When you think of a healthy smile, you may picture straight, white teeth, but your gums are just as important. Even if you don’t have cavities, your teeth could be in jeopardy if you develop gum disease. This condition occurs when plaque starts to form along and under the gum line. If not removed with daily brushing and flossing, this sticky substance can harden into tartar, irritating your gums and causing an infection. This leads to gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
Since gingivitis is usually painless, most people don’t even know they have it. If left untreated, it can progress to a more advanced stage called periodontitis. This chronic condition affects a whopping 47 percent of American adults over age 30. Without professional care, periodontitis can lead to tissue and bone loss, eventually causing your teeth to loosen and fall out.
Don’t let this happen to you! Follow these gum disease prevention tips to maintain healthy gums and protect your smile.
Brush twice a day
Brushing with fluoride toothpaste is a fundamental way to remove plaque and food particles from your teeth that can irritate your gums. Select a soft bristle toothbrush, and avoid scrubbing too hard since this can erode tooth enamel and cause receding gums. Try an electric toothbrush for even more effective plaque removal.
Don’t just brush—floss!
Even an electric toothbrush can’t sweep away particles and plaque from between your teeth. That’s why flossing is so important. Even if your gums bleed, don’t shy away from this part of your oral care routine—bleeding is a sign that your gums are weak. Flossing more often provides the stimulation they need to help make them stronger.
Use gingivitis-fighting mouthwash
Shop for mouthwash products that reduce plaque, slow tartar formation, fight gingivitis, or all three. Remember, mouthwash isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing—it should come after these steps to maximize the benefits they offer.
Looking for another reason to quit the habit? Smoking is closely linked to the onset of gum disease and other oral problems. Since nicotine, tar, and other chemicals in cigarettes weaken your immune system, your body has a harder time fighting off a gum infection. Plus, your gums can’t heal as easily once they’re damaged, making gum disease treatment less effective.
Visit the dentist every six months
Since gum disease is so prevalent and quick-forming, children and adults of all ages are encouraged to visit the dentist for an oral exam and professional cleaning every six months. A process called scaling is the only way to remove tartar build-up, a key aspect of gum disease prevention. Your dentist can also check for cavities, polish your teeth, recommend dental care products, and leave you with a brighter, more confident smile.
The services at Park 56 Dental can help you prevent and treat gum disease in NYC. For more dental care tips, or to schedule an appointment with our dentist, please contact us at (212) 826-2322.
They say that with age comes wisdom. They may not say this as often, but with age also comes wisdom teeth. This is the last big developmental milestone your mouth undergoes as childhood comes to an end.
Wisdom teeth usually appear between ages 17 and 21. They are your third row of molars evolutionarily designed to replace any teeth you may have lost by now. Thankfully, because of modern dentistry and oral hygiene, you probably still have all of your adult teeth at this age. As a result, there may be no room to allow your wisdom teeth to grow in naturally.
If you’re in your late teens or early 20s, here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth to help you make the right choice for your oral health.
Why are Wisdom Teeth So Often Removed?
When they grow in properly, healthy wisdom teeth can be beneficial, helping you chew and filling in your jaw with a final row of teeth. However, if the jaw is too small, or the wisdom teeth don’t grow in straight, they may need to be removed. Scenarios like these are incredibly common, meaning that more likely than not, you will need to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
Here are some of the problems your dentist looks for as he or she monitors the growth of your wisdom teeth:
- Impacted wisdom teeth, which are trapped in the jaw or under the gums and can cause a harmful cyst to develop
- Improperly positioned wisdom teeth, which can allow food to become trapped and flossing to be difficult
- Partially erupted wisdom teeth, which give bacteria a place to enter the gums and cause an infection to develop
- No room for wisdom teeth to come through without overcrowding or damaging the surrounding teeth
When to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Everyone is unique, but your dentist may recommend extracting your third molars in these situations:
- As a preventative measure if your mouth appears too small
- As part of your oral health plan, such as before getting braces
- If X-rays reveal impacted wisdom teeth
- If you experience pain, cysts, tumors, damaged teeth, or gum disease
Is it Possible to Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?
If it’s not immediately necessary to remove your third molars, you may choose to let them continue developing. Your dentist will recommend monitoring them regularly because of the possible problems that can occur later. Be sure to floss around your wisdom teeth, including behind them, and visit your dentist at least every six months.
Park 56 Dental offers compassionate, high-quality dentistry in NYC. We know you might be anxious about having your wisdom teeth extracted. That’s why we make sedation dentistry available to our patients. We’ll work closely with you to determine whether nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, or IV sedation is the best option.
Please contact us today at (212) 826-2322 to schedule a wisdom tooth extraction consultation at our New York office.
While seven out of 10 Americans brush their teeth at least twice a day—the amount recommended by the American Dental Association—only 30 percent of the population flosses every day. This makes it clear that people prioritize brushing, but they’re more inclined to write off flossing. Here’s why you shouldn’t skip this important part of your oral care routine.
Flossing Removes Plaque
Plaque is a soft, sticky substance that forms on your teeth after you eat. Within just a few hours, it starts to solidify into tartar, a hard substance that forms along the gum line. Skipping a few days of flossing gives plaque all the time it needs to stick firmly to your teeth. By then, the dark-colored tartar can only be removed by a dentist using special tooth-scraping tools.
Thanks to floss, you can get into hard-to-reach places between the teeth and under the gum line, scraping away plaque before it hardens into cavity-causing, tooth-staining tartar!
Flossing Promotes Healthy Gums
Perhaps you intentionally avoid flossing because it makes your gums bleed. It may seem counterintuitive, but flossing actually strengthens your gums to reduce bleeding.
Scraping plaque out from below the gum line also helps prevent gingivitis, an infection characterized by red, swollen gums. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, or periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss if it’s left untreated for long enough.
Flossing Makes Your Whole Body Healthier
Cavities and gum disease affect other parts of your body more than you might realize. The bacteria that thrive in an unhealthy mouth can lead to heart disease, respiratory illness, and diabetes. It could even increase your risk of having a stroke.
Therefore, just a few minutes of flossing each day with a low-cost product could have incredibly beneficial implications for your overall health.
Flossing Fights Cavities
A cavity can develop anywhere tooth decay occurs, including in between two teeth and under the gum line. Prevent bacteria from building up here with the simple act of flossing. It could save you the discomfort and cost of a root canal!
Proper Flossing Technique
If you use traditional floss, wrap the ends of an 18-inch piece around your forefingers, and gently slide it between each tooth. Curve around one tooth, and then the other, rubbing up and down to scrape away floss and stimulate the gums. Avoid a sawing motion, which can harm your gums. If traditional floss is uncomfortable, you can also use floss picks or a water flosser.
Clearly, flossing is a simple step you can take to keep your mouth healthier. Of course, it can’t replace professional dental cleanings, which should take place every six months or as recommended by your dentist. Park 56 Dental is here to help you take good care of your smile. We provide general dentistry as well as smile restoration services. Visit us for the dental care you need today!
For more dental health tips, or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (212) 826-2322.
You might have a carefree attitude this summer, but don’t let the family vacations and time off of school negatively impact your teeth. Instead, keep your smile beautiful with these summer dental care tips.
Drink More Water
Instead of reaching for sugary, acidic soda when you’re thirsty, make the right choice for your dental health and choose water instead. Drinking water washes away food particles and plaque-causing bacteria that can lead to cavities and bad breath. Tap water, in particular, promotes a brighter smile because it contains fluoride to strengthen your enamel.
Plus, staying hydrated reduces your risk of dry mouth. With adequate saliva production, your teeth benefit from a slippery, protective coating that prevents debris from clinging and acids from eating away at your enamel.
Drink Acidic Beverages Through a Straw
When you do indulge in soda, juice, or lemonade, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. Enjoy the taste of your drink, but don’t swirl it around your mouth. After all, you want to limit the amount of time acid and sugar linger on your teeth.
Sip on Tea
Green tea is full of antioxidants that promote good health. It can even suppress bacteria growth, slow down tooth decay, and help prevent gum disease. Drink tea to your heart’s content, but don’t forget to rinse your mouth out afterward. This is because, despite its benefits, tea can leave surface stains on your teeth. Your dentist can remove these, but it’s easiest to prevent them if you can by swishing with water after each cup of tea.
Eat the Right Snacks
It’s fun to chew on gummy candy, sip on sports drinks, and snack on starchy crackers and pretzels, but these goodies don’t do your teeth any favors. Smarter snacks include raw fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and crunchy nuts and seeds. These tasty, nutritious snacks fill you up, fuel your summer activities, and help you maintain a healthy smile. Chewing on sugar-free gum after a meal or snack can also help remove food particles and prevent cavities.
Schedule a Dental Checkup
If it’s been six months since your last trip to the dentist, this summer is the perfect time to schedule a checkup. Fit it your appointment before your upcoming vacation, if possible, to reduce the chance of a dental emergency while you’re out of town. A dentist appointment is also beneficial before the school year starts this fall. Get any cavities taken care of before the hectic back-to-school season begins!
The experienced NYC dentists at Park 56 Dental are prepared to offer personalized, quality dental care for you and your kids in a comfortable, spa-like environment. We’ll help you smile bigger and brighter this summer as you enjoy making memories with your family!
To learn more about us, or to schedule a visit, please contact us at (212) 826-2322. If you’re new to our office, we’ll provide a consultation to ensure we can meet your dental care needs.
Does an ice-cold drink or cup of hot coffee sometimes make your teeth sting? Are brushing and flossing cringe-worthy experiences? If so, it sounds like you might have sensitive teeth. Here are some possible reasons for teeth sensitivity and what you can do about it.
What Causes Sensitive Teeth?
In healthy teeth, enamel protects the crown of your tooth, the part that sits above the gum line. Then, a layer called cementum protects the tooth root below the gum line. If these protective layers are damaged, teeth sensitivity can occur. Here are some of the most common causes to be aware of:
- Enamel erosion: If the outer protective layer of your teeth wears away, the sensitive dentin underneath is exposed. Enamel can erode as a result of brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, and eating acidic food regularly.
- Receding gums: When the gums move away from a tooth, it can expose the root surface, which may be temperature-sensitive. Receding gums may be caused by brushing too hard, grinding your teeth, or receiving inadequate dental care that leads to gum disease.
- Plaque buildup: If plaque forms on an exposed root surface, tooth sensitivity may increase.
- Cracked teeth: A chipped or broken tooth may fill with bacteria. When this enters the pulp, inflammation and tooth sensitivity may occur.
- Tooth whitening products: Peroxide and baking soda, two major contributors to teeth sensitivity, are common ingredients in whitening strips, toothpaste, and other dental products.
- Using a mouthwash with exposed dentin: Some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain acids that irritate exposed dentin and further damage this tooth layer. If you have enamel erosion, ask your dentist about safe products you can use.
- Recent dental procedures: Everything from teeth cleanings to crown placement to root planing and scaling can lead to temporary teeth sensitivity. This should disappear within four to six weeks.
How to Treat Teeth Sensitivity
Fortunately, there are treatments for sensitive teeth. The ones you pursue depend on what’s causing your sensitivity. Your dentist may recommend the following:
- Desensitizing toothpaste: The compounds in this product block sensory input from the tooth surface to the nerve in your tooth, reducing sensitivity. It may take a few weeks of daily use to see results.
- Soft-bristled toothbrush: Learning how to brush more gently using a soft toothbrush, especially when paired with desensitizing toothpaste, could garner effective results.
- Fluoride treatment: An in-office gel applied to your teeth may strengthen your enamel and reduce pain when exposed to hot and cold temperatures.
- Dental procedures: If simple measures don’t treat your sensitivity, your dentist may recommend surgical gum grafting, bonding, dentin sealers, crowns, inlays, or root canals to eliminate the problem.
Having sensitive teeth can be uncomfortable. Fortunately, the team at Park 56 Dental can help! Our preventative and general dentistry services can counteract teeth sensitivity so you can enjoy hot and cold food and drinks, and brush your teeth in comfort. To learn more, please call us at (212) 826-2322 today.
Did you know that your dentist can help you manage your diabetes? By visiting your dentist at least every six months for a checkup, you’re reducing your risk of developing gum disease. That’s critically important for diabetics since this disease can make you three times more likely to develop gum disease.
You can hear more about the diabetes-gum disease connection when you watch the accompanying video. It explains that gum disease can lead to higher blood sugar, which can increase the likelihood of diabetic complications. The good news is that taking good care of your oral health can help you manage diabetes more effectively.
Looking for a warm and friendly dental clinic in NYC that offers complete oral health services? Look no further than Park 56 Dental! Call (646) 783-3529 for an appointment.
It’s often thought that the teeth are the most important component of oral health. But actually, the gums play a critical role too. The health of your gums reflects the overall state of your oral health and systemic well-being. That’s why it’s so important to get to a dentist for gum disease treatments as soon as you notice any symptoms. By becoming better informed about gum disease, you can become a proactive advocate for your own wellness.
Gingivitis and gum disease are nearly the same thing.
Dentists often hear patients wonder about the difference between gingivitis and gum disease since the terms are often used interchangeably. Gingivitis is actually a form of gum disease. Gum disease occurs in stages, becoming progressively worse. Gingivitis is the first stage. At this point, the gums are inflamed, puffy, and tender, and they may bleed when brushed or flossed. Gingivitis is easily reversed with scaling and root planning, as long as the patient follows good at-home oral care.
The body’s natural response causes inflammation.
Now that you know inflammation is part of gum disease, you might be surprised to learn that gum disease doesn’t directly cause inflammation. In a patient with gum disease, bacteria build up in the mouth, infecting the gum tissue. The body’s natural response to bacteria is to trigger the inflammatory process. As the gum tissue is harmed, it releases chemicals that cause fluid leakage into the tissues. This results in swelling. It also helps wall off the bacteria from surrounding tissues.
Gum disease can affect a developing fetus.
It’s recommended that women who are trying to conceive and those who become pregnant see a dentist early on in the pregnancy. This is because expecting mothers are at an increased risk of developing gum disease. Additionally, it’s possible for untreated gum disease to affect the health of the unborn baby, such as by increasing the risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Here at Park 56 Dental, our friendly dentists firmly believe that every patient should be able to enjoy a beautiful and healthy smile. We strongly encourage you to schedule a dentist appointment in NYC every six months for preventive care. If you notice potential signs of gum disease and need an appointment sooner than this, give us a call at (646) 783-3529 and we’ll fit you in as soon as possible!
Tooth loss is normal in four-to-six-year-old children, but not in adults. Although tooth loss is quite common in adults, it shouldn’t be considered to be a normal consequence of the aging process. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of tooth loss at any age. With good oral care from your dentist and a healthy lifestyle, you can enjoy your pearly whites well into your 80s, 90s, and beyond!
Never or Rarely Receiving Routine Dental Care
Some people only visit the dentist when they suffer a toothache or other dental emergency. However, it’s really important to visit a dentist at least every six months for professional teeth cleaning and exam. The dental hygienist uses professional instruments that can scrape away plaque from underneath the gum line. Dental hygienists can also remove calculus or tartar, which is hardened plaque that’s impossible to remove with a toothbrush and floss. This intensive cleaning reduces your risk of developing problems like gum disease and tooth decay, which may eventually cause tooth loss. In addition, the dentist’s exam can detect problems early, before they cause symptoms. The early treatment of oral health problems can help prevent tooth loss.
Smoking or Chewing Tobacco
Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for tooth loss. There is no “safe” amount that one can smoke; even just one or two cigarettes per day will harm your health and raise your risk of tooth loss. According to the American Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), smokers are twice as likely to suffer from tooth loss as non-smokers. People who smoke a pack a day can expect to lose at least two teeth every 10 years. Remember that it’s never too late to quit smoking. Even if you’ve already lost some teeth, quitting now can preserve the rest of them. Plus, you might not be a candidate for dental implants while you remain a smoker.
Tooth loss can be troubling, but with tooth implants, you can enjoy a beautiful and complete smile once again! Call (646) 783-3529 if you’re curious about getting dental implants in NYC. The dentists at Park 56 Dental look forward to meeting you and discussing your treatment options.
If you have gums that are swollen, tender, or bleeding, there’s a good chance that you could have gum disease. Visit a dentist as soon as possible to get the problem under control. Your dentist can clear up the infection and heal your gums with treatment options like scaling and root planing. The sooner gum disease is treated, the easier it is to reverse.
While you’re waiting for your dentist appointment, watch this featured video to get some helpful tips on managing your swollen gums. You’ll learn why mouth rinse that contains peroxide can help, and you’ll discover which over-the-counter medications can fight inflammation.
At Park 56 Dental, we focus on delivering friendly, patient-centered care within a relaxing, judgment-free setting. Call (646) 783-3529 to request our next available dentist appointment in NYC.
If you have a cavity, one of the facets of your treatment plan that your dentist will review with you is the material used for your filling. Gold, porcelain, and composite are all common options for dental fillings, and now, ceramic and plastic materials that look like your natural teeth are also popular choices. When choosing the right material for your filling, your dentist will discuss several factors with you.
One important consideration is how much of the tooth will need to be filled. If the filling is large, a natural-looking filling material is often preferred. The location of the tooth also matters. Teeth in the back of your mouth that are less visible may be better suited to fillings that don’t mimic the appearance of natural teeth than those in the front of the mouth. The chew load of the tooth is also a consideration, as are your personal preferences.
At Park 56 Dental, we specialize in providing patients with high-quality dental care that helps them look and feel their best. If you need a dental filling in NYC, you can make an appointment by calling (646) 783–3529.