FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
1What is gum disease?
Gum disease is also called “periodontal disease.” Periodontal disease is caused by plaque remaining on your teeth. This causes inflammation in your gums and eventually your gums begin to pull away from your teeth. If periodontal disease is not treated properly, the tissues that support your teeth can become damaged, and lead to tooth loss.
2What are some signs and symptoms of periodontal disease?
Symptoms of periodontal disease include: Red and swollen gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss Gums that have pulled away from your teeth Bad breath Pus between your teeth and gums Loose teeth Change in the way your teeth fit together when biting or a change in the way your partial denture fits. There are various stages of periodontal disease from early gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. Red and swollen gums that bleed are a sign of gingivitis. At this stage, the disease is easily reversible with proper home care and a professional cleaning. More advanced periodontists requires a deeper cleaning below the gum line, also called scaling and root planing.
3How can I prevent periodontal disease?
To prevent periodontal disease: Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day Clean between your teeth with floss or other interdental cleaners Visit your dentist regularly for a cleaning and check-up Ask your dentist or dental hygienist how you can improve your home care Quit chewing tobacco or smoking Work with your physician to maintain your overall health
4Am I at a higher risk for periodontal disease?
Research has shown associations between periodontal disease and many other conditions. Persons with diabetes, heart disease and smokers are at an increased risk of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease makes controlling blood glucose levels harder. Diabetes also can cause dry mouth and a fungal infection called thrush. Thrush is caused by the increased glucose level in the saliva and a dry mouth leading to painful white patches in your mouth. By controlling your blood glucose levels, brushing and flossing daily and visiting the dentist regularly you can prevent periodontal disease. If your diabetes is not controlled you are more likely to develop these problems.
5When should my child start going to the dentist?
Children should first begin seeing the dentist at age one or after the eruption of their first tooth.
6But my teeth don’t hurt, why do I need to come in for a check-up?
Even though your teeth may not hurt and may not have any sensitivity, there could still be dental disease present. Routine dental exams help to diagnose periodontal disease, decay and other potential problems before they become hazardous to your health. When disease is caught in the early stages, patients can save money by having it treated or repaired right away. Often times, the more advanced disease is more expensive, more invasive and sometimes impossible to repair.
7Why should I go to Wihlm Dental?
At Wihlm Dental we go out of our way to make your visit comfortable. Our entire team is friendly and caring. They are all well-trained to give you the best care possible. We offer bottles of water, hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the waiting room. We have complimentary paraffin hand waxing available to our patients and relaxing patient chairs that have a massage feature. We care about each patient and will always treat you as an individual.
8What kind of toothpaste should I be using for my child?
Starting at birth, you should cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft washcloth, finger cloth or infant toothbrush and water. As soon as the first tooth appears in your child’s mouth, it is important to keep it clean to prevent tooth decay. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you brush your child’s teeth two times a day with a smear (just enough to coat the bristle tips) of fluoridated toothpaste. As your child gets older, usually around 2-5 years of age, and is able to spit out the excess toothpaste, use no more than a pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.