Gum disease is called gingivitis in its early stages and periodontal disease in its advanced stages. It starts with a proliferation of bacteria in your mouth. It can be caused by several factors, such as poor dental hygiene, smoking, illnesses, and certain medications. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease causes the inner layers of the gums to recede and form pockets that create more space for bacteria from plaque to live in, where it continues to break down the structures that support teeth. All these factors create an environment that causes your teeth to loosen until they eventually fall out.
Gum disease remains the leading cause of tooth loss. If you are concerned, here’s how to prevent gum disease and ultimately, tooth loss.
Gum Disease Prevention
Preventing gum disease starts with having good oral hygiene. Plaque control and cavity prevention both require good dental practices, such as brushing regularly, flossing, and having bi-annual dental cleanings. Regular brushing removes plaque from the surface of the teeth, while flossing removes food particles stuck between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot access. Dental cleanings are a great way to get a thorough cleaning and for your dentist to assess how your teeth and gums are doing.
Lifestyle changes can also help slow the progression of gum disease. For example, smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for the development of gum disease. Moreover, smoking can also undermine any treatment your dentist administers to prevent gum disease.
Your immune system plays an important part in fighting off infection. Your diet should be rich in antioxidants so that your body is capable of not just fighting off an infection but can also heal damaged tissue. Moreover, a diet that’s high in sweets and starchy foods contributes to the formation of plaque, which is one of the leading causes of tooth decay.
Grinding your teeth can exasperate gum disease. Grinding puts immense pressure on the supporting structures of your teeth, which are already sensitive due to gum disease. Wear a mouthguard when you sleep to avoid grinding and clenching.
A dentist can evaluate your risk factors and make recommendations to prevent gum disease. If you are at high risk for gum disease, your dentist may ask you to come in more frequently for professional cleanings and check-ins. Only a dental professional can remove plaque that has developed into tartar. The removal of tartar requires special tools that only a dental professional has access to and is trained to use. This is why it’s important to tackle gum disease with the help of a dentist.
Gum Disease Prevention and Treatment in Fort Lauderdale
At the Dental Office of Dr. Ernie Soto, we provide patients with the best treatments and recommendations to avoid the progression of gum disease along with a host of other oral health problems.
If you want to take the first step to gum disease prevention or treatment, call Dr. Soto’s office at (954) 368-6264 to schedule a consultation or send an appointment request now. We look forward to helping you get the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve.