What is gum disease? Gum disease is a condition of the gums which eventually destroys the bone that supports our natural teeth. Bacterial plaque is a film that sticks to the enamel at the gum line and works its way up and between the teeth, and if not removed makes gum disease worse.

Signs of gum disease would be, bleeding while brushing and flossing, soreness and swollen gums, gum recession, periodontal pocketing, (which is measured by the amount of space in between the tooth and gum) shifting or loose teeth and persistent bad taste and odor in the mouth.

Gum disease also affects more than just the mouth, it affects our overall health. The mouth is the gateway for infection to travel through the bloodstream and reach other parts of the body. For example, gum disease is linked to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, respiratory infections and premature and low birth weight.

Here are a few steps to prevent gum disease at home and along with your dental professional. First priority, is learning how to achieve proper home care. We highly recommend using an electric toothbrush along with daily flossing and using a tongue scraper. It is very important to avoid habits such as-nail biting, chewing ice and acidic foods, and most of all smoking. Once correct home care is established your dental professional can do the rest.

We recommend visiting the dentist at least twice a year for a hygiene visit. We strongly believe every exam should include periodontal measurements, oral cancer screening, reviewing home care, monitoring the amount of acid producing bacteria in the mouth, and reviewing patient medical history to see if any changes have occurred dental wise, as well as any health concerns. Once we are ready to start a cleaning we use the ultrasound instrument first to remove hard tarter build up.

We then use hand scale instruments to remove plaque, tarter, and stains from all teeth surfaces. We end the cleaning with polishing paste to remove stain and then do a fluoride treatment. Before leaving our office, we appoint the next hygiene visit and follow up with a reminder call to help our patients remember to keep up with their oral health care.

With the correct guidance and teamwork between the patient and the dental professional, Gum disease can be managed. THE KEY TO GREAT ORAL HEALTH IS REGULAR HYGIENE VISITS!