Dentists know that starting in the mid thirties, their adult patients are more prone to periodontal disease, than to developing new cavities. The disease ranges from gingivitis, to advanced degrees of periodontitis. Swelling and bleeding of the gums may indicate gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. A complete professional cleaning, followed up by conscientious home care, can completely eradicate gingivitis in most cases, but if it is left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis which, in turn will lead to gum tissue damage, bone loss, and eventually you may lose the affected teeth. Your hygienist will instruct you as to what steps you can take on your own to prevent the more serious stages of gum disease..

Although plaque is the main cause for both cavities, and gum syndrome, and controlling it by using good oral health practices is essential, there are other considerations that may affect the susceptibility of of some patients. A family history of gum disease can be a contributing factor, or gum disease may be a side effect of another illness. Certain medications can also affect your dental health.

We can’t keep plaque from forming on the teeth, and at the gum line, but regular brushing, and flossing will definitely help get rid of it. Your dentist can give you tips as to what kind of brush to buy, and the flossing techniques that you should use to get the best results. Flossing is especially important to get to the plaque that forms between the teeth – just brushing won’t do the job!

A strict routine of brushing and flossing at least twice a day, or even after every meal, can’t replace a professional cleaning. No matter how diligent you are, you more than likely will miss a spot here and there, and the plaque that remains will change to tartar, which can only be removed with a dental instrument. Dentists recommend a professional cleaning every six months, for most patients. It is typically a part of your regularly scheduled dental checkup.

Call 509-926-6261 to set up a consultation with Joshua Conway, DDS., and protect your oral health.