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Dr. Sheela Neral, DDS & Associates

38215 W 10 Mile Rd, Suite #5
Farmington Hills, MI 48335
(248) 888-0364


43060 Mound Rd.
Sterling Heights, MI 48314
(586) 268-1040

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Posts for tag: gum disease

By Dr. Sheela Neral, DDS, PC
April 05, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Gum disease does not only happen to the elderly—it can happen at any age.  Many U.S. adults currently have some form of gum disease ranging from simple gum inflammation to serious damage of the tissue and bone supporting your teeth.  Gum disease is a serious issue, with health implications worsening as the condition develops, allowing it to spread to other areas of your body.  Gum disease originates in the gums, where infections form from harmful bacteria and other matter left behind from eating.  In many cases, gum disease can go unnoticed for months until damage is severe.  By visiting our Sterling Heights, MI dentist, we can help you keep your teeth by protecting yourself from the development of gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding a tooth, which is the leading cause of tooth loss.  Once gum disease sets in, the toxins that are produced by the bacteria damage your teeth’s connective tissue and bone.  This can eventually destroy them and bring forth tooth loss. 
Some common signs of gum disease include:
  • ·Bleeding gums during brushing or otherwise
  • ·Sensitive, red or swollen gums
  • ·Bad breath
  • ·Teeth that are loose or appear to have shifted
There are a number of causes of gum disease, which can be corrected and controlled.  One cause of gum disease includes improper dental hygiene.  If plaque is not properly removed through daily dental hygiene practices and regular professional dental cleaning, bacteria may set in and cause gingivitis, the earliest sign of gum disease.   Other causes of gum disease include organic changes in the mouth, medical conditions, saliva flow inhibitors and poor functional habits, such as teeth grinding.

Prevention and Treatment

Untreated gingivitis will usually progress into more serious stages of gum disease, which cause irreversible bone loss and potential tooth loss.  Prevention is essential in the maintenance of your smile.  The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, visiting Dr. Sheela Neral, our Sterling Heights dentist, for regular checkups and maintaining a proper, nutritious diet.
Choosing the proper toothbrush is important in prevention as well.  Softer brushes are less likely to injure your gums, and electric toothbrushes often encourage better brushing habits.  Remember not to brush too vigorously, though.  Brushing too long or too hard can do more harm than good. 
Regular dental exams with Dr. Neral are necessary to remove tartar and to detect early signs of gum disease, but your own dental health regimen also plays a major role in preventing the build-up and progression of tartar.  Some preventative steps you can take at home to keep your teeth healthy include:
  • · Brush your teeth twice a day
  • · Floss daily to remove plaque
  • · Eat a well-balanced diet
  • ·Use a mouth rinse in conjunction with brushing and flossing
  • ·Avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco
When gum disease is detected in its earliest stages, it is extremely manageable and reversible.  If you are experiencing bleeding white brushing or any other symptoms of gum disease, contact Dr. Sheela Neral, our dentist in Sterling Heights, for further examination.  Remember, early diagnosis and prevention are key in the maintenance of your smile.
By Dr. Sheela Neral, DDS, PC
December 30, 2013
Category: Oral Health

If you have recently noticed swelling, bleeding or pain in your gums, you may have developed a gum abscess. It's the result of periodontal disease, an infection in the gum tissue caused by bacterial plaque that has adhered to the teeth. It's important in the short term to treat the abscess, and in the long-term the underlying gum disease for the survival of the affected tooth and your overall health.

A gum abscess is a sac filled with infection that has developed between the tooth and gum. Besides swelling, you may also notice tenderness when you bite down on a tooth or feel that the tooth is loose. If the abscess originates from a root canal infection it tends to be much more painful, and the pain will seem generalized rather than from a specific tooth.

The first step in treatment is to drain the abscess. We would numb the area with a local anesthetic and then allow the infection to drain. After drainage we would clean and irrigate the infected root surfaces to remove any noticeable bacterial plaque, and possibly prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain. The drained abscess should heal in a few days to a week.

The next step is to treat the underlying cause of the abscess. Depending on what we find in our examination, this can include root planing and scaling (deep plaque and tartar removal), or a root canal treatment where the infected pulp within the root canal is removed, and the canal is then cleaned, filled and sealed.

It's also a good idea for patients with gum disease to have a thorough health checkup. It's possible that other general health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease may be contributing to the gum disease, and vice-versa.

Treating a gum abscess and the underlying cause is about more than relieving pain or discomfort — you're also protecting your dental and general health.

If you would like more information on the treatment of abscesses or gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal (Gum) Abscesses.”

By Dr. Sheela Neral, DDS, PC
December 12, 2013
Category: Oral Health

Your gums are red around the margins and bleed whenever you brush or floss but there's minimal to no pain... You: (select the most appropriate answer[s])

  1. are brushing or flossing too vigorously
  2. have an accumulation of dental plaque where the teeth meet the gums
  3. are using a toothbrush that's too firm
  4. are experiencing early signs of gum disease
  5. should see your dentist if this persists for more than 6 months

Kudos if you picked b) and d). The most common cause of bleeding gums is the accumulation of dental plaque (bacterial deposits) at the gum line, which is an early sign of periodontal (from the Latin “peri” – around, and the Greek “odont” – tooth) disease. It is usually painless so people tend to underestimate the risk of allowing gum disease to progress and become a more significant problem.

It's a common misconception that bleeding gums are caused by brushing or flossing too vigorously or using a toothbrush that's too firm. This is sometimes the case, but the abrasion would probably cause noticeable pain. Instead, it's likely that you're not brushing and flossing effectively enough, allowing bacterial deposits to accumulate at the gum line and feed on food particles that haven't been adequately flushed from your mouth.

The bacterial deposits form a whitish film that is hard to detect when you look in the mirror. But you will notice bleeding and redness and eventually inflammation of the gums — an immune response to disease-causing bacteria that flourish in the plaque. As the biofilm grows, with time it also hardens (calcifies), making it increasingly difficult to dislodge. Eventually, only professional cleaning can remove it and sometimes antibiotics are needed. If no action is taken, gum disease will progress, and eventually cause loss of the underlying bone that anchors the teeth.

There are other reasons that gums may bleed, such as elevated hormone levels in women, a side effect of certain medications, or a systemic (bodily) disease. Whatever the cause, it's important to get a professional diagnosis promptly and take appropriate therapeutic action as needed. Optimally, with good oral hygiene and regular checkups, you can avoid this problem entirely!

If you would like more information about preventing or treating bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.”