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Causes of bleeding gums and when to see your dentist

Seeing blood after you brush your teeth can be alarming, but don't panic! You may be able to cure your bleeding gums without having to go to the dentist, depending on the situation. Let's talk about what causes bleeding gums and when you should see your dentist about it.

They may be tiny, but your gums have a big job.

They protect the roots and neck of your teeth from bacteria.Without healthy gums, bacteria can sneak beneath your teeth and cause tissue damage. Eventually, the tissues become too damaged to hold your teeth, thus leading to loose teeth that can even fall out.

 

What causes bleeding gums?

1. Gingivitis (gum disease)

If you don't brush or floss regularly, plaque builds up in the groove around your teeth. Sometimes you can see the plaque as white or yellowish marks by your gums. As it grows and moves, they irritate your gums causing gingivitis. It's the early stage of gum disease, and its most common symptom is bleeding gums. Other symptoms are red gums, sensitive gums, and bad breath. Luckily this stage is reversible. Your dentist can help scrape away plaque and bacteria. Brushing and flossing keep the bacteria way for good. However, if gingivitis gets worse, your gums may start to pull away from your teeth, leaving space for bacteria to travel into tissues below your teeth. The longer bacteria lives in your tissue, the worse your dental health gets. 

 

2. Pregnancy

Pregnancy changes your hormones that affect your entire body. Hormone changes can cause "pregnancy gingivitis". Your gums may swell up and become sensitive, causing bleeding when you brush or floss. To avoid oral health issues, talk to your dentist about how to care for your teeth when you're pregnant.

 

3. Medicines

The medicine you take can make your gums more likely to bleed, even if you have excellent brushing and flossing habits. Blood thinners and aspirin keep your blood from clotting. These medicines especially increase your risk of bleeding gums and may cause your gums to bleed for a long time after brushing. You should tell your dentist if you're taking these medicines. 

 

4. A new oral health routine

If you started a new oral health routine, such as brushing or flossing more often, your gums may bleed until your mouth gets used to the new habits. Brushing and flossing clear away bacteria and plaque from your gums. As you practice these good habits, your gums should bleed less until it eventually stops altogether. Also, brushing too hard can irritate your gums and cause them to bleed. Always use a gentle motion when brushing and consider getting a brush with soft bristles. 

 

When to see your dentist...

Sometimes if you practice good habits, your gums will get better without a visit to the dentist. But if your gums bleed regularly, such as every time you brush your teeth for a few weeks, I encourage you to make an appointment! You should also call your dentist if your gums bleed for a long time after you have stopped brushing or flossing. I also recommend that you see your dentist if you experience these symptoms:

  • red/swollen gums
  • sensitive gums
  • gums that seem to be separating from teeth -- leaving a gap between the gum and the tooth
  • frequent bad breath or taste in your mouth
  • loose teeth as an adult
  • changes in the way your top and bottom teeth align

The sooner you see your dentist about signs of gum disease, the more likely you'll be able to reverse the condition.

 

-- Jackie

History of Toothpaste

Oral hygiene has always been a top priority in society as far as we can remember. Although the toothpaste that we have available today seem to be more effective in preventing oral disease, the ones created in the past weren't too different!
Take a look at this brief timeline:
4th century AD: The Egyptians created the oldest known formula. It was a mixture of crushed rock salt, dried iris flowers and pepper. Even though this was known to create bleeding gums, researchers suggested that it was most effective compared to most toothpastes used as recently as a century ago.
1780: It was known that people were scrubbing their teeth with a powder mainly made of burnt bread. 
1824: A dentist (named Peabody) added soap to toothpaste for added cleanliness. However, later on, it was replaced by sodium lauryn sulfate to create a smooth paste.
1873: Colgate produced and launched their nice-smelling toothpaste and it was sold in a jar.
1892: Dr. Sheffield was the first person to put toothpaste in a collapsible tube -- it's been suggested that his version is the most similar to today's version.
1914: Fluoride was added to toothpastes after it was discovered that it significantly decreased dental cavities.
1975: Herbal toothpastes, like Tom's, became an alternative to cleaning teeth without fluoride. It contained ingredients like peppermint oil, myrrh and plant extracts.
1987: Edible toothpaste was invented. It was mainly used by children who were learning to brush their teeth, but it was invented by NASA so astronauts could brush their teeth without spitting into a zero-gravity abyss. 
1989: Rembrandt invented the first toothpaste that claimed to "whiten and brighten your smile". 
The world of dentistry is always evolving! I wonder what other milestones we'll reach today. 
-- Jackie

Small Habits that have Big Rewards

Once the New Year's afterglow begins to fade, many of us lose inspiration to create or continue positive change in our lives. In fact, Jan 12th was National Quitters Day - the day that most people abandon their resolutions. One of the reasons resolutions don't tend to stick is because they are often drastic/extreme, requiring huge life changes, or they're goals that are too vague, and therefore difficult to work toward. An example: Deciding you're going to work out 7x/week as a resolution is drastic and unsustainable if you were working out 0x/week before, and deciding to "be more active" is too vague...if you wanted to cheat the system, you could stand up from your desk 1 extra time per day, and you'd technically be "more active"!

In order for positive changes to happen and stick, it's often a good idea to start with small habits. Although small habits & changes may initially seem insignificant, any kind of consistent change is better than short-lived big changes or no changes at all. Here are some small habits you can try to incorporate into your life that can have massive payoff!

 

1. Set a goal for Hydration

Saying "I want to drink more water" simply isn't enough if you really want to enact change. A good benchmark for how much water you should drink is calculated like so: divide your weight (lbs) in half, and that's how many ounces you should try to drink each day. For example: a 200-pound man should try to drink 100 oz of water/day. These numbers may seem daunting, but if you commit to steadily drinking water (for me it took buying a huge water bottle with a carrying strap!), you'll begin to notice positive changes. Your skin can clear up, you can feel more energized, you'll even feel less hungry--did you know that oftentimes, your stomach can't distinguish hunger from thirst? Next time you feel the munchies, drink a glass of water.

2. Meditate!

I'm not saying you have to get up at the crack of dawn and climb to the top of a mountain to "experience nature"--I'm just saying that meditation as a practice is really beneficial to your life. If you're like me, and you're bad at emptying your mind, try guided meditations. I use an app called "Calm" every night, and I use guided meditations/sleep stories to help my mind shut off and get ready for rest. It's become a routine of mine, and I've noticed a massive positive change in my sleep quality and how fast I can fall asleep. Try incorporating meditation into your morning or night routines--the results could surprise you.

3. Take care of yourself.

This doesn't mean you need to blow money on tons of expensive treatments or pampering sessions (although you're welcome to do so!). It's simply important to dedicate time each day to caring for one's self. In my own life, I practice self care by treating myself to face masks, and by dedicating time every evening to being alone. This allows me time to recharge (I'm an introvert so solitude is a must), and to spend quality time with my pet cat Rosie (the ultimate therapy!). Try carving out just 10 minutes a day for yourself, whether it's to paint your nails, do some feel-good stretches, etc--giving yourself time to be "selfish" is imperative! The better you take care of yourself, the better your perform in other aspects of life: work, relationships, finances, and more.

 

I hope this little list inspires some of you to make small adjustments to your routines! It can have a profound impact.

 

Best,

 

~Meg

Holiday Travel Tips 2018

Travelling for the holidays can seem like a necessary evil.  But with a little preparation, it doesn’t need to take away from the Holiday Spirit!

Continue Reading >

Mouth and Heart...A love-hate story by V.

Besides hurtful words that can make your heart bleed,

Or warm kisses that make its wounds heal,
Did you know that mouth and heart are closely linked?
In fact, periodontal disease and heart disease are intertwined.

I might be a -bad- Poet and certainly no Doctor, but I work in the dental field, read the news and keep myself fairly informed, and it is no news that oral care is linked to diseases and health issues, such as diabetes, Alzheimers, and even breast cancer, just to name a few.

Studies have shown a direct link between the frequency and length of brushing as well as flossing and the risk of having a heart attack, failure or stroke. And it is for this reason patients with gum disease cannot undergo brain surgeries!

This is how I explain it with my bad-Poet-no-Doctor words:

-         Some bad bacteria live in the mouth.

And those are not simply linked to badmouth.

-         If not eliminated by proper oral care, they harden into dental plaque.

Almost as hard but definitely not as pretty as your Shellac ;)

-         Plaque is in direct contact with the gum.

And here begins all the fun…

-         Gum are tissues with tons of blood vessels, that connect to more blood vessels…

That’s why they should be treated like little Angels…

-         Vessels transport blood to and from the Heart.
Sooooooo smart.

-         The Heart pumps bacteria-filled blood.

Now I’m gonna throw-up.

-         Bacteria cause blood clots, leading to hear attack or stroke.

And don’t pretend you are choked.

-         Death.
=> AVOIDABLE WITH GOOD ORAL HEALTH!

Alright, the last one is a bit dramatic, but I wish more people would understand and take seriously the impact of poor oral care on their heart. In conclusion: <3 Happy Teeth , Happy Heart <3

 

-V.

What I love most about Thanksgiving 🦃

Good morning y'all!

It's Jackie reporting in, and I hope you're all having a smooth week! We are just DAYS away from one of my favorite days of the year, and I'm sure yours too! That's right... THANKSGIVING. This is one of the warmest and heartfelt holidays of the season, and I'm happy this is a short week for everyone to enjoy!

I just wanted to jump right in to today's blog and talk about some of my favorite things about Thanksgiving:

1. Traveling 🚘

Now it would be nice if I meant traveling to a different state/country for a vacation, but I think traveling to see your family/friends comes close to beating that! Personally, traveling isn't something I do during the holidays because I don't live too far from my family or my friends, but I'm still just as eager to see them (as if I didn't see them the other week, lol!). So I can only imagine the feeling of excitement for those who don't really get to see their loved ones as often.

2. Quality time ☺️

You know I had to slide in some quality time in this blog. I am very family oriented; I grew up with a HUGE family. I was always told "family is everything" while growing up, but I think I really started to grasp that concept on my own when I started college (and that was only a few years ago!) I came to the realization that not only are we getting older, but so are our loved ones around us. So definitely cherish the times you have with them now! ❤️

3. The FOOD 🍽️

A girl loves to eat, ha! I'm happy that I did not grow up a picky eater at all. I'll eat anything as long as it's edible lol. I think my all time favorite thing on the table has to be MASHED POTATOES. Second best would be cranberry anything. Not sure why I love cranberries so much, but also not complaining!

4. Black Friday Sales‼️

I know we all like to look for some deals while we're shopping, but how nice is it to have one day where every store has a sale going on! Don't get me wrong, Black Friday shopping is very hectic but a lot of online stores are holding a sale on their website as well! So you get to save money from the comfort of your home. An example being... US 😉

Make sure to check out our Black Friday sale: Buy 1 Get 1 FREE on Manual and Travel Brushes/Packs! Just make sure to add the extra item(s) to your cart! 

I hope you enjoyed this blog and that it makes you just as excited for the holidays as I am! Talk to y'all soon 👋 -- Jackie

My Top 5 Holiday Travel Essentials!

Hi All!

The holidays are just around the corner, which is crazy! Time seems to fly as soon as October ends, and then it’s a mad dash to the end of the year.

I don’t know about you, but I no longer live near home—I’m about 2.5 hours north of where my parents live—so the holiday season means traveling back and forth throughout the next few weeks. Since traveling can be a pain (+ we often have our brains scrambled/occupied by so many other things), I’ve compiled a list of my Top 5 essentials for traveling this time of year! I hope this list is helpful (and keeps you from forgetting any important things while packing!)

1. A foldable hair brush

I am very low maintenance with my hair, but a hair brush is still essential! No matter what kind of hair you have, it’s important to get all snags and tangles out a couple times per day, plus it’s good for your scalp to brush your hair, as the contact of the bristles encourages circulation! I don’t like packing heavy when I travel, so a must-have for me is the Wet Brush Foldable Hair Brush

2. Comfy Socks

Travel (for me) means lots of driving, and my feet can get sore from the hours spent on the road—not to mention that the holiday season here in New England means brisk, chilly weather! A comfortable and warm pair of socks is a necessity for me. My favorite ones are Bombas! They support your arches and also give pairs to those in need when you purchase.

3. A Portable Face Toner

I’m a skincare junkie! I often have breakouts, plus when the cold weather rolls around your skin can get dry so easily. When I’m tuckered out from travel I don’t always want to go through a whole extensive skincare regime, so having a quick, easy, and portable option helps a bunch. I’ve been loving the Neogen Real Cica Pads—They have a smooth side and a more exfoliating side, so you can really get a good clean/scrub if you’ve decided to slack on cleansing, etc and just want to get to bed.

4. A Great Travel Toothbrush

Traveling is no excuse for slacking on dental hygiene! During the holiday season, people are always taking pictures, so you want your smile to be in tip top shape. I always make sure that I have my Dr. Plotka’s travel toothbrush!!! The flossing bristles make sure every spot gets a thorough clean, and the antimicrobial properties of the brush are even more necessary during travel—I can rest assured knowing that my toothbrush is clean and bacteria-free even after bouncing from my travel bag to various bathrooms/hotels back to home. I never travel without it!

5. A Good Neck Pillow

Most folks associate neck pillows with traveling on airplanes, but when you drive (or maintain any posture) for a long amount of time it can strain your neck! When I drive I have a very “forward” posture, so once I’ve arrived at my destination, relaxing with a good neck pillow really helps to ease the muscles and get everything back into position. My favorite neck pillow is memory foam!

 

I hope this list was informative and helps you piece together your packing list for wherever the holiday traveling season may take you!

 

Best,

 

~Meg