Teeth Talk Tuesday is our blog outlet about interesting dental topics. We’re sharing information about the latest and greatest developments in dentistry as it applies to your life!
Happy August Kleinheinz Dentistry family! As temperatures keep rising, we hope you’re staying cool! When the summer heat rises, generalized inflammation can increase throughout your entire body. “Anti-inflammatory” has become a big buzz word in the health and wellness world throughout the last few years; so, that’s why we chose oral inflammation as our August blog topic.
Inflammation is a general term to describe your body’s immune system reaction to an irritant. In the mouth, the irritant could be something like plaque, tartar, a cut, bacteria, a virus, a cavity, or even braces. Your body’s response to these triggers often creates areas that appear swollen, warm, red, or painful.
-Teeth. The pulp in the middle of the tooth has blood vessels and nerves. If a tooth has a deep cavity or is in the process of dying, the pulp becomes very inflamed. This is your typical “tooth ache,” and often, we can save the tooth with root canal therapy.
-Bone. When a tooth with a cavity is left untreated, the infection from the tooth creates inflammation in the bone. If we catch it early, root canal therapy might be possible. If the inflammation grows too large, we will need to extract the tooth.
-Gingiva (gums). When food is left on your teeth, it becomes plaque. Then if plaque isn’t brushed and flossed off, it hardens and becomes calculus (tartar). Calculus harbors unsafe bacteria and creates an immune reaction in the gums. This is why your gums bleed if you don’t floss and brush regularly. Bleeding gums are a sign of gum inflammation (periodontal disease). Periodontal disease has been associated with heart disease and even Alzheimer’s (two more reasons to floss!).
-Tissue. Other areas like the tongue, cheek, palate, and lips can experience inflammation. These lesions could be due to a variety of inflammatory reactions. If you notice an area of abnormal color, shape, or size, give us a call to schedule an exam so we can diagnose the source of the inflammation.
-Everyone can develop oral inflammation without good oral hygiene practices!
-Children struggling with breathing (swollen tonsils, asthma) tend to breath through their mouth more often. Breathing through the mouth can exacerbate inflamed gums.
-Pregnant women’s hormones can induce significant gingival inflammation. Having a dental cleaning and good home care is the best way to combat pregnancy gingivitis.
-Braces (or any not-natural object) that stays in the mouth can create some irritation. Again, keeping plaque off the teeth is the only way to avoid painful, bleeding gums.
-Autoimmune disorders related to generalized inflammation can often be mirrored in the mouth. Share your thorough medical history with your dentist so we can help address your oral inflammation.
It all comes down to this: inflammation leads to destruction. Oral inflammation breaks down your teeth, gums, and jaw bone. And we can’t regrow teeth or bone! There are two easy steps to PREVENT oral inflammation: 1)Brush, floss, and have great oral hygiene practices! 2)Visit the dentist regularly so we can diagnose and treat cavities, gum disease, and bone loss early!
Give the Kleinheinz Dentistry team a call at 704-542-6003 with any questions or to schedule your appointment.