Tooth Abscesses: Not a Laughing Matter | Northridge Dentist

When we develop pain in our mouths, it is something that can turn a nuisance into incredible pain relatively easily. One of the main causes of this is an abscessed tooth. Thankfully, it is something that is completely preventable by following simple oral health steps.

Firstly, an abscessed tooth is an infection at the root of a tooth or between gums caused by decay, trauma to the tooth, gingivitis or other gum diseases. It begins when bacteria infect the core of a tooth, through a cavity or cracked tooth, and progressing until pockets of pus begin to form at the root.  Symptoms include toothache, sensitivity to hot or cold, a bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, swollen glands at the neck or jaw and painful chewing, the severity depending on the patient. Some patients feel excruciating pain right away, while others do not know they have an abscessed tooth until they go in for a routine dental exam.

An abscessed tooth can become very dangerous if left untreated. It can spread infections to other areas of the mouth that may cause loss of teeth, facial disfigurement due to rotting facial bones, while putting your immune system at risk of developing other health problems. If an abscess isn’t treated, it will continue to grow and spread through tissue, causing outward facial swelling called cellulitis, and in rare cases, death.

In order to prevent a tooth abscess, it is important that you follow a daily dental routine to ensure that your mouth remains healthy and your smile bright and clean. If you feel an abscess may be forming, see your dental professional immediately.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

If You Love Coffee, There’s Something You Should Know | Northridge Dentist

There is always a line at your favorite coffee shop, so you know aren’t the only one that needs their cup of joe in the morning. But if this is your caffeine form of choice, you need to be extra careful. Not only does coffee stain your teeth, but it can also contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar, while accelerating the progression of periodontal disease.

Firstly, you should know the two forms of periodontal disease. Gingivitis, or an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. When caught in the beginning gingivitis stage, it can be treated and, hopefully preventable in the future. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and, due to the gap between the teeth and gums, may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Now, coffee affects your mouth in two ways: it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums, and reduces the blood flow to your gums. This does not allow your gums to get all of the necessary oxygen they need to continue functioning properly.

When it comes to gum disease, saliva plays a major role in prevention. It contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

The Different Stages of Gum Disease

The stages of periodontal diseaseGum disease is a term used to describe the inflammation of the gums. It is also a form of bacterial infection that, if left unchecked, can and will progress to the point where it can spread to the bones surrounding and supporting teeth.

The infection is often the result of letting the bacteria, which comes with the sticky and colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth known as plaque, build up. The buildup is the result of not taking proper care of the teeth and gums, which then results to gum disease.

While it is true that plaque is always present in the teeth, it is possible to prevent plaque and bacteria build up through daily brushing, flossing and periodical maintenance from the dentist.

To further prevent gum disease, it’s important to educate yourself about the basics of what it is and its different stages.

Stage 1 – Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and causes inflammation, as well as bleeding, in the gums. The inflammation and the resulting bleeding are often caused by the plaque buildup that’s still currently limited at the gumline.

In this early stage, it is still highly possible to reverse the effects. This is because the infection has yet to affect the bone and the connective tissues. However, the only way to do that is to practice proper oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing. It’s also necessary to have the teeth checked and cleaned by the dentist for a more thorough clean and for the patient to receive tips for further care or maintenance.

Stage 2 – Periodontitis

This stage is sometimes split into slight and moderate periodontal disease. However, for the purpose of this article, both will only be referred to as periodontitis.

During periodontitis, the plaque and bacteria have spread to the bones and fibers responsible for holding the teeth in place, causing irreversible damage. Bad breath, though also a sign of gingivitis, may worsen. Also, the gums may appear redder or more inflamed than before.

Pain is rarely felt during this stage, which is both a bad thing since it’s usually why many people tend to disregard periodontitis as something “minor”. The effects, however, are far from what you’d consider as minor.

For example, periodontitis can cause tooth loosening, gum recession, pockets or holes below the gum line, even more bleeding, shifting of the teeth and other dental problems.

Treatment often starts at the dental office where the patient is advised to follow a strict oral home care regimen to prevent further damage. By this stage, reversing the effects is highly unlikely.

Stage 3 – Advanced Periodontitis

The final stage of gum disease is where the damage done by the infection is the worst. Case in point, the fibers and bone supporting the teeth have been damaged to the point that the teeth may have to be removed.

Treatment for advanced periodontitis is even more aggressive and maintenance medication may have to be prescribed to prevent the disease from progressing even further.

Treating Gum Disease

The best treatment for gum disease is prevention, and this is best done through proper oral care in the form of proper brushing and flossing. Doing both can help prevent plaque from building up and possibly causing irreversible damage.

In its later stages, professional cleaning and other dental treatments will have to be utilized to rid the teeth of plaque buildup and contain the infection.

It’s important to know that recent researches have shown that the bacteria from gum disease can travel through the bloodstream and cause complications in other places of the body. This means that while gum disease certainly starts in the mouth, its repercussions could affect the brain, heart and other important organs.

Thus, make it a point to take better care of your teeth and gums starting today. This includes not just flossing and brushing, but also rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash and scheduling regular checkups, as well as cleanings with your dentist.

If you feel that you may be suffering from gum disease, contact Dr. David Lunt, DDS at 818-885-7230 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.davidluntdds.com for additional information.

Recognizing Periodontal Disease | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237Have you been experiencing persistent bad breath or perhaps notice a loose tooth? Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth and may end — if not properly treated — with tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth(Source: webmd.com).

Only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease. Though, plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. However, other factors can contribute to periodontal disease.

Factors such as:

  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Pregnancy
  • Diabetes
  • Alcohol use

Here are some warning signs that can signal a problem:

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Red, swollen, tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures

Even with all these symptoms and warning signs, periodontal disease often goes unnoticed. If you don’t notice any symptoms, you could still have some degree of gum disease. In some people, gum disease may affect only certain teeth, such as the molars.

Keeping your gums healthy requires a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet. Of course, visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and checkups bi-annually can head of potential larger oral health problems. Prevention is your key to oral health success!

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.