GUM DISEASE PREVENTION: KEEPING TEETH HEALTHY

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form bacteria-harboring “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

Our preventative measures help ensure the long-term health of gums, teeth, mouth lining and implants. We have developed prevention concepts for children and adults.

Our gum disease prevention services include:

  • Teeth cleaning and polishing
  • Fluoride treatment for protection
  • Digital Radiography

HYGIENE: SCALE AND POLISH

Regular hygiene sessions are a must for good oral health and gum disease prevention. To keep your gums in optimum condition, it is advised to have a quick Scale and Polish every 6 months at least. We believe the best way to achieve a happy, healthy smile is by regular dental appointments and regular oral hygiene appointments with a Scale and Polish cleaning session.

At A & A Dental Centre, you are in capable hands of our experienced dentists who conduct a thorough cleaning for you.

Following your dental examination, your dentist may suggest that you have a routine hygiene session to maintain your oral health. Hygiene sessions with your Dentist protect your oral health by cleaning your teeth thoroughly and removing any plaque, stains and spots. They uncover the enamel surface from any layers of building plaque to leave teeth looking and feeling great.

PERIODONTAL DISEASE

In the broadest sense, the term gum disease, or periodontal disease, describes bacterial growth and production of factors that gradually destroy the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth.

Gum disease begins with plaque, which is always forming on your teeth, without you even knowing it. If the plaque is not removed on a daily basis it will form tartar (also called calculus) which is the breeding ground for the germs which cause gum disease.

Anyone at any age is susceptible to gum disease. You can lose your teeth from gum disease because this disease attacks the gums as well as the bone which are the foundation in which your teeth rest. Your teeth become loose and eventually fall out as the bone literally dissolves away from around your teeth. This can all be avoided with gum disease prevention techniques.

Gum diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of gum disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious destructive forms of gum disease called periodontitis.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE?

Gum disease may progress painlessly, producing few obvious signs, even in the late stages of the disease. Then one day, on a visit to your dentist, you might be told that you have chronic gum disease and that you may be at increased risk of losing your teeth. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.

Although the symptoms of gum disease often are subtle, the condition is not entirely without warning signs. Certain symptoms may point to some form of the disease. Visit our participating dentists if you notice any of the following signs of gum disease:

gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
red, swollen or tender gums
gums that have pulled away from the teeth
bad breath that doesn’t go away
pus between your teeth and gums
loose teeth
a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
a change in the fit of partial dentures

WHAT CAUSES GUM DISEASE?

The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. However, factors like the following also affect the health of your gums.

Tobacco smoking or tobacco chewing
Systemic diseases such as diabetes
Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs and oral contraceptives
Bridges that no longer fit properly
Crooked teeth
Fillings that have become defective
Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
Clenching or grinding your teeth
Poor nutrition

Gum disease will not go away by itself or with improved home care. The only way of removing plaque deep under the gums is with professional cleanings. Once you have had a gum problem you will always be susceptible to recurring problems, so be sure to see your dentist on a regular basis – every six months, unless he or she recommends otherwise.

PROPER GUM DISEASE PREVENTION

Fresh Breath Technique

Halitosis (bad breath) is a common condition caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that live within the surface of the tongue and in the throat.

The treatment for halitosis will depend on the underlying cause. Smoking, dry mouth, dental infections and nasal or sinus infections can cause bad breath.

Good oral hygiene, including brushing flossing and tongue cleaning, is important.

Tooth brushing – Brushing Technique:

Brush with a small, vigorous circular action or use an electric toothbrush.

Try and brush in an ordered sequence starting with the inside surfaces first as they are the most awkward to reach.

Move along one tooth at a time with the brush head angled 45 degrees towards the gum line to ensure nowhere is missed.

Be careful to brush right down to the gum level as this is where most plaque builds up.

Flossing Technique: dental oral hygiene – flossing front teeth:

Step 1 – Use a ruler length piece of floss, wind floss around your middle fingers to keep it taut. Then place the floss over the tips of your first fingers to reach your back teeth
Step 2 – Floss your top front teeth by placing it over the tip of one finger and one thumb
Step 3 – Ease the floss between your teeth with a gentle sawing action and then clean with an up and down movement, ensuring you curve the floss round each side of each tooth and place the floss slightly below the gum line.

Gum Reshaping:

For those clients with low or uneven gum levels a laser gum reshaping treatment can correct this. If a client has a gummy smile a painless gum lift can be offered.

Patients often worry that gum lifts might be uncomfortable but in fact these procedures are pain-free. Take a look at the following cases and the comments these patients made about their treatments.