By the time we reach adulthood, our teeth and gums have had quite the workout. When gums are healthy, they continue to fit snugly around our teeth. However, many adults develop some type of periodontal, or gum, disease at some point in their lives. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. If you are diagnosed with gum disease it is important to seek treatment immediately for the best results. The goals of treatment are to prevent gum disease from permanently damaging tissues, control infection, and prevent tooth loss. Additionally, it is important to take proper preventive measures to further protect your gums from disease.
Prevention is Key
When it comes to prevention gum disease, the trick is simple. Clean your teeth thoroughly twice a day and floss daily. It is important to brush your teeth two times a day, once in the morning and before bedtime, using fluoride toothpaste. Clean all sides of your teeth, and even your tongue. Plaque on your tongue can cause bad breath and is an ideal environment for bacteria. Try an electric toothbrush that has a rotating and oscillating action because it is better at removing plaque than a regular toothbrush. Use an antiseptic mouthwash and floss daily. Any type of floss will work, so choose a type that you like. Curve the floss around each tooth into a U-shape, and gently slide it under the gum line. Move the floss firmly up and down several times to scrape off the plaque. Most importantly, visit your family dentist in Stamford, CT regularly as recommended to have your teeth cleaned and checked.
Treatment for Mild Gum Disease
If you have gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease, you may be able to reverse the damage to your gums. Early treatment consists of:
- Brushing your teeth at least two times a day—in the morning and before you go to bed.
- Floss your teeth daily
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash
Your family dentist will also want to see you for regular checkups and cleanings. Professional cleanings can remove plaque and tartar that brushing and flossing missed.
Treatment for Advanced Gum Disease
Milder types of gum disease that are not treated promptly or that do not respond to treatment can progress to advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Periodontitis requires prompt treatment to get rid of the infection and stop damage to the teeth and gums, followed by long-term care to maintain the health of your mouth.
Talk to your Stamford, CT family dentist for more information on how to properly care for your teeth and gums to prevent gum disease.