We are told from an early age that daily brushing and flossing are important, but why? Having a daily regimen helps combat oral health issues like periodontal disease. Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is an infection that affects the gum, bone and tissues in your mouth. If left untreated, gum disease may end up destabilizing your teeth, causing them to loosen and eventually fall out or need to be removed by a dentist.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by the same strain of bacterial infection commonly associated with plaque. Lack of proper oral hygiene makes it easier for bacterial infection to subsist in your mouth. Plaque that remains on your teeth can potentially harden into tartar, further contributing to tooth decay by attacking below the gum line. Since the bacteria weakens gum tissue, it separates your teeth from your gums, leaving pockets or open spaces that make more room for bacteria and plaque to damage the tooth structure. When left untreated, periodontal disease can cause bone loss, loose teeth, and gradually, tooth loss.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
- Lack of daily brushing and flossing
- Incorrect brushing technique
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Family history
- Lack of routine checkups or professional cleanings
Prevention and Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Fortunately there are a number of things you can do every day to prevent and limit periodontal disease. Outlined below are some common preventative measures
- Maintain regular regimen of brushing and flossing
- When brushing your teeth, gently direct the brush bristles under the gum line to disrupt bacterial growth and formation of plaque
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash every day
- Maintain regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings to monitor your oral health
Remember to brush and floss twice a day. If you have any questions about how to brush or floss be sure to ask us at your next appointment.