Gum disease prevention tips from your Dolton dentist
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is essentially an infection of the gum tissue, concentrated in the area around the teeth. In some ways, it is very similar to other infections. The best way to prevent it is to keep the area clean, and keep your immune system healthy. However, gum disease is an especially troublesome infection for a couple of reasons. First, oral hygiene is not always as simple as it sounds, or as effective as you think. Additionally, the early signs are so subtle that most people never realize they have a problem until it has become severe. How can you protect your oral health?
Even the healthiest mouth contains millions of bacteria. They mix with saliva and food particles to form plaque, which clings to the surface of teeth and builds up around their base. The key to preventing infection is removing this accumulation frequently, before it invades the tissue. How thoroughly you brush and floss are as important as how often.
- Clean all sides of every tooth.
- Don’t forget the floss, or you are missing about one third of the tooth surface.
- Brush and floss all the way to the gum line, taking extra care around the base of teeth.
- If necessary, use a tool such as a floss threader or oral irrigator to clean under bridges, behind braces, and other difficult areas.
- Rinse with water or chew sugar free gum after meals and snacks if you can’t brush right away.
- If you have mobility problems that make brushing difficult, try an electric toothbrush.
The importance of dental care
Have you ever tried to scrape paint off a surface? Just when you think you’ve got it all, you see a few more flecks. If plaque were brightly colored, we could look in the mirror and see any missed areas. Unfortunately, it is camouflaged against white teeth, making it virtually impossible to see if you missed any. Even with diligent hygiene, a few tiny colonies of bacteria could be developing.
When you visit Pleasant Dental® in Dolton for your cleaning, Dr. Dietrich and team will remove any lingering plaque, and any tartar that has formed. They can let you know what areas need a little more attention. They will also look for signs of gum disease, which can usually be treated easily in the earliest stages. Attending regular appointments every six months, gives the doctor the opportunity to provide preventive care, and detect problems before they progress. Call (708) 576-1900 to schedule an appointment.
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