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Posts for category: Oral Health

September 05, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Developing good oral hygiene habits can keep your teeth and gums healthy. Inconsistent or poor oral hygiene habits can lead to such oral hygieneproblems as gum disease, tooth decay and even tooth loss. Good oral hygiene habits include brushing and flossing daily, as well as visiting your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, regularly. Regular dental visits give your dentist a chance to spot the early warning signs of potential oral health problems and intervene before they progress.

Good Oral Hygiene

Keeping good oral hygiene habits will keep your mouth healthy. You can create good habits by developing a daily routine and sticking to it. As part of your good oral hygiene habits, be sure to visit your Kalamazoo dentist every six months or as often as recommended by your dentist. Try incorporating the following habits into your daily oral hygiene routine:

  • Brush your teeth twice every day.
  • Brush your teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles that will not irritate the gums.
  • Floss your teeth every night before bed.
  • Limit consumption of sugary snacks and foods.
  • Ask your dentist about applying sealants on your child’s teeth.
  • Avoid or stop smoking.

Proper Brushing

Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is an important part of keeping good oral hygiene habits. However, brushing your teeth twice daily is only effective if you are using proper brushing techniques. Sloppy or poor brushing habits can leave bacteria and food particles behind on teeth. Gently brushing all surface areas of your teeth helps eliminate bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease.

Keeping good oral hygiene habits helps prevent tooth decay, cavities, gum disease and other oral health problems. Be sure to brush and floss daily, limit intake of sugary substances and visit your dentist regularly. To schedule a checkup with Dr. Richardson, your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, call the office at (269) 343-6907.

January 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Periodontal disease, which is also referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the structures around the teeth including the gums. Dr. gum diseaseMark Richardson, your Kalamazoo MI dentist offers a variety of gum disease treatments. Here are the top five warning signs of periodontal disease.

1. Bad Breath 

Persistent bad breath may be a warning sign of periodontal disease. If you have chronic bad breath, see your dentist right away. Finding out what's causing your bad breath puts you one step closer to getting rid of it. It's important to find out if your gums are the culprits since breath mints won't help -- they are just temporarily covering up the problem.

2. Red Gums

Healthy gums should appear pink and firm. Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become bright red or purple. Gum disease results from an infection that causes inflammation. This inflammation process causes discoloration of the gums.

3. Swollen Gums

In gingivitis, the gums become swollen and inflamed. For many individuals with gingivitis, this inflammation is not painful. If the cause of your gum swelling is gum disease, good dental hygiene is the first step to recovery.

4. Bleeding Gums

Blood in the sink? If your gums are bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, you may have gum disease. The best way to find out what is causing your gums to bleed is to see your Kalamazoo, MI dentist.

5. Receding Gums

Receding gums are a condition in which the roots of the teeth become exposed. Gum disease is the main cause of gum recession. Periodontal disease destroys gum tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place.

Gum disease can wreak havoc on your health. In your mouth, it can destroy your gums and potentially lead to tooth loss. Say goodbye to gum disease for good! Call Dr. Mark Richardson, in Kalamazoo, MI at (269) 343-6907 today to schedule your dental appointment. We will help you get rid of gum disease once and for all.

By Dr. Mark Richardson
August 31, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Healthy Food  

Didn’t know that what you eat can affect your smile? Learn from your Kalamazoo dentist!

While it seems like a no-brainer that what we eat affects our general health and our weight, did you know that it can also affect the Foodhealth of your mouth? If you don’t often think much about what you eat then maybe it’s time that you did (for the sake of your oral health). From the office of your Kalamazoo, MI dentist, Dr. Mark Richardson, here are just some of the foods you should be adding to your diet to keep your smile looking its best:

Apples: If you can’t reach for your toothbrush during your midday break then reach for an apple. While it won’t be able to do the same job as a toothbrush, it still does a great job of cleaning teeth and removing stains. Plus, apples stimulate salivary flow, which can help wash away food particles and bacteria.

Cheese and dairy products: Dairy products contain a healthy dose of calcium, which our teeth and gums need to stay healthy. As if consuming calcium wasn’t reason enough to grab some string cheese or a glass of milk, the phosphates found in these products can also improve your mouth’s natural pH to make it a less hospitable environment for cavity-producing bacteria.

Carrots: Not only do these crunchy foods stimulate saliva (which we all know promotes a healthier and cleaner mouth) but they also contain Vitamin A, which helps the body absorb calcium better. So the next time you are looking for a smile-healthy treat, opt for some carrots and a refreshing glass of cold milk.

Green Tea: While this isn’t a food, don’t forget that what you drink can also affect your teeth. While black tea might be known to cause stains, green tea has been known to fight cavities. It even contains catechins, which can kill plaque-producing bacteria.

Kiwi: These colorful and yummy little fruits contain a boatload of Vitamin C, which is a great vitamin for keeping your gums looking and feeling their best. While we often focus our attention on our teeth, gum health is just as important. Vitamin C is known for promoting collagen production, and collagen is one of the primary components of gum tissue; therefore, eating kiwis equals healthy gums!

Take care of your smile and it will take care of you for many years to come. Whether you have questions about how to care for your teeth or you just need to schedule your next visit, turn to our Kalamazoo, MI dental office today.

February 19, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dental visits  

Visiting the dentist is not an exciting activity for many people. However, it is an important part of your healthcare routine. Not only do regular dental examinations and cleanings take care of existing problems, they prevent them from happening in the first place. You can dental visits learn what it takes to keep your teeth and gums healthy with help from your Kalamazoo, MI dentist Dr. Mark E. Richardson.

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits
Many people see their dentist when they have a problem or begin to feel pain. Seeing your dentist every six months allows him the opportunity to repair any problems which may arise, such as tooth decay and gum disease. Additionally, these appointments keep your teeth healthy. Seeing your dentist twice a year could be the difference between a simple tooth filling and root canal therapy.

When should I see my dentist?
You should visit your dentist two times a year. If you experience one of the following conditions, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible:

  • tooth pain
  • severe sensitivity to hot or cold
  • a broken tooth
  • a knocked out tooth
  • a swollen pocket of pus on the gum tissue
  • severely bleeding or swollen gums

What can I expect at a visit? 
During your appointment, Dr. Richardson will examine your entire mouth, including the teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. He may take x-rays to visually analyze any bone loss which has occurred and to check for tooth decay. Your head, neck, and jaw are also part of the examination, ensuring there are no signs of abnormalities or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. You will also be checked for any signs of oral cancer and vitamin deficiencies. Your hygienist then cleans your teeth to remove any plaque or tartar buildup and polishes them to a shine. Any other procedures which need to be completed are also carried out.

How can I keep my teeth and gums healthy between dental visits? 
Bacteria in your mouth build up if they are not brushed away. These bacteria turn to sticky plaque, a thin film which coats your teeth. Over time, if the plaque remains on the teeth, it hardens into tartar. This process happens very quickly, making twice daily brushing and flossing crucial to the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease. If you use mouthwash, swish and gargle for at least 45 seconds and do not wash your mouth out with water afterward.

For more information on regular dental examinations and cleanings, contact Mark E. Richardson, DDS in Kalamazoo, MI. Call (269) 343-6907 to schedule your appointment today. 

Let the Smiles Begin!

By Dr. Mark E. Richardson
December 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Extractions  

Tooth extraction is the complete removal of a tooth from its socket. It’s often needed in cases where the tooth is too damaged to save, or when existing teeth are blocking other teeth from erupting.

The only way to know for sure if a tooth needs to be extracted is to have a thorough exam with a trusted dentist. If you find out that you Extractions need an extraction, don’t put it off! Trying to avoid a tooth extraction can lead to pain, swelling, and infection--but once your appointment is over, your pain will be relieved and your dental health greatly improved. Visit dentist Mark E. Richardson right away in Kalamazoo and let an extraction improve your life!

Reasons to Consider Tooth Extraction

Extensive damage: When fillings, root canals, and crowns aren’t enough to save a tooth, it will likely need to be extracted and then replaced with a prosthetic tooth. Children may need baby teeth extracted if they suffer from extensive decay early in life.

Risk of infection: Anyone with a weakened immune system is at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease, and may need to have teeth extracted to prevent infection from spreading throughout the body. People at high risk of infection include cancer patients and those who have had organ transplants.

Impacted teeth: An impacted tooth is one that is blocked from pushing through the gum, either by other teeth or by excessive soft tissue. This can lead to inflammation and jaw pain, as well as an increased risk of gum disease and decay in the surrounding areas. Impacted teeth are frequently candidates for extraction to prevent complications.

Preparing for orthodontics: Sometimes there’s simply not enough room in the arch for all the teeth to sit comfortably. In these cases, some teeth may need to be extracted to solve the crowding problem. Crowding can also cause an adult tooth to erupt in the wrong place, failing to push out the baby tooth. The baby tooth must be removed before the crowding can be corrected with orthodontics.

Loose teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease: When the gums are infected, the underlying bone can begin to break down and cause teeth to become loose. Sometimes this process can be reversed with bone grafting, but if this isn’t an option for your health condition, then extraction may be necessary.

Kalamazoo Tooth Extractions

Do you have impacted teeth, damage to existing dental work, or other oral health concerns? Ask Dr. Richardson in Kalamazoo if extraction is the best solution to your problem. Our dental office serves the Kalamazoo area with extractions as well as a wide range of cosmetic and general dentistry services. Call (269) 343-6907 today to learn whether extraction is the right treatment for you!