What to do about sore gums

Woman with gum inflammation, closeupIf you are dealing with red, inflamed, and sore gums, you may be dealing with discomfort. These are often the early signs of a condition called gingivitis, which is an infection that can become a more serious problem if untreated and it progresses to periodontitis. For some, it may be just be caused by irritation from dentures or changes in hormone levels. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team in Albuquerque, NM encourage you to speak to a dentist about the cause of the problem, then consider at-home care. Below are just a few things to consider when it comes to managing sore gums.

  • Use the right toothbrush. For some patients, hard-bristled brushes or aggressive brushing can lead to red and swollen gums. By using the right tools, patients can not only keep their teeth clean but reduce inflammation.
  • Rinse with salt water. Soft tissue injuries and swollen gums may benefit from a salt water rinse in the mouth. It can sooth inflammation and also wash away bacteria and plaque.
  • Use a mouthwash. It can be beneficial to integrate the use of a mouthwash into your oral hygiene routine each day. Those with ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide can ease inflammation while also fighting off bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease.
  • Use over-the-counter medications. Swollen gums that are painful may also benefit from the use of over-the-counter pain medications to provide comfort. These should be used as needed per the directions, and can be combine with any of the above solutions. Acetaminophen works best for pain while ibuprofen is beneficial for fighting inflammation. There are also special gels that can be used on the gums to numb them and ease discomfort too, and these are often found at the local pharmacy.

Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today

Albuquerque, NM area patients dealing with sore or inflamed gums will want to speak to their dentist about their needs. Call (505) 881-1159 to request a consultation appointment with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook, a dentist with over three decades of dental experience. The office is located in Suite C at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE and accepts new patients and families.

Continue Reading

What’s good for the smile is good for the body

Your smile is linked to more than just your appearance. It is also one area of the body that, if not taken care of, can cause a host of problems throughout the body. Many patients are not aware of the oral systemic connection and how what they do for their smile impacts the whole body. 

What is the oral systemic connection? 

Periodontal disease is an infection that develops in the smile. However, the bacteria in the mouth can enter into the bloodstream and be carried to other areas of the body. This can result in problems such as inflammation that can increase a patient’s risk for strokes, heart disease, and other medical conditions. With proper oral health and hygiene habits, many patients can improve the health of their smiles—and their bodies! 

What are some ways to keep the smile and body healthy? 

Below are recommendations from our team regarding the health and wellness of your teeth and body! 

  • Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once to keep the smile healthy
  • Use an electric toothbrush which can be more effective at removing plaque and tartar
  • Change your toothbrush regularly, especially if bristles are frayed or if you have recently been sick
  • Use a toothpaste that has fluoride and is approved by the ADA (American Dental Association)
  • Visit the dentist regularly to monitor oral health
  • Avoid or reduce consumption of foods that are high in sugar and acid content
  • Treat problems as soon as they occur to keep them from becoming even more problematic in the future
  • Listen to your dentist’s advice regarding oral healthcare habits and routines
  • Visit the dentist as soon as problems arise—don’t wait until your next scheduled visit

Schedule a visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook to learn more about oral health and full-body wellness 

If you reside in the Albuquerque, NM community and want to speak with our team about good oral health habits, call (505) 881-1159 to request an appointment today. We are located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C and accept new patients and families. With general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, Dr. Steven E. Holbrook can help keep your smile—and body—healthy for life!

Continue Reading

Understanding treatment of periodontal disease

At the practice of Dr. Steven E. Holbrook, patients of Albuquerque, NM have access to a selection of treatments, including preventative, general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. When patients fail to care for their smile, they may be putting themselves at risk for a range of problems which may include not only cavities but periodontal disease. Also referred to as “gum disease,” periodontal disease is an infection that starts in the soft tissues and can cause a host of problems within the smile and throughout the body.

What is periodontal disease?

An infection in the mouth is often referred to as periodontal disease. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team encourage patients to be proactive about ensuring this condition does not develop. Once periodontal disease has been diagnosed, it cannot be cured—only controlled. This condition is completely preventable with proper oral health habits and routine visits to the dentist. However, if it does develop, patients need to obtain a definitive diagnosis and discuss treatment options with their provider.

Treatment of periodontal disease

In most cases where periodontal disease is in the earliest stage, known as gingivitis, a simple cleaning at the dental office can help. This may be combined with the application of antibiotics on the soft tissues of the mouth to combat the infection. However, if patients do not get a proper diagnosis until the later stages, they may be at risk of developing periodontitis, the later stages of the condition. Patients at this point might experience problems such as the loss of gum tissue, jawbone, and natural teeth. A more aggressive and invasive cleaning called scaling and root planning is often done at this point to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar deep below the gumline from the roots of the teeth. When combined with antibiotics, this is the most effective way to address late-stage gum disease.

Interested in learning more about periodontal disease treatment?

Connect with our team in Albuquerque, NM by calling (505) 881-1159 and scheduling an appointment with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Suite C. His practice accepts new and current patients of the community to enjoy services from a dentist with over three decades of experience!

Continue Reading

The basics of gum health

Gum health is just as important as the health of the teeth. While tooth decay is often discussed, gum disease is also a concern that needs to be addressed. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook of Albuquerque, NM believes in educating patients in good overall health and wellness, especially when it comes to the gums and the formation of gum disease.

What is gum disease?

The gums are the soft tissues in the mouth that frame the natural teeth. They are susceptible to damage and infection, just as teeth are, making them just as important in the smile for good oral health and wellness. Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease, is a condition that can be extremely damaging to the health of the smile. Periodontal disease starts in the gum tissues as an infection. The gum tissue begins to shrink, causing pockets to form in-between the gums and the natural teeth. Bacteria continues to thrive in these pockets and spreads, causing the loss of tissue, bone, and even permanent adult teeth! This is how devastating the condition can be and why it is so important to avoid the development of gum disease in the first place!

How to maintain healthy gums

First, patients need to reduce their risk of infection. Bacteria can be controlled with routine brushing and flossing. Patients will also want to take a look at their diet and make sure that they are eating right, as this impacts more than just the body but the smile as well. High-sugar and highly acidic foods can be problematic for patients, unless they brush and floss immediately after consumption. If there are any signs of infection, including swollen or bleeding gums, it is time to schedule an appointment with the dentist for a definitive diagnosis and effective treatment protocol.

Improve your smile today!

Educate yourself on the ways to keep your smile healthy with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook and his team. With over thirty years of experience, he can help you and your family achieve better oral health and wellness with routine care. Call (505) 881-1159 today to request a consultation appointment at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE Suite C in Albuquerque, NM.

Continue Reading

Five ways to prevent periodontal disease

Albuquerque, NM area patients who are ready to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile should learn about the ways to protect their smile from gum disease. Below are several things to consider for prevention:

  • Brush your teeth. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria can build up on the teeth all day. By brushing the teeth after every meal, you can keep these problems under control.
  • Floss at least once a day. Food particles stuck between teeth can break down and contribute to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Flossing is important to maintaining oral health and wellness, and should be done at least once a day, if not more.
  • Use mouthwash. Even if you brush and floss thoroughly, you may not be getting your teeth as clean as you think. Mouthwash can be used to get into areas that may have been missed.
  • Attend regular dental appointments. When patients visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation, any concerns can be spotted soon enough to effectively treat them before they become a bigger problem.
  • Know your risks. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease, including your age, habits, diet, and genetic factors. Talk with your dental professional if you are at a higher risk to determine the best course of action and any lifestyle changes that can be made.

Call Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today

If you are considering comprehensive dental care and have questions regarding the best way to maintain a healthy smile, connect with our dentist in Albuquerque, NM. Dr. Steve E. Holbrook has over three decades of experience in providing quality general, preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry for new and current families. His practice can be reached for an appointment at (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

Treatment solutions for gum disease

Periodontal disease. Gum disease. Infection. Regardless of the name, this condition is known for wreaking havoc on the smile. Periodontal disease is an infection that often begins in the gum tissues and then spreads, causing damage to the soft tissues, jaw bone, and the natural teeth. This infection is 100% preventable with proper oral healthcare habits. When patients brush and floss their teeth after every meal, visit their dentist every six months for a cleaning and evaluation, and contact their dental team as soon as a problem arises, they are greatly reducing their risk of developing disease and decay.

What are the signs of periodontal disease?

There are a few noticeable signs of periodontal disease that may indicate a problem exists. If patients pay close attention to their oral health, they will notice these issues:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tender gum tissue
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Chronic bad breath

If any of these signs appear between dental visits, patients should contact Dr. Steven E. Holbrook for an evaluation. Treatment of periodontal disease in the earlier stages is more effective and less expensive than treatment in the later stages.

What treatments are available for periodontal disease?

There are several approaches a dentist may take to treat periodontal disease.

  • Thorough cleanings – in the earlier stages, often referred to as gingivitis, patients will have a thorough cleaning performed by the dental hygienist. This removes plaque and tartar from the surfaces of the teeth, while allowing for the removal of any food particles that may contribute to the condition.
  • Scaling and root planing – later stages of periodontal disease may benefit from scaling and root planing. This is a cleaning of the teeth and gums that include the roots of the teeth, not just the crowns. This is a deeper, more invasive cleaning, but often provides amazing advantages.
  • Antibiotics – patients may be prescribed antibiotics to take orally, or the dental team may apply antibiotics directly to the smile to eliminate the infection at the source.

Request a visit with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today!

Albuquerque, NM patients ready to work with a dentist that has over three decades of experience are encouraged to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven E. Holbrook today. His practice is located at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard, NE, Ste. C and can be reached by phone at (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

What Is Gum Contouring?

Periodontal Disease Treatment Albuquerque, NM When patients think of enhancing their smile, their first thought is to address imperfections of the teeth. But what if the teeth aren’t the issue? Some patients have imperfections that impact the gums and may want to seek a solution with an experienced dentist. Common concerns include a smile that is “gummy,” causing the gums to appear too noticeable and the teeth to appear smaller than they actually are. In situations such as this. Dr. Steven E. Holbrook may suggest gum contouring.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring, which may also be referred to as gum lifting, is an elective procedure that can be done to reshape or even correct excessive or uneven gums. This is a relatively painless procedure with a fast healing time, and is commonly done for patients who are self-conscious about the appearance of the gums. Gum contouring may also include gum grafting, which is when the gum tissue is built up after patients have experienced a shrinking of the tissues from periodontal disease. This is more of a reconstructive approach to the gum tissue, rather than a cosmetic approach with traditional gum contouring.

During gum contouring, the dentist will remove some of the soft tissues along the gum line and across the teeth near the front of the smile. This will reduce their appearance and address the overgrowth that can occur. Once patients have gum contouring completed, they will be able to feel more confident when they smile and speak. Their teeth may appear larger, and they will achieve proper balance and harmony between the teeth and soft tissues. Many patients find that gum contouring is a procedure they should have considered long ago as they love the self-confidence that is restored with this cosmetic treatment!

Consider gum contouring with our dentist today

Dr. Steven E. Holbrook work with patients in the area of Albuquerque, NM who are seeking cosmetic solutions for their smile. If you are interested in gum contouring, contact the practice at (505) 881-1159 and visit at 8228 Louisiana Boulevard NE, Ste. C. We accept new patients considering general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry.

Continue Reading

How to Avoid Gum Erosion

Periodontal Disease Albuquerque, NMHaving a naturally gummy smile is one thing, but having receding gums is something else. Receding gums happen when your gums pull away from your teeth, which can cause the tissues to become exposed. When your tissues are exposed, it not only doesn’t look appealing, but it can lead to a host of problems like bacterial infections. Luckily, there are a few basic things that you can do to avoid getting it.

Don’t Brush too Hard

There is such a thing as brushing too hard when you are brushing your teeth. Although you want to get all of the plaque and tartar off of your teeth, brushing too hard can erode the gum tissue, which can eventually lead to receding gums. One of the best things that you can do before you brush along the gumline is wet your soft-bristled toothbrush with hot water which will soften your bristles even more.

Get Regular Cleanings

Another excellent way for you to avoid getting gum erosion or gum disease is to get regular and frequent dental cleanings. During each one of your cleanings, Dr. Holbrook won’t just clean your teeth, but he will clean along the gum line to get rid of any harmful plaque or tartar build-up. Also, if he notices any premature signs of gum erosion, he may recommend a treatment called gum scaling. Gum scaling is a comprehensive cleaning along the gum line to get rid of tartar.

Don’t Use Tobacco

Chewing tobacco, in particular, can lead to extreme gum erosion and gum disease. If you smoke or chew tobacco, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of developing a variety of different things, including gum erosion.

Are you ready to learn a little bit more about how you can take better care of your teeth and gums? If so, schedule an appointment with us at our Albuquerque office and call us at  (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

Signs of Gum Disease

Gum Disease, Albuquerque, NM There are few things that you want in life like a good job, a healthy family, and maybe a trip to the beach every year, but there are lots of things that you don’t want anything to do with like gum disease. As one of the most common oral conditions that Dr. Holbrook sees patients for, if you have gum disease, you certainly are not alone. But before you self diagnose yourself with this oral condition, there are a few signs for you to look out for.

  • Red, swollen, bleeding, tender gums- These are the most common symptoms of gum disease. If you are the type of person who only flosses on occasion, then you may experience red, swollen, tender gums when you start flossing again. However, if you floss on a regular basis or if these symptoms don’t subside, then it may be an indication that you have gum disease.
  • Receding Gums- In more advanced stages of gum disease, some patients start to notice that their gums are pulling away from the teeth which causes them to look longer than before. If this goes untreated, it can result in loose or separating teeth.
  • Pus in between your gums and teeth- This is a big indication that you either have gum disease or you have another sort of oral infection.
  • Persistent bad breath- Having bad breath after you eat a garlic burger or if you haven’t brushed your teeth in a few hours is normal, but having persistent bad breath isn’t.
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite or the way your partial dentures fit- In advanced stages of gum disease, patients experience shifts in the way that their teeth or dentures fit together which isn’t something you should necessarily be experiencing.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this article, make sure that you contact Dr. Holbrook today and schedule an appointment. To learn more or to schedule your next appointment, contact us at our Albuquerque at (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading

Showing Early Signs of Gingivitis? What to Do?

Periodontal Disease Albuquerque, NMGingivitis or gum disease is one of the most common oral conditions that Dr. Steven Holbrook sees patients for. Caused by plaque build-up along the gum line, gum disease can cause things like tender gums, swollen gums, bleeding gums, or even gums that have started to recede. If you have started to experience any of these symptoms, what steps should you take?

Come Into our Office

The first thing you should do if you start experiencing any swollen, tender, bleeding or receding gums is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Holbrook. The only way to cure gum disease is to get your teeth professionally cleaned. Depending on how advanced your gum disease will help Dr. Holbrook determine what treatment will work best for you. Typically, if gum disease is caught early on, it can be treated with a thorough cleaning to help get rid of the excess plaque. If, however, your gum disease is a little more advanced, than we may recommend another procedure.

Make Sure You Floss

One of the leading causes of patients who have extra plaque build-up is a lack of flossing. Next to brushing, flossing your teeth is one of the best things you can do for your overall oral health. If you can’t get onboard with regular dental floss, then consider investing in a water flosser. Water flossers work by using pressurized water to help get rid of excess food and tartar from your teeth.

Drink More Water

If you are a big soda drinker, then you aren’t doing your teeth any service. In fact, soda is filled with enough sugar to cause not only an additional plaque on your teeth but cavities as well. Try replacing your daily soda intake with water instead. Water isn’t just better for your teeth because it’s sugar-free, but it can also help get rid of germs and bacteria on your teeth after you eat.

Schedule a Consultation

As long as it’s caught early on, gum disease is fairly easy to manage. Schedule your next dental cleaning with Dr. Steven Holbrook at our Albuquerque office today: (505) 881-1159.

Continue Reading