How do I know if I have gum disease?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a condition that affects the gum tissues. When left untreated, it can lead to serious consequences for your oral and overall health. The following are common signs of periodontal disease:

  • Painful chewing
  • Pus around the teeth and gums
  • Swollen, tender gums
  • Gums that look redder than usual
  • Loose teeth
  • Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Receding gums, or teeth that look longer than usual
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • A change in how the teeth fit together or in the spacing between teeth

If you notice any of these symptoms, we encourage you to contact our dentist at Smiles Dental for an appointment.

Is it okay if my gums bleed when I brush and floss?

No, your gums should not bleed when you brush or floss. If your gums often bleed when you brush and floss, you may suffer from periodontal disease. Please contact our office to schedule a visit with Dr. Sarah Barber.

How can I prevent bad breath?

Preventing bad breath depends on the cause of the problem. The following are common causes for bad breath, as well as ways to address each issue:

  • Untreated tooth decay or periodontal disease – To ensure that your smile stays healthy and your breath stays fresh, we recommend seeing our dentist in Vancouver, Washington, on a regular basis, at least twice each year.
  • Poor oral hygiene – Maintaining good oral hygiene can go a long way in keeping your breath fresh. Be certain to brush and floss every day, and our team may also recommend that you use other hygiene products like mouthwash.
  • Certain foods – Avoiding certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can help to prevent bad breath.
  • Untreated medical problems – A number of medical conditions, including diabetes, chronic sinus infections, kidney and liver problems, and dry mouth, can cause bad breath. Once you have received the proper treatment from your general physician or other medical professional, your breath should improve.

If you would like to learn more about how you can prevent bad breath, please feel free to ask our friendly team.

How can I improve the appearance of teeth that are stained and discolored?

If your teeth have become discolored or darkened over time, you may feel self-conscious about your smile’s appearance. Dr. Sarah Barber is pleased to provide professional teeth whitening at Smiles Dental to help you brighten your smile.

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry includes several dental treatments designed to enhance your smile’s appearance. With our high-quality cosmetic dental services, we are able to improve the appearance of flaws and imperfections in your smile like cracked or fractured teeth, discolored or yellowed teeth, slightly misaligned teeth, gapped teeth, broken or chipped teeth, very worn teeth, and misshapen teeth. To find out how cosmetic dentistry can help your smile, we invite you to contact us today.

How often should I visit the dentist?

We recommend that you visit Smiles Dental for a routine checkup at least twice every year. Our team may recommend more frequent visits, based on your personal dental needs, in order to help you maintain good oral health.

Do I still need to go to the dentist if my teeth do not hurt and look okay?

Yes! Because many dental problems do not cause pain until they have progressed to an advanced stage, it is important to see our team on a regular basis. During your routine appointments, Dr. Sarah Barber and our team will exam your smile, checking for dental problems that might not be readily apparent. This enables us to provide the treatment your smile needs before the condition becomes more painful and more damaging. We will also provide you with a professional cleaning, which can help to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

If you have any other questions about dental care, please feel free to contact us today at Smiles Dental!