No matter how diligent you are about brushing your teeth and flossing there are places that you will miss.  That’s why it’s so important to keep up with regular professional cleanings.  Only your dental hygienist has the tools that can reach into the nooks and crannies of your teeth and in between them to remove the bacteria that may be lurking there.

Periodontitis is a progressive disease that starts out as gingivitis and if left to develop can eventually lead to tooth loss.  Gingivitis is often first detected by a dental hygienist during a routine cleaning.  Your hygienist will be looking for the signs of early gum disease as she prepares to clean your teeth.  If the gums have begun to pull away from the teeth – a sure sign  –  the hygienist will be able to see it.  Early diagnosis is so important because at this stage gum disease can be stopped in its tracks before any damage can be done to the supporting bone structure of the jaw.

There are other early signs of gingivitis which include red and swollen gums or a frequent bad taste in the mouth.  If you notice these symptoms or if your gums bleed after brushing or flossing be sure to alert your hygienist.

Prevention is key.  Another reason to see your dental hygienist at least twice a year is so that she can give you tips about lifestyle changes that may increase your chances of avoiding infection.  Diet for instance, is essential for good oral health.  Foods that contain zinc and vitamin B6 are know preventives of gum disease.  Vitamin A is especially good for the immune system and is found in leafy green spinach as well as sweet potatoes and yellow vegetables.

Your hygienist can bring you up to date on research studies that have shown a definite correlation between tobacco use and gum disease.  A significantly high number of study patients were found to have been former smokers.

The importance of regular dental checkups and preventive measures cannot be over emphasized in the fight against gum disease.  Call Spokane Valley Dentistry @ 509-926-6261 and schedule your appointment today.