Did You Know?

Gum Pain: When To See The Dentist

Common Causes of Painful Gums

Wonder why some people, in spite of good oral hygiene practices, are still prone to suffering from gum pain. Healthy gums have a light pink hue and do not bleed easily. However, hard brushing, sometimes with a bad toothbrush, can cause bleeding or pain after prolonged usage or if you suddenly changed your toothbrush. Do you brush your teeth and still have gum pain? It does not mean that your dental condition is extremely poor. In fact, gum pain is fairly common and sometimes can be due to reasons other than hygiene.

If you have been suffering from pain in the gums for a long time now or if it is severe, you shouldn’t ignore it. Make sure if it’s not related to any habit or anything else that might be causing the pain. Gum pain may be due to a variety of conditions, from easily treatable to dangerous if long neglected.

One such cause of gum pain is yeast infection, compared to other fungal infections is easily treatable. Thrush is a sign of a yeast infection, a painful and pale white coating on the tongue and teeth. Brushing harder is not going to cure it, but rather the problem can be treated by consuming yogurt with live cultures and maintaining oral hygiene.

Another manifestation of gum pain is when thrush is accompanied by painful, white mouth ulcers with red borders, called canker sores.They start out mild and painless until the red borders appear. Small ones appear after consuming spicy, salty or acidic foods, clearing up in 1-4 weeks time. Larger sores can be extremely painful. Consult with your dentist right away, and in the meantime, avoid spicy and acidic foods.

In gingivitis, gums bleed easily without reason. Because this condition only causes bleeding and no pain, many tend to ignore it until it reaches a severe stage. Gingivitis is a highly prevalent condition in the US. According to ADA, more than three-quarters of people over the age of 35 suffer from gum diseases. Periodontitis is the severe form of gingivitis, about 5-15% of adults are affected, usually a result of neglected gingivitis. Gums can be exceptionally painful and teeth sensitive.

Hormonal changes can cause sensitive gums, particularly in women during puberty, pregnancy, menses, and menopause. These situations can lead to excess blood flow into the gums, leaving them swollen, red, and painful. Chemotherapy can produce side effects including pain in the gums, bleeding and swelling. Patients undergoing this treatment develop stomatitis which causes painful sores and ulcers in the mouth.

Gum Pain or Discomfort? Talk to our dentist in Lynnwood

Suffering from painful gums and not sure what is causing it? Come for a consult with your Lynnwood dentist. The sooner we catch the cause in its early stage, the better and healthier will your gums be.


What Conditions Dentists See Most Often

New Cases of Old Problems

Teeth problems happen to the best of us. While we brush and floss regularly, dental troubles can still pop up. Dentists encounter many different types of oral issues at the office, yet some are more frequent than others.

Most Common Conditions

Here we will list the most common conditions that dentist regularly see.

Dental Caries. You may be more familiar with the other name for tooth decay: cavities. Symptoms of dental caries are not often noticed by patients. Slightly discolored spots on enamel, invisible pits on the tops and sides of teeth, a small crack somewhere, are beginnings of dental caries. They present no pain or sensitivity yet but if unattended, only then will you note the presence of cavities and symptoms might be felt.

Gum Disease. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis, which is the only stage that gum disease is reversible. At first the gums may be reddish, can swell and are tender to the touch. It is an inflammation, as bacteria has settled in the gum tissue, that for a long time can be painless. If not treated, gingivitis may lead to a more serious, destructive form of gum disease called periodontitis. This condition is the leading cause of bone damage and tooth loss today.

Misaligned Teeth. Teeth can be crooked, overlapped, twisted or impacted in the dental arch. It can present as an overbite or underbite. Several causes, as undersized jaw that can lead to overcrowding, early loss of baby teeth or adult teeth causing shifting, thumb sucking, tongue thrusting in young children, improper fit of restorations, or undue pressure on the teeth and gums by constant grinding can contribute to misalignment. Gaps between teeth, gingivitis, periodontitis are also causes. Improperly positioned teeth have hygiene issues, prone to caries, with attendant speech and eating difficulties, and affects self-esteem.

Tooth Sensitivity. This means experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot or cold drinks or ice cream. Some people with sensitive teeth even experience discomfort from brushing and flossing. This can occur when the dentin or middle layer of a tooth is exposed as dentin have open tubules that connect to the pulp root where nerves are present.
Bad Breath. Halitosis is a common symptom some people have and yet are not aware of, often overlooked. It can be caused by simply poor hygiene, bacteria trapped on the tongue, the types of food or drink you have been accustomed to consume. Other common causes are gum disease, cavities, and dry mouth. Bad breath can be an indicator of other health conditions like digestive issues or acid reflux, or oral cancer.

Solving Everyday Issues in Lynnwood

Come to Dr. Song’s Dental Center for any of the most common oral problems. We see them everyday and treat them everyday. Remember that taking action with early signs works better for both dentist and you.


Oral Health Conditions Common By Age 55

Common Oral Issues of Seniors

Oral health is vital to the general health and well-being of all Americans across all ages. Mouth issues can impact general health as general health can also influence the state of oral health. As a person ages then, issues may appear in the mouth that can impact quality of life. Those who are 55 years of age and above may see some common conditions of poor dental health. Dental and periodontal diseases among older adults can profoundly diminish quality of life and have an adverse impact on general health.

The CDC’s Division of Oral Health found that about 25% of adults over the age of 65 no longer have their natural teeth. Loss of dentition can result from untreated or neglected cavities and tooth decay which in turn can lead to a myriad of other oral issues, such as tooth sensitivity, gingivitis, periodontal disease, bone loss, and even ill-fitting dentures.

Periodontal disease plays a huge part in tooth loss. One reason it is so widespread among adults is that it’s often a painless condition until the advanced stage. Untreated, gums can begin to pull away from the teeth and form deep pockets where food particles and more plaque may collect. Advanced gum disease can eventually destroy the gums, bone and ligaments. Another oral health issue associated with older adults is dry mouth, which is an offshoot of many medications. And then there is mouth cancer.

As a result, older adults may experience difficulty maintaining a healthy diet that may lead to malnutrition. It can also affect speech, which in turn limits social interaction and intimacy, detracts from physical appearance, and lowers self-esteem. While dental disease is largely preventable, many older adults experience poor oral health. Dental care can be difficult for seniors to access to be able to avail of interventions effective in preventing and controlling oral disease. This is largely due to loss of dental insurance after retirement or economical disadvantages.

While the dilemma of oral health economics is the burden of public health infrastructure, the oral conditions described could be managed or prevented by making regular dental check-ups. From professionals, adults can learn how to properly focus on oral health and hygiene, avail of treatment interventions that can save teeth from loss and prevent gum destruction before it is too late.

Oral Health for Older Adults in Lynnwood

At Song Dental Center, look after the welfare of our patients at any and all ages. We are especially concerned about our older adults with their particular oral issues and needs. However, do not wait till you are 55, but rather, be under our professional care and management as early as possible.


Root Canal: Misconceptions and Truths

Facing Root Canal Squarely

So your dentist is recommending a root canal for you. You start feeling uncomfortable because you’ve heard a lot of bad news regarding the procedure. Actually, you have no idea at all. But you worry about what you know – the pain, the inconvenience, the upcoming illness, the cost. Because of these, you either will think seriously about tooth extraction or adopt the let’s-wait-and-see stance.

The common misconceptions about root canal are causing many patients to stay clear of a widely accepted and trust-worthy restorative procedure that has helped millions of patients already. 15 percent of people in the U.S. avoid seeking critical dental procedures like root canals due to common myths about the therapy.

Root canal or endodontic therapy is considered the most feared of all dental procedures, yet it’s a much better option than extracting a tooth. Root canal therapy is the most common of endodontic procedures as it is very safe and effective. Every day, root canal procedures are performed in the U.S., relieving patients from tooth pain and decreasing their risk of dental complications from tooth infections and abscesses.

Root canal used to be a painful procedure, but not anymore. With modern technology and anesthetic techniques, root canals are pain-free, quicker procedures. Another myth is that the procedure causes illness. This false claim was based on long-debunked and poorly designed research nearly a century ago, long before modern medicine understood the causes of many diseases.

There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal to disease elsewhere in the body. One more myth is that tooth extraction is better. Replacing an extracted tooth with a bridge or implant requires more time in treatment and may result in further procedures to neighboring teeth and supporting tissue.

Root Canal in Lynnwood: In Expert Hands

Lynnwood dentistry offers laser assisted root canal utilizing laser technology to disinfect and sterilize the root canals for optimal treatment. Reap the benefits of the best in pain suppression and root canal procedures and the most caring of professional staff in Lynnwood.


The Perils of Dental Abscess: By Lynnwood Dentistry

Abscess: From Root to Tooth to Everywhere Else

Dental abscesses can occur at different regions of the tooth for different reasons. A pocket of pus caused by bacterial infection, abscesses can occur at the tips of roots, called periapical abscess, or in the gums next to a root called periodontal abscess. A periapical tooth abscess usually results from an untreated cavity, an injury or prior dental work. Bacteria enters the cavity or a crack and infects the pulp all the way to the tip of the root.

Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by draining it and getting rid of the infection. They tooth can be saved via a root canal treatment or extraction. Antibiotics may not be needed if infection is limited to the abscessed area. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening, complications.

What are the symptoms of tooth abscess?

Most abscesses manifest as severe, persistent, throbbing toothache that can radiate to the jawbone, neck or ear. The tooth is sensitive to hot or cold temperatures or the pressure of chewing or biting. There may be fever, tender, swollen lymph nodes under the jaw or in the neck, swelling in that part of the face. There can also be a rush of foul-smelling and foul-tasting, salty fluid in the mouth and pain relief if the abscess ruptures.

If oral hygiene is poor, it can increase your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, tooth abscess, and other dental and mouth complications. A diet high in sugar can contribute to dental cavities and turn into a tooth abscess.

A tooth abscess requires treatment. The pain may decrease significantly if the abscess ruptures, but dental treatment is necessary. If the abscess doesn’t drain, the infection may spread to the jaw and to other areas of the head and neck. You might even develop sepsis, a life-threatening infection that spreads throughout your body via the bloodstream. A weakened immune system with an untreated dental abscess increases the risk of spreading the infection even more.

A prompt visit to the dentist is in order if you have any signs or symptoms of a tooth abscess. In the absence of a dentist, a trip to the emergency room of a hospital especially if you present with fever and swelling in your face, there is difficulty breathing or swallowing. This indicates that the infection has invaded the deeper tissues or has spread to other areas of your system.

Prompt Attention to Abscesses in Lynnwood

Relieve tooth abscess pain and avoid complications by seeing us at Lynnwood Song Dental. Rest assured of a prompt and caring treatment for all dental abscesses.


Mouth Sores: The Attack on Soft Tissue

Cold Sores – They Come and They Go

Mouth sores are common ailments that most experienced at one time or another. They appear on parts of soft tissues of the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, the floor and roof of the mouth, and sometimes, on the esophagus. They are usually a minor irritation that last only a week or two, though sometimes they portend of more serious conditions – like the viral herpes simplex or even mouth cancer.

Mouth sores symptoms usually present as redness and pain, especially when eating and drinking and there can be a burning or tingling sensation around the sore. Depending on the size, severity, and location of the sores in the mouth, they can make eating, drinking, swallowing, talking, or even breathing difficult. The sores may also develop blisters.

What causes mouth sores? These sores can develop if you have bitten your tongue, cheek, or lip, burn your mouth, experienced irritation from a sharp object, such braces, retainer, or dentures, if you have brushed teeth too hard, or are infected with the herpes simplex virus. Occasionally, mouth sores are the result of, or a reaction to, medications, bleeding disorders, bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, autoimmune disorders, radiation or chemotherapy, cancer, or a weakened immune system due to AIDS or a recent organ transplant.

It is unknown what causes canker sores, the most common mouth sore. Those open, painful mouth ulcers are non-contagious, painful up to 10 days, but resolve in 1 to 3 weeks without treatment. However, see your doctor or dentist if you noticed that the sores are long-staying or do not heal or they get worse, if you suspect herpes simplex or another infection, or if you are starting cancer treatment.
You can’t really prevent mouth sores, but you can take steps to avoid them, so try to have a balance diet, take vitamins, drink plenty of water, practice proper oral hygiene, don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake, avoid very hot foods and drinks as well as spicy foods, chew slowly, and see your dentist if an appliance is causing irritation.

In most cases, mouth sores have no long-term effects. Herpes simplex sores tend to reappear; severe cold sores leave scarring. Outbreaks are more common if you are under stress, have a weakened immune system, had too much sun exposure, or have a break in the skin of your mouth.

See your doctor or dentist for treatment to reduce the symptoms or speed up healing time.

Dental Consult for Mouth Sores in Lynnwood

See us in Lynnwood if you feel you need to have your mouth sores examined and treated. It’s good to have a working knowledge about these little irritants so that you know what to expect and what to do. Know how to keep mouth-healthy and free of sores in Lynnwood.


How Do You Deal with Sensitive Teeth Issues?

Teeth Sensitivity: Working with Your Dentist

If you feel tooth discomfort or pain whenever you take hot or cold food and drinks, that means your teeth are getting sensitive. Sensitivity can range from slight discomfort to severe pain.
What causes tooth sensitivity? Sensitivity occurs when the inner dentin or roots of a tooth become exposed.

There are a number of common causes for this – cavities, worn-out enamel, chipped or cracked tooth, teeth-grinding, receding gums exposing roots, worn or broken dental work or even new dental work. Hot, cold or spicy food can affect these conditions causing you to cringe. Teeth whitening treatments, chemical ingredients in toothpaste, or alcohol-based mouthwash can make things even worse.

Don’t say you’ll avoid your favorite foods or even be afraid to clean your teeth. There are ways to soothe your pains. Consider doing the following.

Strengthen your enamel with daily brushing using a fluoride- enriched toothpaste. Have a fluoride rinse that will coat teeth. Know that fluoride strengthens and even rebuilds some lost enamel.

Use toothpaste for sensitive teeth; look for potassium nitrate, which is a common ingredient in desensitizing toothpaste that block pain signals. Know that most toothpaste have abrasive ingredients that can further thin out the enamel, and, don’t forget to use soft-bristle toothbrush.

More importantly, it looks like you have to pay your dentist a visit. Your dentist may prescribe you the same above recommendations but will also look closely at your sensitive-tooth condition. He can suggest good product brands specific to your sensitivity. Let the dentist check your teeth for cavities, cracks or erosion that will necessitate treatment, and may even ask you to wear night guards if you are a teeth grinder.

Preventive care is important to keep teeth, as well as gums, healthy. Twice a year visits to your dentist can save you time and resources, addressing issues as early as possible. Beginning problems can also be checked and prevented from advancing. Teeth that can become sensitive can easily be spotted. And that can save you a lot of cringing in the future.

Teeth Sensitivity Care in Lynnwood

With regular visits to our Lynnwood clinic, you need not have to worry about sensitivity. We catch these things early when we see it. However, if you come down with tooth sensitivity, we’re just a ring away.


New Study: Asthma May Increase Gum Disease Risk

Asthma Raising Oral Health Alarms

There’s a new piece of research, spread over 21 papers published between 1979 and 2017, that investigated the relationship between asthma and oral health. The 2017 paper especially confirms that those with asthma were almost one fifth (18.8%) more likely to suffer from periodontitis.

The Oral Health Foundation, a leading independent oral health charity based in UK, knows of the close links between oral health and systemic disease, like heart disease and diabetes. But this new study deals with asthma and it could help millions of asthma sufferers in coping with significant oral and medical problems.

The findings, published in the ‘Journal of Periodontology’, illustrate a close link between the two diseases and suggest that there is huge potential for millions more people to develop gum disease in the UK. gum disease is already one of the biggest non-communicable diseases (NCD) globally.

According to Asthma UK, 5.4 million people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma, which means asthma affects one in every 11 people and one in five households. The UK has some of the highest rates of asthma across Europe. In Northern Ireland and in Wales, 1 in 10 are undergoing asthma treatment. In England, 4.5 million people (1 in 11) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This consists of 932,000 children and 3.6 million adults. In Scotland, 1 in 14 are being treated.

The disease prevalence is thought to have plateaued since the late 1990s, although the UK still has some of the highest rates in Europe and on average 3 people a day die from asthma. The most recent data available (2016) 1,410 people died from asthma. The National Health Service spends around 1 billion a year treating and caring for people with the condition.
As far as the link discovered in the aforementioned study between asthma and gum disease, it becomes a real concern now that millions of people are facing increased perils of gingivitis and its more severe form, periodontitis. The Oral Health Foundation is encouraging asthma sufferers to ensure they watch their oral health closely in order reduce their risk of developing gum disease.

Watching Out for the Asthmatic Patient

While the link exists between asthma and gum disease, our team at Lynnwood Song Dental believe that with patient cooperation, the risk involved can considerably decrease. Regular dental follow-ups is highly recommended in order to check the oral health status.


Charcoal-Based Toothpaste: Is It Really Effective?

Facts and Fancies of Charcoal Whitening

Where did the idea that activated charcoal can whiten teeth come from? Actually, using charcoal to clean or whiten teeth goes back to ancient Roman times. Powdered charcoal was used in their toothpaste. Activated charcoal has other medical uses. One primary use is to help treat those who have been poisoned, as charcoal helps to absorb certain toxins, or stop the process of poisoning. Now, the National Institutes of Health points out that activated charcoal is often used to treat severe cases of toothpaste overdose.

Now, other oral healthcare products contain activated charcoal. The Oral Health Foundation, a UK-leading oral health charity, is examining these products following research showing that there is insufficient clinical and laboratory data to substantiate the safety and efficacy claims of charcoal and charcoal-based oral health products. The foundation is concerned that consumers may not fully understand the product composition and that it may do more harm than good.

The trend is very fashionable, as activated charcoal is appearing in everything from face masks, deodorant, lip balm and increasingly, in toothpaste. The toothpaste trend is being fueled by celebrity endorsers, and consumers are believing. Most of the time, these celebrities could have had professional tooth whitening; their smiles may not be a direct result of using charcoal products. The foundation says that evidence may be anecdotal, superficial and not long-lasting.

New research says that there is no concrete evidence to back up the whitening claims and the toothpaste products may be actually harmful as they do not contain the effective ingredients to help prevent tooth decay. Toothpaste needs to contain 1,350-1,500 parts per million of fluoride to actively protect teeth from tooth decay, but many toothpastes containing activated charcoal fall below this level and are putting users at an increased tooth decay risk .Some products may be too abrasive and frequent use can wear away the enamel exposing the yellow dentin. It will not only cause sensitivity but teeth can look yellowish instead.

It is important to realize that professional whitening services provided by a dental professional is the effective way to get whiter teeth safely and effectively.

Safety and Efficacy First in Lynnwood

Know more about charcoal-based dental products and their claims from your Lynnwood dentist. It may not always be safe to follow trends, no matter how popular. Understand why professional whitening is your best and safest option for brighter


Dental Filling Failure: The Filling Material Is Not Always At Fault

When Filling Failure Is Linked to Lifestyle

Dental fillings, whether it’s silver amalgam, ceramics, or the newer composite resins, have been proved to last many years. Their durability and strength, as well as aesthetics and ease of preparation for some, make them very popular options in restorative dentistry. When they fail, which does happen, it is not difficult to have replacements.

But why do they fail in the first place? There are cases that last a lifetime. Was it the wrong filling material? Or did the dentist not do a good preparation?

A team of researchers from Brazil and the US think they have the answer. They were able to access a large repository of dental records from a Pittsburgh dental school in which contained information on patient fillings and rates of failure up to five years after the filling procedure. The records also show the lifestyle profile of individual patients.

Now within two years of the dental procedure, the team found that fillings were starting to fail. The failure rate was higher in those who were alcohol drinkers, still higher in those who smoke. They also found the enzyme – matrix metalloproteinase (MMP2), found in teeth and is of a genetic component, which was linked to increased filling failure. The researchers think that MMP2 might be degrading the bond between the filling and the tooth surface. This is not confirmatory as further investigation is needed. However, the personal factors aforementioned seem to influence filling failure and it has nothing to do with filling type.

This study can help the profession better understand why and which individual is more susceptible to dental disease, as caries. Dentists can better variate their treatment options, educate their patients, and encourage follow-through with susceptible patients.

As far as the aforementioned genetic component of those teeth at risk due to the enzyme MMP2, the team of researchers are looking to the future to be able to personalize dental treatments and enhance treatment outcomes.

Lifestyle Change for Long-Lasting Fillings

It is part and parcel of any treatment regimen we offer patients here at Lynnwood Song Dental to educate and inform, so that our patients get the most of our professional know-how. Lifestyle change is one of those important recommendations we make if need be, for treatment success.