Preventing gum disease
General Dentist and Cosmetic Dental Services in Edmonton, Alberta
If you suffer from periodontitis, or gum disease, you are not alone. In fact, many people suffer from this condition, characterized by swollen, sore, infected gums. While treatable, gum disease can cause permanent damage to the teeth and soft tissue as well as bone loss if not dealt with promptly. Gum disease, for the most part, is preventable with proper oral hygiene and regular dental care.
Periodontitis develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line. Unfortunately, at any given time our mouths are filled with bacteria, plaque and food particles that, when left on the teeth, can cause an infection. Lifestyle factors such as smoking, pregnancy and conditions like diabetes can increase a person’s risk of developing gum disease.
There are a variety of procedures aimed at treating gum disease and correcting any damage that may already be present as a result. A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is usually done to clean plaque and tartar build up from below the gumline.
Aside from the damage that gum disease will do to a patient’s teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues and bone, studies have linked gum disease to an increased risk for heart disease and stroke, among other health conditions. Therefore, treating gum disease and taking steps to prevent a recurrence is important not just for oral, but overall health. Proper oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing at least twice a day, is an essential part of preventing gum disease. Use a fluoride toothpaste that has the Canadian Dental Association’s seal of approval to ensure maximum effectiveness. Never go to sleep without having brushed and flossed; plaque and bacteria left on the teeth overnight can easily contribute to the development of gum disease. During the day, chewing sugar free gum or rinsing your mouth out with water after eating when you can’t brush your teeth can help as well. If you suffer from dry mouth, you can try specially formulated toothpastes, mouth sprays and sugar-free gum to help moisturize the mouth and stimulate saliva production. Saliva naturally serves to protect your teeth from plaque and decay.
It is important to seek dental care as soon as possible for the best chance at the successful treatment of gum disease. Your dentist can also give you valuable guidance on how to prevent gum disease.