Did you know that dental diseases like periodontitis and even cavities are the most common diseases – apart from the common cold? It may surprise you, but enough people neglect their oral hygiene enough to make this an extremely common ailment, even though it’s an easily-preventable situation! These numbers are so high because most people who have some form of gum or tooth disease have no knowledge of it – and with 75% of the population having some form of periodontal disease, you must take careful attention when cleaning your mouth.
Dental decay is not much of an issue in modern society (thanks to fluoridated water and toothpaste), but a proper hygiene routine is still necessary to prevent gum disease and/or cavities. Brushing and flossing is essential, as this both cleans the smooth surfaces of the teeth, and also helps break up food particles and plaque in between the teeth and gum line. Gum disease starts in between the teeth, and some toothbrushes can’t reach critical areas necessary to be cleaned to prevent bacteria from growing.
Although gingivitis – the bacterial infection that invades your gums – is reversible, periodontitis is gum and bone disease, and is not irreversible! Because periodontal disease is so serious, and can only be managed under the strict supervision of a dental professional, it is important to understand just how periodontal disease can affect you. This disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other degenerative diseases that can be life threatening! I’ve blogged about periodontitis before, and I can’t stress enough how important and serious it can be to have regular cleanings and check-ups from a dental professional twice yearly. Periodontal disease can disfigure even the most beautiful of smiles. Your gums can be so swollen, receded and bloody that your teeth will look longer, will become loose and eventually will need removal. If you detect gum disease early, you will need a management program that includes regular treatment with your dentist and/or hygienist and solid home care to manage the disease.
Root planing and scaling is the common form of soft tissue management treatment, when a hygienist or dentist uses a precise tool to detoxify the tooth surfaces below the gum line and in between each tooth, and then rinses with antiseptic . With advanced technology, laser energy can also be utilized to remove diseased tissues and eliminate bacteria to allow healing to take place. Your dental professional will discuss the best treatment plan for you – a routine cleaning is not enough by itself to treat periodontal disease! You may need to visit your dental hygienist more often, up to four times per year in order to properly manage the disease. On a daily basis, a solid home care program (which should be designed by you and your dentist) will help you maintain your oral health. Besides brushing and flossing after every meal, other tools like prescription tooth brushes (like Rotadent) and water irrigators (like Hydrofloss) could be helpful for your hygiene routine. Antiseptic rinses like Tooth and Gum Tonic Herbal Rinse, a healthy diet and/or supplements and antioxidants like vitamin C and B can also help to fight and manage gum disease. Healthy gum supports a healthy smile, which supports a healthy body!