The Three Types of Gum Disease | Wilmington Dentist

You just found out that you have gum disease. Bummer, right? Nearly 75 percent of people in the United States are right there with you. Though typically caused by not practicing proper oral hygiene, some cases are caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, etc.

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an inflammation of the gums caused primarily by the bacteria found in plaque. If the plaque isn’t removed by practicing proper oral hygiene, the bacteria can end up severely infecting a tooth enough to need extraction. There are three different stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.

Gingivitis. This early stage of gum disease is mainly due to plaque buildup and can cause the gums to bleed. Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that is reversible, but only through dental care and by practicing proper oral hygiene at home.

Periodontitis. Typically irreversible, your gums start to form pockets below the gum line, where food and plaque can get trapped, making the condition worse.

Advanced Periodontitis. This is very final stage of gum disease where the bacterial infection has not only affected your teeth, but has also destroyed the fibers and bone supporting your teeth. This can lead to your teeth shifting or loosening, which affects your bite.

As mentioned before, bleeding and inflamed gums are some of the first signs of gum disease. Bad breath is also commonly associated with gum disease. If you notice any symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible.

For further information regarding gum disease, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About Gum Grafting | Wilmington Dentist

Receding gums is never a good look, but unfortunately, it can’t be helped. Lots of reasons can cause gum recession, but age is an inescapable culprit of this smile villain, making it an issue we will all have to face within our lifetime. But instead of feeling uncomfortable about your gum recession, you can fix it with a little procedure called gum grafting. But what is gum grafting, and is it the best option? Let’s take a look at the basics…

The goal of correcting gum recession is to rebuild the lost tissues and where possible, cover the roots. It is important to fix this dental issue before more extreme issues, like infection or gum disease, arise in the future. There are many procedures to accomplish this. One of the earliest treatments published was the connective tissue graft introduced in the early 1990’s. This procedure is essentially plastic surgery in the mouth. A very small opening is created either on the roof of the mouth or behind the last upper teeth. The tissue is then secured to the area of recession with small (slightly bigger than a human hair) sutures (stitches). In most cases, recovery is uneventful, requiring no more than over-the-counter medication.

This approach has been refined over the years. Today, we also employ a number of procedures classified as tunnels, which use very small incisions to accomplish the surgery. So, as you can see, there is no reason to hide your smile with receding gums – visiting your dental professional will not only repair the damage done by gum recession, but will also get your smile its healthiest it can be.

For further information regarding gum grafting, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Dental Fillings | Wilmington Dentist

We all try to do our best to maintain a bright, healthy smile. But there are times when life steps in and accidents happen. Whether it be because of poor dental hygiene or one of life’s little tricks, dental issues should not be ignored. In fact, the sooner you get it taken care of, the better. Depending on the nature of your toothache, you may be presented with getting a filling as a treatment option.

Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth-colored or white fillings, it is a great option to restore your smile in a very natural-looking way.

Now, keep in mind that while they do remedy the situation, fillings are not created to become a permanent fixture in your mouth. Replacement is likely, but it won’t be for quite a while due to their durability.

So, what constitutes the need for a dental filling? If you have any of these issues with your tooth, or teeth, chances are you will need a composite filling or two:

  • Chipped
  • Gapped
  • Cracked or broken
  • Decayed
  • Worn

Another great advantage is that composite fillings are done in a day. Your tooth is numbed, decay is removed, the space is cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished. Keep in mind, it is normal to experience sensitivity to hot and cold when composite fillings are first placed, but it will subside as your tooth acclimates to the new filling. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

For further information regarding dental fillings, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Why Diabetes Is Tough on Dental Issues | Wilmington Dentist

Believe it or not, but diabetes affects more than 29% of Americans. And we generally correlate it to a blood sugar thing, there are plenty of dental issues that can arise from not taking care of yourself. Recent research has shown that periodontal diseases are among the serious problems that can be caused from diabetes. Unfortunately, tooth loss is a likely result of not looking after things. The problem is, diabetics aren’t the greatest candidates for dental implants. But what classifies a viable candidate?

There has been research done to find out why implants don’t work and the results have shown that it all depends on how you maintain your diabetes. The restoration has worked well among patients who took care of themselves well, but those who didn’t had an added failure risk.

Diabetic patients have an automatic increased chance of developing periodontal disease, which is an unfavorable condition for dental implant surgery. Because an incision is made in the gums during dental implant surgery, if gums have any sort of infection, the bacteria can spread to the bone and into the blood stream. Patients who maintain controlled levels may be considered for the surgery. And because healing takes a bit longer for diabetic patients, postoperative care is crucial for diabetic patients after the dental implant surgery, so make sure to follow all guidelines given. Proper maintenance of oral hygiene, quitting smoking and periodic dental visits can decide the success of the implant – but it ultimately lies in your hands.

For further information regarding diabetes, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

How to Maintain a Healthy Mouth | Wilmington Dentist

When we have a dental emergency, we know exactly where to go. But if it doesn’t hurt, chances are we aren’t bothering with a dental visit. Unfortunately, when it comes to our dental health, it is our job to take care of things. We schedule dental appointments to make sure things are going smoothly, but it’s honestly our duty to make the effort to maintain our smiles. So, if you find out that you have dental issues, it’s time to think about how well you are taking care of your teeth. Here are some quick tips to avoid a bad dental report card:

Brush. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles. If you’d like a more thorough cleaning, consider an electric version. Brush for at least 2 minutes, in gentle circular motions so as not to irritate your gums.

Floss. Use 18” worth of floss and make sure that you are using a clean area between teeth to prevent the spreading of any infections you may already have.

Mouthwash. Mouthwash loosens any debris, making your mouth cleaner than by merely brushing.

Tobacco. Avoid tobacco products. We all know tobacco of any sort is bad for us, but it is especially bad for our mouths. Ingesting tobacco products can further irritate any infection you may have, making you more susceptible to further issues.

Sugar. It may taste sweet but having too much sugar in your diet will cause lots of dental issues if you don’t look after your teeth. Limit it as much as possible and be sure to brush after you indulge.

For further information regarding dental issues, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Implants | Wilmington Dentist

Is your smile flawed? If you ever thought about fixing it, a dental implant may be just the solution. Dental implants are an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge and are an ideal option for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Natural-looking and feeling and with proper conditions, implants can last a lifetime.

What do dental implants do?

  • Replace one or more teeth
  • Support a bridge and reduce the need for a partial denture
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable

Types of implants:

  • Endosteal (in the bone). Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone). These are placed on top of the jaw with metal framework

Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures. Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.

Dental implants are secure. You don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort. The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement. If you feel like dental implants would be the ideal fix for your smile, contact your dental professional as soon as possible to get started.

For further information regarding dental implants, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Let’s Start 2019 Without Gum Disease | Wilmington Dentist

As we embark on the new year, we have all taken a moment to take stock on what we have done in the past year and how we can improve it for this one. One of the dental issues that can hinder our 2019 success is gum disease. If left untreated, could lead to tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth. Don’t worry – most adults will encounter some type of gum disease in their lifetime.

The problem is, only a dentist or a periodontist can recognize and determine the progression of gum disease, so if you find that your gums have begun to bleed or bad breath is becoming an issue, it’s time for a dental checkup. Plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, but other factors can contribute to periodontal disease as well, such as smoking, poor dental hygiene, diabetes and pregnancy. In order to catch gum disease at the first stages, here are some signs to look for:

  • 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

Keeping your gums healthy requires a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day, using a mouthwash, flossing and maintaining a healthy diet. So, as you reconsider keeping your new year resolutions, make sure you think about your dental health. Prevention is your key to oral health success.

For further information regarding gum disease, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Straws Can Save Your Smile | Wilmington Dentist

During the holiday season it is tough to keep all of our typical routines in check. With all of the hustle and bustle of the season, it is easy to forget about making sure our smiles are healthy. Avoiding sugary sweets and regular brushing and flossing top the list of steps to take to avoid tooth decay, but other lifestyle habits, and even some foods and beverages, play a role in cavity prevention, too. Here are just a few secret tricks you can work into your daily routines, in addition to your daily dental hygiene practices:

Cheese. Some researchers believe that casein, a protein found in cheese, may have a protective property that promotes healthy teeth and could help with cavity prevention.

Chewing gum. Chewing sugar-free gum has long been recommended to avoid cavities. And sugar-free gum made with xylitol, a natural sugar substitute, seems to be even more of a winner.

Wine. It may cause stains on your teeth, but one study suggests that many of the individual chemical components in both red and white wine can actively fight the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and cavities.

Raisins. Scientists have found that some of the chemicals present in raisins, including polyphenols and flavonoids, may actively fight oral bacteria that lead to cavities.

Using a straw. A study at Temple University in Philadelphia discovered that you can minimize damage to healthy teeth by sipping that soda through a straw.

Dental sealants. To prevent tooth decay, many dentists recommend dental sealants, a protective coating that’s applied to the surface of the back teeth.

For further information regarding dental hygiene tips, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

How to Eat After Dental Surgery | Wilmington Dentist

It happens to the best of us. It can happen over time or completely by accident. Regardless of the circumstances, we haven’t been our best with looking after our teeth and now we need to have dental surgery. It could be anything from dentures to root canals, but dental surgery will usually mean that there will be a bit of pain or discomfort following. It may just be a day or two, it may take a while to adjust, but if you have a tender mouth, it is best to follow a soft diet.

A soft diet is just that – foods and drinks softened in order to make chewing easier on your dental work. Hard, sticky, crunchy or spicy are best left alone until you have healed or adjusted to your dental work. If you follow the instructions given by your dental professional and keep your diet nice and soft, your healing process will also go smoothly and possibly quicker.

There are plenty of foods out there that are naturally soft to chew. Bananas, pastas, eggs, yogurt and ice cream are all great options, while foods like crackers, apples and steak should be kept off your plate. If you don’t have naturally soft foods handy, you can make them softer with a little kitchen effort. Cut food into small pieces. Grind or puree foods into a healthy smoothie. Foods like soups or stews are also great because tougher foods will break down as it cooks, making their chew much easier on tender spots. The point is to make your eating experience as easy as possible until your mouth as back to normal.

For further information regarding a soft food diet, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Let Them Say I Told You So | Wilmington Dentist

You’ve done it – you’ve finally made it to college. No more parental nagging in your ear because you are one step closer to be a full-fledged adult. Yes, it is a great time to be alive. Being a college student means you’re busy with sports, studying, classes, clubs and social functions. And while you time begins to become consumed with schoolwork, finding the time to think about oral hygiene or visit your dentist may be forgotten. After all, wasn’t mom the one that did that stuff for you all these years? Unfortunately, there is the problem – some of the most damaging things you can do to their oral health happen to be extremely common among college students, so this is the time you need to really make an effort to keep your oral health in mind. Drinking energy drinks to pull an all-nighter, late night snacking, drinking alcohol and forgetting to brush your teeth are all typical activities in the life of a college student. So, what is a college student to do?

Start the year off right and schedule a dental appointment now. Not only will you set yourself up nicely with a deep cleaning for the year ahead, you can also get some tips from your dentist in order to keep things healthy in between checkups.

It may sound like a lecture, but student health is important now that you are on your own. Keeping your teeth and gums healthy now will help to ensure you have healthy teeth when you are old and grey.

For further information regarding dental health, call Dr. Leo J. Kituskie, DMD for an appointment today at (302) 994-4900. Visit our website to learn more at implantperiocare.com.

Dr. Leo J. Kituskie proudly serves Wilmington and all surrounding areas.