Patients can often prevent periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, by brushing twice per day for two minutes each time, flossing once per day, and seeing their dentist in Edmond, OK a minimum of twice per year. Due to risk factors involving whole-body health, some people are at higher risk of periodontal disease and may require more frequent dental visits to maintain a healthy mouth.
Is Flossing Really That Important?
You may not realize it, but even when your mouth is clean, it is full of bacteria. These are naturally occurring microorganisms that like to eat even the smallest bits of leftover food particles. After their meal, they deposit a sticky white substance called plaque on your teeth. Plaque accumulates after you eat your meals, and it can build up, especially in places where your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don't remove plaque daily, the build-up can harden into a substance called tartar that irritates your gums and can trigger inflammation and gum disease.
With consistent and careful brushing and properly flossing every day, you can eliminate much of this plaque. Flossing also helps to eliminate and control bad breath.
Use about 18 inches of floss wrapped around your fingers on each hand and move up and down each side of your tooth in a c-shaped motion. Repeat these steps in between every tooth and on both sides.
Do Bleeding Gums Signal Gum Disease?
It’s important to realize that healthy gums do not bleed with regular brushing and flossing. Bleeding is typically an early sign of gum disease (also called periodontal disease). Since it is a progressive condition, you can prevent gum disease if we diagnose it and treat it early; however, more advanced stages can often cause irreversible damage and even result in tooth loss.
Did you know the most common cause of tooth loss is gum disease? Of even greater importance are the links between gum disease and various serious conditions, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. There is also a connection between expectant mothers with gum disease and babies with low birth weight. We now understand that the bacteria that causes gum disease can also contribute to these other health concerns and vice versa.
This shows that keeping our teeth and gums free of gum disease can help us stay healthier overall.
Prevent Gum Disease at Our Dentist Office in Edmond, OK
The best way to protect yourself is to have your teeth and gums checked regularly to prevent problems from gum disease. Consistent dental exams and teeth cleanings with Dr. Chandler every six months will allow him to detect gum disease early, which gives you the best chance of treating it successfully. If you already have signs of gum disease, we may recommend more frequent cleanings, but we will discuss that with you after an exam.