The American Dental Association says that over 75-80% of all adults have or will have some form of gum disease.
Gum disease, more correctly called periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can be divided into several categories.
The first stage is called gingivitis and is characterized by gum tissue that is red, puffy, and bleeds easily when touched with a toothbrush, floss, or dental instrument.
The second, third, and fourth stages are initial, moderate, and advanced "periodontal disease," respectively. These stages are different from gingivitis because the infection has destroyed the bone supporting the teeth, causing eventual tooth loss. At Kneib Dentistry, the treatment is more involved at these stages, usually consisting of a special cleaning with anesthesia and sometimes gum surgery.
Many mothers have experienced gum disease, dental pain, and/or tooth extraction during or shortly after their pregnancy. This is often seen as being a "normal" side effect of being pregnant. However dental disease, which is an infection of the teeth and/or gums, is not "normal" for any patient.
There are three basic events that happen during pregnancy which make the patient more susceptible to dental disease.
Pregnant women are advised to schedule a dental evaluation and receive preventive dental care at Kneib Dentistry. Personalized oral hygiene instruction by Dr. Kneib will be given to fight disease and promote overall good health for the mother and her baby.
Prior to joint replacement, Dr. Kneib strongly recommends a thorough dental examination for the presence of tooth and gum infection.
Periodontal disease is a commonly occurring oral infection of the adult population (80% of adults are affected) destroying the bony support of the teeth. This infection slowly progresses over the lifetime of the patient and is often manifested in the advanced stage in the senior population.
Because of the lack of any discomfort to the patient until the total loss of bony support to the teeth, many adults are unaware that they have this infection. However, the bacteria from this bone destroying disease, especially in the more advanced cases, have been attributed to possible infection of joint replacements.
Candidates for joint replacements who have not been seen by Dr. Kneib in over a year should consider a thorough dental evaluation of their teeth and gums before surgery.
Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment of gum infections and tooth abscesses may take from two weeks to two months before the patient reaches adequate health before surgery.
Periodontal disease can go on for years without pain and without detection unless specific examination procedures are performed.
Visual oral examination by itself (even by a dentist) will not reliably detect periodontal disease until it has reached an advanced stage.
Early detection and adequate diagnosis require measurement of pockets (the crevice between the tooth and gum) with a periodontal probe. At Kneib Dentistry, effective prevention and treatment is available, but the damage caused as the disease progresses is irreversible.
Early detection is critical to prevent tooth loss and disfigurement. Although the procedure is simple and requires only a few minutes, millions of American adults have never had it done.
Some signs of periodontal disease are:
One of the easiest problems to spot is a build-up of plaque. Plaque is the soft, sticky layer of bacteria, which is constantly forming on the teeth.
Usually, it is invisible to the naked eye, but when a person is not brushing adequately, it can build up to where it appears to be a thick whitish coating on the teeth at the gum line. If not removed, it can lead to gum disease.
Another potential problem, which is easy to spot, is missing teeth. Many patients assume that if they are still able to eat, they are OK.
But very often, losing just one tooth can lead to the loss of support, and teeth begin to drift into the empty space, causing a change in the bite. It also forces the remaining teeth to carry an additional load, sometimes past their ability to adapt. In most cases, when even one tooth is lost, the remaining teeth suffer and are more likely to be lost as well.
Prevention is an overused word in our vocabulary, but we all know it works. You see it in what you do every day. Who wouldn't rather prevent a crisis than manage one?
Awareness of gum and underlying bone disease is very low. Only 50% of the population visits a dentist on a regular basis. Of that 50%, 80% have some degree of gum and bone disease. It is an epidemic. Were this any other disease, we would be calling on the CDC for immediate action!
Gingivitis is the most common periodontal disease, affecting 90% of the population, including our local Erie area community. It is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria that form plaque.
In small amounts (when it is newly formed), plaque is invisible and relatively harmless. But when left to accumulate, it increases in volume and the proportion of harmful bacteria grows.
These bacteria release toxins that result in inflammation of the gum tissue. Eventually, the plaque hardens and forms hard deposits called calculus or tartar.
How long have you been a dentist? What are your credentials?
What insurance do you accept?
What are your office hours?
Where are you located?
Where are your crowns and caps made?
When we prepare more than one tooth for a crown at the same visit or do not use our Cerec CAD/CAM, we use the Utah based dental laboratory, Arrowhead. They produce high-end porcelain crowns, with the standard of quality being the e.Max crown. We mean it when we say that we DO NOT cut costs by using low quality, inexpensive crowns.
What do I do if I have a dental emergency?
Accidental Tooth Loss — Knowing the Proper First Aid
Is teeth whitening right for me?
Advanced dental techniques now provide consumers with exciting, new options for enhancing their smiles. Revolutionary methods are now available for bleaching teeth to make smiles sparkle!
Teeth bleaching or whitening lightens the color of teeth whether darkened from age, coffee, tea or tobacco. Its brightening effects can last up to five years after the treatment depending on your personal habits, such as smoking or drinking coffee or tea.
Bleaching has a higher than 90% success rate. Bleaching is tough on stains but gentle on your teeth! Results vary depending on several factors such as teeth stained from smoking; from taking certain medications such as tetracycline during tooth development; or from fluorosis, a condition occurring in the presence of too much fluoride.
Bleaching will not lighten fillings or artificial materials used in dental repair as for crowns, porcelain veneers, etc. Your dentist may discourage treatment if you have sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, teeth with worn enamel or if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
How would you whiten my teeth?
Tooth bleaching involves the placement of a bleaching solution on the teeth to eliminate stains and discoloration. The solution is held in place by a custom-made, see-through tray that fits over the teeth - much like a mouthpiece worn by a professional boxer.
Bleaching is a safe, effective and relatively easy means of producing a whiter smile.
Two bleaching methods are available at Kneib Dentistry: Power Bleaching with a Laser, done at our office, and At-Home-Bleaching, which provides for home use (not to be confused with over-the-counter bleaching products available in local Erie area drug stores).
The difference between the two is the strength of the whitening agent and the time it takes to get effective results. Power bleaching usually takes three to six visits, while home bleaching may take up to four weeks of regular use.
Sensitive teeth, or those that are chipped, eroded or weakened by cavities, should be repaired or protected before they are bleached.
Is teeth whitening safe?
Research over the last five years has proven bleaching to be both safe and effective. The American Dental Association's seal of approval has been given to a wide range of tooth whitening products.
Generally, the only side effect from treatment may be some sensitivity to hot and cold foods. If this occurs, sensitivity normally disappears within 48 hours.
Please don't hesitate to contact Kneib Dentistry with any questions you may have about the benefits of tooth whitening or tooth bleaching for a whiter smile.
At what age do I need to bring my child to the dentist?
Regular dental check-ups at Kneib Dentistry should begin no later than 18 months of age.