Brushing, flossing and professional cleaning is the best way to maintain oral hygiene.
Maintenance is Critical – These days research shows that poor oral hygiene can be the cause of heart problems, worsen diabetes and affect the general health of the body.Poor hygiene can also be detrimental to ones looks and smell of the mouth. Sticking to a regular oral hygiene regimen is crucial for patients who want to sustain the results of periodontal therapy. Patients should visit the dentist every three to four months (or more, depending on the patient) for spot scaling and root planning and an overall exam. In between visits, they should brush at least twice a day, floss daily and brush their tongue. Manual soft nylon bristle brushes are the most dependable and least expensive. Electric brushes are also a good option, but don’t reach any further into the pocket than manual brushes. Proxy brushes (small, narrow brushes) and other interdental cleaners are the best way to clean between the recesses in the teeth and should be used once a day. We believe the waterpic is also a wonderful adjunctive tool in keeping your mouth clean and your gum disease in check. The nature of periodontal disease (gum disease) can at times be a mystery to people but its really quite simple:
- It is caused by the bacteria that we all have and produce in our mouths.
- Some of these groups of bacteria (there are several kinds) are stronger and more destructive that others. Like all other diseases of the body, some people have stronger resistance to these bacteria than others (For example, why can one person smoke their entire life and never get sick yet another develop lung cancer via second hand smoke).
- As with other disease entities like high blood pressure and diabetes, there is no cure. There are however effective, long-term treatments (such as scaling, root planing, and periodontal maintenance therapy) that can maintain a state of health, even though the cause of the disease may still be present.
- Your gums can look and feel quite normal yet pockets of periodontal infection can still be present. Gum disease most often is not painful.
Risks and Prevention Although bacterial plaque buildup is the main cause of periodontal disease, several other factors, including other diseases, medications, oral habits, and personal bacterial resistance, can also be contributing factors. These are factors that can increase your risk of gum disease or make it worse once the infection has set in. Genetics Researchers believe up to 30% of the population may have a genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease. Having a genetic susceptibility, however, doesn’t mean gum disease is inevitable. Even people who are highly prone to periodontal disease because of their genetic make-up can prevent or control the disease with good oral care. Smoking and Tobacco Use Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease and the longer, and more one smokes, the higher the risk. If periodontal disease is present, smoking makes it more severe. Smoking is the main cause of periodontal disease that is resistant to treatment. Smokers tend to collect more tartar on their teeth, develop deeper periodontal pockets once they have gum disease and are likely to lose more bone as the disease progresses. Unlike many other factors that affect the health of your gums, you have control over this one. Quitting smoking can play a major role in bringing periodontal disease under control. Well, good news. Today with our new technology, root canal treatment is painless and can be accomplished in only one visit. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Misaligned or crowded teeth, braces or bridgework Anything that makes it more difficult to brush or floss your teeth is likely to enhance plaque and tartar formation above and below the gum line, which increases your chance of developing gum disease. We can show you the best ways to clean your teeth, especially in hard-to-clean circumstances. For example, there are special tools and ways of threading floss to clean around bridgework or slide under braces. And if overcrowded or crooked teeth are a problem, we might recommend orthodontics to straighten out your smile and give you a better chance of preventing disease. Grinding, gritting or Clenching of teeth These habits won’t cause periodontal disease, but they can lead to more severe disease if inflammation is already present. The excessive force exerted on the teeth by these habits appears to speed up the breakdown of the periodontal ligament and bone. In many cases, patients can learn to stop this habit during the day by recognizing it is happening and then relaxing. At night these efforts don’t work. We may recommend creating a custom night guard to reduce the pressure from grinding. Stress Stress can worsen periodontal disease and make it harder to treat. Stress weakens your body’s immune system, which makes it harder for your body to fight off infection, including periodontal disease. Fluctuating Hormones Whenever hormones fluctuate in the body, changes can occur in the mouth. Puberty and pregnancy can temporarily increase the risk and severity of gum disease, as can menopause. Medications Several types of medications can cause dry mouth, that can lead to periodontal disease. Please tell us if you are taking medications. Diseases Although the exact mechanisms aren’t totally understood, certain diseases increase susceptibility to periodontal diseases. For example, people with diabetes are more likely to get periodontitis, than people without diabetes and it’s likely to be more severe. Other diseases, such as leukemia, inflammatory bowel disease and HIV infection, also can increase the risk. Having one of these diseases will make control of periodontal disease more difficult. Being aware of these additional risks and difficulties will allow us to fine tune your gum therapy, and offer guidance to maintain your periodontal health. Poor Nutrition Nutrition is important for overall good health, including a working immune system and healthy gums and mouth.