Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

If you happen to be at the bathroom sink after brushing or just happen to notice your gums are bleeding a bit, you should not simply shrug and ignore the problem. In some cases, bleeding gums can indicate an underlying problem that needs to be addressed by a dentist. If you are wondering why your gums are bleeding, here are a few of the most common reasons.

Brushing Too Hard

If you have a toothbrush with bristles that are a bit too hard for your mouth to take, you can wind up with bleeding gums. Also, some people simply use too much pressure when brushing, thinking the harder they brush the more good it will do. However, habitually brushing too hard can lead to damaged gums that bleed.

Gingivitis

When your dentist in Lincoln sees patients who are experiencing bleeding gums, gingivitis is often the reason behind the bleeding. The most common cause of bleeding gums, gingivitis means a patient is in the early stages of gum disease due to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. If left untreated, tooth loss and more serious health conditions can occur. To conquer gingivitis, good brushing and flossing habits often do the trick.

Flossing

While flossing is a great way to prevent gingivitis and the problem of bleeding gums, it may actually cause a bit of gum bleeding, especially if you are new to flossing or have maybe gone a few days without doing so. Once you begin to floss regularly, your gums will become stronger and used to the floss, resulting in less bleeding.

Pregnancy

If you happen to be pregnant, you may be more susceptible to bleeding gums. This is often due to the changes in hormones experienced by pregnant woman, which makes some more likely to develop gingivitis.

Medications

For some people, starting a new medication can thin their blood and thus produce bleeding gums. If you think this may be the reason why your gums are bleeding, talk to the doctor who prescribed the medication to see if there is an alternative.

Since bleeding gums can be the first sign of a serious dental problem, don’t delay in seeking treatment. To do so, schedule an appointment today with your dentist in Lincoln and put an end to bleeding gums.

 

Can Adults Get Sealants?

When you were a child, one of the biggest inconveniences you encountered was a cavity in a tooth. When this happened, a trip to the dentist was always inevitable. Since kid’s teeth are far more prone to cavities due to their teeth having various nooks and crannies, your dentist may have applied dental sealants to your teeth. However, as we age, cavities became less of a concern. While dental sealants have been shown to reduce tooth decay in kids by as much as 70%, the debate continues as to whether adults should get dental sealants. If you’re considering this option, here are some things to keep in mind.

 

High Risk of Cavities

If you are an adult whose teeth are healthy yet have ridges and grooves within your teeth that make them more susceptible to trapping food and bacteria, your dentist may recommend dental sealants. Also, if your teeth are healthy but you have a history of getting cavities, dental sealants may be recommended.

 

A Good Preventive Procedure

If you have teeth that have already suffered damage due to decay or other related factors, a dentist will not be able to use dental sealants on your teeth. Since these sealants are used as a preventive treatment, any teeth they are used on must already be healthy.

 

Changes Due to Aging

As we age, our dental health may also change. Because of this, your dentist may recommend dental sealants as a way to protect your teeth and give them the extra attention they deserve. For example, if you suffer from diabetes, high blood sugar levels may put you at higher risk for gum disease, which can significantly impact your teeth. As a result, if your teeth are still in good condition, your dentist may elect to use dental sealants in an effort to keep your teeth in great shape as you age.

 

While making a trip to the dentist is usually not at the top of everyone’s list of fun things to do, it is a great way to keep your teeth healthy throughout your life. If you desire to learn more about whether or not dental sealants can work for you, call our office soon to schedule a consultation about how our team can help.

What Causes Teeth Staining?

Staining of the tooth occurs when liquids, smoke, or foreign substances you consume stain the teeth. The number one cause of teeth staining is smoking and the consumption of sugars and processed foods. Teeth staining can usually be reversed with either over the counter tooth whiteners or getting professional teeth whitening services from your dentist. Here are the main causes of teeth staining.

Smoking

Smoking is the number one practice that will cause teeth staining over a long period of time. Smoker’s teeth often are hard to re- whiten and reverse. The main types of smoking that will cause teeth staining are cigarettes and cigars. In addition, e-cigarettes that contain additives and preservatives can and probably will cause some staining over time, but not as much as cigarettes. Vaping with organic liquids and water is the least likely to cause staining.

Sugar Consumption

Consumption of sugars and processed foods is another common cause of teeth staining. The many processed ingredients and preservatives in these processed foods often leech deep into the tooth and cause hard to remove stains over the years. Products like soda, snacks with flavored powders coating them, and colored candy are the most harmful to the teeth. If possible, use simple natural sugars like honey instead of processed sugar.

Alcohol

Drinking alcohol like wine and beer is another main cause for teeth staining, the fermented beverages often deeply stain our teeth just like they do the carpet and clothes we accidentally spill them on from time to time. Don’t fret if you only casually drink from time to time though, for the most part only excessive alcohol consumption, usually by alcoholics will cause teeth staining that becomes problematic.

For the most part, teeth staining is something that can be easily avoided. Smoking and drinking alcohol are the main causes of stained teeth ad can result in teeth that aren’t that pretty to look at, but eating a lot of processed foods can also cause teeth staining over a period of years. Eat a healthy diet free of refined sugars in soda and candy, and limit or eliminate smoking to control the amount of staining your teeth endure. For instantly whiter teeth, consult your dentist for professional teeth whitening services.

How to Help Your Child Relax Before a Dentist Visit

Does your child get anxious about going to the dentist? Or is it their first visit and they are worried about what will happen? Use these tips to help your child relax.

Sandwich Visits

Don’t make the dental visit the focus of the day; instead, make it part of the day. For example, bring your child to the park in the morning to play. Stop for a light snack. Visit the dentist. On the way home, swing past the local lake to feed the ducks or your child’s favorite activity center. That way, the dentist visit will be just a routine activity in a busy, fun-filled day.

 

Don’t Worry

Kids pick up on adult emotions. If you start to worry that your child will become anxious, they probably will get anxious by picking up on your fearful emotions. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your child will be.

 

Reward Each Visit

Give your child something nice to look forward to after every dentist’s visit. This way, you’ll be reinforcing the positive. For instance, reward each visit by letting your child choose what’s for supper that night, letting them stay up 15 minutes later than usual, or letting them read in bed with a flashlight after “lights out.” Just avoid monetary rewards or physical “treats” like ice cream, as that can set up a precedent that’s unsustainable.

 

Consider Sedative Dentistry

If you are still having problems quelling your child’s anxiety about dentist visits, talk to your dentist about sedative dentistry for children. This is a very, very mild sedative that can help your child relax in minutes. It’s FDA-approved and has no lingering after-effects. It’s typically administered with a child-friendly inhaler that takes just a few seconds to work.

 

Explain the Procedure

Kids are easily scared by the unknown. If you’re looking at your child’s first dentist visit, go ahead and describe exactly what will happen. Your child will relax more when they know exactly what to expect; especially when they find out that you’ll be by their side during the entire visit.

When you help your child relax about dentist visits, you are helping to set them up for a lifetime of good oral hygiene and preventing fear of the dentist. Contact us today to book an appointment.

 

Help—A Tooth Got Knocked Out! What You Need to Know About This Dental Emergency

Maybe you took a tumble, got hit in the face by accident, or had a major impact while playing sports. All kinds of occurrences lead to permanent teeth getting knocked out of their socket. If this ever happens to you, it is definitely an emergency situation, and you need to visit the dentist right away. Here are a few things you should know about a knocked-out tooth and how it can be saved.

1. Find the tooth and put it in a safe place.

If you can find the tooth, carefully retrieve it by touching only the crown and not the root. If the tooth is dirty or has something on it, carefully rinse it with only cool water. In some cases, the tooth can be immediately placed back in the opening, but this is not the most pleasant experience even though it does give the tooth the best chance of survival. If you can’t do this, place the tooth on a dampened paper towel and in a zipper bag or cup for safe-keeping. It’s important to keep the tooth moist until you get to the dentist.

2. The faster you act, the more of a chance there will be to save your tooth.

When a tooth gets knocked out of its socket, the clock starts ticking. The tissue that keeps the tooth alive is going to start dying rather rapidly. The faster you can get into an emergency dentist for treatment, the higher the likelihood that the tooth can be saved. Reach out to an emergency dentist that can get you in as quickly as possible.

3. Monitor the replaced tooth very carefully.

Once you do make it to the dentist and they place it back in the socket, they may install a few sutures to hold it in place. However, you will have to be very careful after you go home. Monitor the tooth closely for signs of discoloration, which is a sign that there is a blood flow change to the root. Eat carefully, sticking with soft foods, and use your mouth carefully to allow the soft tissue to heal.

Talk to an Emergency Dentist in Lincoln, NE for Help

No one wants to lose a tooth that should be around forever. If you ever find yourself with a knocked-out tooth, reach out to us at Korte Family Dentistry for immediate attention.

 

Do You Have Sensitive Teeth? Here’s What You Need to Know

Tooth sensitivity ranges from a mild, fleeting pang while brushing or flossing your teeth to excruciating pain when drinking an iced beverage or biting down on an ice cream bar. Sometimes, tooth sensitivity is a fleeting problem caused by a temporary condition, but it can also signal a serious problem. Here’s what you need to know:

What Causes Sensitive Teeth

Sensitive teeth have a variety of causes, but the main ones include brushing too hard, brushing with the wrong type of toothbrush, cracks in your tooth enamel, grinding your teeth while you sleep, cavities, infected tooth pulp, and gum disease. Some people experience temporary tooth sensitivity after a routine dental tooth cleaning procedure, after a tooth whitening session, or after experiencing minor dental trauma such as biting down too hard on a piece of candy. Fortunately, treatments exist designed to minimize or eliminate tooth sensitivity.

Treatments for Sensitive Teeth

The treatment for sensitive teeth will depend on the root cause of the problem. It may be as simple as changing your toothpaste, your toothbrush, or your manner of brushing. If appropriate, your dentist may apply an in-office treatment involving placing a protective layer over the affected teeth. Your dentist may also recommend applying a desensitizing agent or provide you with a list of over-the-counter products you can use at home. You may need a root canal for persistent pain that cannot be successfully treated any other way.

How to Prevent Sensitive Teeth

The best way to prevent tooth sensitivity is to always practice good oral hygiene. You should brush and floss at least twice per day without fail as well as use an antibacterial mouthwash. Wear a mouthguard when playing sports, and make sure you use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Consider using an oral irrigation system if flossing makes your gums bleed.

Because tooth sensitivity can be a sign of a dental health issue such as the onset of gum disease or an infection of the pulp in the interior of the tooth, you should always make an appointment with your dentist if unexplained tooth sensitivity doesn’t subside within a couple of days. 

 

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule an appointment or for more information on how to deal with tooth sensitivity or other dental health issues.

Bad Habits That Are Destroying Your Teeth

The importance of regular brushing, flossing, and bi-annual dental cleanings cannot be stressed enough, however, even if you are adamant about following these recommendations, the health of your teeth may still be in danger because there are certain habits that can cause a great deal of damage to your teeth.

Stop These Habits Now, They Are Destroying Your Teeth

1. Your Teeth Are Not Tools

Stop opening bottles and tearing bags with your teeth. This habit can cause a chunk of a tooth to break off or a tooth to crack. Both of these dental issues could result in the need for extensive dental care. If a tooth cracks, it may need to be bonded or a crown might need to be placed. So, keep your teeth healthy by having scissors and a rubber, non-slip jar gripper lid opener nearby.

2. Chewing Ice

This habit is extremely detrimental to the teeth. It is the combination of the hard surface of the ice and its freezing temperature that wreaks havoc on the teeth. Chewing on ice can crack and/or chip the tooth enamel, causing an increase in sensitivity to temperatures as well as to certain foods. If you are an ice cruncher, try eating carrot sticks instead. Otherwise, you may end up needing a crown or dental bonding to address the damage your teeth have sustained.

3. Brushing Too Aggressively

Some people seem to think that the harder you brush, the better, however, this is not true. Brushing your teeth too hard can lead to just as many problems as not brushing your teeth at all can, especially as we age. Using a hard-bristled toothbrush and/or applying too much pressure tends to irritate the gingival tissue (gum), which can cause this tissue to swell. In addition, this aggressive brushing and use of a hard toothbrush can increase tooth sensitivity. You can solve this problem by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush and using very little pressure while you brush.

If you have been practicing these habits and notice your teeth are damaged or that you are experiencing sensitivity, contact Korte Family Dentistry today at 402-489-3115 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Allen Korte. If you prefer, you can use the online form to request an appointment: To access this form, please click here.

Oral Cancer: Important Signs You Should Know

About 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. Yet, many people are unfamiliar with the signs of the disease, which can be incredibly dangerous for those who are at risk. Early diagnosis is vital to treatment and preventing major health concerns due to the spread of the problem. Here is a look at some of the signs of oral cancer everyone should know.

You have a sore that seems to never heal.

Getting the occasional abscess on your gums due to a bad tooth or having a small abrasion in your mouth is normal. However, if you find an opening, sore, or bump in your mouth that is not healing and it is continuously oozing or bleeding, it is best to have it checked out. This can be a sign of a concentrated form of localized oral cancer.

You have problems with swallowing or chewing.

Issues with swallowing or chewing can also be a sign of oral cancer, but they can also be symptoms of other conditions. In any case, it is best to discuss this symptom with your dentist and have them take a closer look.

Your gums look thicker or lumpy than what they should.

If you pay close attention to your mouth, especially your gums, you will notice when there is a change. Some changes are mild and temporary, but you should never see your gums look like they have thickened or appeared lumpy; this could be a sign of oral cancer. These areas of your gums may also be tender to the touch.

You have loose teeth but there is no reason that you could see.

Some people develop loose teeth due to bone loss, aging, or even decay. However, if you find that you have one or more loose teeth and you cannot find any reason why they should be, oral cancer could be to blame. Cancer can cause inflammation of the soft tissues and the bones that hold teeth in place, which can cause them to loosen.

Contact Us About Oral Cancer Treatment in Lincoln, NE

Early diagnosis for oral cancer can lower your chances of developing severe issues. Reach out to us right away at Korte Family Dentistry if you believe you have spotted a sign of oral cancer in your mouth.

5 Things You’re Doing Wrong When You Brush Your Teeth

The basis is good oral hygiene is brushing your teeth. You brush your teeth every day, but are you really brushing properly? Here is a look at five things you could be doing wrong when you brush your teeth.

1. Not brushing long enough.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. If you’re not brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, you are not effectively removing all the plaque and food particles from your mouth.

2. Not using the best toothpaste.

The choice of toothpaste varieties has greatly multiplied over the years. From toothpaste with baking soda for whitening to fluoride toothpaste and natural toothpaste with charcoal incorporated, there are a ton of choices, but you have to make sure you are using the best product. It is best to look for a product that has the stamp of approval from the ADA.

3. Not getting brisk with your brushing.

Make sure you really get in there and put some effort into doing your brushing. A slight swipe with the brush will not suffice; you should be briskly brushing to remove residue.

4. Not cleaning your toothbrush when you get done.

If you were to look inside your mouth with a microscope, you may be surprised at just how much stuff is hanging out in there. Germs, bacteria, and other microscopic pathogens fill your mouth, and they get on your toothbrush. Clean your toothbrush well when you’re done brushing, and replace your toothbrush every three to four months.

5. Not getting all angles of your teeth.

Pay attention to all angles of your teeth while you brush. You should brush the bottoms where your teeth meet, the fronts of your teeth, and the backs of your teeth. A lot of people spend more time brushing the front of their teeth than anywhere else, which can lead way to problems in other areas.

Trust the Pros at Korte Family Dentistry for Your Oral Health Care

Brushing your teeth properly is only one component of taking care of your oral health. Trust the professionals at Korte Family Dentistry for your routine dental exams, hygiene appointments, and more.

3 Reasons Mouthwash Is an Important Part of Your Oral Care Routine

 

Some people use it religiously, and some people don’t necessarily care if they ever use it. Mouthwash is one of those oral care products that some individuals swear by and some never use it at all. However, most dentists agree that quality mouthwash is a nice addition to your oral care routine. Here is a look at why that is the case.

1. Mouthwash helps freshen your breath.

The primary reason a lot of people use mouthwash is because it helps to freshen the breath. Yes, the strong minty flavor helps to cover any odors, but most importantly, rinsing with mouthwash helps to eradicate those bad-breath-causing germs so your breath smells fresher. A lot of people suffer from bad breath because they do not adequately clean their tongue when they brush, and gargling with mouthwash can pull bacteria out of the small fissures in the surface of the tongue.

2. Mouthwash prevents the buildup of plaque.

Plaque buildup occurs because the substances you drink and chew can stick to the enamel of the teeth. If there are tiny and invisible layers of plaque already on the tooth enamel, more plaque will accumulate there. By using mouthwash, you are sloughing away and breaking down those existing plaque layers on the tooth enamel, which means mouthwash helps to prevent the undue buildup of plaque. Additionally, this action can help deter tooth decay from developing.

3. Mouthwash helps dislodge food particles before brushing.

A lot of people choose to use mouthwash after they brush their teeth, which is perfectly OK. However, using the rinsing aid before you brush is actually going to do you the most good. The swishing fluid will dislodge stubborn food particles between the teeth so they come out easier when you do use your toothbrush. It is even helpful to use mouthwash before you floss for the same reasons.

Make sure you are buying a dentist-recommended mouthwash that contains fluoride and ingredients that are good for your oral health. If you would like to know more about how mouthwash can help you have a healthy smile or which mouthwash you should use, reach out to us at Korte Family Dentistry for advice.