Welcome to September, National Gum Care Month, this is the time to learn how easy it is to avoid Gum Disease. We, The DC Dentist, pride ourselves in being your partner for good oral health. Managing your oral care wellness is important to you as well as to The DC Dentist. Here we will provide some insight on how our office actively protects your gums in a holistic, biological and eco-friendly manner.
Did you know that the health of your gums has an impact on other conditions within your body? The reason why it is so important to see a holistic dentist, is that we will not only look at your teeth and gums but we will also pay close attention to what is happening in the rest of your body. We want to also ensure that what goes in your mouth is not only safe for you, that it is safe for our staff and the environment in which we all live.
Did you know that over half of all adults over age 30 have gum disease? It is sad but true and the numbers increase to 70% for adults over 65 years of age. However, we can do something to bring those numbers down because what we have learned over time is that people who keep their teeth actually live longer! We want the same for you. Here are some easy ways to care for your teeth and gums as well as ways to help your family and your co-workers fight gum disease.
First, what is gum disease?
Gum disease stems from an infection and inflammation of the gums, ligaments and bone around the teeth. In its earliest stage it is referred to as gingivitis, this stage can generally be contained by maintaining your routine cleaning appointments at the dental office in addition to proper home care of flossing, brushing and rinsing your mouth.
Gingivitis occurs when the bacterial toxins found in plaque, which is the sticky film found both above and below the gum line on your teeth, causes your gums to become red, swollen and to easily bleed. This stage of gum disease typically can be remedied easily by keeping your routine holistic dental cleanings and by properly caring for your mouth at home. This is a joint effort and we take our position seriously.
If left undetected gingivitis can lead to a more serious gum health issue which is periodontal disease which can lead to extensive bone loss that in turn causes your teeth to loosen. This happens when the plaque on your teeth is not removed and hardens into tartar which can actually cause your gum tissue to pull away from your teeth. Tartar can only be removed by a dental professional.
Second, how do you know if you have gum disease?
Come in for an exam. Smoking can hide the symptoms. Look out for the red, swollen gums, bad mouth odor, bleeding when brushing or flossing and having loose teeth. Best way to know is to see your dentist.
Third, what can you do about it?
First is to visit your dental office and have your teeth cleaned and evaluated. Make a commitment to see your dentist at least twice a year and renew your commitment to better oral hygiene habits at home. Regular visits to your dentist and proper oral care at home is the best way to prevent gum disease.
Prevention is the best medicine
• Floss Every Day – this will help to dislodge food jammed in and around the gum line, consider flossing at work after lunch if too busy at night or in the morning
• Brush twice a day – use a soft-bristled toothbrush, brushing helps to cleanse the whole mouth of disease-causing bacteria. For extra protection consider keeping a toothbrush at work
• Replace toothbrushes every 3 months – older brushes can harbor bacteria
• Rinse with a mouthwash that is alcohol & chemical free – to help reduce bacteria in the mouth
• Floss with water – a water pik or dental water pik can be added to your routine for a fresh, deep cleaning
• Watch your medication as well as some illnesses as they may cause dry mouth, to combat it sip on water throughout the day. Dry mouth can cause cavities.
• Schedule your routine professional cleanings and checkups for yourself and your family.
• If you smoke, consider quitting as smoke makes it hard for gum tissue to heal
• Have diabetes – be diligent about keeping your diabetes under control, heightened sugar levels can put you at risk for gum disease
• Practice healthy nutrition – request your company/office to stock vending machines with healthy choices
• Review your dental plan – take advantage of all the preventive benefits and determine the level of benefits for periodontal services
• Good oral health means healthy gums
If it’s been a while since you were last seen by a dentist or you want to have a second opinion, please schedule an appointment today. Call/Text The DC Dentist at 202-544-3626. By establishing good habits now, you will be able to keep your gums healthy for years to come.