Breaking the Myth: Periodontal Disease Edition | Kenilworth Dentist

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Despite the major prevalence, only three percent of those individuals actually seek treatment for their gum disease. With more research indicating that gum disease may be linked to several other diseases, maintaining healthy teeth and gums have become more and more important. Here are some common things in which the AAP have deemed misconceptions about oral health that should help you distinguish signs of gum disease:

Bleeding gums are not important.

Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are an important sign of periodontal disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing on a regular basis, you should schedule a visit with your dental professional in order to be evaluated for periodontal disease right away.

You don’t need to floss every day.

Having a set oral health routine is incredibly important. This includes keeping up with brushing AND flossing. Doing one without the other is giving opportunities for harmful bacteria to wreak havoc on your dental health.

A tooth lost to gum disease is lost forever.

This is not true, but not exactly false either. While gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss, and you tooth is indeed lost forever, periodontists use procedures such as dental implants to replace teeth.

Poor oral hygiene is the only way to develop gum disease.

Good oral hygiene can definitely contribute to the prevention of gum disease, however there are other factors in which having good oral hygiene won’t matter. For example, using tobacco increases your chances of developing gum disease by a large amount.

For more information regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Cathy Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Food Changes to Expect with Braces | Kenilworth Dentist

When you get traditional braces, there are a lot of changes that comes with it. Not only are there lots of metal and wiring in your mouth to get used to, but there are also lots of lifestyle changes that will take place while your teeth are straightening out. One of these changes is your new diet.

Because brackets are attached to your teeth using a basic dental cement, eating foods that are extra hard or sticky can cause the brackets to pop off, which will mean an unexpected dental visit for repair and delaying your treatment. Even though our braces and wires are metal, and we consider metal to be very strong, they are fragile and are usually damaged by eating the wrong foods. Not only that, but food that cannot be cleaned off braces with a simple brushing and flossing may lead to discoloration and decay of your teeth. We are trying to get a straight smile – why ruin it with discoloration and decay from lack of care? To keep you on track of your new dietary restrictions, keep this general list of things to avoid while correcting the flaws:

  • Absolutely no gum, sugarless or otherwise
  • Chewy foods like bagels, hard rolls and licorice
  • Crunchy foods, such as popcorn, ice and chips
  • Sticky foods, including caramels, taffy and gum
  • Hard foods like nuts are healthy but can break your teeth like hard candy
  • Crispy foods you bite into, like corn on the cob, apples or carrots
  • Also avoid biting into non-food items, such as nail-biting and pencil-chewing habits

So, as you can see, there will be some definite changes, but you’re getting a prettier smile – it’s just a temporary inconvenience to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted.

For more information regarding eating with braces, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

The Three Stages of Gum Disease | Kenilworth Dentist

We all want a bright and shiny smile, but we rarely think about a healthy one. Nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. When you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque to remain on your teeth, which will eventually infect your gums. Let’s break it down:

Gingivitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and can be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by plaque buildup due to poor dental hygiene. This stage of the disease can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when brushing or flossing your teeth. While no gum disease is good, this is the only stage of periodontal that is reversible with periodontal treatment.

Periodontitis. At this particular stage, the supporting bone and tissues will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, forming pockets below the gum line that will eventually become infected. Thankfully, with periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene, you and your dentist can usually prevent any further damage.

Advanced periodontitis. This is the final stage of periodontal disease – not only has the infection affected your teeth, but it has also destroyed the fibers and bones that support your teeth. This can affect your bite and cause your teeth to shift, loosen and/or even fall out. Unfortunately, if periodontal treatment can’t save your teeth, your dentist may have to remove them, which means more time in the dental chair.

Gum disease is nothing to laugh at but can be easily prevented with a little daily dental TLC.

For more information regarding gum disease, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.

Back-to-School with Baby Teeth | Kenilworth Dentist

Now that summer is officially over, we need to turn our attention to a different type of schedule. Unfortunately, we don’t exactly live in a world that is in any way normal, so things like back-to-school routines are changing and it is our duty to adapt our family to the new norm. But there are some things that will never change, and your dental health is one of those things. Just because we are at home or behind a mask, doesn’t mean that we should neglect our smiles.

We may not exactly be attending school, but it is still a good idea to take the family to the dentist once summer is over, just to make sure all of the fun you’ve been having hadn’t done something harmful to your smile. On the day of your child’s visit, expect to have lots of opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The dentist will go over your child’s history and give you a crash course as to what you can expect in upcoming months. A thorough examination will take place in order for the dentist to be able to clearly distinguish any issues that may arise due to habits like thumb sucking, poor hygienic practice or diet. If stains are apparent, your dentist or hygienist may clean your child’s teeth and/or apply fluoride to prevent future cavities.

Once home, you can make your daily dental hygiene practices a family affair. Let your little ones choose their own soft-bristled toothbrush, pick a favorite family song to time your two-minute brushing time and do it together. Uncertain times doesn’t mean uncertain dental health.

For more information regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Dr. Waterloo today at 847-251-8990 or visit www.villagedentalpc.com.

Dr. Cathy Waterloo proudly serves Kenilworth and all surrounding areas.