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Gum disease is extremely common, affecting half of all American adults. Even though gum disease is common, that does not mean that it is harmless. If left untreated, gum disease can be quite dangerous and can lead to serious health complications like heart attack, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and even death. Preventing gum disease is vital to help ensure your optimal health. We here at David Crumpton, DDS like to educate our patients about proper oral hygiene and good periodontal care to help them have a healthy and beautiful smile throughout their lives!
What Is Periodontal Care?
Periodontal disease is a surprisingly pain-free condition, which is surprising to many of our patients. That makes it hard for you to detect it on your own, which is why regular checkups with cleanings in our office are all the more important. Early-stage gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is recognized by the presence of blood in your saliva after you brush and floss your teeth, bad breath (also called Halitosis), red and swollen gums, and a receding gumline. If caught quickly enough, gingivitis is curable.
However, once gum disease progresses to a more advanced stage, it is no longer reversible and officially must be managed like a chronic disease. Advanced gum disease is also known as periodontitis. Treatment for periodontitis may include a treatment program known as periodontal maintenance, which includes more frequent dental appointments with cleanings.
We may also advise a scaling and a root planing, which removes all calculus and buildup from your teeth and their roots. This makes it harder for the tartar to reattach to your teeth and can encourage your gums to reaffix to your tooth roots, preventing any further recession of your gums.
You can help prevent gum disease at home by introducing a good oral hygiene regimen. This includes making sure you brush your teeth twice per day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. Brush your teeth at a 45-degree angle to your gums for two minutes per session, twice per day.
After you brush your teeth, you need to make sure you floss at least once per day. Use an 18-inch piece of dental floss and work it carefully between each tooth and up underneath your gum line to remove any trapped food or debris. You need to use a clean segment of floss per tooth to avoid spreading bacteria around. Antibacterial mouthwash can be beneficial after you brush and floss, but just remember that mouthwash is a supplement to brushing and flossing and not a replacement.
You also need to avoid using all tobacco products to help prevent gum disease. Drink plenty of water, as a dry mouth can encourage gum disease, too. A healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals (both Vitamin C and calcium are wonderful for your teeth!) can also be beneficial. In addition to making sure you brush and floss your teeth at home and that you follow a healthy diet, you also need to make sure you stay on top of your routine dental appointments. We advise that all of our patients schedule an appointment with us every six months for a checkup and a cleaning.
Call Us for More Information
To learn more about periodontal care, or to set up your next checkup with us, please give us here at David Crumpton, DDS a call at 817-678-7395 today!