Dental Technology: AI Controlled Toothbrushes?

After being crowdfunded back in 2014, the AI controlled toothbrush launched from the company Kolibree. This toothbrush comes with 3D motion sensors, a gyroscope, accelerometers, and a magnetometer. All that technology basically means that it’s Bluetooth-enabled and knows exactly the areas of your mouth you need to brush.

In addition to this toothbrush, there’s an app that comes along with it. This app will help you keep track of your progress while you brush every morning. The goal of the toothbrush, called the Ara, is to gather personalized data so that you can better construct a brushing routine that suits your needs.

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Why is this necessary?

Many people aren’t brushing and flossing properly. That’s a sad truth. They may be brushing and flossing every day, but the way they are doing it just isn’t cutting it. That’s why technology like this is very useful.

The future of dental technology is aimed at bettering our understanding of our own teeth so that clean smile comes with greater ease. This won’t replace your regime though. By that, we mean it shouldn’t get in the way of your flossing, rinsing, and just eating right. But most importantly of all…

It’s Important to Visit Your Dentist

Balle & Associates is always up to date with the latest in modern dental technology. When you come to us today, you’ll likely get an X-ray and cleaning from the most advanced technologies in the oral care industry. Check us out today!

A Vaccine to Prevent Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is something we all experience to one degree or another. There are different stages of it from cavities to complete tooth loss. But what if there was a way to avoid it altogether? While there are many different kinds of vaccines, it may be a little strange to believe there is a vaccine for oral health diseases. But a tooth decay vaccine? Is it possible?

The Tooth Decay Vaccine

Chinese health professionals from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIOV) are apparently working on a vaccine with the purpose of preventing tooth decay. Typical measures of tooth decay prevention are called preventative dentistry measures. But supposedly this tooth decay vaccine is meant for those who exist in the dental care divide. That is, those who don’t have access to regular dental checkups.

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The results

The latest tests show us that the vaccine showed positive results on animal test subjects. It had both preventative and therapeutic effects. While there is a difference between human outcomes and test subjects, this is still quite an accomplishment.

While we may not be seeing this practice done on humans soon, it’s comforting to know our scientists are working hard to improve our health from all different angles.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 60 percent of children (as well as adults) suffer from cavities.

The Best Way to Prevent Tooth Decay A Vaccine to Prevent Tooth Decay?

Science has a long way to go before curing cavities, but at the very least, we know how to prevent them. While you’re at home, watch what you eat. Try to avoid consuming food and beverages that are super sugary and acidic. Soda and candy can eat right through the enamel.

Also, make sure you are practicing proper brushing and flossing techniques at home. It really is the best way to prevent tooth decay.

Last but definitely not least, make sure to visit your dentist every six months or so. There is no clean like the clean your dentist will give you when you go in for a cleaning and exam.

Let Us Help You Prevent Tooth Decay

Balle & Associates knows what clean teeth look like and how to get them. There’s a reason we’re number one in Las Vegas. For new patients, never fear—there’s nothing to worry about.  

Sensitive Teeth? Find Out What Could Be Causing It!

Are you experiencing an unpleasant sting after eating something hot or cold? Maybe after you drink something cold and acidic like soda? Whatever the case, you may be experiencing tooth sensitivity symptoms. There are quite a few causes of tooth sensitivity, so let’s diagnose what the problem might be.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Teeth can become sensitive for some reasons. The most common reason teeth grow sensitive is a gum issue. Whether through improper dental habits or genetics, the gum surrounding the tooth can pull back exposing the dentin.

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Dentin, the tooth layer under the enamel, has multiple holes that lead to the sensitive pulp of the tooth. When this pulp receives an external stimulus, such as something hot or cold, it inherently hurts it.

Other causes of tooth sensitivity include:

  • Brushing too hard
  • Cavities
  • Tooth decay
  • Periodontitis
  • Bruxism
  • High acidic diet

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth Sensitive Teeth? Find Out What Could Be Causing It!

Sensitive can be an inconvenience for a patient or a sign of a severe oral care issue. It is best to see your Las Vegas dentist as soon as possible for treatment. They can show you how to treat sensitive teeth.

The most common way of treating sensitive teeth can be as simple as using a sensitive toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush.

However, a dentist can use other treatments if the sensitivity is a sign of something else, such as periodontitis.

Dental Office In Las Vegas

If you experience tooth sensitivity or any other dental ailment, please do not hesitate to contact the office of Balle & Associates. Our dental experts in Las Vegas have the expertise and will provide you the best care in the Las Vegas valley.

Schedule an appointment today for the best smile of your life.

Good Oral Care During Pregnancy

There isn’t a time in your life where your health is more important. It’s a time where you are caring for, not only your own fragile state but another growing life. Of course, we are talking about pregnancy, a time where every health decision must be made carefully. That’s why oral care during pregnancy is so important. As the babies health is a smaller reflection of your own, your oral health is their health as well.

It’s time to discuss some good dental habits to have while pregnant.

Why Oral Health During Pregnancy is So Important Good Oral Care During Pregnancy

We’ve spoken considerably about your oral health and how it pertains to your overall health. That, of course, goes twice for pregnant women. Preventive dentistry is a means to locate and treat anything that may be wrong with your teeth or gums.

If you are pregnant and haven’t visited your dentist in a while, it’ll be a good idea to do that as soon as possible.

Statistics about taking care of your teeth while pregnant

Cigna found that 43% of women who are pregnant don’t go the route of checking on their teeth and gums—76% of those women admit to having oral health issues. While there’s still plenty of research going on about the topic, many dentists and researchers both agree that oral care during pregnancy is absolutely critical to the mother’s delicate health and especially the babies health.

Researchers and dentists both conclude that there is a rise in oral health problems during pregnancy. Some examples of such problems include, but are not limited to:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Weakened enamel
  • Bleeding gums

So, if you are pregnant, consider scheduling an appointment with your dentist to get a checkup.

Get Your Oral Health Care at Balle & Associates

Balle & Associates is dedicated to giving the greatest care because we understand that your oral health is about more than just your teeth: it’s your overall health. Oral care during pregnancy is incredibly important, but if you are nervous about visiting a dentist, here’s what to expect.

How Medication Alters Your Dental Health

Medications often come with a guarantee of side-effects. Any standard bottle of pills has a list of them right on the side for you to read. Go ahead and read as many of them as you can. Chances are you’ll find quite a few that list oral-related side effects. Those symptoms can range from moderate to severe, depending on the medications. What are some of the effects of medication on oral care?

Effects of Medication on Oral Care

“Cotton” mouth How Medication Alters Your Dental Health

Also known as Xerostomia or dry mouth, “cotton” mouth can make swallowing or even speaking difficult. This occurs when your mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva, and your mouth dries out. It isn’t severe on its own, but it has been known to cause more significant problems such as infection, inflammation, or gum disease. Just put: without enough saliva, your mouth becomes vulnerable to bacterial infection.

Dry mouth is one of the most common dental health medication effects. Here are just a few examples of drugs that can dry your mouth out:

  • Antihistamines
  • antidepressants/anti-anxiety
  • Asthma inhalers
  • Acne Medication
  • Parkinson’s medication
  • Heart medication

If you take any of these treatments, make sure to drink lots of water. Also, sugar-free gum like Ice Chips is a good option. Not only do they help produce saliva, but they also influence the growth of good bacteria in your mouth and ultimately can help battle tooth decay.

 

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Taste change

Interestingly enough, some of the pills you take can alter the taste of food. While this is easily the mildest on this list, it could quickly ruin what would generally be a delicious meal for you. The taste changes can range from salty or bitter to earthy or metallic.

A few examples of possible culprits are:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-fungal
  • Blood pressure/cholesterol-lowering drugs

The list goes on, but the truth is that it’s widespread and nothing to worry about. So, plan your meals accordingly.

Canker sores

We’ve all had mouth sores a time or two in our lives, but certain drugs can cause them directly. Although they’re an uncomfortable nuisance, mouth sores aren’t severe side effects and can usually be treated with oral creams and antibiotics, but dental laser therapy removal is also an option.

Only a few types of drugs are known for causing mouth ulceration, and those include:

  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Aspirin and other painkillers

Swelling and Inflammation

You may have excellent oral hygiene and take great care of your teeth, but it’s still possible to experience gum swelling or “gingival overgrowth.” Some medications can damage the lining of your mouth and gums, causing them to swell and turn red. It can also be somewhat uncomfortable.

Treatments for seizures and immunosuppressants can be linked to swelling, and chemotherapy treatments can cause inflammation in the lining of the mouth. Inflammation is also known as “mucositis” and your chances of experience it greatly increases if you smoke or drink alcohol. It can also worsen if you suffer from diabetes, HIV, or kidney issues.

Bleeding

Your mouth is vulnerable to cuts and sores, so when medication hinders your ability to clot, you’re at risk for excessive bleeding. It’s especially dangerous during oral surgery when an incision is made because the heavy bleeding can make you sick or even pose a potential risk of suffocation.

Blood thinners and aspirin can cause heavy bleeding, and since aspirin can also cause open sores in your mouth, taking aspirin puts you at a higher risk for abnormal oral bleeding.

Reduce Your Worry with a Dental Visit

Although these medication effects are rather common, you’ll be fine as long as you remember the most important parts of your oral health: taking care of your teeth and visiting the dentist regularly. Medication can alter your dental health in a minor way, but scheduling an appointment with Balle & Associates is best way to ensure a quality smile.

The Importance of Senior Oral Care

The older you get, if you’re not careful, you can start to lose your teeth. But oral care is much more than taking care of teeth—it’s caring for your mouth and, if you get old and find it harder, means we have to work harder. Senior oral care is very important, so listen to this and don’t give up on your mouth just yet.

The Truth about Senior Oral Care The Importance of Senior Oral Care

According to the WDSF, 75% of senior citizens don’t have all of their teeth. Similarly, severe gum disease affects 23% of senior citizens, which we all know is the leading cause of tooth loss. We also know that oral health has a huge impact on your overall health.

For example, poor oral health can lead to increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes—which senior citizens are already at increased risk for, anyway.

It goes without saying that senior oral care is important, for the same reasons it’s important to you. Yet, it’s more health-sensitive. That is exactly why taking care of senior teeth should be high up on the list of priorities for anyone above the age of 60.

Tooth and bone loss

The greatest issue plaguing senior dental work is the issue of tooth and bone loss. The loss of teeth can be caused by several things, all of which senior citizens are more sensitive to.

We already spoke about gum disease. It’s when plaque and bacteria build up to the point of causing infection. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, and it’s easy to detect: red, swollen, and sensitive gums.

Senior citizens may also experience sensitive teeth at a higher rate. Something as simple as sipping hot or cold water can cause intense pain.

Senior oral care tips

The fact that senior citizens are more sensitive to these sorts of issues means they should be seeing the dentist even more. Here are some excellent senior oral care tips for every senior citizen to consider:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Make sure to floss
  • Go easy on the sugar
  • Visit the dentist regularly

If you have dentures, the same steps apply. Just make sure to clean them thoroughly just like any teeth because your gums are still vulnerable.

Senior Oral Care with Balle & Associates

Balle & Associates is the number one dentist practice in Las Vegas for many reasons and many different patients. See how we are great for senior oral care, as well as taking care of dentures.

Weird Taste in Your Mouth: What it Could Mean

Sometimes we eat something strange and it leaves a funny taste in our mouths. Or maybe we have a bad case of morning breath and haven’t had a chance to brush yet. But sometimes that weird taste in your mouth is unexplainable. Sometimes it’s a bit too weird to really understand the source. There are several reasons this could happen.

Why You Have a Weird Taste in Your Mouth

Medication Weird Taste in Your Mouth: What it Could Mean

This is likely the most common source of that bitter taste: medications. Medication can account for a lot of symptoms pertaining to your oral health. Some of these medications include antibiotics like tetracycline, or medications like lithium, allopurinol, etc. These drugs are known to leave a “metallic” taste in your mouth. Don’t worry; it’s common. But if it gets to be too much, tell your doctor about the issue.

Vitamins

Similarly, if not more than, medications, vitamins have a tendency to leave a strange taste in our mouths. Many people complain about multivitamins having a metallic taste due to its heavy metal and mineral content. Other types of vitamins have been described as tasting like dirt. The taste isn’t usually permanent, as your body processes the vitamins rather quickly.

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Infection

Infections can create a weird taste in your mouth due to all the bacteria and fluids. While not always serious, an infection in the mouth is especially annoying. These infections include colds, upper respiratory infections, and the flu. Gum disease is also a possible explanation.

Pregnancy

Especially during the earlier stages of pregnancy, women may describe a strange taste in their mouths. Throughout pregnancy, many different kinds of tastes may present themselves—that metallic taste being one of them.

Weird Taste in Your Mouth? Let Balle & Associates Fix That

Don’t be nervous. Balle & Associates has experienced it all! So get the oral care you need, because it could be gum disease.

4 Ways to Make a Las Vegas Dentist Smile

Looking for ways to make your Las Vegas dentist smile? Believe it or not, it’s actually really easy. And the best part is you don’t need jokes or gifts. Nope, all you need to do is follow these simple dentist recommended tips.

Oral Care Tips for Your Las Vegas Dentist

Brush and floss regularly 4 Ways to Make a Las Vegas Dentist Smile

This one is key for how to make a dentist smile. Creating and following a consistent dental plan is the best way to make your dentist happy. But you shouldn’t do this just because you’re worried the dentist will find something in your routine checkup. You should do this because you care about the health and appearance of your teeth.

We promise you: by properly brushing and flossing consistently, the overall health and appearance of your own smile will improve.

Go the extra mile for your teeth

Let’s say you’re someone who does brush and floss, but you want to do more to make sure your teeth are healthy. This is where consulting with a Las Vegas dentist comes in. Your dentist will find ways to improve the health and overall appearance of your smile. Dental services that go the extra mile include getting teeth whitening, or preventative dentistry procedures, such as root scaling and planing.

Ready to schedule your appointment? Give us a call today!

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Cut out the junk

Always remember: an apple a day keeps the dentist away… or at least makes for some happy dentists. Really, nothing makes a dentist happier than hearing a patient has cut junk food from their diet. Next to brushing and flossing, changing your diet is a great strategy to improve your oral health.

 

Many of the things we eat and drink contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. By altering your diet to more tooth-friendly alternatives, like water and vegetables, your dentist will find less dental problems during your checkup, and you will be healthier and happier overall.

Be comfortable with your smile

At the end of the day, what makes a Las Vegas dentist smile is when their patient smiles. And we don’t mean a shy, reactive smile. We mean a bright, confident, happy smile from ear to ear. This type of smile is rare, especially when the person is worried how people may perceive their teeth.

 

Don’t let your teeth hold you back. If you’re uncomfortable with your smile, get treatment from the best dentist in Las Vegas. We will create a special treatment plan to help get you the best smile of your life. Your smile is important to us because it means we are doing our job correctly. The more you smile, the more confident you are—the better the Las Vegas dentist.  

Schedule an Appointment with the Best Las Vegas Dentist

If you’re ready to get dental treatment in Las Vegas, visit the best dentist in Las Vegas. Our dental office provides a multitude of services from teeth whitening to dental implants and dental implant alternatives. Don’t let your smile hold you back. Balle & Associates is ready to see you now.