Gum Disease: Stages, Prevention, And Treatment

Gum disease is a serious oral health condition that should be treated as quickly as possible. What begins with puffy or bleeding gums can quickly become a much more serious issue that can even affect your overall health.

What Is Gum Disease?

 

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that is typically caused by a build up of bacteria, plaque and tartar. Plaque, the bacteria that develop on teeth and causes cavities, can also accumulate on a person’s gums and is the main cause for the beginning stages of gum disease. Gum disease can also be caused from other factors including:

 

  • Family history
  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Smoking
  • Hormonal changes
  • Pregnancy
  • Illnesses such as cancer, HIV, and diabetes
  • Certain medications

 

Gum disease typically progresses subtlety and does not always produce obvious symptoms. Common signs of gum disease include:

 

  • Bad breath
  • Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
  • Gums that bleed easily or bleed from tooth brushing
  • Pain while chewing
  • Receding gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Deep pockets between teeth and gums

 

Stages Of Gum Disease

 

The mildest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis and is typically identified from swollen or bleeding gums and bad breath. Gingivitis is the easiest stage to treat and correct, which is why dentists recommend regular cleanings and exams every six months. If it is caught early enough, gingivitis is reversible and can even be corrected at home.

 

If left untreated or ignored, gingivitis will advance to slight or moderate periodontal disease. When the infection progresses, it will penetrates deep into the gums causing them to pull away from the teeth as bacteria begins to damage or even destroy tissue and bone.  The deeper the infection spreads, the more damage there is to gums, the greater risk there is of bacteria entering the blood stream, and there is often 20-50% bone loss. The slight and moderate stages of gum disease cannot be treated at home and will require treatment from a dentist.

 

The worst stage of gum disease is known as advanced periodontal disease. At this stage, bacteria becomes virulent leading to deep pocket depths between teeth and gums, root exposure, 50-90% bone loss, loose or shifted teeth, increased risk of tooth loss, abscesses in the gums, and infection throughout the immune system. At this stage, the disease can only be treated to make it manageable.

Preventing Gum Disease

 

The most effective way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and remaining consistent with dental cleanings and exams can go a long way in preventing any oral problem. Incorporating antibacterial mouthwashes can also help to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth and consequently reduce the risk of plaque build-up. Other was to help reduce the risk of gum disease include quitting smoking or tobacco, reducing stress, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding clenching or grinding of the teeth.

Treating Gum Disease

 

Although gum disease cannot be treated with good oral hygiene habits alone, it is still extremely important to maintain those habits. The first step in treating gum disease comes from getting a professional dental cleaning every 4-6 months during which plaque and tartar are thoroughly removed. If your dentist notices signs of gum disease during an exam, they will be able to recommend specific habits that will help you prevent the disease from progressing.

 

If gingivitis is identified, you will receive a thorough cleaning both above and below the gum line to remove as much plaque and tartar as possible. You will need to be even more consistent with brushing and flossing to help stop gingivitis before it can advance.

 

Slight or moderate periodontal disease may require scaling during which the dentist will cleans out the periodontal pockets or root planning during with the surface of the roots is smoothed out to help gums reattach. Consistent oral hygiene after these treatments will help to stop the disease before it becomes worse.

 

In order to treat advanced periodontal disease, a procedure known as flap surgery may be necessary. During this procedure, an incision is made in the gums resembling a flap and the gums are then lifted back in order to clean the diseased and affected tissues. The flap is then sealed to help the gums fit better around the teeth. If the patient has lost teeth to the disease, the dentist may recommend a bone graft to help regenerate bone.

 

The exact treatment used will depend on the patient, their medical history, and the condition of their gums and teeth.

 

If you suspect gum disease, schedule an appointment at Foutz Family Dentistry in Henderson, Nevada as soon as possible to help get you on the path to healthy gums.

 

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Reasons To Go To The Dentist And Some Might Surprise You

Around 77% of adults say they will go to the dentist within the year to come, but less than half of those actually do. For many people going to the dentist can be a stressful experience, while many others don’t understand the importance and necessity of regular dental checkups.

 

Going to the dentist every six months for cleanings and routine exams plays a significant role in preventing dental and gum issues or identifying and treating them before they worsen into a serious issue. Research has also shown a connection between poor oral health or gum disease and other health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.

 

There are many reasons it is important to schedule a dentist appointment, whether for routine cleaning or to address a concern in your teeth or gums. Putting off going to the dentist can make many issues worse and the care need to treat them more expensive. Here are some important reasons to make a dentist appointment sooner rather than later:

Pain 

A toothache is one of the most obvious reasons to go to the dentist, but people often ignore it until it becomes unbearable.  Making a dentist appointment quickly can help stop a problem before it gets worse and save you from unnecessary pain.

Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth could simply be from growing older, but it could also be a sign of a more serious issue such as bruxism or teeth grinding. Sensitivity can be frustrating, but your dentist can make recommendations to help combat it.

Swelling

Swelling or lumps in your mouth, jaw, or even on your face or neck can be a sign of dental problem or a more serious underlying problem such as oral cancer.

Swollen Or Bleeding Gums

If you’ve noticed that your gums bleed after brushing, they feel tender or red, or appear puffy, it is important to see your dentist. Gum disease that is left untreated can become very serious, painful, and affect your teeth in addition to your gums.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth or insufficient saliva can cause tooth decay or even affect the health of your gums.

Pain While Eating

It shouldn’t hurt to chew or swallow. This could be a sign of tooth decay, a cracked tooth, tissue damage or more, not to mention keep you from eating as well as you should be.

Jaw Pain

If your jaw pops regularly or if it hurts when you open or close your mouth, when you chew, or when you wake up in the morning, you could have a cracked tooth, an abscess, crowded teeth, or gum disease. Jaw pain can also be a sign that you’re grinding your teeth or have a TMD, disorders that cause chronic pain or dysfunction of the jaw.

You Don’t Like To Smile

Regardless of the reason for hiding your smile, a dentist can help you to regain your confidence. A dentist can provide treatment and solutions for everything from missing to discolored teeth.

You Are Pregnant

The extra hormones from pregnancy can often cause existing dental problems to worsen or increase the risk for new problems. A dental checkup while pregnant is safe and the best way to prevent oral issues.

You Smoke Or Chew Tobacco

Tobacco, regardless of how it is used can lead to a range of dental problems such as decay, bad breath or even oral cancer making it even more important to remain consistent with dental cleanings and checkups.

You’re Due For A Checkup

Routine cleanings and dental exams are beneficial for preventing problems, but it can also make it easier to treat them if they are caught early on. Checkups are also a good time to check the condition of past dental work and ensure that any fillings, crowns, or even implants are in good condition. 

Call us at Foutz Family Dentistry today at (702) 792-5929 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Properly Fitting Athletic Mouth Guards Are Important to Protect Teeth

An important part of any athlete’s uniform is the mouth guard.  It has become standard in almost any sport to wear a mouth guard to protect teeth.  While it is more common to see mouth guards in sports such as football, hockey, and soccer, even athletes such as gymnasts or tennis players could benefit from wearing a mouth guard.  Because the mouth guard can be such an important piece to an athlete, it is crucial that it fit properly.  Custom fit mouth guards made by an experienced dentist offer the best fit and protection.  

Importance Of A Properly Fitted Mouth Guard

According to research, about 90% of mouth guards are bought at retail stores.  These mouth guards can’t be adjusted or molded to fit properly, thus decreasing their effectiveness.  Stock mouth guards have to be held in the mouth by clenching of the jaws and biting of the teeth. Boil and bite mouth guards are molded to the teeth by first boiling the mouth guard and then biting down on the piece.  The uneven bite, pressure from the bite, and large teeth can cause the plastic to wear thin in certain places.  If this happens, the mouth guard will need to be replaced midway through the season. While the boil and bite mouth guard offers a little more protection than a basic, stock mouth guard, it still interferes with an athlete’s breathing and speech.  

It is important that an athlete know how to protect the face and mouth. Mouth guards that don’t fit properly can be uncomfortable or work incorrectly. People mistakenly think that a large, bulky mouth guard will ensure less damage.  However, a mouth guard should not cover the soft palate part of the upper mouth.  If a mouth guard covers the soft palate, it can cause a gag reflex.  A mouth guard that is cut properly may not be as large, but it will offer better protection.  An athlete with a correctly fitted mouth guard should be able to speak clearly or breathe properly. The right fit can even allow a player to drink without having to remove the mouth guard at all.  The myth of a mouth guard is that it has to be uncomfortable in order to be doing the job right, when in fact, the mouth guard should fit comfortably or else it has been made wrong.  

Benefit Of Custom Fit Mouth Guards

To ensure a mouthpiece fits properly, it must cover the athlete’s teeth and gums with a precise fit.  An experienced dentist will be able to find just the right custom fit for your mouth. The goal is to protect gums from lacerations while protecting the athlete from a chipped or lost tooth, or root damage. Studies have shown that 10-40% of sports injuries in children are dental injuries. Wearing a mouth guard will greatly reduce the risk of damage to the teeth and mandibular jaw that could lead to costly endodontic treatment.  While research is still being conducted, there has been some evidence showing that properly fitted mouth guards can even help to reduce the amount of concussions in athletes.  Although a mouth guard doesn’t guarantee there will be no injury, it does drastically reduce the damage that can occur.  

Henderson Custom Fit Athletic Mouth Guards

Foutz Family Dentistry offers custom fit athletic mouth guard providing you or those you love with the best way of protecting your mouth. For more information contact our office today at (702) 792-5929.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Regain A Healthy Smile With Cosmetic Dentistry

Barton H. FoutzCountless people find it hard to smile without feeling self conscious or embarrassed. Poor dental health can negatively affect the appearance of a person’s smile with issues such as chipped, crooked, gapped, discolored, stained, decaying or missing teeth. Cosmetic dentistry provides a wide range of aesthetic solutions that will help you to regain a healthy smile that you are proud to display. Cosmetic dentistry is dental work specifically aimed at improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums or bite by correcting aesthetic flaws

At Foutz Family Dentistry, we offer an array of safe and effective cosmetic dental procedures. Dr. Foutz has over 30 years of experience after receiving advanced dental training. You can rest assured that your teeth, gums and smile are in good hands.

Common Problems Treated Through Cosmetic Dentistry 

  • Chipped or Cracked Teeth
  • Cavities
  • Discolored or Stained Teeth
  • Crooked Teeth
  • Misshapen Teeth
  • Gapped Teeth
  • Decayed Teeth
  • Missing Teeth
  • Uneven Gum Lines

Benefits Of Cosmetic Dentistry

The benefits of cosmetic dentistry are many and while they do vary by need and procedure, cosmetic dentistry can create positive results that will help you smile once more.

  • Improve Appearance: Regardless of the procedure you need or desire, cosmetic dentistry is an effective method for improving the appearance of your smile by correcting the aesthetic flaws that keep you from smiling in the first place. Treating cosmetic dental problems can also help you look younger and rejuvenated.
  • Boost Self-Confidence: The most worthwhile benefit of an improved smile created through cosmetic dentistry is the improved self-confidence and self-image that result. Feeling confident and pleased about the appearance of your smile and overall appearance takes away the stress of going out in public and creates freedom to laugh and smile freely.
  • Prevent Future Dental Damage: Certain procedures go beyond improving the appearance of your teeth and aid in improving the condition of your teeth helping to strengthen your teeth and avoid potential damage.

Henderson Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures 

At Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS, we offer a variety of procedures to improve the cosmetic appearance of your smile including:

  • Cosmetic Bonding – uses tooth-colored composite resin to fill, repair, and make aesthetic improvements to a tooth. Provides simple tooth contouring, minor corrections and straightens edges without removing enamel.
  • Gum Contouring – uses Waterlase Dental Laser to sculpt the gum line quickly and painlessly. Creates even gum lines and resolves excessive gum around the teeth
  • Onlays–tooth-colored ceramic onlays restore back teeth with large cavities and silver fillings preserving more of your natural tooth while strengthening and maintaining a natural appearance.
  • Tooth Straightening – Invisalign is a comfortable treatment that uses clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth while working quicker than braces.
  • Tooth Whitening – using either in-office or at home a procedure, Opalescence Boost PF has customized formulas that will whiten teeth by 5 shades on average.
  • Veneers – porcelain veneers are strong, durable, permanently bonded and provide natural-looking solutions that correct minor flaws.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Foutz to find the ideal cosmetic dentistry procedure for regaining your smile.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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4 Dangers of Home Teeth Whitening

We all want beautiful, brilliantly-white teeth. They make us look great and feel confident, which is exactly why so many people invest in teeth whitening systems.

According to NBC News, in just one year,consumers spent over $1.4 billion on over-the-counter bleaching systems.

With so many people investing in these products, they must be a good idea, right?

4 Reasons to Avoid Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Systems

There are at least four reasons to avoid store-bought bleaching systems.

1. Gum Sensitivity

Store-bought bleaching systems don’t provide you with a safe way to apply the bleach, like custom-fit bleach trays. With a bulky tray, the bleach nearly always ends up oozing onto the gum tissue. If it’s not removed, the gums can get burned.

2. Tooth Sensitivity

Many people think they can wear the trays for hours at a time, and for many days in a row. The result is often major sensitivity.

3. Increased Chance of Progressive Decay

People often start bleaching without having a dental examination first. If this is the case, they may not be aware of dental issues that they may have, like dental decay. Bleaching while you have decay could lead to increased sensitivity and even causing the decay to progress faster.

4. Oral Infections

Constantly burning the soft tissues of the mouth with dental bleach has the potential to lead to serious infections. You can prevent this by coming into our office for a professional and safe application of the bleach.

When you get your teeth bleached in our office, you will receive:

The Safest Whitening Solution: Contact Your Dentist If You Want Whiter Teeth

Barton H. FoutzAs dental professionals, we know which teeth whitening products are the best and the safest. These are the products we use in our office. And they’re used only after extensive research and training. If you want a beautiful white smile, don’t try to do it alone. Team up with your professional dental team for a beautiful, healthy smile.

Contact us for more information about our professional teeth whitening system. It’s the safest, most effective way to get a brilliantly white smile.

 

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Porcelain Veneers vs. Dental Bonding: Which Option is Right for Me?

Many cosmetic dentistry concerns can be easily concealed using porcelain veneers or dental bonding. But which one is best for you? Each option offers an effective and undetectable result for a variety of aesthetic issues. To determine which solution is the most appropriate for your dental care needs, let’s take a look at each treatment. 

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are very thin, tooth-colored shells made from dental ceramic, and they are used in cosmetic dentistry. Designed to resemble your natural teeth, porcelain veneers are seamlessly able to conceal a variety of flaws including:

  • Stains and Discoloration
  • Chips and Cracks
  • Gaps
  • Tooth shape

Porcelain Veneers are an effective treatment for major cosmetic concerns. However, if these issues are minor, dental bonding may be a more suitable solution.

Dental Bonding

The process of dental bonding includes the use of a special dental resin that is designed to match the color of your teeth. These resins are applied directly to the teeth, and are able to easily transform many cosmetic issues such as:

  • Stains and Discoloration
  • Minor Chips and Cracks
  • Minor Gaps

While dental bonding is a great solution for patients wishing to conceal minor cosmetic issues, patients with more serious cosmetic concerns may require porcelain veneers. 

Learn More About Our Cosmetic Dentistry Services!

At Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS, we are dedicated to ensuring that every client experiences high-quality and comfortable service. We have a knowledgeable and experienced staff that is eager to assist with all of your cosmetic dentistry needs. Contact us today and schedule an appointment!

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Can Cosmetic Dentistry be the Answer to Your Dreams of a Better Smile?

How often do you look in the mirror only to wish that a brighter, whiter, or straighter smile was looking back at you?

If this is something you do daily, you are not alone.

Thousands of Americans visit their local cosmetic dentist to see what options they have for improving their smile and getting the look they have always wanted. After all, nothing ruins a person’s confidence more than a smile they do not adore.

Factors that Decrease the Attractiveness of Your Smile

  • Cracked, missing, or chipped teeth
  • A crooked smile
  • Gum lines that show when you smile
  • Yellowed teeth

How Cosmetic Dentistry Can Help

Your local dentist offers several cosmetic dentistry procedures that improve the look of your smile but also boosts your oral health. Even better, you will feel happier, more confident, and always ready to show off your bright white smile.

Some cosmetic procedures a dentist can do include:

  • Teeth Whitening: Sometimes all it takes is whitening your teeth. At-home kits lack the strength to remove stains and yellowing, and some are too harsh on the gums. Also, the trays you receive are not custom-made so that they can irritate your gums according to WebMD. Whitening through your dentist is safe, effective, and often takes just a few treatments.
  • Straightening or Aligning the Teeth: If your teeth are crooked, it is an easy fix for your cosmetic dentist. In fact, they can be straightened in a variety of ways, such as the use of Invisalign, retainers, or traditional braces.
  • Replacing Missing Teeth: If your smile is lacking a few teeth, we can assist you with dental implants. These are the newest innovation in tooth replacement, and they look and feel like real teeth.
  • Gum Contouring: Nothing ruins a smile more than excessive gums around the teeth. The team at Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS can perform gum contouring so that your gums no longer obscure your natural, beautiful smile.

See the Potential of Cosmetic Dentistry Today – Call Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS

Let our team help you achieve the smile you have always wanted, but never thought possible.

We offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures, and all it takes is one consultation to see the endless possibilities.

Call Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS now at 702-792-5929 to schedule your appointment or ask us a question online.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Dentist Rewards: Why I Volunteer With Smiles for Central America

We all live full and very busy lives—my schedule is constantly packed! Why, then, do I make the time to volunteer with Smiles for Central America? Let me tell you a little bit about this wonderful organization and why I volunteer.

Smiles for Central America: A Great Organization for Any Dentist

Smiles for Central America is a LDS-based organization.  Their mission: to provide care, support, and love to our neighbors through free medical and dental care for the poor in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. I have been privileged to visit all of these countries, going on ten different aid missions in the past seven years.

Volunteering: Rewarding Work for a Cosmetic Dentist

During my dentist missions, I can typically treat thirty patients. But I’m not alone. While in Honduras, there were twenty-three dentists, six oral surgeons, and five physicians. We were able to treat 682 patients!

Volunteers, including my wife and children, work as schedulers, x-ray techs, and chair-side assistants. I have had the opportunity to serve as director of radiology on multiple occasions, supervising the acquisition of x-rays. Once x-rays are taken, a diagnosis and treatment plan is made.  

A dentist will likely perform many dental procedures, including root canals, fillings, and extractions. We make sure each patient is decay-free, out of pain, and happy with the work provided by their dentist.

As a cosmetic dentist, it is rewarding to fabricate removable partial dentures for people who have lost front teeth. The transformation in their smile and demeanor after they receive their new teeth is amazing.

Dental Volunteer Work: A Highlight for Years to Come

Volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I will continue helping local patients and doing my volunteer work as often as I can. It has proven to be a highlight or my life and I hope it will continue to be for many years to come.

Would you like to learn more about how a cosmetic dentist can help you? Are you interested in supporting a volunteer organization? Contact us today for more information about these topics.

Dr. Barton H. Foutz, DDS
2510 Wigwam Parkway Suite 100 Henderson, NV 89074
(702) 792-5929

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Ezbond A. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
1st Generation:

Great Grandfather

Dr. Ezbond A. Foutz
Harold B. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
2nd Generation:

Grandfather

Dr. Harold B. Foutz
Lawrence C. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
3rd Generation:

Father

Dr. Lawrence C. Foutz
Barton H. Foutz, D.D.S.
4 Generations of Dentists Spanning 3 Centuries
4th Generation:

Family and Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Barton H. Foutz