Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a serious condition that causes more tooth loss than cavities. Not only that, but the disease can also increase the severity of health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature labor. Because of how significantly it impacts our day-to-day health, it’s important that our patients know how to prevent gum disease before it starts.
Clean Along the Gumlines
Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. Gingivitis is simply inflammation of the gumline borders caused by the presence of biofilm. If not corrected promptly, it can spread deeper into the tissues and cause the gums and bones to detach from the teeth (leading to bone loss.)
To prevent initial gingivitis, or to reverse it completely, it is important to brush gently along the gumlines at least twice a day. Scrubbing too aggressively causes gum recession and misses the contoured areas of the teeth. Instead, use a soft bristled brush to make short back and forth strokes on just one or two teeth at a time.
Cleaning along the parts of the teeth that you see regularly isn’t the only answer. It’s also important to clean the areas that may be hidden from plain view. Like between the teeth. These areas are more likely to not only develop gum disease more quickly, but also problems like cavities. If you’re only brushing your teeth twice a day but not flossing, up to 40% of your tooth surfaces are never getting cleaned. What if you were to take a shower each day but never wash your hair or face? It’s the same thing!
Wrap your floss tightly around each tooth in a “C” shape, then wipe up and down several times against the tooth and under the gumlines. In the beginning this may feel uncomfortable. It might even bleed. Fortunately, bleeding doesn’t mean that you are hurting yourself – it just means that the gums are infected. Continue flossing daily and you can expect to see reversal of swelling or bleeding within just 10 to 14 days.
Pay Attention to the Cycle
While periodontal disease can make your other health conditions worsen, it also goes the other way. Unmanaged blood sugar levels, obesity, or inflammatory conditions may make it seem impossible to eliminate your gum disease. Addressing just one or the other simply is not enough. Instead, actively take steps to address both your systemic health as well as your smile. You’ll see quicker, more effective results.
Visit Your Dental Hygienist
Even dedicated oral hygiene practices can leave a little bit of bacteria behind. To remove calcified tartar buildup, you need an expert who has the right tools to safely and effectively clean every surface of your teeth. We recommend preventive cleanings every 6 months.
If you have gum disease, it’s not too late. Marconi Dental Group can help treat your infection and give you the skills needed to reverse bleeding and inflamed gum tissues before it destroys your smile. If you suspect that you have gum disease, or it’s been more than 6 months since your last preventive care visit – call Marconi Dental Group today.