Poor oral hygiene can lead to a host of painful conditions, including periodontitis – more commonly known as gum disease. Today, our Ottawa dentists explain how to prevent periodontitis and improve gum health.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum (periodontal) disease is caused by plaque – a sticky film of bacteria that builds up on your teeth. If allowed to remain on your teeth for prolonged periods, this bacteria has a negative effect on the gum tissue and bones surrounding the teeth.
Though it may be painless at first, gum disease can have serious consequences. Not only could you lose your teeth, but because gum health interconnects with many other aspects of oral and physical health, this infection can put you at risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. This is why it is essential to maintain your oral health care routine.
Types of Gum Disease
Gum disease is classified in stages based on its severity:
Gingivitis is early-stage gum disease. At this point, gums may become sensitive, red, and swollen, and you may spot blood in your toothbrush or when you floss.
Periodontitis is the more serious form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums recede and bacteria eventually fills pockets between gums and teeth. Light to moderate bone loss in the jaw can also happen.
Teeth lose support as your gums, bone, and periodontal ligament break down. Moderate to severe bone loss in your jaw may occur, and your teeth can become loose or fall out.
How to Maintain & Improve Gum Health
In most cases, gum disease can be prevented with good oral hygiene and regular checkups. Here’s what you can do at home and how your dentist can help:
- Brush at least twice daily
- Floss once per day
- Rinse thoroughly with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash
- See your dentist regularly and let them know about any changes, gum sensitivity, or soreness
What Your Dentist Can Do for Your Gums
Your dentist provides professional cleanings and can track your oral health so any problems can be spotted early.
They’ll ask if you’ve noticed any changes or sensitivity in your gums, whether you’ve been following your regular oral care routine.
Treatments for Gum Disease
At Chapman Mills Dental, we offer a variety of options to help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent and treat gum disease, including:
To treat early-stage gum disease, we recommend frequent hygiene appointments, deep cleanings, and specialized home care routines.
This surgical procedure thickens gums, protects against the damaging effects of gum recession, and can help improve the appearance of your smile.