Risk Factors for Gum Disease

In this post, we discuss the risk factors that contribute to gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. Learn if you are at increased risk.

If you are looking for gum disease treatment in Plano, TX or a diagnosis of your condition, call us today: (972) 964-3774

It was once thought that the real gum disease risk factor a person needed to worry about was aging, and there was nothing that could be done about that.

We now know that aging is still a factor but it is by no means the only factor you should be concerned about.

By understanding the risk factors, you can take preventive action to help keep gum disease at bay and protect your dental health.


Gum disease risk factors

  • Smoking / Tobacco Use
  • Poor Nutrition
  • Medications
  • Genetics
  • Stress
  • Age
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease
  • Teeth Grinding

Dental Anxiety

Smoking / Tobacco Use

If you use tobacco, whether cigarettes, cigars, or chewing tobacco, you are at increased risk for periodontal gum disease. Recent studies indicate that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development of gum disease.

Poor Nutrition

If your diet is low in nutrients, this can lower immunity and make it harder for your body to fight off infection. Because periodontal gum disease begins as an infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of your gums. Research has also shown that obesity may increase the risk of gum disease.

Related: What Are the Types of Gum Disease?


Certain drugs, such as anti-depressants, heart medicines, and oral contraceptives can affect oral health. JThe same way you would let your doctor know you are taking other medications, you should also let your dentist know about them.


Some people are more likely to be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Even with good dental habits, you may be more likely to develop gum disease. If you believe that you may be one of these people because of your family medical history, your dentist can take intervention treatment to help prevent periodontal gum disease.

Related: How to Prevent Gum Disease

Properly Brushing Your Teeth


Stress can be a risk factor for gum disease. Stress can make it more difficult for your body to fight off infection, including gum disease.

Related: 9 Facts About Gum Disease You Should Know


This has always been a well-known factor for gum disease. People aged 65 and over have the highest rates of periodontal disease.


Diabetes is a factor in the prevalence of gum disease.

Heart Disease

Heart disease can affect your inflammatory system which in turn may worsen the condition of your gums.

Teeth Grinding

Clenching or grinding your teeth will place excess force on the supporting tissues of your teeth and speed up the rate at which your periodontal tissues deteriorate.


Gum disease can be treated to lessen its effects or slow down its progression. Call your doctor for a treatment plan.

Related: Is gum disease reversible?


Ready to for a check-up or gum disease treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Contact usPlano Dentist David Wilhite today to schedule your appointment or set up your free gum disease consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience in treating gum disease and general and cosmetic dentistry. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a  Plano, TX Dentist with excellent reviews and loyal patients. Contact Dr. Wilhite so he can help you too.

12 Reasons to Visit the Dentist Right Away

12 reasons to visit the dentist right away

In this post, we review a list of 12 reasons to visit your dentist right away instead of waiting for your next annual appointment.

We hope that you are keeping up the habit of visiting your dentist at least once a year for an annual check-up.

There are so many dental problems that can be prevented by finding them early, especially serious issues like gum disease and oral cancer that can be treated if discovered as soon as possible.

In case you find your self wondering if it is necessary to see a dentist now or wait till your annual exam, here is a list of signs that we think should cause you to visit the dentist right away.


Reasons to visit a dentist right away

  • Pain or swelling
  • Gums are puffy or bleeding
  • You’re hiding your smile
  • You’ve recently had work done
  • Ongoing medical issues
  • You are pregnant
  • Trouble eating
  • Dry mouth
  • Tobacco use
  • Jaw pain
  • Spots or sores
  • Annual check-up time


TMJ Headache Treatment PlanoPain or swelling

If you are suffering from pain or swelling, there is no reason to put off that visit that may be scheduled for a month or longer away. Make that visit right away. Toothaches, swelling, and pain are all symptoms of issues that you should have treated right away. The sooner the better. You can end that pain and also improve your long-term health.

Related: Causes of toothaches


Gums are puffy or bleeding

If your gums are puffy or bleeding when you brush, it’s time to visit the dentist. These are signs of gum disease and the sooner you can have it treated the sooner you can stop the damage. It can’t always be reversed but you can keep it from causing more serious damage.

Related: What are the types of gum disease


You’re hiding your smile

If you are hiding your smile, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to get some work done to address the issue. Don’t hide your smile, get it fixed and start feeling great again.


Tooth ExtractionYou’ve recently had work done

If you have recently had fillings, crowns, dental implants or dentures, you need to follow up with your dentist as recommended for a follow up so they can make sure everything has worked out the way it should.


Ongoing medical issues

Your dental health can tie in with your overall health and each may influence each other. If you have a medical condition such as diabetes, heart disease, or an eating disorder, or undergoing medical treatments, you should make sure your dentist is a partner in your treatment and health. Symptoms of other health issues can show in your mouth or your gums could point to other potential health issues.


You are pregnant

If you weren’t sure, it IS safe to go to the dentist while pregnant. It is recommended you do so because pregnancy can make some dental issues worse. Make sure you schedule an appointment so that you will have one less thing to worry about.


Trouble eating

If you are having trouble eating or drinking, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment with your dentist. Stop living with discomfort and don’t take a chance that you’ll make your issues worse by waiting.


Dry mouth

Sometimes dry mouth can be a symptom of another medical issue. It can also be a side effect of medications you are taking. Check with your dentist and get to the cause of this so you can find a solution.

Related: What causes dry mouth?


Tobacco use

Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can affect your dental and physical health. If you are a regular tobacco user, you should have an oral cancer screening in Plano to check for any early signs or oral cancer so it can be addressed as soon as possible.


Jaw pain

It is time to visit the dentist if you are having jaw pain or popping when you are opening and closing your mouth, waking up in the morning or chewing. These could be symptoms of TMJ and your dentist can help you find a TMJ treatment in Plano that can work for you and ease your TMJ pain. Another reason to schedule an appointment could be an uneven bite.

Related: TMJ headache treatment


Spots or sores

If you notice a spot or a sore in your mouth that isn’t normally there and it lasts for a week or longer, you should see your dentist about it. Different types of mouth sores include canker sores, cold sores, leukoplakia, and candidiasis. These can all vary in their seriousness and have different causes. Mouth sores can be the symptom of a disease or disorder. They can also be an infection from bacteria, a virus or fungus or result from irritation caused by braces, dentures or the sharp edge of a broken tooth or filling.


Annual check-up time

Have you had your annual dental check-up in Plano, TX? We sure hope so! It’s simple to schedule and will help keep your mouth healthy and contributes to your overall physical health.


Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano, Texas Dentist specializing in cosmetic dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and pediatric dentistry.

Let us help you create a beautiful smile!

Contact us online or call (972) 964-3774

How to Prevent Gum Disease

How to prevent gum disease

In this post, we discuss gum disease and what you can do to prevent it and protect the health of your mouth, gums, and teeth.

There is more to your dental health than just straight teeth and a white pearly smile. The health of your gums is just as important!

You can have white teeth and be free from cavities but still have gum disease. Just because you are not experiencing any pain doesn’t mean that you’re free from gum disease. Many people don’t realize that anything could be wrong with the health of their gums.

Cosmetic “Smile Makeover” DentistryGum disease is caused when the bacteria in plaque builds up between your gums and teeth. Plaque is a sticky substance filled with bacteria that can cause infections that hurt the gum and bone. As that bacteria begins to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth will become inflamed.

If left untreated, the inflammation from plaque will cause your gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession and tooth loss.

Want to learn more about gum disease treatement in Plano, TX? Schedule your free consultation: (972) 964-3774

Research has also shown that there may be an association between gum disease and other diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Related post: How Gum Disease Treatment Can Prevent Heart Disease

The good news is that despite millions of people suffering from gum disease, it is mostly preventable. The different types of gum disease, gingivitis, and periodontitis, can be kept at bay by you taking the proper steps.


How to prevent gum disease

  • Brushing your teeth
  • Flossing your teeth
  • Rinsing with mouthwash
  • Knowing the risk factors
  • Regular dental check-ups

Related: 9 Facts About Gum Disease You Should Know


Brushing your teeth

This one shouldn’t be a surprise to you at all. You’ve been told to brush your teeth ever since you were a little kid. It wasn’t because your parents were trying to annoy you. It’s because brushing your teeth is the foundation of good dental health. It keeps your teeth looking good and it keeps your gums healthy.

How to brush your teeth

Brush your teeth twice daily. Brush your teeth after every meal if possible. This will help remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums.


Floss your teeth

To help prevent gum disease, you should be flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will help remove plaque and food particles between your teeth. It doesn’t even matter what time of day you floss. Whether you floss at night, after lunch, or do it in the morning, you’re teeth and gums will see the benefits.

How to floss your teeth


Rinse with mouthwash

Using a mouthwash after brushing can help reduce plaque and can remove any remaining food particles that brushing and flossing may have missed.

Related post: What Order Do I Brush, Floss, Mouthwash?


brushing your teeth routineKnow the risk factors for gum disease

Your age, family genetics, diet and whether you are a smoker are all indicator for your risk of gum disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dentist and learn what steps you can take to help prevent it. If you’re a smoker, quitting smoking will drastically cut your chance of developing gum disease.

Related: The warning signs of gum disease


Get regular check-ups

When you have regular visits to your dentist, you give him or her the chance to detect early gum disease early and begin treating them. That way symptoms can be treated before they become more serious. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove tartar. It can also get rid of any plaque you missed when brushing or flossing. If you have gingivitis, brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings can help reverse it.

Related: What are gum disease treatment options?


Make all of these tips part of your normal routine and you will reduce your chances of gum disease and tooth loss!


Ready to for a check-up or gum disease treatment in Plano, Texas area?

Contact usPlano Dentist David Wilhite today to schedule your appointment or set up your free gum disease consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience in treating gum disease and general and cosmetic dentistry. He will discuss possible treatments to decide which is right for you.

You can also discuss affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a  Plano, TX Dentist with excellent reviews and loyal patients. Contact Dr. Wilhite so he can help you too.

Benefits of Implants Over Dentures – Pros and Cons

Benefits Implants Over Dentures

In this post, we discuss the benefits of dental implants over dentures and the pros and cons of implants vs dentures.

Live in Plano, TX and want to learn more about implants or dentures? Schedule your consultation: (972) 964-3774

A majority of adults age 35 and over are missing at least one tooth or more. Many others suffer from gum disease which threatens the loss of additional teeth.

When you are missing teeth, there are generally two options that dentists recommend to restore your smile: dentures or dental implants.

If you find yourself in this situation, you are probably wondering what are the differences between dentures and dental implants, what are the pros and cons of implants vs dentures, and which is right for you?


What are dental implants?

Dental ImplantsImplants are false teeth consisting of a titanium post covered by a crown or denture that are surgically implanted into the jawbone.look and feel like real teeth. At one time dentures were the only replacement option for missing teeth but implants have grown greatly in popularity.


Benefits of dental implants

  • Preserves jawbone and maintains natural facial structure
  • Have a higher success rate than dentures
  • Helps restore normal chewing capacity
  • Function and feel like natural teeth
  • Strong, stable and securely attached to the jaw
  • No need for creams or adhesives
  • Easy care and cleaning
  • Fit comfortably
  • Long-lasting

Related: Are dental implants painful?


Cons of implants

  • More expensive than dentures
  • Not everyone is a candidate for implants


What are dentures?

Dentures are removable false teeth plates which with artificial teeth to replace missing teeth as well as some of the gum tissue. Dentures can be taken out and put back into the mouth as needed. Full dentures replace all the teeth in the upper or lower jaw, or in both jaws. Partial dentures are used to fill in gaps between the remaining natural teeth.

Related: Doomed to dentures?


Benefits of dentures

  • Lower upfront costs than implants
  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Not difficult to adjust as needed


Cons of dentures

  • Decreasing jawbone quality may lead to further deterioration of facial structure
  • Can feel fake and unnatural
  • Do not look as real as implants
  • Can slip and move around
  • May cause discomfort
  • Requires creams and adhesives
  • Can’t eat certain foods
  • Will wear to the point where they need to be remade or relined
  • Need to be removed frequently for cleaning


Cost of implants vs dentures

The up-front cost of dentures will be more affordable compared to implants for tooth replacement. When you add in the additional costs for dentures, including buying fixatives, cleaning solutions and denture replacement every 7-15 years, the cost of dentures goes up. The average life-span of dental implants is 25 years, meaning as a long-term investment, implants can be cheaper than dentures.


Comfort of implants

Dental implants are considered to be much more comfortable than dentures. Dentures can slip and move around when eating or speaking, causing discomfort and embarrassment. Dentures can irritate your gums. Dentures also require more maintenance and the use of adhesive paste and creams

Dental implants will function and feel more like your natural teeth. You clean them just like your real teeth, and also continue to eat all the foods you love, and generally treat them just like your normal teeth, giving you much more freedom.


Ready to learn more about dental implants?

Plano Dentist David WilhiteContact us today to set up a dental implant consultation. Dr. Wilhite has over 30 years experience as a cosmetic dentist in Plano and can answer all your questions and has the ability to minimize any pain. He will be able to determine if this is right for you.

We can also talk about affordable financing and dental insurance options to make sure you get the dental care you need.

Call us at (972) 964-3774

David Wilhite is a Plano Dentist who has helped hundreds of patients with TMJ treatment and relief. He has over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry.

Is Gum Disease Reversible?

Is Gum Disease Reversible

A common question that every person with gum disease wants to know:

Is my gum disease treatable? Can it be reversed?

It depends on the type of gum disease you have.

Gum disease can definitely be treated and stopped from worsening before it causes serious damage to your mouth, jaw and overall health. Depending on what type of gum disease you have, it may even be reversible.

If you understand the different types of gum disease and can diagnose which one you have, then you will be able to determine if it is reversible or not.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Related post: What are the types of gum disease?


Gingivitis IS reversible. Severe periodontal gum disease is not reversible. It is treatable, however, and can still be stopped from creating severe issues with your teeth.

It is highly recommended that you visit your dentist, who can identify the type and severity of your gum disease and offer you treatment options.

TMJ Pain ReliefIs gingivitis reversible?

Good news! Gingivitis is both treatable and reversible.

Of the different types of gum disease, gingivitis the only gum disease that is reversible. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue around the teeth caused by plaque built up on your teeth.  Over time it becomes harder and turns into tartar, which also irritates gums. Sometimes the effects are mild enough that people are unaware that they even have it. Pregnant women can be more susceptible to gingivitis.

Because it is usually caused by poor dental habits, gingivitis is preventable. If treated in a timely manner, it is also reversible.

How do you treat gingivitis?

Gingivitis can be reversed by removing the tartar that is built up on your gums. Schedule a trip to your dentist for a professional tartar cleaning of your teeth. Your dentist can remove tartar that is irritating your gums by cleaning and scaling your teeth.

After your dentist has given you a thorough cleaning, you will need to follow up with the proper brushing of the teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. You should also make sure that you are getting an annual checkup to make sure they remain clean.

With a professional cleaning by your dentist, everyday brushing, and flossing, you can reverse gingivitis and have regular, healthy gums again.

Related post: What are the gum disease treatment options?

Tooth ExtractionIs periodontal gum disease reversible?

Periodontitis, or periodontal gum disease is, unfortunately, NOT reversible.

Just because it is not reversible though, does not mean that it cannot be treated.

Periodontal gum disease can be halted with treatment. This is critical because, with successful treatment, you may be able to save teeth that are on their way to being lost. You definitely want to save your teeth if possible. Cosmetic dentistry may be able to correct some of the issues caused by gum disease, such as elongated teeth, but not in all cases.

Related post: Nine facts about gum disease you should know

How do you treat periodontal gum disease?

If your gum disease has advanced from gingivitis to periodontitis, then you will need to see your dentist for advanced treatment. The toxins from the buildup of bacterial plaque on your teeth will affect not just your gums but will spread to the bone and ligaments of your teeth. This will damage the bone and support tissues and your teeth will be in jeopardy and may need to be removed. Even as your teeth begin to near this advanced stage, there still may be treatment options to save them.

Possible periodontal gum disease treatments:

  • Scaling and root planing
  • Pocket reduction procedure
  • Gum grafts
  • Bone grafting and regeneration
  • Brushing, flossing, and maintenance
  • Antimicrobial mouthwash
  • Quitting smoking
  • Ongoing dental checkups and care

We ask that if you believe that you have gum disease, to please make an appointment with an experienced dental professional. There is still hope for your teeth.

Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in gum disease treatment with over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with everything from a consultation, to a check-up, to cleaning, whitening, and full mouth restoration.

Together we will transform your smile!

Contact us online or call us today at (972) 964-3774

What are Gum Disease Treatment Options?

Gum disease treatment options

In this post, we will review the types of gum disease and the most common forms of treatments for each. Learn more about treatments so you can be prepared for a meeting with your dentist.

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, you are not alone. According to the Center for Disease Control, gum disease affects almost half of all adults in the United States and almost two-thirds of people over the age of 65.

There are three types of gum disease: Gingivitis, Periodontitis, and Advanced Periodontitis. There are some treatments available for each type, depending on how advanced the gum disease has become.

gum disease mouthOnce your gum disease has advanced from Gingivitis to Periodontitis, it is no longer curable though. It can be managed and controlled, and hopefully stopped from advancing, but it is something you will need to treat indefinitely.

When you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist should advise you about treatment options for your particular case. Follow your dentist’s instructions and you should be able to halt your gum disease from advancing.

If you believe you are experiencing signs of gum disease and may have it, please schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. The sooner you can begin treating the issue the better!

Schedule an appointment – Call (972) 964-3774

Only you and your dentist can determine a gum disease treatment program. We will review some of the most common treatments for gum disease below.

Gum Disease Treatments

Properly Brushing Your TeethGingivitis Treatment

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and is caused by excess plaque buildup. Gingivitis can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular cleaning by your dentist. With proper care, you can prevent it from advancing to an incurable form of periodontal gum disease.

Periodontitis Treatment

If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to the more serious gum disease known as “periodontitis”. In periodontitis, gums begin to pull away from the teeth and this forms spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. There are many possibilities for periodontitis treatments; you will need to discusss with your dentist to see what will work best for you.

Related: 9 Facts About Gum Disease You Should Know

Nonsurgical Gum Disease Treatment

Your first step in treating periodontitis is a conservative, nonsurgical treatment called scaling and root planing.

Your dentist provides this treatment by scraping and removing the plaque and tartar off of your teeth and root surfaces by scaling, and then smoothing away any roughness on the roots to prevent bacteria from gathering again. This may take more than one visit and a local anesthetic can be used to prevent any discomfort. After this process, the gums will heal and reattach themselves to the healthy, clean surfaces of the teeth. Within a few weeks, your dentist will evaluate your healing and decide if further treatment is necessary.

Pocket Reduction Gum Disease Treatment

After scaling and root planing, if the gum tissue is not fitting snugly around the tooth and you can’t keep the deep pocket area clean, you may be a candidate for periodontal pocket reduction or flap surgery. By folding back the gum tissue, your dentist can remove infectious bacteria and smooth areas of damaged bone, allowing the gum tissue to reattach to healthy bone.

Gum Graft Treatment

Diagnosing Oral CancerExposed roots due to gum recession can be covered with gum grafts, wherein gum tissue is taken from your palate or from another source and used to cover the roots of one or more teeth. Covering exposed roots helps reduce sensitivity and protects your roots from decay while stopping further gum recession and bone loss.

Regenerative Procedures

Bone grafting is a surgical procedure that promotes the growth of bone in an area where bone has been destroyed by periodontal disease. During this treatment, your dentist will eliminate bacteria and then place either natural or synthetic bone in the area of bone loss, along with tissue-stimulating proteins to help your body effectively regrow bone and tissue.


Careful home care is the key to keeping periodontal disease from rearing its ugly head. The care you give to your teeth after treatments will be critical and it’s likely your dentist will dedicate time to making sure you understand proper brushing, flossing, and dental routines.

We hope that this article gives you a general idea of the general gum disease treatment options available. We want to help educate and inform people so they can have the best smile possible.

Plano Dentist David WilhiteDavid Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in gum disease treatment with over 30 years of experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with everything from a consultation, to a check-up, to cleaning, whitening, and full mouth restoration.

Together we will transform your smile!

Contact us online or call us today at (972) 964-3774

Related resources:
Juice image credit: Pixabay
AAP says juice a no-no for babies – ADA
Don’t Give Your Baby Fruit Juice, But A Little For Older Kids Is Okay, Say Pediatricians – Forbes
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends No Fruit Juice For Children Under 1 Year – AAP