Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over age 35 lose more teeth to periodontal diseases than from cavities, and three out of four adults are affected at some time in their lives. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques performed daily.
Periodontal disease and cavities are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film which sticks to your teeth along the gum line, and this substance forms constantly on your teeth. Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors, but it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus or tartar. With thorough brushing and flossing done on a daily basis, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets or spaces to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place will deteriorate, and if left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
At Country Club Dental, Dr. Whitney is an expert in assisting patients with these problems and keeping their teeth healthy and clean.