Periodontitis, also generally called gum disease or periodontal disease, begins with bacterial growth in your mouth. The gums’ usual pale pink color turns bluish red. The tender gums swell between the teeth and bleed easily, especially during tooth brushing.If not properly treated you risk tooth loss due to destruction of the tissue that surrounds your teeth.
However don’t despair, gingivitis can be reversed and the progression of gum disease can be stopped in nearly all cases when proper plaque control is practiced. Proper plaque control consists of regularprofessional cleanings and daily brushing and flossing. Brushing eliminates plaque from the surface of the teeth that can be reached; flossing removes food particles and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gum line. Other health and lifestyle changes that can decrease the risk, severity, and speed of gum disease development include:
- Stop smoking.Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for development of periodontitis. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.
- Brush At The Gumline. The plaque-catching area around the gumline is where gingivitis starts, and it is the most neglected area when we brush. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth so that half of your brush cleans your gums while the other half cleans your teeth. Then shimmy your brush by moving it in a forward and backward motion.
- Visit Your Dentist. Regular cleaning and scaling removes tartar and plaque from the teeth, and issues with fillings that can inflame the gums can be identified. Regular visits can help identify issues early on, and potentially prevent them worsening.
- Avoid Clenching and grinding your teeth.These actions may put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could increase the rate at which these tissues are destroyed.
- Choose Your Toothbrush. Although studies show that using an electric toothbrush improves oral health, the Australian Dental Association reports that manual toothbrushes are just as effective. As long as you’re brushing properly, it doesn’t matter which toothbrush you use. Electric toothbrushes are advantageous for people who have limited manual dexterity or hand braces, because the rotating head can clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Use Mouthwash. When buying mouthwash, look for the chemicals cetylpridinium chloride or domiphen bromide on the label. Research shows these are the active ingredients in mouthwash that reduce dental plaque.
At Blackburn Clinic Dental Centre, we’re all about prevention. If you need to book a clean with us, please call us on 03 9878 1597. We look forward to seeing you!
The advice given above is general dental advice. Please seek an opinion from a qualified health professional regarding your dental health.