Dentists in Indianapolis IN offer tips on the prevention of gum disease
Gum disease is a problem that people would love to avoid. The problem is that we are often so busy with life that our dental health doesn’t get much consideration. Beyond brushing and flossing for the sake of completing the task, many people have no further habits to prevent problems like gum disease.
Gum disease is an infection of the supportive tissues in the mouth. If not treated, the infection progresses, eventually affecting the ligaments and bone structure beneath the gums – the structures that keep teeth stable and healthy. Research shows that three in four adults are affected by gum disease to some degree, many without their knowledge. The significance of gum disease goes beyond what occurs in the mouth, with research indicating a strong connection between this condition and general health.
Gum disease, in its early form of gingivitis, can be difficult to detect, as there is no pain or obvious symptoms to warn us. Unless dental check-ups are performed every six months, gum disease can progress. Once it is noticeable to the affected person, the disease may no longer be in the stage that can be reversed. To protect oral health, it is important to become familiar with the risk and symptoms of gum disease, as well as what can be done to prevent its onset.
Some of the tips offered by your dentists in Indianapolis, IN include:
- Bleeding gums are always a sign of a problem. This is true regardless of the pressure with which you brush. Red, swollen, or tender gums should be evaluated by your dentist as soon as possible.
- Oral hygiene is one of the best preventative measures you can take. Teeth can be brushed as often as after every meal, and at least twice a day. Additionally, flossing is vital to the prevention of cavities and gum disease, as this is the only way hidden tooth surfaces can be adequately cleaned. Your dentist or hygienist can demonstrate the best techniques to brush and floss for maximum effectiveness.
- Professional dental care is necessary for the prevention of dental problems. Your dentist has diagnostic tools that aid in the earliest detection of dental problems such as gum disease. Skipping visits allows oral bacteria more time to ruin healthy tissues and cause problems.
- Fluoride treatments are typically associated with cavity prevention. The beneficial side effect of fluoride treatments is a reduction in oral bacteria, minimizing the risk of gum disease.
- Tobacco products are recognized as having ill effects on the body. Research shows that more than 50 percent of all chronic gum disease is affected by the use of tobacco products.
- Sugar is not only bad for teeth; it is also bad for the gums. We think of sugary foods in terms of cavities, but the real danger is that sugar feeds oral bacteria. Oral bacteria then secrete toxic acid that eats at the enamel on teeth and on the gum tissue. If brushing cannot be done after a meal or snack, rinsing the mouth with water will wash away at least some of the sugar residue and limit the nutrients provided to harmful bacteria.
The team at Washington Street Dental can help you keep your smile healthy. Contact us today for your check-up.