While good dental hygiene is always important, it’s always good to take advantage of any opportunity to learn more about taking care of your pearly whites – as well as the rest of your mouth! Since September is National Gum Care Month, now is the perfect time to become more familiar with gum disease in Lutz – specifically, what it does to your smile and how you can prevent it.
What Happens If I Have Gum Disease?
The plaque on your teeth and gums can cause all sorts of problems if it’s not removed. The bacteria it contains can infect the gum tissue and cause gum disease. During the earliest stage – gingivitis – your gums will be red, swollen and bleed easily. At this point, the condition can still be reversed with a cleaning from your dentist and a good oral hygiene routine at home. If it’s not properly treated in time, however, it can become periodontitis and cause the gums to pull away from the teeth. This exposes the roots and the bone to the infection and may eventually lead to tooth loss.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Keeping your gums healthy is easy. Your main goal is to limit the amount of harmful oral bacteria in your mouth. This can be done by:
- Brushing twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that won’t wear the tooth away. If you keep a toothbrush at your desk at work, you can clean your pearly whites after lunch.
- Flossing at least once a day to get rid of bacteria and food particles in hard-to-reach spaces.
- Rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
- Sipping water throughout the day or chewing sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist. (Bacteria tend to thrive in dry mouths.)
- Give up smoking and smokeless tobacco. Not only to they introduce harmful bacteria to the mouth, but they also hurt the gum’s ability to heal.
- Avoiding sugar-filled snacks and beverages and instead enjoying healthier options like milk, yogurt, or apples.
- Keeping diabetes under control. (Diabetes hurts your immune system and leaves you more vulnerable to infection.)
- Scheduling routine dental checkups and cleanings.
How Can Gum Disease Be Treated?
If your gums still become infected despite the care you give them, there’s plenty of options for periodontal therapy in Lutz that can treat the condition. Traditionally, scaling and root planing are used to get rid of plaque from below the gum line and prevent bacteria from attaching to the tooth’s roots. Laser treatment can also help with removing bacteria and reattaching the gums.
Just like with your teeth, the key to keeping your gums healthy is prevention. By always making oral hygiene a priority and acting quickly when there’s a problem, you’ll be able keep your entire grin in good shape.
About the Author
Dr. Jay Nelson has been serving Lutz and the surrounding communities for more than 30 years. He’s a member of the American Dental Association and has appeared on TV multiple times to talk about advances in modern dentistry. If you have gum disease or are worried about the state of your oral health overall, schedule an appointment at his practice, Nelson Dentistry, by visiting his website or calling (813) 949-0424.