Monthly Archives: November 2015

Gum Disease is a Lifelong Condition

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Gum disease is a chronic lifelong condition which can often be halted in its earliest, often reversible stage, gingivitis. “Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis (gum disease). With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which
the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.” -from Perio.org.

Once you have been diagnosed with gum disease, it can be treated with surgical and non-surgical therapy and in most cases easily maintained for life with routine periodontal maintenance (dental hygiene visits and close monitoring) and a recommended home care schedule. Gum disease is a lifelong battle, however, we are committed to working with you and your dentist to keep your smile healthy for life. Please contact our office at healthysmiles@brittenperio.com or visit our website at www.brittenperio.com for more information.

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Over 60 million Americans grind their teeth at night

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Do you ever wake up with an aching jaw, tooth sensitivity or notice that your teeth seem to be shifting or loosening?Clenching or grinding your teeth can put excessive force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which periodontal tissues are destroyed. Teeth grinding or clenching can also cause abnormal wear and tear on the teeth which will prematurely age and loosen them, causing problems such as hypersensitivity (from the small cracks that form, exposing your dentin). Clenching or grinding, known as bruxism, can also lead to chronic jaw and facial pain, as well as headaches.


If no one has told you that you grind your teeth, here are a few clues that you may suffer from bruxism:

Your jaw is sore often, or you hear popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.
Your teeth look short or worn down.
You notice dents in your tongue, especially along the edges.

A common therapy involves use of a special appliance worn while sleeping which your dentist can custom fit for you.

Dr. Britten can evaluate you for evidence of clenching or grinding and make the appropriate recommendation to avoid further damage to your teeth, gums and TMJ.

For any questions about bruxism, please contact our office at 727-586-2681 and www.brittenperio.com.