Preventing Gum Disease

Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. At least three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal diseases is by daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

We custom tailor an oral hygiene regime that best fits each patient and their situation.  This can include electric toothbrushs, floss, interdental brushes, rubber tip gum stimulators, and sometimes water flossers or other devices. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is the physical removing of dental plaque from teeth that makes the most difference.  It doesn’t matter what toothpaste or mouthwash people use or even if they use any mouthwash at all.  Most dental products do not penetrate deep enough into the gum pockets to affect the bacteria in them.  They only deal with the surface bacteria, which is cleaned off by good brushing anyway.  There is no magic product that will “fix” periodontal disease if a person does not diligently clean their teeth.  In addition, most of the problems tend to happen in between teeth.  That means that flossing or interdental brushes are just as, if not more, important than regular brushing to controlling periodontal disease.

Other important factors that can negatively affect the health of your gums include: tobacco usage, stress, clenching and grinding teeth, some medications, and poor nutrition.

Periodontal Disease & Tobacco

You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Current studies have now also linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. Cases of periodontal disease are more severe in smokers and tobacco-users than those who do not use tobacco. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth, and a greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. In addition, your chance of developing oral cancer increases with the use of smokeless tobacco.

Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar also slow down healing and the predictability of success following periodontal treatment. Quitting smoking and tobacco-use can have numerous benefits for your overall and periodontal health.  It is typically THE SINGLE BEST THING you can do to save your teeth.

In addition, there are data showing that marijuana use can have the same negative impacts.