Pasadena dentist provides tips to prevent gum disease from getting worse
Gum disease is extremely common – in fact, it is estimated that at least half of adults over the age of 30 suffer from it. Gum disease can have many negative effects, and not just in your mouth… it can damage your overall health and has been linked to several serious diseases, including heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and certain cancers. The good news is that gum disease can be halted in its tracks with diligent home care and working in partnership with your dentist. Below, the team at Pasadena Prosthodontics shares tips on how to prevent gum disease from getting worse.
Home care for your gums
Periodontitis occurs when plaque forms on the teeth, which happens when the teeth, gums, and spaces between the teeth are not properly cleaned on a daily basis. When plaque forms, it creates a haven for bacteria to multiply and secrete acidic compounds that irritate the gums, and even more sticky surfaces form for the plaque and bacteria to grow. It is a vicious cycle that continues until the formation of plaque gets under control.
As a result, stopping gum disease starts with you! First and foremost, a good home oral hygiene regimen is essential to combatting the buildup and bacteria that cause gum disease. This includes:
- Brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled brush, using the correct brushing technique, at least two times per day
- Flossing or cleaning the spaces between your teeth with interdental cleaners at least one time per day
- Using antibacterial mouth rinses
- Eating a healthy diet that favors crunchy vegetables and water over starchy or sweet foods such as bread, crackers, and sodas
Office treatments to stop the progression of gum disease
The next line of defense in combating gum disease is treatment in your dental office. A variety of treatments are available to restore your gums to health. Depending on the severity of your periodontitis, our dentists may recommend one or more of the following treatments.
- Scaling and root planing is a non-surgical deep cleaning technique that removes the plaque and tartar that have built up both above and below the gum line on all your teeth (a process called scaling). It is done with the aid of a local anesthetic, so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. After the teeth are cleaned, they are smoothed out (planing) so that there is less surface area for bacteria to multiply and to make it easier for your gums to reattach to your teeth.
- Flap surgery is a surgical procedure where the dentist creates an incision in the gums to pull them back and then removes the tartar from beneath the gums. Afterwards, the gums are gently placed back on the teeth in a manner that reduces the space between the teeth and gums, which minimizes the locations that bacteria can multiply.
- Gum grafts can be needed when a significant amount of gum recession has occurred, which can be exposed tooth roots and leave the teeth susceptible to further decay. In a gum graft, the dentist typically harvests tissue from the roof or your mouth and stitches it to your gums to replace the lost tissue.
- Bone grafts are sometimes necessary when periodontitis has resulted in the deterioration of bone in your jaw. In a bone graft, the dentist uses either donor tissue, synthetic bone, or your own bone fragments to replace the destroyed bone. The bone then begins to regenerate and is once again able to provide a strong foundation for your teeth.
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Preventing gum disease from coming back
After you have gotten your gum disease under control, preventing it from coming back is just as important as treating it was in the first place. The dentists at Pasadena Prosthodontics work with each patient individually to set up a home care and office visit regimen that will help protect their gums from disease recurrence. This may include:
- Educating patients on optimal home care for their teeth and gums, including which type of toothpaste and mouthwash to use, proper brushing techniques, how frequently to brush and floss, and other strategies to maintain good oral health
- More frequent hygiene visits to our dental office to thoroughly rid your teeth and gums of the disease-causing plaque and calculus and to monitor your gum health
- Periodic deep cleanings as needed
Schedule an appointment today
If you are suffering from gum disease, Pasadena Prosthodontics is here to help. Our Pasadena, CA office can be reached at 855.770.3737. Call us today to schedule your appointment – together, we can get your gum disease under control and restore your smile back to health!
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