Some people think of their mouths like they do their cars. As long as they look good and get them to where they’re going, they think everything’s fine. But then they have a flat tire and they can’t go anywhere. They realize that it doesn’t matter how good the car looks if it can’t serve its purpose.
Your mouth is sort of the same way. You want white teeth and a dazzling smile. It makes you look better and gives you more self-confidence. But to keep that smile, and to keep your teeth working like they’re supposed to, you have to pay attention to your gums. At Marineland Dental Care, we know all about how important your gums are, and with your help, we’ll work to keep them healthy.
The Importance Of Gum Health
The mouth is a busy place and, like that car, you sometimes take its maintenance for granted until it’s too late. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, happens when bacteria grows in your mouth and gradually destroys the tissue around your teeth.
Gum disease begins with plaque. Plaque can form on your teeth without you even knowing it. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, plaque will accumulate to excessive levels. It will then harden into tartar. Tartar can only be removed during a professional cleaning.
If all of this is left untreated, your gums will start to pull back from your teeth, creating “pockets.” These pockets collect bacteria and can become infected.
If they become infected, it could cause the bone and tissue that hold your teeth to break down. The ultimate outcome is tooth loss.
Tooth loss isn’t the worst result of gum disease that has gone too far. Medical research has shown that gum disease can lead to heart disease. Bacteria from the gums can enter the bloodstream which can contribute to clot formation.
Do I Already Have Gum Disease?
Here are some signs of gum disease that you can keep an eye out for:
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Loose teeth or teeth that are separating from the gums
- Swollen, red, and tender gums
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
The good news is that gum disease is highly treatable. Regular visits to the dentist can keep gum disease from happening in the first place. The earlier gum disease is caught, the better the chances it can be treated.
At Marineland Dental Care, we use the most advanced techniques to prevent and treat gum disease. If we spot gum disease, Dr. Walter Hadley and our dental hygiene team will create a personalized treatment plan for you. Dr. Hadley will perform a comprehensive evaluation and then teach you habits that will help prevent the onset and recurrence of gum disease.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
You know the risks now. What can you do to prevent gum disease from happening in the first place?
Brush at least twice a day. We recommend that you brush after every meal to remove food particles that could be trapped in your teeth. Be sure to brush your tongue too because it can harbor bacteria. We caution against brushing too hard because that can also damage gum tissue. Use a soft-bristled brush as well. Softer bristles flex a little more and can reach places that hard bristles can’t.
Floss regularly. Sometimes our teeth can sit pretty close together. Flossing lets you get in between the teeth and remove debris and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach.
Make and keep regular dental cleanings and exams. During a routine dental checkup, we will start by cleaning your teeth. Then Dr. Hadley examines your teeth. He’ll look for signs of decay but he’ll also look for any gum swelling, redness, or bleeding. He will look for areas where your gum tissue may have pulled away from your teeth, which are called pockets.
If he diagnoses gum disease, then we will treat it. The good news is that gum disease is treatable. The sooner it’s diagnosed, the better the outcome.