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4/2/2018 8:00:00 AM | Mark Ngo

Prevention is a person’s ultimate defense against the development of oral health concerns. By keeping dental issues from occurring, you also protect your overall well-being. Mark T. Ngo, DMD, helps patients maintain the aesthetic and condition of their teeth and gums, by providing tips for an effective dental care routine.

Dr. Ngo offers the following advice to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for a lifetime.

Fundamentals to Oral Hygiene

Your toothbrush is your biggest asset when it comes to removing bacteria and cleansing the surfaces of teeth. It is in your smile’s best interest that you choose a brush with soft bristles to reach all the nooks and crannies of your teeth. A brush with hard bristles can scrub your teeth too forcefully and damage the enamel. Toothbrushes with soft bristles are also more effective in removing the bacteria between the gaps of teeth.

There is More to the Basics

While many people are aware about the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, it is just as essential to your oral health that you handle your toothbrush in the correct manner. It is commonly believed that you should hold your toothbrush parallel to the gums. This is actually false universal method. You should position your brush at a 45-degree angle to make sure you remove the bacteria on the surface of your teeth. Also, dentists recommend for you to brush in short, gentle strokes to cleanse away harmful microbes and prevent the spread of decay.

When it comes to flossing, use an 18 to 22 inch piece of floss, wrapping each tooth and scraping up to clear stubborn food particles. Be sure to use a clean section of floss between every tooth. For people with difficulty maneuvering dental floss, interdental cleaners are available and work just as well.

Chew Away Food Debris

Sugarless gum with an ADA seal has some benefits for your dental health. The gum is sugarless so it does not contribute the production of bacteria. When you chew the gum, it dislodges the food particles left behind on the surface of your teeth. Food debris can increase the rate at which tooth decay spreads, so having it as a snack between brushings keeps your smile healthy.

Water to Hydrate and Wisk Away Microbes

It is well-known that you should drink lots of water on a daily basis, but consuming H2O washes away leftover microbes. In addition to its hydration benefits, most tap water contains fluoride which strengthens tooth enamel and prevents the development of cavities.

If you would like to know more about how to keep your smile healthy and beautiful, contact our Pyuallup, WA dentist today! Dr. Ngo wants his patients to take every step possible to protect teeth and gums by having an effective oral hygiene routine.

2/29/2016 12:00:00 PM | Mark Ngo

Effective oral hygiene can go a long way in protecting smiles from decay and damage. However, some patients may still find themselves facing certain dental conditions. In particular, gum disease is one of the most common oral conditions affecting countless adults across the country.

Treating gum disease is based on the progression of the condition. While easily preventable, gum disease has few noticeable symptoms, allowing it progress without interruption until significant damage has been done to the patient’s smile and overall health. As a result, while patients who are able to identify and treat their case of gum disease during the early stages are often able to prevent escalation, many often seek treatment during the late stages when more extensive treatments are the only option.

Depending on the progression of your gum disease, treatment may include:

Deep cleaning - Also known as root planing and scaling, deep cleanings are effective treatment for mild periodontitis. During the scaling procedure, tartar is scraped from above and below the gum line, preventing bacteria accumulation and plaque buildup. Root planing occurs below the gum line on the tooth root, during which special tools are used to remove rough spots on the roots that may attract bacteria build-up.

Antibiotics – Recommended in cases of mild to advanced periodontitis, antibiotics are used to kill off bacteria, preventing the progression of the condition. Antibiotics can be applied a number of different ways, as either a prescribed mouthwash or as a gel administered below the gum line. At our Puyallup dental office, we prefer antibiotic chips. These are small pieces of gelatin that contain the antibiotic medication and are placed within the periodontal pockets. Over the course of a week, medication is slowly released, killing off bacteria in the pockets and preventing recolonization.

Soft Tissue Grafting – For patients suffering from gum recession as a result of periodontal disease, gum grafting can restore aesthetics to the smile while preventing further recession. During this procedure, donor tissue is taken and placed in areas of recession.

Bone Grafting – More of a restorative treatment rather than an immediate cure, bone grafting is offered when the condition has caused bone deterioration, thereby compromising the stability of the teeth. During this treatment, donor tissue is placed in the deficient area. Over the course of recovery, the tissue is integrated into the bone, ensuring future jaw stability.

At the dental office of Mark T. Ngo, DMD, our mission is to help patients achieve lifelong oral health through improved patient education and comprehensive preventive care. By teaching patients about the symptoms of periodontal disease, our Puyallup dentist is able to help individuals protect their smiles and overall oral health. For more information about preventing and treating periodontal disease, contact Dr. Ngo today

2/22/2016 12:00:00 PM | Mark Ngo

While easily preventable, periodontal disease affects countless adults annually, making it one of the most common oral conditions. When left untreated, this condition can begin to have domino effect-like consequences on other parts of the body, jeopardizing a person’s overall health. Some of these consequences include:

Heart Disease – As the gums are highly vascular, research suggests that bacteria can easily enter into the bloodstream, triggering inflammation of other organs, including the heart. Additionally, gum disease can also exacerbate existing cardiac issues. As a result, consulting with your physician prior to receiving gum disease care can ensure you remain healthy throughout treatment.

Stroke – Similar to heart disease, studies have indicated the existence of a link between gum disease and stroke. In regards to the stroke and gum disease relationship, bacteria may cause the carotid arteries to become thicker, preventing sufficient blood from flowing to the brain, thus increasing the likelihood of a stroke.

Diabetes – As severe periodontitis can increase blood sugar, gum disease can also make it more difficult for diabetic patients to control their blood sugar, putting them at a higher risk of diabetes related complications. Gum disease is also considered a side effect of diabetes, as these individuals are often more susceptible to other diseases.

Respiratory Illness – Recent studies have also indicated a link between upper respiratory conditions and periodontal disease, highlighting the fact that gum disease-causing bacteria are inhaled into the respiratory tract. This can lead to an increased risk of developing pneumonia, acute bronchitis, and COPD. As these conditions can be particularly devastating for immune-compromised patients, this discovery is particularly important for emphasizing the relationship between the health of the dentition and the patient’s overall health.

Osteoporosis – If left untreated, periodontal disease can cause bone deterioration in the jaw, compromising the integrity of the face and stability of the teeth in the arch. For patients with osteoporosis, periodontal disease can lead to accelerated bone and tooth loss, limiting the function of the dentition.

High-Risk Pregnancies – Hormonal change can significantly influence the development of gum disease. For expectant mothers, periodontal disease can lead to the likelihood of high-risk pregnancy, causing premature birth and low birth weight.

In Puyallup, Dr. Ngo and his team are committed to helping patients maintain healthy smiles and consistent overall health. If you are exhibiting signs or symptoms of gum disease, contact our Puyallup dentist today to schedule your next appointment. 

1/15/2016 12:00:00 PM | Mark Ngo

When it comes to determining the best solution for restoring your smile post-trauma, decay, or extraction, patients often find themselves considering a broad spectrum of factors such as cost, recovery, and long-term function. While it may be tempting to select treatment based on which is least expensive, it is important to consider the long-term health implications that less comprehensive treatments may have on a patient’s overall oral health and function. With this in mind, patients should consider the following when picking their restorative treatments:

While some restorations may provide adequate function, patients should be looking for a restorative treatment that closely mimics their natural teeth. For example, dental implants and implant-supported restorations are designed to function precisely like natural teeth, providing individuals with a comfortable prosthetic tooth that is highly resilient and able to withstand routine wear and tear. With dental implants, patients are able to once again enjoy long term oral function.

While minimal restorations are often able to enhance the natural beauty of the smile, extensive damage can often require less-aesthetically driven restorations. As a result, patients with full or partial dentures may find themselves unsatisfied with the bulky look and feel of their prosthetic. In contrast, dental implant restorations are uniquely matched to the natural teeth, providing patients with a seamless, natural looking smile.

To provide the most functional benefit to patients, conventional restorations such as bridges, dentures, and partials are supported by surrounding oral structures such as neighboring teeth and gums. This can compromise the long-term health and function of these oral components, potentially leading to more extensive dental issues in the future.

In comparison, dental implants are surgically embedded into the jaw bone, eliminating the need to alter the neighboring teeth. The surgical placement of implants also has the added benefit of incorporating the jaw bone into treatment. Not only does this provide a sturdy foundation for the future restoration, but it also encourages improve bone health, thereby preventing additional bone deterioration and tooth loss.

Initially, conventional restorations may seem to be less expensive. However, the long term maintenance and replacement costs can quickly add up, making these treatment options consistently more expensive. While dental implants may require greater initial investment, the health and functional benefits of this treatment often provide patients with a greater return on their oral health investment.

At Mark T. Ngo, DDS, our Puyallup dental team is committed to providing patients with the best solution for their oral health needs. For patients considering long term restorative solutions, Dr. Ngo works with leading local oral surgeons to place and restore dental implants. For more information, contact our Puyallup dentist today. 

1/5/2016 7:30:00 AM | Mark Ngo

While highly preventable, gum disease is an exceedingly prevalent gum condition capable of wreaking havoc on a patient’s dentition. Often patients aren’t even aware that they are exhibiting symptoms of the gingival condition until their dentition and oral health have already been compromised. As a result understanding what gum disease is and how to identify symptoms are a critical part of patient education that can make the difference in protecting your smile.

What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease occurs when plaque builds up and hardens into tartar. During this initial stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, the accumulation of tartar fosters accelerated bacteria growth, which causes gum irritation and redness. When left untreated, gingivitis progresses into periodontitis. In this second phase of the disease, the bacteria begin to create pockets between the teeth and gums, causing visible gum recession as well trapping food and bacteria in these periodontal pockets.

The final stage of gum disease, known as advanced periodontitis, is marked by the bacteria beginning to attack the bone and connective tissue which hold the teeth in place. As a result, patients experiencing this final stage of gum disease may also notice that their teeth becoming loose or even falling out in areas where the soft tissue has been severely affected by gum disease.

The Symptoms of Gum Disease
Often, patients fail to recognize the symptoms of gum disease before they are ready well into the second and third stages of periodontal disease. However, early identification can help patients protect their smile from the extensive damage that can be caused by untreated periodontal disease. Some of the initial symptoms patients experiencing gingivitis may exhibit include:
  •  Swollen, soft, tender or puffy gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath

As the condition progresses into periodontitis or advanced periodontitis, patients may experience additional, more noticeable symptoms. These may include:
  • Gums change color from a healthy pink to a bright red or purple
  • Swollen or tender gum
  • Gum recession, evidenced by the teeth appearing longer than normal
  •  New spaces developing between the teeth or a change in how the teeth fit together
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath or a bad taste

Diagnosing Gum Disease in Puyallup

At the South Puget Sound dental practice of Dr. Mark T. Ngo, our team is committed to helping patients regain their oral health. By providing periodontal care and long-term maintenance, our Puyallup dentist can help you regain a healthy smile. For more information about periodontal care, contact Dr. Ngo today

10/5/2015 12:51:00 PM | Mark Ngo

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Mark Ngo, DMD's blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Mark Ngo, DMD's, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!

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