Healthy gums are important for overall dental health! | Dr. John Cranham

Gum disease will affect approximately 75% of American adults at some point in their lives. This can be as simple as minor irritation caused by early gingivitis or a major dental issue in the form of receding gums and gums that bleed when brushing. While most patients suffering from the early stages of gum disease can be treated successfully by Dr. John Cranham, DDS, advanced gum disease may require more extensive treatments.

Dr. Cranham seeks to educate his patients during preventive care visits on the early warning signs of gum disease:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Sore gums
  • Receding gums
  • Loose Teeth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Changes in the fit of dentures
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Patients in the Chesapeake, VA area who see Dr. Cranham will also benefit from the use of laser dentistry in the treatment of gum disease. Dr. Cranham offers this as part of periodontal therapy, which is the treatment of the gums to restore them to optimal health. Laser dentistry enables patients to receive treatments that previously required surgery for repairing soft tissues, such as the gums, allowing Dr. Cranham to remove diseased portions of the gum with less swelling and bleeding. Gums will heal more rapidly with the use of laser dentistry.

    Why are healthy gums important?

    Dr. Cranham emphasizes the role that healthy gums play in our overall health. It has been found in recent studies that there is a correlation between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, including stroke. They have also found links between gum disease and diabetes. Your dental health has been proven to have an impact on overall health, and the health of your gums has a direct impact on your dental health- this is why Dr. Cranham takes the time to address gum disease and educate his patients on at-home oral hygiene.

    If you have noticed any of the above mentioned signs of gum disease, or need to get back to the routine of preventive care, contact Dr. Cranham to schedule an appointment.

February is Dental Health Month | Cranham Smiles in Norfolk

February is dental health month. The importance of taking care of your teeth and gums cannot be reiterated enough. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease. Gum disease affects 75 percent of the adult population. It is also the main cause of tooth loss in adults. Not only can gum disease cause tooth loss, but it can also cause other health problems.

Gum disease occurs when the gum tissue becomes inflamed. Researchers have found that this same inflammation can lead to heart disease. There was a study published in Circulation: Journal of The American Heart Association. The study involved 657 people who did not have a history of heart disease. The study found that people who had a lot of bacteria in their mouth were more likely to develop atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a condition that causes the arteries to harden. It is a major risk factors for heart disease.

Furthermore, gum disease has been strongly correlated with diabetes. People who have gum disease are much more likely to develop type 2 diabetics. Those who have already been diagnosed with diabetes are much more likely to have complications. The good news is that keeping your mouth healthy can also keep your body healthy.

Dr. Cranham is a general dentist in the Chesapeake area who takes your dental health and concerns seriously. If you see Dr. Crahman for checkups regularly, then you can decrease your risk of gum disease and improve your oral health. This will help you lower your chances of getting heart disease.

Dr. Cranham completed his dental education at the Medical College of Virginia. He graduated with honors in 1988. Not only is he a great dentist, but he is also a recognized author and speaker. His dentist office is open Monday through Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month

The month of April is known as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, yet despite being one of the deadliest forms of cancer, public awareness for this cancer is at an all time low. Because the public is not aware of all the signs, symptoms, and risks associated with oral cancer, many delay getting treatment until the cancer is in the later stages and has spread into other areas of the body. Like with all forms of cancers, the earlier the disease is detected, the higher the survival rate. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to schedule regular appointments with your dentists.

While oral cancer can happen in anyone, those who smoke or chew tobacco are at a much higher risk of developing the condition than those who don’t. Using tobacco products alone makes up for about 75% of all cases. In addition to tobacco products, drinking alcohol on a regular basis also increases the odds developing the cancer. These odds increase even more if the drinker is also a smoker.

One of the most common misconceptions about oral cancer is that it can only form on the lips or tongue. While cancer does often grow in these area, oral cancer can also be found on the cheeks, hard and soft palates, throat, sinuses, behind the teeth, and on the floor of the mouth.

The symptoms of oral cancer may also be hard for a person to detect on their own. These symptoms include bleeding, red or white patches in the mouth, numbness or pain in the face, neck, or mouth area, swelling, ear pain, sore throat, or weight loss. Because many of these symptoms can occur in other more common situations, such as having the flu or a toothache, many patients put off seeking dental care until the cancer has spread. As the cancer progresses, the chance of survival go down dramatically.

The best way to prevent this from occurring is to visit a dentist regularly. All dentists are trained in detecting oral cancer in the earliest stages, usually even before the patient knows something is wrong. Dentists will also be able to test if a suspicious area in the mouth is benign or not. This is done with a painless oral brush biopsy. The dentist will take a small sample of the tissue from the suspicious area, then test it for abnormal cell growth. Once the tests come back, the patient will know if the area is cancerous or not. If the area is cancerous, surgery or chemotherapy can be performed.

Why You Should Not Put Off Routine Cleanings

One common problem in America is that many people put off going to the dentist, for a wide variety of reasons, until there is a serious problem with their teeth. Many people do not want to go to the dentist because they have their own fears or anxiety over having routine dental work performed. However, because these people allow their fears to get in the way of going for a checkup, they typically end up causing more harm to their teeth as routine dental checkups are very important.

When an individual goes to an appointment for a dental checkup, the dental hygienist will be doing a number of different tasks. For starters, he or she will be checking for gum disease, which is actually quite common, especially amongst those who rarely visit their dentist. Gum disease has even been linked with other serious diseases, such as heart disease. When gums are clean and healthy, some diseases can be prevented. When the gums are cleaned by a dental hygienist, an individual is not only preventing diseases, they are also preventing their teeth from falling out.

There are some people who end up being diagnosed with oral cancer. Those who do not visit their dental hygienist would be completely unaware of whether or not they had this type of cancer. A dental hygienist will be able to detect oral cancer immediately which can actually end up saving the patient’s life.

Halitosis is a common condition that many people, especially those who avoid their routine dental checkups, suffer from. Halitosis actually stands for bad breath and it goes way beyond the average morning breath smell. Those who go to their dental checkups and do not put them off and those who also take care of their teeth at home, in between their checkups with the dentist, will typically not have to deal with halitosis at all.

Overall, those who put off their routine dental checkups are putting themselves at risk for a number of different oral problems and health conditions. It is best to schedule an appointment with a dentist and keep the appointment to ensure that the teeth and gums are as healthy as possible.

Gain Confidence with Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments

A beautiful smile is something we all desire. Not only can a pretty smile be inviting and attractive, it can be an indication of good health. A great smile is something that can truly boost your self-esteem, but if your teeth are not in good shape, it is hard to find anything to smile about.

Luckily, today there are a multitude of procedures out there that can help you get the smile you deserve. From basic treatments like teeth whitening, to more advanced procedures like dental implants, it is easier than ever to improve both your smile and your confidence.

In case of teeth whitening there are several options. One option is having the procedure done in your dentist’s office where a dentist or hygienist will apply a highly concentrated peroxide gel to your teeth. This generally takes around 15 to 20 minutes. In other cases the dentist will dispense whitening kits that can be taken home and used.

If your smile needs a little more help, there are more treatment options out there. For instance, bonding is a great alternative if you have a gap in your teeth. In this procedure a tooth colored resin material is applied to the teeth to fill in the gap and is then hardened using a special light. Still more alternatives include veneers and crowns.

Veneers are thin pieces of ceramic that are placed over the teeth to make them whiter and improve their appearance. In the case of crowns, they may be used for a variety of reasons, from enhancing a smile to reinforcing a weak tooth. Crowns are “caps” that are placed over the tooth surface that is above the gum line and “cemented” into place. Whichever option you choose, improving your smile will certainly improve your self-esteem.

My Gums Bleed or Are Sore When I Brush Them

When you brush or floss your teeth, it is not normal to see blood or experience pain or tenderness in your gums. Bleeding or sore gums are often the first signs of a mild form of gum disease known as gingivitis. Puffiness or redness of the gums may also be noticed. Healthy gums are pink and firm, never swollen, red or tender.

A more advanced type of gum disease, known as periodontal disease, can cause constant bad breath, loose teeth and gums that pull away from the teeth. Many people think that gum disease happens only to the elderly. Teenagers can also get this problem if their teeth do not receive proper care. If you notice any of these signs, it is very important to see your dentist as soon as possible. When left untreated, this condition can advance to a very serious problem, even to the point of having teeth fall out.

Gum disease is an infection caused by plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky, unseen layer of bacteria that naturally forms on gums and teeth. When left unchecked, the toxins that these germs create will harm gums. If plaque is not removed, it will eventually become hard. Hard and crusty plaque is called tartar which will begin to damage the gum tissue and cause them to bleed and pull away. This is why brushing, flossing and regular maintenance by your dentist is so important.

The good news is that once there is gum disease, it can be treated by a dentist and continue to be treated by you with regular maintenance at home. Home-care includes daily brushing and flossing, along with stopping other things that contribute to gum disease, like smoking and sugary foods.

Even better news is that gum disease can be prevented with a daily routine on your own along with visits to your dentist at least twice a year. Your dentist will be able to remove any plaque and tartar that you may be missing at home. Committing yourself to preventable maintenance will keep gum disease from having any chance of becoming a health problem.

Advantages of the Hard Tissue Laser and the Soft Tissue Laser

It is not uncommon for adults and children alike to fear trips to the dentist. The sound of a dental drill is enough to send many people into a panic. Fortunately, dentistry is an ever-evolving field, and technological advances are continually improving the experience of visiting the dentist.

Two of the most promising dental technologies in use today are the hard tissue laser and the soft tissue laser. Lasers are devices that produce concentrated beams of monochromatic light. These beams can be strong enough to cut through a wide range of matter. Lasers are being used across the field of medicine to perform tasks previously performed by surgical cutting implements such as scalpels.

The hard tissue laser, as the name implies, is used on hard tissues. In dentistry, this type of laser can be used on teeth in place of the traditional dental drill. The hard tissue laser is often much less painful than the traditional approach, which leads to a decrease in the need for anesthetics. Hard tissue lasers also create an ideal bonding surface in preparation for new fillings. Perhaps the biggest advantage of hard tissue lasers is that they possess none of the negative associations that many patients have towards dental drills. Furthermore, procedures carried out with hard tissue lasers often take less time to perform than procedures carried out with older techniques.

The soft tissue laser works on soft tissues such as the gums. In treating advanced periodontal disease, the soft tissue laser provides a minimally invasive alternative to older surgical approaches. Soft tissue lasers can cut diseased tissue away with much less bleeding than other techniques. The soft tissue laser also helps prevent infection because the laser beam disinfects the areas it touches. When dentists employ soft tissue lasers they need to give their patients much less anesthetic. In some cases, no anesthetic at all is required.

Make your Smile Dazzle

Having your teeth whitened can make you look younger and feel more confident every time you smile. A quick consultation with your dentist can help you determine whether or not teeth whitening is the best answer for your discolored or stained teeth.

Over-the-counter tooth whiteners advertise that they can create whiter teeth quickly and easily. The truth is that whitening strips, toothpaste, and gels whiten your teeth very slowly and cannot provide the same quality of brightness that you would experience from having your teeth whitened by a professional dentist. Some over-the-counter products actually contain chemicals that can cause damage to your teeth and gums. If you are really interested in having your teeth whitened, it is best to visit a dentist and have the procedure done by a professional. Otherwise you may be throwing your money away on products that don’t whiten properly or are bad for your oral health.

Not everyone wants to have their teeth whitened in a single day. It can be startling to suddenly have bright white teeth when you have lived with severe stains for years. Your dentist can provide you with tooth whitening tools that you can take home and use regularly to provide a more gradual whitening process. Custom bleach trays can be created in just a few days. You can use the trays to gradually bleach your teeth, or to touch up previous tooth whitening if it begins to get dull. If you are more interested in having your teeth whitened right away, you can undergo treatment in as little as two hours at the dentist’s office. A whitening gel is applied to the teeth and then exposed to a light that activates it and whitens your teeth quickly.

Professional teeth whitening by a licensed dentist is completely safe for you and for your teeth. Children who are under the age of 13 should avoid tooth whitening because their teeth are still forming. Pregnant or lactating women should also avoid tooth whitening procedures because the calcium in their teeth may be weakened by their pregnancy. Everyone else can approach tooth whitening as a safe and effective way to erase years of damage and staining from their teeth.

Dental Bridges and How They Work

A dental bridge is used to bridge the gap between missing teeth that have been lost due to injury, surgery or other means. A dental bridge is literally just what its name implies; using whole teeth as an anchor, replacement false teeth are used to fill the gap between. Many modern bridges are so well made by using advance technology, that they are permanent and indistinguishable from a person’s natural teeth.

A dental bridge is a viable option for many people who have lost teeth from any variety of reasons, but do not need a full set of dentures. The patient’s gums have to be in relatively good condition for a bridge; diseased gums may become more irritated or infected if false teeth are inserted where natural teeth are missing. The anchor teeth, too, must be firm and not in any danger of falling out, for these help support the dental bridge. There are several types of bridges available, and talking to your dentist about which options work best for your particular type of tooth loss will help you select which is most viable.

Before you have a bridge made, you will have to undergo a process in which the dentist reshapes the anchor teeth so a permanent crown can be fitted over them. You will also get a temporary bridge to wear while the new crowns are being made in a dental laboratory to help protect your gums and reshaped teeth.

The second visit will usually include making sure the teeth are ready to have the permanent bridge placed. After this is done, the dentist will fit the permanent bridge into your mouth and use a temporary tooth cement to bind it into place. The temporary cement will hold the new bridge in place firmly, but will help to ensure it fits correctly after a number of weeks. Adjustments can then be made by the dentist as needed.

Once the new bridge is fitted correctly, permanent tooth cement will be used. Afterward, the bridge cannot be removed without surgical procedure, and the replacement process is finished.

Why General Dentistry Is Necessary For A Healthy Smile

Oral hygiene plays an important role in your overall health and wellbeing. However, with the help of general dentistry, your dentist will be able to help prevent, diagnose and treat a wide range of dental problems and disorders. These include gum and teeth diseases, jaw disorders and bad breath.

In order to maintain your oral health and hygiene, it is recommended that you visit the dentist at least every six months for a dental check up. This allows your dental team to design a comprehensive oral health program with you to detect dental problems early before they deteriorate, causing pain and discomfort. General dentistry also helps you to save money and time that you would have spent on costly and lengthy dental procedures. Your preventative and routine dental check up will also include education on maintaining healthy teeth such as brushing and flossing techniques, toothbrush selection and use of mouthwash.

Many of the common dental problems include tooth decays and cavities, sensitive teeth, bad breath, discolored teeth and gum disease. If you neglect to treat some of these problems, they may create other serious health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes. Some of the procedures associated with your preventative or general dentistry involve dental examinations, x-rays, teeth cleaning and scaling.

However, you may need to have some restorative procedures done over time and these may include dental fillings, tooth extractions, bridges and crowns, root canals, periodontal or gum treatment and orthodontic treatment to straighten your teeth. Cosmetic dentistry may also be done in order to improve your smile and your oral health.

General dentistry is important regardless of your age and your health condition and regular maintenance and early detection are the keys to the overall health of your teeth. With the use of cutting edge dental technology and equipment as well as quality patient care and comfort, visiting the dentist is a pleasant experience for many people. For more information on general dentistry and its importance for the general health of your teeth visit the website of Cranham Smiles at

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