Tips for Healthier Gums

Cartoon of a mouth with bleeding gum due to gum disease.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that 50% of adults over 30 have gum disease? Gum disease often develops when you don’t maintain good oral hygiene. Tender, bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease. If untreated, it can cause tooth decay, tooth loss, and even bone loss. How do you keep your gums healthy? Here are some tips.

Brush & Floss Every Day

Brushing and flossing well are the best things you can do for your gum health. When you don’t clean your teeth well, plaque and tartar build up and irritate your gums. When brushing, be sure to hold your soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.

Don’t forget to floss once a day! Flossing is very important for gum health because it removes food and plaque from places your brush can’t reach. If you haven’t flossed in a while, a little bleeding is normal. Not getting the results you want from brushing and flossing? During your dental exam, ask Dr. Tin for advice.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease as non-smokers. This is because smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight gum disease. Chewing tobacco comes with an increased risk for cavities, gum irritation, and mouth cancers. If you want healthier gums and you use any tobacco products, quitting is a great idea.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Your whole body – including your teeth and gums – benefits from a nutritious diet. Fresh produce, dairy, and whole grains are all linked to better gum health. These foods are packed with nutrients that support your soft tissues. Many also help the body fight against harmful bacteria. If you’re looking for another reason to improve your diet, healthier gums is a good one!

Get a Healthy Smile at Villa Vista Dental

At our Elk Grove office, we offer cleanings and exams that keep your gums healthy. If your gums need some extra love, we’ll most likely recommend scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning treats more advanced gum disease. If you have any questions for Dr. Tin or you want to schedule an appointment, please get in touch today!

Good hygiene & regular dental exams keep your gums healthy!


Types of Dental Cleanings

Cartoon showing little elves helping with a deep teeth cleaning.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Did you know that there’s more than one type of dental cleaning? You may not think twice about it if you regularly visit the dentist for a standard cleaning. However, there are more specialized types of dental cleanings to take care of specific problems. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of dental cleanings.

Prophylaxis Cleanings

The name sounds fancy, but this is actually the standard teeth cleaning and most likely what you’re getting when you go in for your check-up. During a prophylaxis cleaning, any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth is removed. Tartar forms when plaque has hardened, and it can only be removed by a dental professional with special tools. No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, you can’t remove all of the plaque that builds up over time. Basically, this is the kind of cleaning you get if you have a generally healthy mouth.

Scaling & Root Planing

Sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is used to treat gum disease. The “scaling” portion is when plaque and tartar are removed from not just the surface of the teeth, but also from the pockets under your gum line. The “root planing” portion is when your tooth roots are essentially smoothed out, making it easier for the gums to reattach. Since this type of cleaning is more intensive, it is often performed with local anesthetic.

Debridement

A debridement or gross debridement cleaning is used for people who have never visited the dentist, who haven’t visited the dentist in quite some time, or who have struggled to maintain a healthy oral care routine. Performed with a special electrical tool, this kind of cleaning can remove a heavy build-up of plaque and tartar.

Dental Cleanings in Elk Grove, CA

Speaking of dental cleanings, is it time for yours? Book your appointment at Villa Vista Dental by calling us or clicking the contact link below. In addition to routine exams and cleanings, we also offer a wide variety of other dental services. Whatever your smile needs may be, we’re here for you.

Twice a year dental cleanings keep your smile in great shape!


Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

3 cartoon electric toothbrushes on a stage competing for "best toothbrush".
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Proper brushing is vital to your oral health. When you brush at least twice a day, you remove the sticky plaque and bacteria that cause tooth decay. Is it better to use an electric toothbrush or a regular manual one? Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove, CA provides a look at some key features and how the toothbrushes compare to each other.

Ease of Use

Electric toothbrushes do more of the work for you. Thanks to a battery-powered motor, the toothbrush head moves quickly. All you need to do is guide the brush around your teeth. Electric brushes are especially useful for people who have limited mobility, like someone with arthritis. With a manual brush, you’re responsible for moving the brush head over each tooth.

Cleaning Power

Research shows that, in general, electric toothbrushes remove more plaque. Most electric brushes also offer a variety of cleaning modes like a deep clean mode, sensitive mode, gum care mode, and so on. A timer on the brush ensures you clean as long as recommended by dentists. This doesn’t mean that manual brushes are ineffective. Proper brushing technique and brushing for two minutes with a manual toothbrush gets your teeth clean. It just takes more attention.

Price

Electric toothbrushes are always more expensive than manual brushes. Some are significantly pricier. You also have to keep buying replacement heads, which can cost more than a manual toothbrush. A possible benefit is that if your oral health significantly improves with an electric toothbrush, you save money on other dental costs like cavity fillings. If your oral health is already great with a manual toothbrush, an electric one may not be worth the cost.

Final Call?

So, what’s the verdict on electric vs. manual toothbrushes? When it comes to ease of use and cleaning power, electric toothbrushes win. On price, manual toothbrushes are better. Manual toothbrushes can also clean just as well as electric brushes if used properly. Whatever you choose to brush with at home, getting regular cleanings and exams at Villa Vista Dental in Elk Grove is important, too. If you have any questions or want to book an appointment with Dr. Tin, please contact us today!

Need help deciding if an electric toothbrush is worth the expense?


How to Prevent Gum Disease

Artistic rendering describing the states of gum or periodontal disease

What Is Gum Disease?


Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an oral health condition that occurs when plaque–a clear, sticky film–builds up in your mouth. Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, swollen or red gums, loose teeth, receding gums, changes in bite, and bad breath that won’t go away. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is the precursor to gum disease. When gum disease occurs, it pulls the gums away from the teeth to form pockets that bacteria and debris start to build up in. The plaque will spread to under the gums if the pockets become infected. If the infection is left untreated, it could destroy the gum tissue and bone. The result is that your gums are no longer able to support your teeth.

What Causes Gum Disease?


Plaque buildup is the primary cause of gum disease. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, there is a good chance you will develop gum disease. However, there are other reasons why you might have gum disease. Genetics can sometimes play a role. About 30% of people are more predisposed to developing gum disease. People who smoke are also at a higher risk. Misaligned teeth also create a hazard because they are harder to floss and brush well enough to get rid of the plaque. Some other causes of gum disease include stress, poor nutrition, grinding teeth, dry mouth, and hormones. Gum disease can also be associated with diseases like HIV, IBS and leukemia.

Treating Gum Disease


At Villa Vista Dental, we have special equipment to detect and treat gum disease. We offer laser gum therapy for advanced gum disease. By avoiding scalpels and sutures, your recovery time is much faster. If you think you may have gum disease, don’t wait to call for a consultation. If left untreated, gum disease can be very harmful to your overall health.

How to Prevent Gum Disease


The best prevention is practicing good oral health habits every day. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and using toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen your teeth. Additionally, a diet low in sugar and carbs and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Another great way to prevent gum disease is by coming in for regular checkups and cleanings. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.

Gum disease is easier to treat in its early stages.


5 Causes of Tooth Discoloration

woman wearing a hoodie smoking a cigarette

You know that taking good care of your teeth is all about keeping good habits. But what about bad habits? There may be ways that you’re sabotaging your oral health without even realizing it. Several habits can lead to problems like discoloration that can be hard to treat or reverse. Here are a few habits that you should avoid if you want to maintain bright, white teeth.

1. Using Tobacco Products

Smoking and using chewing tobacco is a quick way to stain teeth and cause discoloration. These products contain particles that will stick to the teeth and create a brownish hue. Not only that, cigarettes and tobacco products can cause oral and lung cancers. We recommend quitting as soon as possible if you use these.

2. Staining Beverages

Coffee, tea, and wine are some of the most popular beverages consumed by American adults. The problem is that they can also cause a lot of extrinsic staining on your teeth. That means that the dark tint these drinks create stay on the enamel, or outer layer of the teeth. If you’re not ready to give up your favorite morning or evening drink, try drinking them through a straw. This will reduce the chances of staining. When you do drink coffee, wine, and tea, be sure to drink plenty of water to rinse and brush teeth after if possible.

3. Abrasive Tooth Cleaning Products

“Natural” whitening products like charcoal toothpaste, baking soda, or fruit can create irreversible staining by eroding the enamel of the teeth. Unlike extrinsic staining, this type of staining is harder to fix. We recommend avoiding these types of products for tooth cleaning. If you’re interested in having your teeth whitened, let us know. We are happy to talk to you about professional whitening.

4. Bad Brushing Technique

Forgetting to brush or not brushing correctly is a surefire way to stain teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each day. We recommend using a soft-bristled brush. Many people brush their teeth too hard. This can also lead to enamel erosion and staining that’s difficult to correct. Brush gently and in circular motions.

5. Ditching the Dentist

Not prioritizing your biannual dental appointments will not only contribute to discoloration and staining, but it will also increase your chances of developing cavities, plaque and gingivitis. Coming in for regular cleanings is necessary for a bright, healthy smile.

Interested in Whitening Options?

Call today if it’s time to set up a checkup. Let us know at your appointment if you’re interested in whitening options for your teeth. We have solutions to help you achieve your brightest smile!

Want to avoid tooth discoloration?