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Posts for category: Oral and Dental Care

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
November 06, 2018

Find out how to properly care for your gums to prevent gum disease.

Woman FlossingWhen our Bothell, WA, family dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, mentions the word “periodontal,” she is referring to the health of your gums. While most people pay close attention to how they are caring for their teeth, not as many people consider what they are doing to keep their gums healthy. Isn’t it time you did? To prevent gum disease, receding gums, and other problems, it is important that you know how to care for your gums.

Periodontal Health

Gum disease is more prevalent than you might think. In fact, the CDC reports that as many as half of all American adults have some degree of gum disease. Gum disease, like heart disease, is silent and mostly asymtpomatic until it is very severe. Gum disease doesn’t just cause infected, inflamed, and receding gums, it is also the leading cause of tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented or greatly diminished when the proper oral care measures are put in place both at home and in our professional practice.  Some habits to adopt for healthy gums include:

  • Brushing twice a day
  • Flossing daily (very important!)
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • Limiting sugars, carbohydrates, and starches
  • Drinking enough water
  • Not smoking or using chewing tobacco
  • Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for cleanings, or more if they are recommended for you.

These are the top habits to adopt if you want to keep gums healthy. Of course, if you are dealing with warning signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums when you brush or floss, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our Bothell, WA, family dentist as soon as possible. Some warning signs of gum disease include:

  • A receding gum line (teeth appear longer than usual)
  • Bleeding gums - if your hands bled in the sink every time you washed them, would you think that is healthy? It isn't healthy for gums to bleed either!
  • Tenderness
  • Swelling or inflamed gums
  • Chronic bad breath

Dealing with any of these issues? Then it’s best to play it safe and visit your dentist for a quick checkup to make sure that you aren’t dealing with gum disease. The good news is that if gum disease is caught early enough, it can be treated effectively.

Your Gum Health is Important to Your Overall Health

Not only do your gums influence the health of your teeth, but they affect your overall health. In fact, those with gum disease are actually at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, strokes, chronic respiratory disease, and other long-term and potentially serious health problems.

Are you noticing bleeding or gum tenderness when brushing or flossing? Do you need to schedule your next dental cleaning? Whatever the case might be, call Bothell family dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, today to get the care you need for a healthier smile! (425) 488-6120.

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
August 08, 2018

What your dentist in Bothell wants you to know

You’ve been told you could benefit from scaling and root planing, but what is it and why is it a good idea? These are excellent questions,scaling and root planing and Dr. Kimberly Chapman in Bothell, WA, wants to answer them. She would like to introduce you to the importance of scaling and root planing and how you and your smile can benefit.

Scaling and root planing are different from a regular dental cleaning. Regular dental cleanings are reserved for people with generally healthy gum tissue and little to no bone loss around their teeth. Scaling and root planing is a specialized treatment for people who are in the early stages of gum and periodontal disease.

Gingivitis is inflammation and infection of your gums. It can be reversed by regular cleanings, brushing several times each day, and daily flossing. If gum disease is allowed to progress, the infection moves on to the bone supporting your teeth. Bone destruction starts around your teeth, and you develop “pockets” surrounding your teeth. You now have periodontal disease.

These pockets are difficult to clean, so they get deeper as the infection and inflammation progress. The deeper they get, the harder they are to clean. Many people are not aware that periodontal disease causes more tooth loss than cavities do! Maintaining your beautiful, healthy smile becomes more and more difficult with deep periodontal pockets. Scaling and root planing by a skilled dental professional can help.

Scaling utilizes hand tools and ultrasonic devices to clean both soft deposits (plaque) and hard deposits (calculus or tartar) from your teeth. Root planing is performed to smooth the root surfaces of your teeth. A rough root surface is the perfect environment for plaque to thrive. By smoothing out the root surface, plaque can’t adhere to the root as easily.

The benefits of scaling and root planing include:

  • Reduction of bleeding when you brush and floss
  • Reduction or elimination of gum pain
  • Restoration of healthy, pink, firm gum tissue
  • A healthy attachment of soft tissue to tooth
  • A smile that is easier for you to keep clean by brushing and flossing

To find out more about scaling and root planing and other periodontal therapy procedures, please visit the Periodontal Therapy page on the website at https://www.chapmandds.com/library/7734/PeriodontalTherapy.html

Scaling and root planing can help keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Your dentist can help keep your smile looking and feeling great, so pick up the phone and call Dr. Chapman in Bothell, WA, today!

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
May 15, 2018
Tags: oral hygiene  

Do you know the secret to a healthy smile? Good oral hygiene! Excellent oral hygiene habits can help you stay cavity free, while poor oral hygienehabits may increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Your Bothell, WA, dentist Dr. Kimberly Chapman discusses a few ways you can improve your oral hygiene.

Devote more time to brushing

Plaque coats every surface of your teeth with a sticky bacterial film that causes cavities. Fortunately, it's easy to remove plaque simply by brushing your teeth. Speedy brushing is likely to leave some plaque behind on your teeth. The longer the plaque remains on your teeth, the greater the chance it will harden into tartar. Tartar is like white concrete. Tartar irritates the gums and may even cause gum disease if it remains on your teeth long enough.

Increasing the amount of time you brush in the morning and evening will ensure that you remove every speck of plaque. If you spend less than two minutes brushing your teeth, you may be more likely to get some bad news at your next checkup!

Make flossing a daily habit

Do you remember the last time you flossed your teeth? If you don't, you're not alone. Far too many people only floss occasionally, or never. Because plaque builds up between teeth every day, an occasional flossing habit won't do much to protect your smile. If you're a forgetful flosser, add a daily reminder to your phone or place a sticky note on the bathroom mirror. Keep the floss out on top of the bathroom counter, instead of in the drawer or cabinet. Out of sight, out of mind!

Don't forget about the little things

The way you brush and floss is just as important as frequency. Brushing too hard can erode your tooth enamel and damage the gums, while overly vigorous flossing may damage your gums. Choose a brush with soft or EXTRA soft bristles and gently brush each tooth using small circular motions, holding the brush at a 45-degree angle. Flossing only requires a gentle up and down movement to dislodge plaque. Sonic toothbrushes are held over each tooth lightly, and held the way you would hold a pencil - not held in the palm of your hand. Don't scrub! Small circular motions.

Brushing your tongue and the roof of your mouth every time you brush your teeth can also help you avoid cavities. Bacteria lurk in these areas and can transfer to your teeth the minute you spit out the toothpaste. If using a toothbrush to brush your tongue is too uncomfortable, try a tongue scraper the next time you visit a Bothell drugstore. Scraping the tongue gently will remove many odor-causing bacteria.

Keep your smile healthy with good oral hygiene habits at home, and regular dental checkups in our office. Call Bothell, WA, dentist Dr. Kimberly Chapman at (425) 488-6120 to schedule an appointment, and we look forward to speaking with you.

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
March 26, 2018

Throbbing, unrelenting pain. It's a toothache, and you have to do something right away. Fortunately, Dr. Kimberly Chapman can uncover toothachethe reason for your uncomfortable symptoms and restore your oral health. Keep reading to learn about how Dr. Chapman can help relieve your toothache.

Symptoms of a toothache

A toothache may not just hurt, it can often throb. Throbbing is when you feel pain that comes and goes at the same time as your heartbeat. A toothache will become worse especially in response to heat, cold, or the pressures of biting and chewing. Additionally, you may experience jaw and gum swelling near the affected tooth.

Reasons for a toothache

Decay is a common reason--that is, a cavity that is so deep that it invades the highly innervated interior of your tooth. This is called the 'pulp', and this soft tissue, with connective tissue and blood vessels, may become infected, or abscessed in response to the bacteria from the deep cavity.

In addition, you may suffer from a toothache because of oral trauma. In other words, you sustained a blow to the mouth, fracturing a tooth or displacing it to one side. Either situation is a painful dental emergency and you should be seen as soon as possible by your general dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman.

Finally, some people develop toothaches because of poor bite. Their teeth do not line up or close together properly, so over time, their teeth--and sometimes, jaws, ears, and face--start to hurt. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD, can be one of these bite-related oral health issues.

Treating a toothache

Your family dentist in Bothell, Dr. Kimberly Chapman urges you to call the office as soon as possible when you notice any kind of toothache pain. The sooner the problem is treated, the sooner you will feel better and have your best opportunity to save a tooth. Toothaches and pains should NEVER be ignored.

When you arrive, Dr. Chapman will perform a complete examination, inspecting the tooth and surrounding gums. Also, she will X-ray the area, looking for decay, abscess, and signs of fracture. From there, she'll tell you the best course of treatment.

Sometimes dental extraction is unavoidable. However, Dr. Chapman will do everything possible to relieve your pain and other symptoms and save your tooth. Common restorative treatments include:

  • Tooth-colored fillings for seamless and durable cavity repair
  • Dental crowns to protect and support remaining healthy tooth structure
  • Root canal therapy to remove infected pulp and restore with a filling or crown

Coming to Dr. Chapman at least every six months for your oral examination and hygienic cleaning help patients of all ages avoid big oral health issues. If a problem is developing, Dr. Chapman can detect it and treat it before it becomes painful, complex, and expensive.

So, if you need help for a toothache or just need routine preventive care, call Dr. Chapman's office staff in Bothell, WA, for an appointment, Likewise, if you have any questions about family dentistry, she and her friendly staff are happy to help you achieve your very best smile. Call (425) 488-6120.

 

By Kimberly Chapman, D.D.S.
November 21, 2017
Tags: family dentist  

Life isn’t always simple. Between exhaustive calendars filled with your child’s school and after-school activities, as well as your work and family dentistpersonal life obligations (not to mention the constant laundry list of errands and household chores to accomplish), we know that your days can feel pretty hectic. It can be challenging to schedule all the necessary things your family needs; however, don’t let your family’s oral health fall by the wayside. Healthy teeth and gums are important and our Bothell, WA, family dentist, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, is here to explain why choosing us may just be a major benefit to your family’s crazy schedule. Dr. Chapman and her team offer a wide range of services perfect for the whole family--from children to adults in their senior years. There's no need to go all over town to receive preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services. 

Prevention

It starts as a child gets his or her first tooth. Mom and dad help brush and floss and bring the little one to Dr. Chapman for a "get acquainted" visit. As that child grows, he or she gets oral check-ups and cleanings, including bite checks, inspection for decay and gum disease. Plastic sealants and fluoride treatments prevent tooth decay and dental sensitivity. By coming in every six months we can continue to monitor developmental milestones and their oral health to pinpoint issues as soon as possible.

With Dr. Chapman, you can trust that your child gets kind, compassionate care. Her office in Bothell also features:

  • Low radiation, digital X-rays
  • Intraoral cameras to detect hidden decay
  • Cavity risk detection (microscopic analysis of oral bacteria)
  • Oral cancer assessment from teen years on up

Restoration

Your family dentist maintains a high level of skill so when she does encounter a problem. She can treat it in a minimally-invasive way. She offers:

  • Tooth-colored fillings
  • Root canal therapy
  • Dental crowns and bridgework
  • Dentures
  • Dental implants
  • Gum disease therapy
  • Night guards to protect against tooth grinding (bruxism)

Additionally, Dr. Chapman is well aware that dental health impacts overall health. So she teaches all her patients the importance of routine oral hygiene at home and at the office.

Cosmetics

Your family's smiles are valuable personal assets. In fact, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that a smile is noticed first before any other physical feature. Dr. Chapman enhances her patients' appearance with aesthetic treatments tailored just for them. They include:

  • Professional teeth whitening to remove years of stains
  • Porcelain veneers to cover flaws such as chips and gaps
  • Invisalign clear aligners, the invisible way to straighten crooked smiles
  • Composite resin bonding for seamless repair of cracks, chips, pits, spaces and more

A personal smile analysis tells the patient what treatments make sense for his or her smile width, facial features, age, and gender.

We'd love to see your family

Whether you have questions about the services we offer or it’s time to schedule an appointment with us, don’t hesitate to turn to our family dental team to meet all of your family’s needs. We want to make getting quality oral care easy for your whole family. Dr. Chapman and her staff work hard to establish long-term relationships with families. It's what they are trained to do, and they love it as well. Contact your family dentist in Bothell, WA, Dr. Kimberly Chapman, today. Call (425) 488-6120.