Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease and periodontitis, is caused when bacteria in plaque builds up between the gums and teeth. When the bacteria begin to grow, the gums surrounding the tooth can become inflamed.
If left untreated, this inflammation can cause the gums and supporting bone structure to deteriorate. This can lead to gum recession, bone loss, and eventual tooth loss. In addition, research has shown that gum disease is associated with other systemic diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
Luckily, periodontal disease can be preventable. Adding these habits to your daily routine can help:
• Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes. Brushing helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums, and don’t forget to include your tongue. Ask one of our hygienists to demonstrate proper brushing technique if you feel you require assistance.
• Floss. Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
• Use mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and bacteria.
• Know your risk. Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional.
• See a dental hygienist. Get an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation from one of our dental hygienists. They will assess the levels of gum inflammation, bone loss, and gum recession, and assess any risk factors for periodontal disease. Identifying symptoms of gum disease early is key to protecting your teeth and gums.
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