James P. Zimmerman D.D.S ,F.A.G.D.
Posts for category: Dental Health
Periodontal disease is one of the most common oral health problems, yet many people are unaware that they even have it. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease can damage your gums, destroy bones and ligaments, and cause tooth loss if it's not diagnosed and treated promptly. Fortunately, your Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, can help you care for your smile with gum-protecting exams and treatments.
Could I Have Periodontal Disease?
You may have gum disease if you notice any of these signs and symptoms:
- Bleeding Gums: Irritated gums tend to bleed easily when you brush and floss your teeth. Bleeding is never normal and shouldn't be ignored. If your toothbrush looks pink after you brush or you see blood on your gums, make an appointment with your Woodland dentist. Bleeding can be the first sign of gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontal disease. In most cases, a dental cleaning and a renewed focus on oral hygiene will reverse gingivitis.
- Bad Breath: It's not unusual to have bad breath first thing in the morning or after eating a garlicky pasta dish. However, when breath odor becomes a constant problem throughout the day, it may be a sign that you have gum disease.
- Pain and Swelling: If you have periodontal disease, your gums may hurt, particularly when you chew. You may also notice that they're red and puffy.
- Receding Gums: Are your teeth looking a little longer these days? Gum disease may be the reason.
- Sensitivity: Receding gums expose your sensitive tooth roots. If you've been experiencing pain after consuming hot, cold or sugary foods/drinks, let your dentist know.
- Pockets: If your gum disease isn't treated in the early stages of the disease, you may eventually develop pockets around your teeth. Pockets form when the gums pull away from the teeth. Deep pockets provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and are a sign of serious gum disease.
- Loose Teeth: The bacteria can eventually destroy or damage the bones and ligaments that hold your teeth in place. Treatment may prevent you from losing loose teeth, depending on the extent of the damage.
Give Us a Call!
Don't ignore possible signs of periodontal disease! Call your Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, at (530) 661-1155 to schedule your appointment.
If you practice consistently thorough oral hygiene habits, you're doing your teeth and gums a great service. If your brushing, flossing and diet should improve, your Woodland, CA, dentist can help. Dr. James Zimmerman and his staff teach their patients of all ages the right way care for their oral health at home. Combined with regular in-office cleanings and check-ups, your hard work will help your smile look good and function well for years.
You are what you eat
A tooth-friendly diet is foundational to vibrant oral health. Most everyone knows that sugary drinks and starchy foods cause cavities, but did you know they also contribute to gum disease? The American Academy of Periodontology says periodontal problems are the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States, and the big culprit is plaque and tartar formed from a poor diet.
What's the solution? Limit carbohydrates in all forms, and increase your intake of fibrous fruits and vegetables. Also, your teeth and gums benefit from calcium-rich dairy products and low-fat, high-protein meats, poultry and fish.
Finally, stay hydrated. Drinking several glasses of water every day washes your teeth and gums, increases saliva production and avoids dry mouth, a leading cause of bad breath and yes, tooth decay.
Brushing and flossing matter
No, the American Dental Association is not just trying to promote sales of toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss. Correct use of these simple tools removes harmful plaque and hard tartar. Both contain bacteria which secrete damaging acids.
Regarding brushing, use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste at least two times daily. Place it at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, and gently brush back and forth, systematically working around your mouth. Be sure to clean deeply grooved chewing surfaces and the lingual surface (or tongue-side) of your teeth, too.
When you floss daily, pull a 12 to 18-inch strand from the dispenser and wind the ends around your forefingers. Pull the floss tight between your thumbs and insert the floss between your teeth. Move the floss up and down to remove any food residues missed by brushing. Be sure to rinse well with clear water.
Semi-annual check-ups and cleanings
They're part of good oral hygiene habits, too. Your Woodland dentist will inspect your mouth for cavities, gum disease and signs of oral cancer. He'll check your dental bite, jaw joint function and the condition of fillings, crowns and cosmetic enhancements such as porcelain veneers.
Finally, you'll receive a through cleaning and X-rays as needed. Your hygienist expertly scales your teeth and the gum line to remove hard deposits of tartar.
Find out more
If you'd like personalized tips on oral hygiene, please contact Dr. Zimmerman's office for a routine cleaning and exam appointment. We always leave time for our patients to ask questions and to give valuable information on how to keep smiles bright and strong. Call your dentist in Woodland, CA, today at (530) 661-1155.
Did you know brushing and flossing each tooth are only half of the steps which make up a strong oral care routine? Though many believe that brushing and flossing are enough to truly maintain their smile, they sometimes fail to remember the other key step in keeping their teeth healthy and clean. Seeing your dentist for regular dental examinations and professional cleanings is crucial to your oral health. Find out why and what makes preventative care so important with your Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman.
What happens at a routine dental examination?
Your dentist will begin your examination by giving your mouth, teeth, head, and neck a once-over, looking for any obvious signs of damage, decay, or other abnormalities. If your dentist finds that you have a problem, such as a cavity or gingivitis, they will recommend the appropriate procedure to treat the condition. If possible, your dentist will perform this procedure during your visit or, if you require a more in-depth treatment, schedule another appointment for a later date. Then, your dental hygienist will thoroughly clean and polish each tooth to remove any presence of plaque or tartar.
The Importance of Preventative Care
You probably already brush your teeth the recommended twice a day. However, half of adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. Flossing is a crucial part of your oral health routine, ensuring that bacteria and plaque are removed from the areas of the mouth your toothbrush’s bristles cannot reach. In addition to brushing and flossing, seeing your dentist twice a year will ensure that your teeth decay and periodontal disease stops before it even starts thanks to catching and treating it early.
Regular Dental Examinations and Professional Cleanings in Woodland, CA
Ensuring that your oral health remains in top notch condition is easy with help from your dentist. The American Dental Association says that patients, no matter their level of risk for decay or periodontal disease, age, or dental condition, should regularly see their dentist twice a year. For more information on seeing your dentist regularly and maintaining your smile, please contact Dr. James Zimmerman in Woodland, CA. Call (530) 661-1155 to schedule your preventative examination with Dr. Zimmerman today!
Can't figure out why your jaw hurts? Our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, shares several common causes of jaw pain and explains what you can do to ease your pain.
You grind and clench your teeth
Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is a common cause of jaw pain. The habits stress your jaw muscles and joints, resulting in pain. In addition to jaw pain, other signs of grinding or clenching include eroded tooth enamel, cracks or chips in teeth or fillings, and morning headaches.
If grinding is related to stress, yoga, meditation and participation in a hobby or sport can be helpful in decreasing your stress level. Decreasing your caffeine or alcohol intake may be helpful. If you can't stop grinding or clenching, wearing a nightguard while you sleep will prevent damage and reduce stress on your jaw.
You place your hands under your jaw while you sleep
Have you ever woken up and noticed that your hands were wedged under your jaw? If you frequently sleep in this position, you may experience jaw pain in the morning. Luckily, often the problem can be corrected fairly easily. Hold a small or full-size pillow to prevent your hands from ending up under your chin during the night.
You have a bad bite
Bite problems affect the way your teeth fit together and can cause jaw pain. Braces can correct your bite and eliminate your pain.
You have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Although TMJ symptoms can occur due to grinding and clenching or a bad bite, it's not always possible to determine the cause of the painful condition. Symptoms include jaw pain and stiffness, headaches, pain and stiffness in the neck and upper back, ear pain, difficulty chewing or opening and closing your mouth, popping sounds and jaw locking.
Heat, relaxation techniques and exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles may decrease your pain. Treatment of underlying issues, such as grinding, bite issues and injuries, can be very helpful. When you visit our Woodland office, we may also recommend an oral splint, a device that protects your upper and lower teeth from coming in contact with each other while you sleep.
Don't let jaw pain disrupt your life. Call our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. Zimmerman, at (530) 661-1155 to schedule an appointment.
Know what changes to look out for that could be trying to warn you that you have periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss. Not only does this chronic condition affect the health of your gums but also it can take quite a toll on your smile as a whole. Before gum disease ruins your oral health, our Woodland, CA, dentist, Dr. James Zimmerman, wants you to be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- Red and inflamed gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch
- Gums that bleed
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Chronic bad breath
- Teeth that appear longer than usual (this happens when gums start to recede)
- Loose teeth
Not all of these symptoms will show up at once. In fact, during the very early stages of periodontal disease, you may not even notice any problems. Of course, during your routine cleanings and exams, our Woodland general dentist can easily examine your gums and determine whether or not you have periodontal disease. Since periodontal disease doesn’t always cause obvious problems it’s important that you always come in for your preventive cleanings. The sooner we are able to catch periodontal disease the better.
Most people worry that they may have periodontal disease and decide to ignore the problem hoping it will go away; however if we are able to catch periodontal disease early enough when it’s only gingivitis then we can provide the proper treatments to actually reverse this problem. Of course, if you continue to ignore these symptoms they will just progress into full-blown periodontal disease. Symptoms can be managed with easy treatment options like scaling and root planing to prevent tooth and bone loss, and other complications.
Don’t just ignore those bleeding or tender gums. Your mouth is trying to let you know that something isn’t wrong. Our Woodland, CA, family dentist will ensure that you get the care you need to protect your oral health.