Preventive Dental Care to Reduce Periodontal Disease
Preventive dental care is important for good oral health. This involves home care methods that include brushing and flossing daily to keep teeth and gums healthy. To prevent oral health problems, it is also important to visit your dental provider at least twice a year to help in the prevention of serious gum disease such as periodontal disease.
Periodontal gum disease is a severe form of gum disease that affects the tissues and bones surrounding the roots of the teeth. In its earliest stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis results in the gums becoming red and often puffy with inflammation. Infections are likely to occur and gums may be prone to bleeding. Left untreated, gingivitis may progress into more serious periodontal gum disease.
Periodontal disease is the result of consistent exposure to harmful bacteria on the teeth that makes its way up under the gum line. Proper oral hygiene keeps gums healthy, firm, and tight against the tooth. However, when you do not clean your teeth daily, bacteria builds up to form plaque along the gum line. This plaque hardens into tartar which weakens and lifts the gum slightly, allowing bacteria to make its way underneath the gum.
Once under the gum, bacteria can attack the root of the tooth and the bone surrounding the tooth. Gum tissue is further damaged and weakened, leading to receding of the gums and the development of pockets that can hold more bacteria and lead to infection. As the tissues under the gum line are eroded away, teeth may become loose or develop gaps in between them. The tooth roots may begin to decay and bone holding the teeth in place may erode.
Even with proper at home care, it is important to see your dental provider for twice a year exams. The dentist will perform an examination to detect signs of periodontal gum disease early and make treatment recommendations to help prevent the disease from progressing or even occurring in the first place. Professional dental cleanings are a necessary step to help prevent gum disease.
To keep your teeth and gums healthy, Alabama Family Dentistry can give you a cleaning and examination and make recommendations for the prevention and treatment of gum disease. If you are concerned about gum disease and its consequences, contact the staff at Alabama Family Dentistry with any questions or to make an appointment.