Did you know that 50% of adults over 30 have gum disease? Gum disease often develops when you don’t maintain good oral hygiene. Tender, bleeding gums are usually a sign of gum disease. If untreated, it can cause tooth decay, tooth loss, and even bone loss. How do you keep your gums healthy? Here are some tips.
Brush & Floss Every Day
Brushing and flossing well are the best things you can do for your gum health. When you don’t clean your teeth well, plaque and tartar build up and irritate your gums. When brushing, be sure to hold your soft-bristled brush at a 45-degree angle against your gum line.
Don’t forget to floss once a day! Flossing is very important for gum health because it removes food and plaque from places your brush can’t reach. If you haven’t flossed in a while, a little bleeding is normal. Not getting the results you want from brushing and flossing? During your dental exam, ask Dr. Tin for advice.
Don’t Use Tobacco
Smokers are twice as likely to get gum disease as non-smokers. This is because smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight gum disease. Chewing tobacco comes with an increased risk for cavities, gum irritation, and mouth cancers. If you want healthier gums and you use any tobacco products, quitting is a great idea.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Your whole body – including your teeth and gums – benefits from a nutritious diet. Fresh produce, dairy, and whole grains are all linked to better gum health. These foods are packed with nutrients that support your soft tissues. Many also help the body fight against harmful bacteria. If you’re looking for another reason to improve your diet, healthier gums is a good one!
Get a Healthy Smile at Villa Vista Dental
At our Elk Grove office, we offer cleanings and exams that keep your gums healthy. If your gums need some extra love, we’ll most likely recommend scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning treats more advanced gum disease. If you have any questions for Dr. Tin or you want to schedule an appointment, please get in touch today!
Good hygiene & regular dental exams keep your gums healthy!
Did you know that there’s more than one type of dental cleaning? You may not think twice about it if you regularly visit the dentist for a standard cleaning. However, there are more specialized types of dental cleanings to take care of specific problems. Here’s a quick rundown of the main types of dental cleanings.
The name sounds fancy, but this is actually the standard teeth cleaning and most likely what you’re getting when you go in for your check-up. During a prophylaxis cleaning, any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth is removed. Tartar forms when plaque has hardened, and it can only be removed by a dental professional with special tools. No matter how well you care for your teeth at home, you can’t remove all of the plaque that builds up over time. Basically, this is the kind of cleaning you get if you have a generally healthy mouth.
Scaling & Root Planing
Sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, scaling and root planing is used to treat gum disease. The “scaling” portion is when plaque and tartar are removed from not just the surface of the teeth, but also from the pockets under your gum line. The “root planing” portion is when your tooth roots are essentially smoothed out, making it easier for the gums to reattach. Since this type of cleaning is more intensive, it is often performed with local anesthetic.
A debridement or gross debridement cleaning is used for people who have never visited the dentist, who haven’t visited the dentist in quite some time, or who have struggled to maintain a healthy oral care routine. Performed with a special electrical tool, this kind of cleaning can remove a heavy build-up of plaque and tartar.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an oral health condition that occurs when plaque–a clear, sticky film–builds up in your mouth. Symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, swollen or red gums, loose teeth, receding gums, changes in bite, and bad breath that won’t go away. Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is the precursor to gum disease. When gum disease occurs, it pulls the gums away from the teeth to form pockets that bacteria and debris start to build up in. The plaque will spread to under the gums if the pockets become infected. If the infection is left untreated, it could destroy the gum tissue and bone. The result is that your gums are no longer able to support your teeth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque buildup is the primary cause of gum disease. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, there is a good chance you will develop gum disease. However, there are other reasons why you might have gum disease. Genetics can sometimes play a role. About 30% of people are more predisposed to developing gum disease. People who smoke are also at a higher risk. Misaligned teeth also create a hazard because they are harder to floss and brush well enough to get rid of the plaque. Some other causes of gum disease include stress, poor nutrition, grinding teeth, dry mouth, and hormones. Gum disease can also be associated with diseases like HIV, IBS and leukemia.
Treating Gum Disease
At Villa Vista Dental, we have special equipment to detect and treat gum disease. We offer laser gum therapy for advanced gum disease. By avoiding scalpels and sutures, your recovery time is much faster. If you think you may have gum disease, don’t wait to call for a consultation. If left untreated, gum disease can be very harmful to your overall health.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The best prevention is practicing good oral health habits every day. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and using toothpaste that contains fluoride to strengthen your teeth. Additionally, a diet low in sugar and carbs and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Another great way to prevent gum disease is by coming in for regular checkups and cleanings. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.
Gum disease is easier to treat in its early stages.