Periodontal Disease – Good Oral Hygiene Habits are the Key to Prevention
It's much better to prevent gum disease than to have to treat it, so taking time to brush and floss properly is a good habit to get into.
Brush your teeth!
The value of good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups goes well beyond preventing cavities. It is also the best way to prevent periodontal disease (gum disease). Currently, seven out of ten Canadians will experience periodontal disease at some point during their lives.
In the early stage of gum disease, there is rarely any pain and few visual clues, so many people are unaware they have it until it becomes more serious.
Consequences of gum disease
Untreated, gum disease can make your gums red and puffy. You are also more likely to get an abscess between your gums and teeth at later stages, which can become very painful.
Gum disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults.
How does gum disease lead to tooth loss?
Periodontal disease affects the attachment between the gums and teeth, which causes teeth to loosen.
Gum disease begins when plaque, a soft, sticky substance, forms along the edge of your gums and hardens to become tartar.
Tartar, also called calculus, can then become infected which results in gingivitis.
Gums will look puffy and red and may also bleed. This infection breaks down the gum tissue.
Finally, the bone holding your teeth will also break down causing teeth to loosen and fall out.
Prevent tooth loss with proper brushing and flossing
How can I prevent gum disease?
The number one method to prevent gum disease is to keep your teeth and gums clean.
Brush your teeth properly at least twice a day, and floss at least once every 24 hours.
Be sure to ask your dental team to explain the correct brushing and flossing techniques.
Regular visits to the dentist are very important. Your dentist will watch closely for early signs of gum disease. If caught in its early stages, periodontal disease can be treated.
SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE
• Is the gum area closest to your teeth red?
• Have your gums changed colour?
• Do your gums bleed every time your brush or floss?
• Do you have bad breath all the time?
• Do you have a taste of metal in your mouth?
• Are your gums puffy, shiny or sore?
• Are your teeth sensitive?
PROPER BRUSHING AND FLOSSING TECHNIQUES ARE ESSENTIAL
Proper brushing is the key to preventing gum disease
Learn the proper brushing technique
Canadian Dental Association
• When brushing your teeth, be gentle, and make sure you clean where your teeth and gums meet
• You need to clean every surface of every tooth
• To reach behind your upper and lower teeth, use the tip of your toothbrush
• Wrap 18 inches of tooth floss around your middle fingers
• Wrap the floss around a tooth in a C shape. Always use a clean section of floss. Wipe it over the tooth, from base to tip at least twice
Daily flossing helps to prevent gum disease
Floss daily using the proper technique
Canadian Dental Association
First the dental hygienist will remove the plaque and clean your teeth to remove the built-up tartar. You will need to continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day to remove the plaque.
Your dentist may refer you to a periodontist who may be able to restore the lost bone and gum tissue if your gum disease has become more serious.
A periodontist also treats serious cases of gum disease that do not improve with normal dental care.
Prevention is always the best method
Regular dental checkups and a conscientiously applied program of brushing and flossing will help you to avoid the damaging effects of periodontal disease. Your dentist can help you to be aware of the condition of your gums and teeth over time and give you advice to reduce your risk of gum disease.