You’ve probably heard that prevention is the best medicine. This is especially true with regard to periodontal disease treatment.
When you have a problem with your oral health, the first thing that comes to mind is probably your teeth. After all, your teeth are what you (and the rest of the world) are most likely to see when you open your mouth.
Your teeth are what you use to bite and chew your food, too. Yet, without healthy gums, you might not have any teeth at all.
A Marineland Dental Care, we want you to keep your gums healthy because we want you to keep your teeth, too. That’s why you should continue to brush and floss daily and remember to make regular appointments for cleanings at our dentist office in Kennewick.
Keeping your gums healthy starts with the preventive steps we mentioned above. Brushing your teeth, flossing your teeth, and having professional cleanings by a dentist or hygienist is the best way to maintain your oral health.
It’s also a good idea to review what your dentist or hygienist means when he or she talks about brushing and flossing. And always remember, this is the best way to avoid needing periodontal disease treatment.
On its patient education website, the American Dental Association describes what it means to brush your teeth.
You should start by using a fluoride toothpaste with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Find a brush with a size that feels comfortable to you and can reach all areas of your mouth.
When you brush, hold it at a 45-degree angle from your gums. Be sure to get your teeth from all sides. Each time your brush, you should gently scrub your teeth for two minutes each time, and you should be brushing twice every day.
You should floss once per day. Use a dental floss that works best for you. It can be waxed or unwaxed, thick or thin, flavored or not. Whatever you prefer is fine.
Break off 18 inches of floss, and wrap each end around your middle fingers. Hold the floss between your thumb and forefingers. Work the floss between your teeth. Remember to “hug” it under your gumline, too.
When you are flossing you are removing the bacteria and plaque that cause periodontal disease from the places that you can’t reach with a toothbrush (no matter how fancy it may be).
As needed, wrap and unwrap the floss. When you’re finished, throw the floss away.
Why cleanings are still important
You may be thinking, “I do brush and floss every day. Why do I need to visit to dentist?”
Well, the answer to that is that nobody is perfect. No matter how well you brush and floss, you probably miss some areas by habit or by accident.
A hygienist can remove any plaque or tartar buildup that may have accumulated in your mouth. This also gives him or her a chance to examine your gums for signs of periodontal disease.
Did you know that 80 percent of Americans will have gum disease at some point in their lives? That’s 4 out of every 5 people, and that means you will probably have periodontal disease at some point.
That said, you are most likely to experience gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease. This can be treated with the same steps recommended for prevention — brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.
The symptoms of gingivitis are red or swollen gums and gums that bleed when you are flossing. You should take the bleeding as a sign that you’re not flossing enough or you aren’t flossing correctly. As long as you make an effort to floss right, the bleeding should stop with time.
When left untreated, gingivitis turns into periodontitis, an advanced form of periodontal disease.
The symptoms of periodontitis include gums that are sore and tender, pus coming out of your gum or between your gums and teeth, and gum recession.
Gum recession occurs when your gums appear to be pulling away from your teeth. This creates pockets in your gums where bacteria and plaque can hide from your toothbrush and flossing.
The treatment for periodontitis may include a “deep cleaning.” This is called scaling and root planing. This is used to remove plaque and tartar underneath your gumline and around the roots of your teeth.
If your periodontal disease is more serious, we may have to consider more severe treatment options. We would rather you don’t need these treatments, and we hope you will heed our tips on periodontal disease prevention.
If you see the signs of advanced periodontal disease mentioned above, you should make plans to visit our dentist office as soon as you can if you live in or near Kennewick.
The team at Marineland Dental Care wants you to keep your teeth, which is why we want your to keep your gums healthy, too.
To learn more or to make an appointment, call our office at 509-591-0515 or use our online form.