What Is Gum Disease?

If you have ever noticed that your gums bleed easily when you floss, or the appearance of your gums seems swollen and red, you probably have gum disease, which is a severe condition that must be addressed by a skilled dentist. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gum line, which can worsen, ultimately affecting the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. There are three stages of gum disease that exist: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Generally, most cases of gum disease are caused by poor dental care, though there are other contributing factors, including pregnancy, puberty, menopause, smoking, and diabetes. When plaque forms on your teeth and hardens, it turns into tartar, initiating the early stage of gum disease. Tartar, also known as calculus, cannot be removed by flossing or brushing your teeth. To remove it, a dental professional will have to perform a thorough dental cleaning. The good news is that having a dental professional clean and scale your teeth can cure gingivitis. It is important that you continue to keep your teeth and gums free of tartar, however, by brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash after brushing.

How Do I Know If I Have Gum Disease?

One of the first signs of gum disease is blood on your toothbrush or in the sink when you brush your teeth. Your gums might also appear noticeably red and less firm. Of course, the best way to know for sure if you are suffering from gum disease is to schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment. Below are some of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease:

  • Gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
  • Swollen, red, tender gums
  • A receding gum line
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sharp or dull pain that occurs when you chew food
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures

Bleeding gums are not always caused by gum disease. It can be caused by certain medications, a change in your flossing routine, or even a new toothbrush that is too firm. The most accurate way to know for sure if you have gum disease is to simply see a dentist.

Treatment and Prevention

Scheduling regular dental visits twice a year can help treat the problem before it progresses into a much more serious condition that requires more extensive treatment. Of course, the best line of defense you have against developing gum disease is properly caring for your mouth. Brushing with antibacterial toothpaste, flossing, and using mouth rinse can kill bacteria and help prevent gum disease.

If you develop a more advanced stage of gum disease, it can still be treated, though it will be much more intensive than the treatment you receive for gingivitis. Scaling and root planning will need to be performed to address the infection. However, at Bleu Dentistry, we use laser technology to kill the bacteria that live under the gums, sparing you the discomfort of enduring painful deep cleanings.

Dental Services in Dallas

Gum disease is an incredibly common problem for many, but thankfully new breakthroughs in treatment exist that can effectively address this issue without having to endure more aggressive methods. At Blue Dentistry, we use laser therapy that does not require a general anesthetic and can target gum disease accurately, causing very minimal pain, bleeding, and swelling. If you are suffering from gum disease, or are unsure, visit us today to receive a diagnosis and begin treatment.

Schedule your appointment by contacting us at !

The Psychology Behind Your Fear of Going to the Dentist

Many people suffer from dentophobia, or fear of going to the dentist. While mild anxiety is common, those who experience a sense of dread about receiving dental care may forgo treatments, and that can lead to serious oral health issues if problems go untreated.

There are numerous reasons why a person may suffer from dentophobia, but learning why you may have anxiety about visiting the dentist can help you overcome your fear. To help you on this journey, here are some details about the psychology behind those feelings.

Negative Prior Experience

If you had a less than pleasant experience with a dentist in the past, it can lead you to assume that any visits in the future would be similar. However, a single bad appointment doesn’t mean you’ll go through that again the next time around.

For patients suffering from this form of anxiety, the best course of action is to find an Uptown Dallas dentist who is compassionate about your concerns and is willing to go the extra mile to ensure that you are comfortable.

Over time, your positive experiences will begin to outweigh your negative ones, helping your fears to subside naturally.

Anxiety About Specific Stimuli

In some cases, patients aren’t fearful of the dentist entirely. Instead, there are specific aspects of treatment that increase their stress levels to the point of being difficult to manage. For example, many people are uncomfortable with needles or the idea of a dentist using a drill. Those who suffer from misophonia, a condition where certain sounds are hard to bear, might be fine with the treatment but have trouble tolerating the associated noises that occur when various forms of equipment are in use.

Often, the easiest way to address these issues is to find a dentist that you trust and speak with them about your concerns before treatment begins. This gives them an opportunity to provide options that may help you feel more comfortable or recommend things you can do to ease your anxiety. For example, some patients may benefit from using headphones to listen to music, giving them a way to block out unpleasant sounds. Others may appreciate having a stress ball available, creating a method for them to release some of the physical tension.

In situations where simple options aren’t sufficient, then there may be alternatives. Enteral conscious sedation, the technical term behind “sedation dentistry,” may help a patient feel more comfortable. During these treatments, the dentist provides oral medication to help you achieve a more relaxed state while ensuring you remain in full control of your faculties.

If you have skipped dental treatments due to your dentophobia, now is the ideal time to speak with an Uptown Dallas dentist who understands your concerns and will work with you to help overcome your fear. That way, you can achieve optimal oral health as comfortably as possible.

June Is Men’s Health Month

Men are often recognized for their dedication to their family and career but aren’t necessarily as vigilant when it comes to oral health. In fact, a CDC study showed that less than 59 percent of men aged 18 to 64 had had a dental visit within the last year. Since June is Men’s Health Month, now is the perfect time to focus on oral health no matter your age. With that in mind, here are some tips designed just for you.

Get a Dental Checkup Twice a Year

One of the best things you can do for your oral health is to see your Downtown Dallas dentist at least twice a year. This ensures you have a professional cleaning a minimum of once every six months and gives your dentist a chance to screen for issues ranging from simple cavities to oral cancers. Neglecting your dental care means that problems might not be noticed until they become serious, resulting in more invasive (and expensive) procedures being required than would have otherwise been necessary.

Brush Twice a Day, and Floss Once a Day

Brushing and flossing are the easiest methods for preventing tooth decay and other oral health issues, yet it sadly isn’t a daily habit for everyone. In most cases, just four minutes of brushing a day (two in the morning and two at night) and a couple minutes for flossing is all it takes, making it an easy step to fit into almost any day. If you aren’t brushing and flossing on this schedule, now is a great time to start.

Don’t Smoke

Smoking increases the risk of numerous oral health issues including oral cancer, gum disease, gingivitis, and tooth decay. Plus, tobacco products stain teeth, causing them to yellow over time, and contribute to bad breath. If you want to learn about methods that can help you quit, speak with your Downtown Dallas dentist at Bleu Dentistry today.

Monitor Medication Side Effects

A range of medications used to treat conditions like high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease cause dry mouth as a side effect. While it can seem innocuous on the surface, decreased salivary flow increases your risk for cavities. Combat the effects by drinking water frequently, chewing sugarless gum, and using alcohol-free mouth rinses. You should also avoid alcohol, carbonated beverages, and especially salty foods. If the side effect becomes troublesome after home treatments, speak with your dentist at Bleu Dentistry about additional options or products that may help.

By following the tips above, you can improve your overall oral health, so why not start now. Contact Bleu Dentistry at and schedule an appointment today at our Oaklawn dental office.

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week with These Oral Health Tips

Every year, Mother’s Day marks the beginning of National Women’s Health Week, an event focused on promoting better health in women of all ages regardless if they are a parent. During this time, it is important to remember that oral care should be part of your larger health care plans. To help you make it a priority, here are some dentist recommended oral health tips for women.

Pregnancy and Oral Care

During pregnancy, women are at greater risk of experiencing certain dental issues than at other times in their life. The change in hormone levels can promote additional bacterial growth on your teeth and gums, increasing your risk of developing gum disease or the condition commonly referred to as pregnancy gingivitis, both of which can be harmful to you as well as your unborn child.

Symptoms like morning sickness and acid reflux can also harm your oral health. Both increase your risk of tooth erosion as the acids damage your tooth enamel, weakening the structure and discoloring the surfaces.

If you are pregnant, speak with your dentist at Bleu Dentistry in Uptown Dallas regarding any changes you may need to make to ensure your oral health. Additionally, make a special appointment if your gums become unexpectedly swollen, sore, or start to bleed, as these are potential signs of pregnancy gingivitis and traditional gum diseases, and should be addressed by a professional as soon as possible.

Receiving dental care while pregnant is safe, so make sure you maintain your regular six-month appointment when the time arises. Just be sure to let your dentist know about your pregnancy so that x-rays and treatment plans can be adjusted to protect the health of your baby.

Menopause and Oral Health

The hormonal changes associated with menopause can also affect the health of your mouth. Symptoms like dry mouth can result in bleeding gums as well as increase your risk of developing an oral infection. If you notice any changes in your oral health, schedule an appointment with your dentist at Bleu Dentistry in Uptown Dallas to explore the cause. Often, they can recommend the appropriate dental care products or a treatment plan that will be needed to correct any issues before excessive damage occurs.

Make Oral Health a Priority

Maintaining a dental care routine is an important step for ensuring your long-term health. Whether you are in Uptown or Downtown Dallas, make sure you schedule regular dental appointments for thorough cleanings and screenings. Your dentist can help you stay healthy, so take the time to see them often.