Periodontal or gum disease is an inflammatory condition of the gum and bone support surrounding the teeth. Most adults suffer from some form of periodontal disease: 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.
The two most common periodontal diseases are:
- Gingivitis – inflammation of the gum at the necks of the teeth, and
- Periodontitis – inflammation affecting the bone and tissues of the teeth.
Gingivitis means inflammation of the gums. It commonly occurs because a film of plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the teeth. Gingivitis is a non-destructive type of periodontal disease, but untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is inflammation of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It is one of the most common human diseases. Early Periodontal Disease. Periodontitis is caused by certain bacteria (known as periodontal bacteria) and by the local inflammation triggered by those bacteria.
This may progress and cause chronic periodontal destruction leading to loosening or loss of teeth. The dynamics of the disease are such that the individual can experience episodes of rapid periodontal disease activity in a relatively short period of time, followed by periods of remission.
Best ways to prevent periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is linked to an increased susceptibility to systemic disease (e.g., cardiovascular disease, infective endocarditis, bacterial pneumonia, low birth weight, diabetes), making it important not only for oral health but also for general health to control periodontal disease.
Luckily, periodontal disease can be preventable. Adding these habits to your daily routine can help stop periodontal disease before it’s too late.
- Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to include your tongue, bacteria love to hide there.
- Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
- Swish with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
- Know your risk. Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.
Good oral hygiene like brushing and flossing at least twice every day can help prevent gum infections, cavities, and tooth loss.
The correct method of brushing to prevent disease is:
- Brush in the morning and before going to sleep.
- Use a soft-bristled brush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. An electric toothbrush will work better than the non-electric kind.
- Place your toothbrush at a 45° angle against your gums and brush each tooth 15 to 20 times.
- Move the brush gently, using short strokes. Don’t scrub too hard.
- Brush the outer tooth surfaces using short, back-and-forth strokes.
- Brush the inner upper-front teeth by brushing vertically against them using short, downward strokes. Use short, upward strokes for lower inside teeth.
- Brush the chewing surfaces of the teeth with short, back-and-forth strokes. Replace your toothbrush when it’s worn or frayed about every 3 or 4 months,
The Importance of flossing
Regular use of dental floss removes plaque, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can lead to tartar. Simply flossing your teeth can make them look brighter by removing plaque and excess food particles that you may not see in the mirror or in areas that your toothbrush doesn’t reach. Many people who suffer from sensitive or bleeding gums may be tempted to avoid flossing for fear of making their bleeding gums worse. But in fact, flossing can improve the health of your gums, thereby helping to prevent them from bleeding. It’s actually pretty simple—flossing is a step that can help prevent the signs and symptoms of gingivitis by removing plaque. Combined with brushing you could have your teeth for your whole life. You will definitely need them.
Having your teeth cleaned and checked by a dentist or dental hygienist at least once a year also is extremely important. No matter how well you brush, tartar and plaque may still build up and cause gum problems. Contact us at JC Dentist to set up an appointment and invest in your smile for life.
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