Protect Your Oral Health: Recognizing the Signs of Periodontal Disease | 27215 Dentist

Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is a serious oral health condition that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It’s caused by the accumulation of bacteria and plaque on the teeth and gums, which can lead to inflammation, bleeding, and eventually tooth loss. In this blog, we’ll discuss the signs of periodontal disease so that you can recognize them and take action to protect your oral health.

  1. Bleeding gums: One of the most common signs of periodontal disease is bleeding gums, particularly when brushing or flossing. This is caused by the inflammation of the gums, which makes them more susceptible to bleeding.
  2. Swollen or tender gums: If your gums are swollen or tender, this could be a sign of periodontal disease. This is because the inflammation caused by the disease can make your gums feel sore and sensitive.
  3. Bad breath: Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. In the case of periodontal disease, the bacteria can be found in the pockets that form between the teeth and gums.
  4. Receding gums: As periodontal disease progresses, it can cause the gums to recede, or pull away from the teeth. This can make your teeth appear longer and can expose the roots, which can lead to sensitivity and other issues.
  5. Loose or shifting teeth: As the disease progresses, it can cause the bone and tissue that support the teeth to break down, which can lead to loose or shifting teeth. If you notice that your teeth feel loose or seem to be moving, this could be a sign of periodontal disease.
  6. Pus between the teeth and gums: In some cases, periodontal disease can cause the formation of pus between the teeth and gums. This is a serious sign of infection and requires immediate treatment.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist can assess the health of your gums and teeth and recommend the appropriate treatment to prevent further damage and improve your oral health.

Treatment for periodontal disease may include a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing, which removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums. In more severe cases, surgery may be required to repair the damage caused by the disease.

In conclusion, periodontal disease is a serious oral health condition that requires prompt attention and treatment. By recognizing the signs of the disease, you can take action to protect your oral health and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums. So be sure to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings, and practice good oral hygiene habits at home to keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. Contact our dental office today to schedule an appointment. 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

How Long Does a Temporary Crown Last?  | Dentist in 27215

If you have recently seen Dr. Makhlouf for root canal therapy, you likely have a temporary crown placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is molded and created for your unique mouth. While some patients are eager to get through the entire process, some patients may be less eager to return for additional, necessary dental work and wondering how long they can get away with wearing the temporary crown.  

So, how long can you wear the temporary crown? Well, the answer is, “It depends.” The permanent crown is typically placed within a few weeks to a month after dental procedures. The tooth and soft tissue are given time to heal, and the lab needs time to manufacture the one-of-a-kind crown. Placing the final crown may be delayed if Dr. Makhlouf has recommended other dental procedures. Ideally, the permanent crown should be placed as soon as possible. 

What Happens if the Temporary Crown Has Been in Longer than a Few Weeks? 

The longer the temporary crown is in your mouth, the more likely the crown is to significantly wear. This can cause a shift in tooth position and the occlusion. Dr. Makhlouf will advise you on how long your temporary crown can last based on placement and your oral habits. 

Remember, even if you can get away with leaving a temporary crown longer than the recommended time frame, it doesn’t mean you should. Call DDr. Makhlouf at (336) 226-8406 if you have a question about your crown, or to schedule an appointment for your root canal therapy. 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Is Gum Good for Your Oral Health? The Surprising Answer! | 27215 Dentist

Chewing gum is a popular habit for many people, and it has been around for centuries. While some people chew gum for the flavor, others do it to freshen their breath or simply to pass the time. But the question is, is gum good for your oral health?

The answer is yes, but with a caveat. Sugar-free gum can actually be beneficial for your oral health because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. This, in turn, can help prevent cavities and tooth decay.

However, not all types of gum are created equal. Gum that contains sugar can actually have the opposite effect and be harmful to your teeth. The sugar in the gum can feed the bacteria in your mouth, leading to the production of acid that erodes your tooth enamel and causes cavities.

When choosing gum, it’s important to look for those that are sugar-free and contain xylitol, a natural sweetener that has been shown to reduce the risk of cavities. Xylitol works by inhibiting the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities and helping to neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Another benefit of chewing gum is that it can help to freshen your breath. This is because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to wash away the bacteria that cause bad breath. Additionally, many types of gum contain flavorings and essential oils such as mint or cinnamon, which can also help to freshen your breath.

While chewing gum can be beneficial for your oral health, it’s important to remember that it’s not a substitute for proper oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly are still essential for maintaining good oral health.

In conclusion, chewing sugar-free gum can actually be good for your oral health because it stimulates the production of saliva, which helps to neutralize the acid in your mouth and wash away food particles and bacteria. However, it’s important to choose gum that is sugar-free and contains xylitol to avoid the risk of cavities. And as always, proper oral hygiene is crucial for maintaining good oral health. So, go ahead and chew that gum, but make sure it’s the right kind!

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Dentist 27215

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved.

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age: 

Hygiene 

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months. 

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use. 

Diet 

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water. 

Sealants 

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay. 

Fluoride 

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you. 

Dental Care 

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified. 

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington, NC 27215

Burlington NC Dentist | 3 Simple Ways to Reduce Tooth Decay

A happy smile is a healthy smile! There are a number of steps you can take to keep your smile healthy by reducing your risk of developing tooth decay. Here are a few suggestions from our team.

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Eat a Tooth Friendly Diet

Reduce the amount of sugars and carbohydrates in your diet. Decay-causing bacteria in the mouth feed on these substances.

We suggest you reduce grains, beans, seeds, and nuts in your diet when possible. These foods can lead to demineralization of your teeth and bones due to their acidic content. Consider adding foods high in minerals and vitamins to your diet such as apples, leafy greens, celery, or carrots.

Brush, Floss, Rinse, Repeat

Routine brushing at least twice a day followed by flossing and a mouth rinse is the optimal at home dental care routine. Brush for at least two minutes in the morning and at night. Use a soft bristle toothbrush that is small enough to reach every tooth.

Dental Sealants

Children often get dental sealants to protect the hard-to-reach teeth in the back of their mouths. However, dental sealants can benefit adults and those who have a higher risk of decay. Dental sealants are a layer of plastic-like material that coats the top surface of the tooth. Sealants protect the crevices in the tooth where bacteria reside and minimizes exposure of the tooth to harmful acids and sugars that wear down enamel.

When left untreated, tooth decay can cause discomfort and spread to other healthy teeth. You can combat tooth decay by reducing sugars and acids in your diet and brushing and flossing regularly. For some patients, dental sealants might be a solution.

Don’t forget to schedule your next visit to Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington. Our Burlington dentist can provide a professional cleaning and check for signs of tooth decay.

 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington , NC 27215

Burlington NC Dentist | Oral Health and Cancer

There are over 12 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year. There are a large variety of different kinds of cancer, some of which are more preventable than others. It might seem obvious that brushing and flossing each day as well as avoiding tobacco can help protect you from oral cancer. However, there are types of oral cancer and other cancers that can be prevented through optimal oral care as well.

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Dental Care and Oral Cancer

While it’s long been known that tobacco and heavy alcohol use are the main causes of oral, head, and neck cancer, poor oral health has recently been added to the list. A 2007 study published in American Journal of Epidemiology found that poor mouth health and missing teeth were strongly linked to the development of oral cancer. Likewise, patients with healthy smiles were found to be far less likely to develop oral cancer. If you have been diagnosed with oral cancer, know that common oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay could be making the condition worse. Visiting our Burlington dentist regularly for professional cleanings, examinations, and oral cancer screenings to help catch signs of oral cancer early and make treatment easier and more effective.

Oral Health and Other Cancers

Poor oral health has been shown to be tied to other types of cancers outside of the mouth. For example, a recent study conducted by NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center found that certain types of bacteria in patients with gum disease was tied to a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. While esophageal cancer only accounts for 1% of new cancer cases diagnosed annually, over 90% of patients will die of the disease. Untreated gum disease opens up the tissues around the teeth to bacterial infection, allowing these harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of the patient’s body. Maintaining optimal oral health can help protect you from this threat.

Your oral health effects much more than just your mouth. If you’re not taking care of your teeth, tongue, and gums, you could significantly increase your risk of developing cancer without even realizing it. If you’d like to learn more about the connection between oral health and cancer, contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington to schedule an examination and cleaning today!

 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington , NC 27215

Burlington NC Dentist | Blood Thinners and Oral Surgery

Blood thinning medications are helpful in regulating your body to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other serious issues. However, if you are scheduled for oral surgery, it is vital that our oral surgeon is aware of all medications you are using.

How Blood Thinners Work

There are two types of blood thinners. The first type works to prevent blood clotting. Medications ranging from aspirin to Plavix fit into this category. The other type of blood thinners work to prevent blood from coagulating; Coumadin or warfarin accomplish this.

What Our Oral Surgeon Should Know

When you have your oral surgery consultation appointment, be sure to share with us any medications you are taking. We need to have your complete medical history to ensure your safety and proper treatment. Our dentist might also ask you the purpose of each medication you are taking to better understand any side-effects or other medical issues that could affect your oral surgery.

Steps to Take Before Surgery

Never stop any medication without consulting your doctor. Depending on your medical history, your doctor might suggest specific blood tests before having oral surgery. Communication is key, both between you and your primary physician, and between you and our office. If your treatment requires additional medication to be taken, ask about potential drug interactions.

Steps to Take to Minimize Oral Bleeding

Bleeding resulting from oral surgery can occur, but each patient will have different results. The most effective way to minimize oral bleeding is to firmly apply pressure to the area for up to 30 minutes. Gauze is recommended for applying gentle pressure to stop bleeding. Depending on the oral surgery procedure, we may ask you to refrain from drinking hot liquids and rinsing your mouth for the first day. We suggest avoiding rough or sharp foods that might cut your mouth.

Prior to having any oral surgery, it is important that our experienced surgical team has a thorough knowledge of your medical history. This enables us to find the best possible solutions for your needs, while ensuring your safety.

If you have any questions for our Burlington dentist about medications and oral surgery, contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington.

 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington , NC 27215

Burlington NC Dentist | Men: Here’s What You Need to Know About Keeping Your Mouth Healthy

Men, dental examinations and treatment are important for you, too. Did you know according to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), by age 72 men lose an average of 5 teeth? That number jumps to 12 if you are also a smoker. Here’s what you need to know about keeping your mouth healthy. Follow these tips and you can beat the odds stacked against men and their oral health.

The Basics

Men are more likely than women to suffer from periodontal, or gum, disease. Men also have a higher risk of developing oral cancer and throat cancer, and men tend to lose more teeth than women. A poll conducted by the AGD found that 45% of men who responded felt there was no need for them to visit the dentist. This is a troubling statistic for a group more prone to oral health issues. A visit to our office can help us identify problems early.

Risk Factors

Certain medications can directly impact your teeth. Others can cause side effects such as dry mouth, which decreases saliva. Saliva is important in keeping your teeth’s enamel strong. Smoking or chewing tobacco, including smoking electronic cigarettes, have been linked to increasing your risk of developing oral cancer and other oral health issues. If you play sports, especially football or hockey, get fitted with a mouth guard to protect your teeth from extensive damage. You should avoid or limit energy drinks and sports drinks, as these contain acids and sugars that can lead to decay.

Periodontal Disease

Men are at a higher risk for developing periodontal, or gum, disease. Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of hardened plaque on teeth and gums. This buildup, known as tartar, can inflame your gums. Studies have linked periodontal disease to increasing your risk for strokes, heart attacks, diabetic complications, and more. If your gums are red, bloodied, or sore, you should make an appointment to see us. Our experienced, professional dental team will assess your gum health and work to find a treatment for you.

Take These Steps at Home

A visit to our office will provide you with a complete dental examination and cleaning, but you should also practice good oral hygiene each day at home. This starts by brushing your teeth twice each day, for two minutes each time. When you brush, use an appropriate toothpaste. Ask our team if you are not sure what kind of toothpaste is best for you. Make sure you are also using dental floss. Taking care of your teeth at home will make your next visit to see us easier.

Men, your teeth are important so take good care of them. Practice good brushing and flossing habits at home. Reduce your risk of developing decay and oral disease by cutting back on sugary or acidic drinks, avoiding tobacco and smoking, and keeping our office up to date on any medications you are using. Get into the habit of coming to our office regularly, your smile depends on it.

For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next dental examination from our Burlington dentist, please contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington.

 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington , NC 27215

Burlington NC Dentist | Health Link: Oral Hygiene and Heart Disease

The human body is a network of interconnected systems and organs. Unfortunately, issues that impact one particular area of your body can also effect the health and function of other areas. Recently, studies have highlighted evidence for links between gum disease and heart disease.

While the exact nature of the connection is still being researched, heart disease is almost twice as likely to occur in people who have gum disease. Nearly half of all Americans have undiagnosed gum disease. In the United States, heart disease is the leading cause of death, making it pertinent that you maintain a healthy heart. The first key to doing so might lie in keeping your gums healthy.

While gum disease may be a contributing factor to heart disease, it is not the only cause. It is essential that you maintain regular visits to your primary care physician as well to measure your overall health. Other factors and lifestyle choices can impact your heart health.

Diet and exercise. Maintain an active lifestyle with activities you enjoy, such as taking walks, riding bikes, playing sports, or doing yoga. Avoid foods high in starches and sugars, including carbonated soft drinks, as they can also damage your teeth.

Don’t smoke. Whether you’re smoking or vaping, nicotine has a detrimental effect on your cardiovascular system and can damage teeth, gums, and lungs. Recent studies have connected vaping to a rapid loss in healthy cells that line the top layer of your mouth. These cells play an essential role in keeping your mouth healthy.

Brush your teeth. The most basic part of oral hygiene is also the most effective. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice a day.

By keeping a balanced, exercising regularly, and taking care of your teeth, you’re taking a holistic approach to your well-being and minimizing your risk of developing heart disease.

As with other diseases, preventing gum disease alone will not completely remove the risk of developing heart disease. However, you can take a proactive approach to keeping your body healthy, starting with your oral health.

To schedule a cleaning and examination, please contact Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington.

 

Mary H. Makhlouf DMD, MS, PA of Burlington
Phone: (336) 226-8406
1682 Westbrook Ave.
Burlington , NC 27215

Burlington NC Dentist | Gaining Wisdom on Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Most patients have some form of complications resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth. 

The Basics 

Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An Impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space.  

What This Means for You 

An impacted wisdom tooth is something you should talk to our doctor about. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. Your wisdom teeth are hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An infected tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease. 

Wisdom Teeth & Your Overall Health 

An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. THE AAOMS explains that oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. That’s right, your teeth can impact your overall health! 

The Importance of Examinations 

You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth.  

What You Can Do 

We cannot overstate the importance of regular oral examinations. Our doctor can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health, so we recommend staying vigilant with your daily oral hygiene routine. 

For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact our office