Monthly Archives: March 2017

Why It’s Important To Get Your Teeth Cleaned Every Six Months

If only you knew just what exactly is happening inside your mouth every day, you probably wouldn’t need to be reminded, nor wonder, why it’s important to get your teeth cleaned every six months.

You see, brushing and flossing alone aren’t enough to keep your teeth clean and healthy, and to further convince you, here are five reasons why you need to visit the dentist every six months:

  1. It’s the best way to prevent oral cancer. Or, at the very least, make sure that it’s diagnosed as early as possible. Remember, just like with any form of cancer, your survival rate increases dramatically the sooner it is diagnosed. If you frequently drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, then it’s even more important to have your mouth checked every six months for signs of oral cancer.
  1. For the prevention and treatment of oral infection. Contrary to popular belief, normal and healthy mouths do not and never will bleed when flossing or brushing. If it does, then either there’s wrong with your mouth, or the way you brush your teeth. Chances are, it’s more of the former. This is true even if you think that it’s normal for your gums to bleed after a round of dental cleaning. Bleeding teeth and gums are one of the earliest signs of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other complications if not treated early. So, the next time you brush and floss your teeth, and it bleeds, take note of it and tell the dentist. Although it probably shouldn’t hurt to try and switch to another toothbrush with soft bristles, or to not brush your teeth as aggressively as before.
  1. No more bad breath. Sure, it’s normal for the mouth to not always smell minty fresh. But, for your breath to stink regularly, sometimes to the point that it affects your sense of taste, isn’t exactly what you’d call normal. That actually is a telltale sign of an oral infection, something that only your dentist can treat. Even if this hasn’t happened to you yet, this should give you even more of a reason to visit the dentist.
  1. Lowered risk for dental problems. Although dentists recommend paying them a visit every six months to lower one’s risk for dental problems, some people actually need to have their teeth cleaned much more often. And, how exactly would you know how often you need to visit the dentist if you don’t even visit them regularly in the first place?
  1. To keep your teeth white and healthy. It may sound superficial, but we tend to judge other people based on what we see first, which usually is the smile – or at least, the lack thereof. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can keep your teeth looking shiny and healthy, allowing you to smile way more often without being so conscious, giving your self-esteem a much-needed boost.

Let Dr. Kirtley help you to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth looking pretty so you never have to worry about those things ever again. Call for an appointment at 317-841-1111. Learn more about our practice by visiting our website at

Can Dental Bonding Help Cover My Gum Recession?

Receding gums can make you conscious about your smile and can affect your self-esteem. To say that it can be scary experience is only fitting. Luckily, there are several treatment options available at your dentist’s clinic to help fix this problem, one of which is dental bonding.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a dental procedure that involves the application of a composite resin to repair decayed, chipped, fractured and discolored teeth. For aesthetic purposes, the bonding is created to be that of the same shade as that of a patient’s surrounding teeth.

The procedure is considered as one of the cheapest and least-intrusive dental procedures available today. Although often used for cosmetic purposes, dental bonding has several functional benefits too. For example, the bonding material can be used to close tooth gaps, and change the shape of the teeth. Additionally, it can also be used as a cosmetic alternative to fillings.

The bonding can also be applied to the exposed areas on the tooth’s root caused by gum recession. This can help provide necessary protection to the roots and prevent cavities from forming. Even better, the bonding can also help address any sensitivity issues that may be caused by the roots being exposed because of gum recession.

Furthermore, for aesthetic purposes, bonded composite fillings can also be used to mask darker yellow-colored roots found in gaps between the gums and the crowns of the bridge.

Is It A Permanent Solution?

Unfortunately, applying bonding at the gumline is more of a cosmetic and temporary solution than anything else. Case in point, your gums may have receded because you brush your teeth too hard. Or, your parents also had gum recession, so you were born with a higher risk for receding gums. Either way, dental bonding cannot solve both problems, and you’re better off discussing things thoroughly with your dentist if you’re looking for a permanent solution to your receding gums.

Other Treatment Options

Of course, dental bonding is but one of the many treatments available for gum recession, and is considered to be mostly just cosmetic. If your gum recession is caused by poor oral health, it’s more likely that you’ll need to work with a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease, otherwise known as a periodontist. This is because your teeth and gums might require a deeper cleaning known as scaling and root planning.

Although very rare, it’s also possible for those with gum recession to require surgical treatment, specifically a gum graft. Also done by a periodontist, the surgical procedure involves grafting the gum tissue to cover exposed root surfaces and prevent further complications.

If you’re only mildly affected by receding gums, then you don’t have to worry much. The dentist will simply help identify the cause and give you instructions on how to treat it.

If you want to minimize your risk for gum recession, then be sure to take care of your oral health. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, be gentle on your teeth when brushing and flossing and wear a night guard if you grind your teeth. Also, visit Dr. George Kirtley as soon as you experience any kind of persistent pain. Call for an appointment today at 317-841-1111. Or visit the website at