Dental Hygiene & Gum Disease

Dental Hygiene and Gum Disease

Dental Hygiene and Gum DiseaseUnfortunately, gum disease is a fairly common condition in this country. It is when the gums become infected and are sore and swollen. One of the first signs of gum disease is when you notice that your gums bleed when brushing takes place. This stage of gum disease is referred to as gingivitis and if left untreated a more severe form of the disease may take place called periodontitis. This affects the tissues that support the teeth and if this is left untreated the bone in the jaw may decay. There is therefore every reason to prevent the occurrence of gum disease in the first place. 

There are a number of quite simple ways of helping to prevent the onset of gum disease that you can do at home as it is predominantly caused by the build-up of sticky plaque on teeth which contains teeth and gum damaging bacteria, which forms after the consumption of food and drink.

Gum disease can be avoided or at least minimised by practicing good dental hygiene. At times it may be necessary to undertake dental treatment as well to halt or prevent the occurrence of gum disease. To help yourself you should brush and floss your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, preferably with a soft bristled toothbrush or even better an electric toothbrush accompanied with toothpaste that contains fluoride too. You should make sure you work the toothbrush into all areas of your teeth. Not smoking helps to curb the onset of gum disease as well. 

In addition to regular cleaning you should ensure you pay a visit to your dentist at least once a year so that any preventative techniques can be applied to help prevent the onset of gum disease. Your dentist might recommend the use of a mouthwash as this helps to control plaque build-up. He or she will recommend what type is most suitable for your needs.

You can only go so far with your own dental hygiene. If the plaque on your teeth has hardened into a substance called tartar it will take a bit more than an electric toothbrush to remove it.

Your dentist may then recommend scaling and polishing. This is what is termed a “professional clean” and is normally carried out by a dental hygienist at your regular dental surgery.

The dental hygienist has special instruments available that will efficiently remove plaque and tartar. Once the excess has been eliminated then your teeth will be polished to remove any signs of staining. There is a cost associated with this procedure but the investment is worthwhile as it makes your dental hygiene far more effective.

Bacteria are the root of all evil when it comes to gum disease and if you do have signs of bacteria, then root planing may be necessary. This is when your dentist will conduct deep cleaning under your gums. This helps to get rid of damaging bacteria from the roots of the teeth. It may be necessary to use a local anaesthetic in order to numb the area and relieve any discomfort while the procedure is taking place.

The suggestions mentioned above are all that can be done to ensure maximum dental hygiene and prevent either the development of gum disease or the advancement of gum disease once it has already taken hold.

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