Common Problems

Bleeding Gums
Bleeding gums are caused by the bacteria in dental plaque. Dentists and hygienist urge frequent cleanings to prevent hardened plaque (tartar or calculus) from building up on the tooth root under the gum line. In early stages of gum disease known as gingivits, only the gum is affected. As the disease progresses the underlying bone becomes affected and bone is lost. Receding gums and teeth sensitive to hot and cold are sometimes the only visible sign of gum disease. The old saying "long in the tooth" refers to gum recession, but this is a sign of disease, not normal aging.

Gum Disease
Gum, or periodontal, disease can cause red, inflamed gums, tooth loss and bone damage. Gum disease begins with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Gums in the early stage of disease, or gingivitis, can bleed easily and become red and swollen. As the disease progresses to periodontitis, teeth may loosen, become infected and have to be removed by a dentist. Gum disease is highly preventable and can usually be avoided by daily brushing and flossing. One indicator of gum disease is consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Your regular cleanings at your dentist's office are designed to slow the progression of bone loss. If damage occurs despite the cleanings a periodontist should be consulted.

Tooth Sensitivity
Sharp pain or discomfort in one or more teeth triggered by  hot, cold, sweet or sour foods is known as tooth sensitivity. This can occur when dentin (the protective blanket covering the roots) becomes exposed as a result of receding gums. The pain or discomfort you may experience occurs when the stimulation reaches the nerve inside the root.

Halitosis (Bad Breath)
Halitosis is the medical term used to describe bad breath, a problem afflicting over 90 million Americans. In many cases, halitosis can be traced back to sulfur-producing bacteria that forms when food particles or other debris become trapped within pockets of the teeth. The sulfur produced as a by-product from the trapped bacteria is the source of the unpleasant odor. If allowed to persist, sulfur gases can be damage to the tissue in the mouth as well as your personal relationships