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Mar 102015
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What is Periodontal Disease?

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem, there is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket. Generally the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket, which leads to bone loss around the teeth.

What causes Periodontal Disease?

The sticky film that constantly forms on your teeth is called plaque, and is made mostly of bacteria. Some of these bacteria produce by-products that can irritate the tissues that support your teeth. These by-products can damage the attachment of the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone to your teeth.

You can remove plaque with good oral hygiene-brushing your teeth twice a day and cleaning between them once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner. When plaque is not removed through good oral hygiene, it builds up along the gum line and increases your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Plaque that is not removed regularly can harden into a rough porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. Tartar itself does not seem to cause disease, but it may make it more difficult for you to remove plaque so it should be removed regularly. Tartar only can be removed when your teeth are professionally cleaned in our dental office.

Do some factors increase the risk of developing Periodontal Disease?

Yes, some factors can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. If one or more of the following apply you, it is especially important that you practice good oral hygiene and follow Dr. Butt’s advice to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

• People who smoke or chew tobacco

• Some systemic diseases, such as diabetes, can lower your body’s resistance to infection, making periodontal disease more severe.

• Many medications, such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives can affect the gums. In addition, medications that reduce your salivary flow can result in a chronically dry mouth, which can irritate your oral soft tissues. Let Dr. Butts know about your medications and update your medical history at the dental office when any changes occur.

• Crowns and Bridges that no longer fit properly, crooked teeth or fillings that have become defective can contribute to plaque retention and increase your risk or developing periodontal disease.

• Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives increases hormone levels that can cause gum tissue to be more sensitive to the toxins and enzymes produced by plaque and can accelerate growth of some bacteria. The gums are more likely to become red, tender and swollen, and bleed easily.

 

Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important to prevent Periodontal DiseaseHow would I know if I have Periodontal Disease?

It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. However, several warning signs can signal that you have periodontal disease. If you notice any of the following, see Dr. Butts immediately:

• Gums that bleed easily;

• Red, swollen, or tender gums;

• Gums that have pulled away from the teeth;

• Pus between the teeth when the gums are pressed;

• Persistent bad breath or bad taste;

• Permanent teeth that are loose or separating;

• Any changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite;

• Any change in the fit of partial dentures.

Types of Periodontal Diseases:

Periodontal diseases are classified according to severity of the disease. The two major stages of the disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. It develops as toxins in plaque irritates gums, making them red, tender, swollen, and likely to bleed easily. It can usually be eliminated by daily brushing, cleaning between your teeth, and regular dental cleanings.

Periodontitis

Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis. There are several forms of periodontitis, with the most common being chronic adult periodontitis. Periodontitis occurs when toxins, enzymes, and other plaque by-products destroy the tissues that anchor teeth into the bone. The gum line recedes, which can expose the tooth’s root. Exposed roots can become susceptible to decay and sensitive to cold and touch.

As we mentioned earlier, the sulcus deepens into a pocket in the early stage of periodontal disease. Plaque that collects in these pockets can be difficult to remove during regular brushing and interdental cleaning. By-products from the plaque that collects in these pockets can continue to damage the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone. In some cases, so much ligament and bone are destroyed that the tooth becomes loose. Usually, Dr. Butts can still treat the disease at this point. In the worst of cases, a loose tooth may need to be extracted.

 

How Can I prevent Periodontal Diseases?

Daily good oral hygiene can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal diseases. Proper daily hygiene involves brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. With proper brushing, you can remove plaque from the inner, outer and chewing surfaces of each tooth. Dr. Butts can show you the proper brushing technique. Using a fluoride-containing toothpaste also will help protect your teeth against cavities. Carefully clean between your teeth once a day with dental floss or another interdental cleaner to remove plaque from areas your toothbrush can’t reach. It only takes a few minutes each day and is just as important in maintaining oral health as brushing your teeth. If you need extra help controlling gingivitis and plaque that forms above the gum line, Dr. Butts may recommend using an ADA- accepted antimicrobial mouth rinse or other oral hygiene aids as an effective addition to your daily oral hygiene routine. When choosing dental care products, look for those that display the American Dental Association’s seal of Acceptance-your assurance that they have the ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.

Checking for Periodontal Diseases:

During your checkups, Dr. Butts will examine your gums. This is called a periodontal examination. An instrument called a periodontal probe gently measures the depth of the sulcus surrounding each tooth. The healthy sulcus depth is usually three millimeters or less.

Periodontal diseases cause the sulcus (the shallow v-shaped crevice between your teeth and gums) to deepen into a pocket. A periodontal probe can determine whether you have developed any pockets and the depth of those pockets. Generally, the more severe the disease, the deeper the pocket.

Dental x-rays, or radiographs, also may be taken to evaluate the amount of bone supporting the teeth and to detect other problems not visible during the clinical examination. If periodontal disease is diagnosed, Dr. Butts will provide treatment or may need to refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specialized in the treatment of periodontal disease.

How are Periodontal Diseases treated?

Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. The first step usually is a thorough deep cleaning that includes scaling to remove plaque and tartar deposits. The tooth roots also may be planed to smooth the root surface, allowing the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. In some cases, the occlusion, or bite, may require adjustment.

Dr. Butts may also recommend local delivery of antibiotics to help control infection, pain, and to promote healing. This medication is placed directly in the periodontal pocket after scaling and root planing.

Is surgery sometimes needed?

When very deep pockets between teeth and gums are present, it is difficult to thoroughly remove the plaque and tartar even with dental instruments. Likewise, you may have trouble keeping these pockets clean.

If the pockets do no heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed. One of the goals of periodontal surgery is to reduce the depth of the periodontal pockets to make them easier to keep clean.

With surgery, we can access hard to reach areas that require the removal of tartar and plaque. The tooth root is cleaned and smoothed. Sometimes the bone around the tooth also is smoothed to help remove these pockets. The gums then are sutured back into place or into a new position that will be easier to keep clean at home.

Bone surgery may be used to rebuild or reshape bone that has been destroyed. Grafts of the patients bone or artificial bone may be used, as well as special membranes. Splints, bite guards, or other appliances are used to stabilize loose teeth and to aid the regeneration of tissue during healing. If excessive gum tissue has been lost from the tooth root (gum recession), a gum graft may be performed. After surgery, a protective dressing over teeth and gums is usually applied. An antibiotic and mild pain reliever may be prescribed.

How do I prevent periodontal disease from recurring?

Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. Dr. Butts also will want to see you at regular intervals. You may need to schedule more frequent visits then you have in the past. You don’t have to loose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Jan 202015

Mouth Guards vs. Night Guards, Do You Need One?

Mouth guards are used mainly to prevent sport related injuries to your mouth and night guards are used for several reasons, usually night time bruxism (teeth grinding, jaw pain, earaches or headaches).

NIGHT GUARDS

This is an easy way to treat bruxism. Often patients have no idea that they grind in their sleep which could be caused by several factors: stress, school, work or abnormal bite. It is very important this doesn’t go untreated because it can lead to broken teeth, cracked teeth, damaged restorations and even tooth loss. The earlier you stop the damage, the better the prognosis. A professionally made night guard is custom fitted to ensure comfort and a proper fit. They are not one size fits all. A store bought guard could cause more damage to teeth, gums and TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Once your dental night guard is in place, you can sleep soundly knowing that even if you do grind your teeth once you’re asleep, your upper and lower teeth will no longer make contact. Remember, your teeth deserve a rest, and so do you. Whether this is a temporarily situation or not the damage that you may be doing can mean expensive repair in the future.

MOUTH GUARDS

Injuries to the mouth and jaw are very common injuries to athletes especially when playing contact sports such as hockey, football, boxing, basketball rugby just to mention a few. While most of these sports will supply helmets, goggles, pads, as standard safety equipment it is also very important to remember to protect your teeth as well. Mouth guards offer an easy, reliable method to cushion your teeth during athletic and recreational activity. Besides cushioning your teeth from unnecessary force, using a mouth guard can prevent injury to the lips, tongue, face and jaw. Research has also shown mouth guards top protect against concussions. Patients who wear braces should be especially careful to protect their mouths during physical activity. We will create a custom mouth guard designed special for your teeth which will best fit your mouth for comfort and protection.

Jan 102015

Sealants: Should I Consider Them for My Child?

By age 19, tooth decay affects nearly 70 percent of America’s children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Left untreated, tooth decay, also known as cavities, may result in pain and infection.

One highly effective option to help prevent cavities is dental sealants – a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surface of teeth.

Dental sealants have been proven a safe and cost-efficient dental procedure for patients prone to cavities. Even health care task forces are recognizing the benefits of dental sealants, recommending school-based programs.

However, an article in AGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), cites several reports that explain dental sealants are still underused, despite their advantages in averting tooth decay for an average of five to seven years.

“Studies show that many children are exceptional candidates for dental sealants.,” says AGD spokesperson Mark Ritz, DDS, MAGD. “Parents should consider sealants as a preventive measure in their child’s oral health and discuss this option with their dentist.”

Surveys show the majority of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because food particles and bacteria are not easily cleaned out. A risk assessment by a dentist best determines if a child is a candidate for dental sealants.

Dental sealants act as a barrier to “seal-off” space between the tooth surface and any small food particles or bacteria that may otherwise cause a cavity in an “unsealed” tooth.

Paired with twice-daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, a healthy diet and visiting the dentist twice a year to monitor the sealants’ placement or bond on the tooth, properly applied dental sealants are 100-percent effective in preventing cavities.

“Remember that dental sealants do not protect against gum disease such as gingivitis, oral cancer or many common dental conditions,” says Dr. Ritz. “Regular dental checkups are vital to monitor overall oral health.”

Dec 302014

Oral Cancer Screening

Our office is not only dedicated to your smile, we’re also dedicated to your overall wellness. We take a comprehensive approach to your dental care, which includes an oral cancer screening as a part of your regular exam. Like any kind of cancer, oral cancer can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. You are the most important factor in the early diagnosis of oral cancer through routine screenings through our office.

Signs of Trouble

We have the skills and tools to ensure that early signs and symptoms of oral cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. While these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is very important to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A lump, thickening or rough spot
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue

Screening

Our staff is trained in a simple, quick screening which involves an examination of your oral cavity as a whole and not just your teeth to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. Besides a visual examination of your mouth, we will also feel the tissue of your mouth and throat to detect any abnormalities. If we find an area of concern, we may perform a simple test, such as a brush test, which collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If this test comes back atypical or positive, we may recommend a biopsy.

Prevention

Aside from receiving an oral cancer screening during your checkup at our office, there are many things you can do to help prevent oral cancer.

  • The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.
  • During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chance of successful treatment.
Dec 152014

Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Interestingly, there are few oral health abnormalities as painful as wisdom teeth problems. Impacted wisdom teeth can drive patients to the brink of desperation with regard to pain relief, surgery considerations and even time off work in severe cases. Yet not everyone struggles with wisdom teeth pain; it is common for many experts to recommend to those who do that they consider wisdom teeth removal early, even if they have not reported many problems. Showing no symptoms is not uncommon, but only a dental expert such as those at Avent Ferry Dentistry can determine whether or not to proceed with an extraction.

When They’re Impacted, There’s a Problem

It must be understood that once problems with wisdom teeth occur, there’s a good chance they have become impacted…and if a tooth is impacted, you will know. There are an array of signs and symptoms that will alert you something is not right, and that’s when it’s time to take action. Three primary warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth are:

  • Pain
  • Swelling Around the Jaw
  • Swollen, Tender, Red or Bleeding Gums

Secondary, additional symptoms may include:

  • Headaches of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), the connection between the jaw and skull
  • Unpleasant breath
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Complications of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Most patients experiencing eruption of wisdom teeth endure crowding in the mouth, leading to abnormal development, with these third molars becoming impacted thus causing infection or interrupting the normal growth of the adjacent teeth. Furthermore, there are varying degrees of impacted wisdom teeth, with some partially impacted with part of the crown showing, while others never penetrate the gum and are fully impacted. There remains a high risk of complications, though, whether some or all of the wisdom teeth are partially or completely impacted. Complications can begin as bleeding gums or mild pain but if left untreated, these symptoms can develop into such hazards as:

  1. Damage to Adjacent Teeth: Wisdom teeth can push on the second molars, yielding infection or the requirement of orthodontia.
  2. Gum Disease and Tooth Decay: Wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay due to this area of the mouth being rendered difficult to clean; this causes food and bacterial to become trapped between the teeth and gums.
  3. Development of Cysts: Wisdom teeth grow in a sac located within the jaw and when filled with fluid can develop an uncomfortable cyst that can damage nerves.

It is imperative to schedule a visit with your trusted dentist as soon as you begin experiencing any of the warning signs outlined above – pain, bleeding gums, inflammation or any other symptoms. Failing to face wisdom teeth problems head-on can lead to serious complications.

Dec 012014

Your Ultimate Guide to Toothpaste!

On average, we are bombarded with 300-750 marketing messages from brands each day. All of these brands are vying for our attention, approval, and at the heart of it, our wallets. It can be overwhelming. So how do we do choose? We can’t help you with what type of cereal to buy or what soap to use, but we can guide you on choosing the right toothpaste.

There’s an entire aisle of the pharmacy and grocery store dedicated to toothpaste. With so many kinds, so many brands and so many flavors, it’s about time someone broke it all down. Check out these quick tips and browse our list of toothpaste types on the market today.

3 Quick Tips for Toothpaste Selection:

  1. Look for ADA approval. The American Dental Association’s seal of approval means a product has been deemed safe and effective by their independent review board of scientific experts. Note that all products carrying this seal contain fluoride which is, more often than not, highly beneficial.
  2. Select what’s best for you and your loved ones. The best toothpaste for you and your family is a matter of preference, but more than anything, it should be focused on oral healthcare needs (which we will address below).
  3. Avoid Imposters. The FDA advises against purchasing toothpastes made in China. Back in 2007, some toothpastes imported from China contained diethylene glycol, a toxic substance.

What’s Right For Your Pearly Whites?

Baking Soda Toothpastes

When it comes to ingredients, the name really says it all for this type of toothpaste. Also, it gives you a different flavor than typical mint varieties.

  • What It Does: Baking soda based toothpastes are great for cleaning surface stains. Also, baking soda is a weak base, which helps to counteract the acid from bacteria, as well as the more acidic food and beverages that you consume.
  • Who It’s For: People who are looking to possibly reduce their gum irritation and pain, and a toothpaste with less abrasiveness. In some cases, baking soda based toothpastes leave out unwanted chemicals (be sure to check the ingredients).

Children’s Toothpastes

Younger ones most likely won’t be big fans of mint or baking soda flavored toothpastes right off the bat. You can find many fruit flavored options that will appeal to your kids.

  • What It Does:Gets the job done, but with less fluoride. Too much fluoride can stain children’s teeth which are still developing.
  • Who It’s For:The name says it all!

Natural Toothpastes

This category alone could be its own blog post. Like any natural product, there are so many facets to choosing the right natural toothpaste.

  • What It Does: These products contain less chemicals, and in some cases absolutely no chemicals. You can still find a variety of toothpaste types, similar to those on this list. For example, there are natural brands that make toothpastes with baking soda and even ones made for whitening.
  • Who It’s For: Those looking to live a more natural lifestyle. If you are concerned with chemicals and would like to look into this type of toothpaste, be sure to do your research (suggestions via Good House Keeping for natural toothpastes).

Sensitive Teeth Toothpastes

Two particular ingredients, strontium chloride and potassium nitrate, have been recognized by the ADA as effective in treating sensitive teeth and gums. Also, avoiding sodium lauryl sulfate is best for sensitive teeth, as well as those who chronically have canker sores.

  • What It Does: This toothpaste is “low abrasion.” In mild cases, after 4-6 weeks of use, you might see a difference in levels of sensitivity. It works to block the pathway to your tooth’s nerves, thus decreasing the ability of your nerves to transmit pain.
  • Who It’s For: If hot and cold foods are often painful, you should consider this type of toothpaste, but also speak to us, your dentist, at your next visit. People with gum disease (receding gums) and exposed dentine of a tooth root definitely should use this. Note that this will not work for sensitivity caused by cavities.

Tartar Control Toothpastes

Most of these types of toothpaste contain fluoride, although a variety of ingredients are implemented to help prevent further buildup of tartar. Other ingredients include pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, as well as triclosan (a bacteria killing antibiotic).

  • What It Does: Tartar is the plaque that wasn’t removed from your teeth and has now hardened onto them. This deposit is much harder to remove and can build up. If too much builds up under your gums, it can lead to gum disease. This specific toothpaste works to prevent this kind of buildup on your teeth.
  • Who It’s For: Those with a tartar problem and those who just wish to prevent it from becoming an issue.

Whitening Toothpastes

These types vary in strength and results. Most whitening toothpastes contain hydrogen peroxide or calcium peroxide which are highly abrasive. Dentists consider many of them as too harsh for teeth.

  • What It Does: Contrary to popular belief, these products only polish your teeth. They make your teeth appear whiter by getting rid of surface stains. They do not actually whiten them. However, over time, it can wear away tooth enamel and cause a yellow appearance in some cases. Many experts say a toothpaste with fluoride and triclosan might be a better bet.
  • Who It’s For: Those who wish to remove some surface stains, but aren’t in a position to opt for a professional teeth whitening treatment.

This list contains the general categories of toothpaste and information about them. If you have any questions or are looking for more information on what’s best for you and/or your family, please feel free to ask us at your 6 month checkup, or next appointment.

Nov 152014

TMJ Problems, Can They Be Prevented?

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is actually not a single, isolated disorder. It’s a group of problems involving the muscles and joints around the jaw. Symptoms include muscle pain while chewing, stiff jaw muscles, a jaw that becomes locked in place or has limited motion, and/or painful popping, clicking, or grating in the jaw’s joint while chewing or talking, just to name a few.

Your jaw may also come out of alignment, which can cause dental problems as your teeth grind unevenly. Unfortunately, though, there is no known cure for TMJ. Common causes include damaged joint cartilage due to trauma or arthritis, grinding or clenching teeth over a long period of time, and/or a dislocated jaw, but sometimes TMJ just seems to develop without any known cause. So, how can you avoid the problems that come along with this elusive disorder?

First and foremost, try not to subject your jaw to any trauma, as a blow to the face can cause TMJ. If you are under a lot of stress, you may find yourself clenching your jaw. If this happens, try to be aware of it and relax your jaw muscles. Gently massage your jaw joint, and take a deep breath.

If you’ve experienced a sore, dislocated, or locked jaw, you can help yourself heal and prevent further inflammation by consciously relaxing your facial muscles whenever you can and doing regular, slow, and gentle jaw exercises at home. These will help restore range of motion to your jaw and help it heal.

While you’re healing, you may also want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Advil or Aleve, to help quell inflammation and allow you to relax your jaw muscles. Call our Holly Springs office and speak with Dr. Butts or his staff about other recommendations they may have for preventing TMJ problems.

Nov 012014
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Dental Insurance Expire December 31!

The end of the year will be here before you know it – we are less than two months away from ringing in 2015! One thing you will want to remember is to make sure to use your dental benefits before they expire! Most dental plans expire at the end of the year so don’t spend all year paying for dental benefits that you don’t use!

In the Holly Springs and Raleigh area, there are a few patients of ours who receive, if they’re lucky, a notification letter from their insurance provider about their current dental benefit plans. Generally this letter or message is given to many who have failed to use their benefits throughout the year, and need to respond now to take advantage of these benefits before the year ends. Most insurance providers, not all, allow two dental checkups per year. It’s always best to check with your provider for specifics about your unused health or dental benefits.

Many people are overwhelmed with busy family and work schedules to find the time to make an appointment. But it really is important to stop and take a minute, just for yourself, to call our office at (919) 372-3400 and schedule a cleaning or a dental treatment that you’ve been putting off. Most dental insurance plans do not roll over into the new year. In the past, we’ve actually have had patients who have paid for health benefits throughout the year only to forget to use them.

What about the Deductible?

I was hoping you’d ask that question. Deductibles are the portion of the bill you pay before the insurance kicks in their portion. While the amount of the deductible will vary, it will begin again with each new year. So, for those of you who have put off getting a crown, or a dental cleaning now would be an ideal time to take advantage of this benefit, especially if you’ve maximized the deductible for this year. Otherwise, you may have to wait until next year when you’ll have to start all over again and pay another deductible for 2015.

Regular Use of Dental Benefits Can Prevents Serious Issues

It’s no secret that using dental benefits before they’re gone can help you avoid serious dental issues down the road. Whether you’re close to your deductible or you’re fully covered for 2 dental checkups a year, a dental cleaning can reveal potential problems with oral cancer, gingivitis or cavities. Without a regular dental exam small issues can quickly get bigger. So, don’t let this happen to you, book an appointment now because our openings do fill rather quickly. But even more importantly, do it before those small untreated dental issues become major problems and your smile suffers. We look forward to seeing you soon, and working with you to discuss your insurance plans. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office at your earliest convenience.

Sep 202014
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Types of Gum Disease

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis and can eventually lead to tooth loss and other health problems.

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.

Factors that may contribute to gingivitis include, diabetes, smoking, aging, genetic predisposition, systemic diseases and conditions, stress, inadequate nutrition, puberty, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, substance abuse, HIV infection, and certain medication use.

 

Periodontitis

Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.

There are many forms of periodontitis. The most common ones include the following.

  • Aggressive periodontitis occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid attachment loss and bone destruction and familial aggregation.
  • Chronic periodontitis results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. This is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis and is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of the gingiva. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
  • Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases often begins at a young age. Systemic conditions such as heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes are associated with this form of periodontitis.
  • Necrotizing periodontal disease is an infection characterized by necrosis of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly observed in individuals with systemic conditions such as HIV infection, malnutrition and immunosuppression.
Sep 112014

We Are Proud to Announce Danielle Bruner has Joined Our Staff!

Danielle BrunerDanielle is a native North Carolinian from Raleigh, North Carolina.

Danielle attended Central Carolina Community College where she earned her degree in Associates of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene in 2010. There she served as class president, a member of the deans list, and was awarded scholarships from the American Dental Hygiene Association spring of 2009 and 2010. She was also awarded the Colgate Star award, May 2010. Following dental hygiene school Danielle attended West Liberty University to work towards her bachelors in biology.

Danielle is ecstatic to begin a longstanding career here at Avent Ferry Family Dentistry. She is a total package of organization, professionalism, energy, and has an uncanny ability to make patients feel relaxed and at ease while visiting the dentist. Danielle is passionate in assisting patients achieve their overall oral health goals.

Danielle now resides in the historical community of Cameron, North Carolina. She and her husband have been happily married for two years and are proud “parents” of a chocolate lab Sadie. Hobbies include water sports, gardening, “DIY” projects and of course vacationing with her husband.