Gently Now (Protect Your Gums When You Brush)

Dental health General Dentistry Gum disease

cosmetic dentistry PhoenixEveryone wants nice, pearly whites so, naturally, we should brush our teeth more, right? The only dilemma with that is many people brush their teeth too aggressively, leading to gum recession.  You don’t want that.

Gum recession is when your gum line exposes more of your teeth, or in severe cases, your tooth root. It leads to a pocket of space between your teeth and gum line.  Decay-causing bacteria can grow and fester in that pocket. This leads to serious issues down the line. Even tooth loss.

Longer or Harder?

A common fallacy we hear occasionally at Harris Dental is the idea that if you want to lighten your teeth, you should scrub them really hard.

The best way to get pearly whites (and prevent decay) is to brush longer, not harder. Gently brush your teeth until they’re squeaky clean. Run your tongue over them. Doesn’t that feel great?

When you are finished brushing, it’s time to floss. Be sure to get the floss down into the pocket between the gum and teeth.

Why?

Brushing longer and not harder is the key. When you brush your teeth quickly, you may not be getting all the particles of food off. You don’t want the particles of food to turn into plaque.

If you truly desire whiter teeth, be sure you brush your teeth in a slow, circular motion for as close to five minutes as you can. Methodically go over each tooth on every surface. Plus your tongue. If five minutes is impossible, make sure you brush for at least two minutes. Set a timer on your phone. Play your favorite two-minute song.

Use a whitening toothpaste with fluoride. That way, you get all the recent gunk off and your teeth get a little bit whiter each time you brush. And the fluoride helps your teeth remineralize after eating or drinking enamel-weakening acidic foods and beverages.

Let’s Review

If you’re not careful, the way you brush your teeth can lead to gum recession. Gum recession can (and most likely will) cause a space to form between your teeth and gum line. This pocket collects bacteria. Bacteria causes decay. Plus, if the gums continue to recede, the tooth can become loose.

Next, we discussed the proper motion and duration to brush your teeth. Finally, we went over the reasoning behind why all the aforementioned things are so important. Remember, you want a slow, circular motion for two to five minutes.

What If You Already Have Gum Recession?

Come talk to us at Harris Dental. We can discuss your options for reversing it.

What If You Want Your Teeth Whiter Than Whitening Toothpaste Can Make Them?

Whitening toothpastes can make your teeth a shade or two lighter. Professional professional teeth bleaching can make your teeth several shades whiter. In one visit, you can have a stunning white smile.

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4444 N 32 St Ste 208
Phoenix, Arizona
85018

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Bad Breath Is No Fun

General Dentistry Gum disease Oral Health

Bad Breath Is No Fun For Phoenix Residents

This post from Harris Dental in Phoenix AZ takes on an unpleasant topic: bad breath.

Imagine you are starting a new job and are going to meet with your new boss for the first time. Confidence is key to your success. As you reach out to shake the extended hand your broad confident smile exposes rows of pearly white teeth, yet when you open your mouth to exchange greetings you worry about bad breath.

The technical term for bad breath is halitosis. Many behaviors and health conditions can cause or exacerbate halitosis. One of these factors is the food you eat. Onions and garlic are both known for having a potent effect on your breath.

Brushing and flossing daily is a critical step in curing bad breath. Food particles can build up in your mouth and foster bacteria which can cause bad breath. This not only includes the food particles that may get stuck between your teeth, but also the food that collects around your gums or on your tongue. Brushing and flossing daily can help reduce the number of food particles that stay in your mouth and cause bad breath.

Other factors to think about include dry mouth, tobacco use, and health concerns such as infections.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix AZ, your dental health is always our top priority. People from Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Mesa come to us for restoration and preventative care, and know they can trust us with their smiles. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4444 N 32 St Ste 208
Phoenix, Arizona
85018

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The 4 Stages of Gum Disease

Dental health General Dentistry Gum disease

four stages of gum disease Phoenix

Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It’s a progressive condition, and is easily treatable in its earliest stages. In this article from Harris Dental in Phoenix AZ, we have put together a list of the four main stages of gum disease, in order to keep our patients aware and educated on this all-too-common problem.

  1. Gingivitis: This first stage includes red or swollen gums that cause discomfort while brushing and flossing. You may notice bad breath on occasion. Gingivitis is often caused by the buildup of bacteria on teeth and the gum line.
  2. Early Stage Periodontal Disease: During the second stage, infection has spread beneath the gums, allowing harmful bacteria to begin eating at the bone holding your teeth in place. An aggressive treatment plan can prevent it from getting worse.
  3. Moderate Periodontal Disease: This third stage involves more advanced care. Surgery can reshape your gums and close pockets between the gums and teeth to reduce plaque buildup. This may sound intimidating, but the prognosis can be good.
  4. Advanced Periodontal Disease: Flap surgery is common for this stage and involves cleaning the actual roots of your teeth by scrubbing behind your gums. Weakened bone can be smoothed or shaped to avoid bacteria from collecting.

Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular checkups at Harris Dental in Phoenix AZ, can prevent gum disease. If you already have symptoms, do not despair! We also offer gum disease treatment. People from Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Mesa come to us for general and restorative dentistry. Contact us today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4444 N 32 St Ste 208
Phoenix, Arizona
85018

 

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If My Gums Bleed, Should I Stop Flossing?

General Dentistry Gum disease

If your gums bleed when you floss your teeth, should you drop flossing from your dental health routine? We’re asked about this from time to time at Harris Dental in Phoenix AZ.

Our answer is short and right to the point: “No!”

Bleeding is probably a sign that you need to clean your teeth and gums more thoroughly, not leave them alone. It is all but impossible to clean effectively between teeth without using floss or an interdental brush.

If you have never made flossing a habit, your gums might bleed the first few times you do it. The bleeding may be due to gum inflammation, the beginnings of gum disease. Keep flossing gently and the bleeding usually stops within a week or two.

Gum disease is extremely common, and is a leading cause of tooth loss among adults. Healthy teeth and gums are essential for good dental health.

At Harris Dental in Phoenix AZ we want all our patients to brush and floss twice a day, and see us for regular checkups. We treat gum disease. Patients from all over Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Mesa come to us for general and cosmetic dentistry, and much more. Request an appointment with us today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4444 N 32 St Ste 208
Phoenix, Arizona
85018

 

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Do You Have Periodontal Disease?

Dental health General Dentistry Gum disease

Periodontal Disease in Arizona

Gum disease is more common than you might think. At Harris Dental in Phoenix we see patients with gum disease almost every day. It’s a serious matter, because gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.

Some people aren’t even aware they have it until we see it during a checkup. It’s a treatable condition, although the earlier the diagnosis the better.

Gum disease is an inflammation or infection of the gums. It is usually the result of poor brushing and flossing habits. When you don’t brush and floss on a regular basis, there is a build-up of plaque, which hardens into a substance called tartar. That’s why we recommend our patients brush and floss twice a day. It’s the best way to prevent plaque from building up.

No amount of brushing and flossing will remove tartar from your teeth. It takes a professional cleaning to remove it, which is why we want to see our patients on a regular basis – twice a year, in most cases.

Risk Factors

In addition to poor oral hygiene, risk factors for gum disease include:

  • Smoking, which is the most significant
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics
  • Certain illnesses, like AIDS, and their medication
  • Medication that reduces the flow of saliva

The symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Painful chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums

The type of treatment for gum disease depends on the extent of the condition. Part of the treatment might include behavioral changes, like giving up smoking. And it is essential that the patient adopts good daily dental care.

Anyone can get gum disease, and the earlier it is detected, the sooner we can begin treatment at Harris Dental in Phoenix. Patients from Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Mesa also come to us for complete general dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!

Contact Harris Dental:

480-428-0040

Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

4444 N 32 St Ste 208
Phoenix, Arizona
85018

 

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