As you are getting ready for bed, you notice something while you are brushing your teeth. (How long has it been there?) You try to scrub it away, but it doesn’t move. You’ve got a piece of food stuck in your teeth.
You grab a strand of dental floss to remove it. You realize it’s been awhile since you last did this so you start work between all your teeth. Then you start bleeding.
That’s normal, right? Wrong. That is a symptom of gum disease.
The good news is you can do something about it, and our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, would like to help. Gum disease affects roughly 4 out of every 5 people. Anything you can do to prevent it or to prevent it from coming back is a good thing.
Dental Exams & Gum Disease
By now, you are likely aware that the American Dental Association recommends regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings and examinations.
A good guideline to follow is visiting the dentist every six months. For people with a history of gum disease, however, you may want to come more often.
When you come to our dentist office in Tulsa, OK, you can count on a few things. First, you will be treated with care and compassion by our friendly staff. Second, you will have your teeth thoroughly cleaned. Third, we will watch closely for any signs of oral health problems, including gum disease or periodontal disease.
During your cleaning, a dental hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar buildup on your teeth. This is important because the presence of plaque and tartar make it more likely that bacteria are present that can cause gum disease.
By removing the plaque and tartar, we are removing bacteria, too.
Our dental professionals also will be looking for symptoms that gum disease is already present. Healthy gums are pink and feel firm. Infected gums look red and swollen, or as we mentioned above, they may bleed when your mouth is being cleaned.
To schedule your next cleaning and exam, call 918.999.0142 to reach Galleria of Smiles.
Take Action Against Gum Disease
The early form of gum disease is called gingivitis. If left untreated, it can develop into periodontitis. For now, we will focus on what you can do to prevent gum disease from taking hold in your mouth.
Routine visits to the dentist should be part of your preventive efforts. You also should be consistent with your oral hygiene at home. Since this is an everyday activity, it is important in maintaining your overall health.
Both brushing and flossing help to remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth. Brushing twice a day helps to keep bacteria under control. Flossing or using another interdental cleaner daily removes bacteria and plaque from the places your toothbrush doesn’t reach.
Plus, flossing can get rid of those small pieces of food. This matters because bacteria can use those little bits of food, too.
The staff at Galleria of Smiles will be happy to discuss brushing and flossing habits with you and your family if you would like during your next visit.
Reduce Your Risks Of Gum Disease
Some of the factors that increase your risk for gum disease are things that you can’t control. Genetics, having diabetes, and being pregnant can make you more likely to develop periodontal disease.
At the same time, there are things that you should do and things you should avoid if you want to keep your gums as healthy as possible.
Here are a few tips that could help you maintain or improve your gum health:
◼︎ Practice good oral hygiene
We know we just mentioned this, but skipping your daily routine can lead to bad effects in little time.
◼︎ Avoid tobacco products
Smoking or using smokeless tobacco can hurt in multiple ways. The chemicals in tobacco products can weaken your gum tissue, which leaves it more vulnerable to bacteria.
This also makes it more difficult to treat gum disease and more likely that the gum disease will return.
◼︎ Eat well
Good nutrition is good for your whole body, and that includes your gums. Eating a balanced diet help to fight off infections. You can enjoy dessert from time to time, but it shouldn’t be the main food in your diet.
If you have more questions about gum disease prevention, contact our dentist office in Tulsa, OK. You can schedule a consultation by calling 918.999.0142 or by filling out our online form.