Periodontal disease, also known more commonly as gum disease, affects more than three-quarters of all adults in America to some degree. Fortunately for most, the severity of the problem is not enough to warrant any type of specialized treatment or even a trip to the periodontist. The key to being able to control the extent of any gum disease is knowing how to properly care for your teeth and gums so that you don’t wind up requiring specialized periodontal care.
The best way to take care of your gums is just about the same thing you need to do to take care of your teeth. For starters, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice per day, and preferably after every meal. Although most people are not in a position to whip out a toothbrush and toothpaste after every time they put food in their mouths, even a good swish of water to dislodge any food particles, debris and bacteria can go a long way in keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
It’s also extremely important that you floss daily. This may be the single most effective thing you can do to keep your gums healthy and to avoid the need for extensive periodontal care. Flossing removes debris and bacteria that resides in locations that are not easily accessible by brushing, such as between teeth and along the edges of the gums where teeth meet the gum line. If you brush without flossing, you leave yourself vulnerable to worsening gum disease that can become problematic over time.
Another thing you should do regularly to avoid the need for a periodontist is to visit your dentist on a routine basis. By sticking to a twice-per-year schedule of preventative dental appointments, you give yourself the best chance of keeping teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Even if you show signs of early gum disease, your dentist can provide you with advice to halt progression of the disease or may be able to offer you treatments that will improve the health of your gums. Regular professional cleanings will go a long way towards keeping your gums as healthy as possible and if the dentist suspects that your gums are at risk of worsening, he or she may even recommend that you visit the office more frequently than twice per year for an extra cleaning appointment or two and to monitor the health of your gums.
Gum disease, although very common among adults, is often treatable and with proper routine and periodontal care the progression of the disease can be halted before it results in serious consequences. By removing tartar build-up, effectively cleaning between teeth and gums, and monitoring the overall oral health of a patient, dentists can stop minor gum problems from turning into more serious issues in which gum health can be greatly compromised.
For more information about periodontal care or to schedule an appointment, contact Gentle Dental in Queens at 718-461-0100.