How Do I Prevent Gum Disease?
Gum disease is incredibly common, potentially dangerous to both your oral and overall health, and preventable. While some people are genetically prone to gum disease, most cases are caused by poor oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene not only includes brushing and flossing twice daily, but it also includes professional cleanings at least twice a year. These professional cleanings at your dentist’s office not only give your dentist or hygienist a chance to remove any bacterial buildup in your mouth, but they can also spot signs of trouble before they worsen.
Effectively Brushing and Flossing
Every day at least twice, you should brush and floss your teeth thoroughly. If you can squeeze in this routine after every meal, it would be even better. When you brush, it is essential that you spend at least two minutes a session and make sure that you brush every surface of every tooth. Flossing is your opportunity to remove leftover particles hiding between your teeth. A mouth rinse and brushing your tongue are bonus ways to remove excess bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria in your mouth attacks your teeth and gums causing tooth decay and gum disease. Without a good routine, the bacteria builds up and can get beneath the gum line. Once under the gum line, the bacteria can begin to cause inflammation known as gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis are bleeding when you brush or floss; so, if you notice pink spit, let your dentist know.
Professional Cleanings and Periodontal Cleanings
Even with a good hygiene routine at home, bacteria can find hiding spots in your mouth that you might miss. A professional cleaning not only allows your dentist or hygienist clean these hiding spots, but they can give you some tips on how to better address the problem areas. If your dentist notices signs of gum disease, they may recommend a periodontal cleaning or scaling and root planing. This process involves carefully removing any bacteria that has built up beneath the gums, and it can reverse early gum disease. In advanced gum disease, it can stop it from worsening.