How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

As a practicing general dentist in Burbank, CA who has been treating gum disease for over seventeen years, I’m often asked, how do I know if I have gum disease?  Gum (periodontal) disease is a serious condition that has major repercussions when it’s left untreated.  Unfortunately, it’s estimated that 75 percent of adults in the United States are suffering from some degree of this disease.  Are you one of the 75 percent?  If so, you are at a higher risk for tooth loss, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer due to the gum infection.  Learn more about gum disease in Burbank, CA including its symptoms, treatment, and prevention, today!

Symptoms of Gum Disease:

It’s not difficult to identify gum disease, unfortunately, because the symptoms of gum disease are painless in the early and moderate stages, the disease is often allowed to progress and go ignored until it reaches its later stages.  By this time, treatment now becomes more difficult, expensive and time consuming – and the risk tooth loss can be great.

Here are some of the common warning signs associated with gum disease:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Bleeding gums with flossing and/or brushing
  • Gum recession
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Increased tooth sensitivity

Many older adults, tobacco users, and people who suffer from conditions that weaken the immune system are at an especially high risk for developing gum disease.  Additionally, a temporary form of the disease is associated with pregnant women (known as “pregnancy gingivitis”).

How Gum Disease Is Treated:

Once gum disease has been identified, treatment methods will depend on the severity of the disease. In its earliest stages, often the condition can be reversed with increased attention to at home brushing and flossing and a few extra visits to the dentist in Burbank, CA.  Early and moderate stages of gum disease can be treated using non-surgical scaling and root planing (also known as a “deep cleaning”).  This method works by removing the mineralized tarter, plaque and bacteria above and below the gum line.  When gum disease reaches an advanced stage, surgical treatment is often indicated and necessary to treat the disease.  Regardless of the treatment, it is critical that all plaque be removed daily from your teeth and gums with proper brushing and flossing.  Doing so will allow you to maintain and control the progression of the disease.  Learn more about how we can help you with that with our Dental Fitness program!

Gum Disease Prevention:

The good news is that gum disease is preventable with proper brushing and flossing.  To keep your teeth and gums healthy, make sure you’re brushing thoroughly and gently for at least two minutes, at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing after each meal is recommended for patients who are at an increased risk of gum disease. Daily flossing removes the bacteria and food particles between your teeth that your toothbrush leaves behind.

In addition to effective daily brushing and flossing, it is very important to complement your at-home routine with regular visits to your dentist for a complete periodontal evaluation to determine your effectiveness with your home care.  When you do, our hygienists will measure your plaque control effectiveness and when necessary, coach you on how to be more effective in removing plaque so that the disease does not progress.

Questions? Need Gum Disease Treatment? Contact Us Today!

When was your last examination and dental cleaning in Burbank, CA?  Don’t forget that preventive care is crucial to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. If you have questions regarding your gum health, or if you suspect you might have gum disease, please contact Dr. James Segulyev today!  You can reach us at (818)846-6464, or email us at Contact@TheBurbankDentist.com or by clicking on make an appointment link above!

Are the Black Lines around my Crowns Cavities?

Black Lines around Crowns

Many people have crowns in the front of their mouth, and sometimes black lines can appear around the edges. Patients often ask Dr. Segulyev if these lines mean that they have cavities.

Black Lines are Usually Not Cavities

Fortunately, black lines around crowns are not cavities, rather – they are stains on the root surface from the material of the old crown.  And while there is sometimes decay present, ore often than not, this is a simply an esthetic issue that Dr. Segulyev an easily fix.

All-Ceramic Crowns to the Rescue

One of the most popular esthetic options that we offer in our office is all-ceramic crowns. All-ceramic crowns (sometimes called “all porcelain” crowns) are restorations that have no metal, and are designed to be used for the demanding esthetics of front teeth.

It’s Time to Smile Again!

So if you have black lines around your crowns, and you’d like them gone, please give us a call at: 818-846-6464.  And to learn more about all ceramic crowns, you can visit our cosmetic dentistry page.

TMJ, Tooth Wear and Muscle Soreness: How Your Mouth Is Like A Car

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TMJ, Tooth Wear, and Muscle Soreness

Patients often ask me what Rejuvenation Dentistry is and if it can benefit their health.  My answer is always, absolutely!  The best way to describe Rejuvenation Dentistry is to think of an analogy that we can all relate to; Car Tires!

No doubt, you have had a situation in which your tires continually wear prematurely or your car is constantly wanting to pull in one direction.  You decide to take the car to your local mechanic.  Your mechanic gives you two options; you can replace the tires but he mentions that the reason your tires are wearing is that the alignment of the vehicle is off.  By simply replacing the tires, you will not be getting to the cause of why the tires are wearing out prematurely and your car is pulling to one side.  As a result, the tires will continue to wear MUCH faster than they should, and you will need new tires much faster than if you addressed the cause of the problem, THE ALIGNMENT.

Our mouths are just like a car and tires.  The teeth are the wheels, and the jaw joints (TMJs) are the alignment.  The muscles are the steering wheel that you have to constantly adjust just so you can stay on the road.  The Teeth (your tires) are not supposed to wear out.  They are built to last as long as you do.  Unfortunately, if your joints are out of alignment, it will cause your muscles to work much harder than they need to.  In addition, your teeth will wear out too soon, be sensitive, break, need unnecessary crowns and root canals.  In addition, if your alignment is off (the joints), you could experience headaches, shoulder pain, neck pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo, and other systemic symptoms you had no idea related to dentistry.

Most dentists focus on the teeth (the wheels) without looking at the alignment.  Dentists are not trained to look at the whole car, just a portion of the car.  Because of this, you never address the CAUSE of why your teeth wear away, break, and all the other symptoms I described again.  So because the cause of disease is not addressed, you will never be able to create a long lasting solution to your dental problems.

I saw this scenario play out countless times, so I went looking for a way to help my patients and all patients who suffer from “TMJ”, worn teeth, headaches, and neck/shoulder pain.  I have spent years training with some of the best dentists in the world that treat the very symptoms you may be experiencing.  And I have learned a way to create long-lasting, beautiful dentistry in a Minimally Invasive way, often without removing any of your natural tooth structure.  The result is that we address the whole dental system, give you a beautiful, comfortable, and pain-free smile!

To Your Health,

James Segulyev, DDS

What is Occlusal Disease?

Occlusal disease is a destructive process that can result from a bite in which the teeth are not properly aligned. Forces are applied to the teeth every time they meet.  When the teeth are properly aligned, teeth, muscles, which work the jaw and the jaw joint, are designed to withstand these forces. But, when bite discrepancies are present this imbalance can cause problems with the teeth, muscles, jaw joint or a combination of all three. This disease process is the #1 most common dental disorder and at the same time the most undiagnosed dental disorder.

Symptoms

Symptoms of occlusal disease include the following:

  • Wear on the biting surface of teeth. Teeth are covered with enamel which is the hardest surface in the body. Once the enamel is worn through the dentin, which is the next tooth layer and softer than enamel, is exposed and wears away faster. This can often be seen when the front teeth wear and look smaller in appearance or back teeth wear and become flat.
  • Teeth can become loose and moveOcclusal Disease
  • Teeth can become sensitive oftentimes to thermal changes such as hot and cold.
  • Teeth can become sore to biting
  • Teeth are more susceptible to fracture
  • The muscles, which work the jaws, can become sore and painful. Headaches are a common complaint.
  • The jaws joints themselves can become symptomatic. Noise such as popping and clicking during eating or jaw movement is common and in some cases pain in the joint is observed.

What happens if untreated?

If occlusal disease is not treated the problems may slowly get worse over time. Ultimately the teeth wear out prematurely and may be lost. Muscle and jaw problems can continue to cause discomfort. The complexity and cost of treatment increases.

Treatment

If occlusal disease is diagnosed early, progression of the damage can be avoided and treatment can be much simpler. If treatment is delayed, damage becomes more severe and solutions more expensive. Treatment can include mild reshaping of the teeth to stabilize the bite, orthotic (splint) therapy, restorations of worn teeth, Rejuvenation therapy, orthodontic treatment to better align the teeth and/or any combination of all the above.

The key to preventing occlusal disease begins with a thorough examination and diagnosis. Unfortunately, this examination is oftentimes not a part of a usual and customary dental exam. With early intervention more complicated problems can be avoided and when more severe damage has already occurred, predictable long-term treatment is dependent on creating a stable and comfortable bite where the teeth, muscle and jaws work in harmony with each other.

How Often Should Dental X-Rays Be Taken?

By Dr. James Segulyev

A frequently asked question at our office is, “How often should I have x-rays taken?” This is a great question! As a general rule of thumb, you should get a set of bitewings taken once a year, and a full mouth series (FMX) once every 3 years. Of course, if you are experiencing pain (other problems/concerns/suspicion) in between x rays, additional ones may need to be taken to diagnose what is going on. In this post we’ll explore the risk of radiation from dental x-rays and the factors that determine how often you need x-rays taken.

How Much Radiation is in a Dental X-Ray?

Modern, digital x rays are extremely low in radiation, unlike older x-ray machines. In fact, the dental assistant in our office stays in the same room with the patient while their x –rays are taken. To Illustrate this point, we made this infographic to compare the radiation from dental x-rays to the radiation we are exposed to everyday:

Dental X Ray Exam

Dry Mouth Puts Your Teeth at Risk

By Dr. James Segulyev

Having enough saliva in your mouth is important to both your general health and your dental health. Our saliva is part of the digestive system and helps us break down our food. Not having enough, dry mouth, can compromise our digestion and add stress to our stomachs. Saliva is also an essential piece of the health of our mouths and teeth. It moistens the tissues, cleanses food particles off the teeth and protects us against the germs that cause cavities.

There are many things that can cause the saliva to change in either quantity or quality. As a normal part of aging our mouths will get more dry. Many commonly prescribed medications that treat high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and anxiety and depression can decrease the amount of saliva we produce. There are also some common medical conditions that can cause dry mouth. Whatever the cause when we have less saliva, or the saliva changes we need to know that we are at greater risk of getting cavities, having gingivitis and losing teeth.

I very commonly have patients come in who have not had a new cavity in decades, and suddenly they have several areas that we have to fix with fillings or crowns. When we start to figure out what happened it comes down to a change in their bodies ability to protect the teeth due to lack of saliva. We can also tell during your exam by the visual appearance of your saliva, tongue and gum tissue if you are suffering from dry mouth even before you may have symptoms. What I hope we can do is have this conversation with our patients before they have new dental problems to fix. Discuss with your dentist or hygienist any new medications that you have started taking, any changes to your health or any concerns you have about your saliva. It can be a simple matter of increasing your prevention by using a prescription toothpaste at home, having a fluoride treatment at your hygiene appointments or using other simple preventive strategies.

Here are some signs of dry mouth to watch out for:

  • Feeling like you need to have a sip of water more often
  • Needing or wanting to chew gum or use mints or hard candies
  • Your upper lip sticking to your top teeth
  • Red irritated tongue of gum tissue
  • Burning when you eat spicy foods.
  • Dry throat
  • Bad Breath
  • Hoarseness