What can you do to avoid periodontal disease and the increased risks to your health? Here are some answers for you:
Step 1. At-home Care
This part is simple and easy to follow. Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice each day for two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It is optimal to brush your teeth after eating to remove oral debris. Once a day, follow this with a good flossing to remove any stuck food particles between the teeth and around the gum line. How you floss is up to you. There are many options available and the important thing is to find what works for you and then DO IT. Also, don’t forget your tongue. Take a moment to brush, or preferably scrape, your tongue because bacteria tend to collect there. It can also help to use a mouthwash once a day to lower the levels of oral bacteria, and rinse away whatever bits of food your brushing and flossing may have loosened. All these measures help to ensure that any oral bacteria and debris which lead to dental plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) don’t gain a foothold in your mouth.
Step 2. Professional Dental Cleaning
It is vital to see your dentist every six months (or more if you are trying to reverse or stem gum disease), to remove hardened plaque, also called tartar or calculus. They will remove these substances from your teeth and around the gum line and check to see if you have signs of gum disease in addition to cavities. This is the time to ask questions or address any dental concerns with the team and any issues you might be experiencing with your teeth or gums. This is also the time to make them aware of any new medications you might be taking, as they can impact your oral health.
Step 3: Know Your Risks for Periodontal Disease
Whether you are a child entering puberty, a man, or woman, you are at risk of periodontal disease for a variety of reasons. So what risk factors should you be aware of when it comes to your gum health? If you have the following, you should take extra care of your gums and see your dentist regularly. These factors include:
– Family history of periodontal disease
– Having diabetes or HIV
– Regularly use tobacco
– Diseases that compromise your immune system
– Advancing age
– Ongoing stress
– Hormonal influences, including puberty, pregnancy, menopause
– Poor diet
– Drug use
– Certain prescription medications
If you have periodontal disease, you will need to seek treatment to turn it around and prevent its advancement. This treatment might include taking antibiotics or using at-home or over-the-counter treatments to lower inflammation. Stepped up dental hygiene and more frequent dental cleanings and checkups are also standard.
If you would like to have our periodontist and team check your gum health, we invite you to call. We look forward to providing you with the quality dental care you and your family deserve.