Dentists often say that there are two types of people: those who are prone to cavities, and those who are prone to periodontal disease. Most of us report that we brush and floss daily, but almost half of all American adults are suffering from some form of periodontal disease. Often referred to as gingivitis, the bacteria that cause periodontal infections can cause bone loss, bad breath, and even tooth loss in extreme cases. Taking care to brush and floss daily — and to replace toothbrushes every six weeks — is the first step toward professional dental care.
Adults neglect to brush and floss, so how can we help our children remember to brush their teeth twice daily? A nice smile that shows healthy teeth and gums is a major asset: people who have healthy teeth are more likely to get hired. Recent surveys indicated that more than one-third of all adults are concerned about the look of their teeth. If you have periodontal disease, there is restorative dentistry available to counteract the infection in your mouth.
The treatment for periodontal disease starts with scaling, a deep cleaning of all tooth surfaces. If you pay for your own health care and are wondering if you can afford to have your teeth professionally cleaned, talk to your local dentist’s office. Often, dental schools offer reduced price scaling services to local residents. Dental students need the practice, and they are supervised by experienced dental technicians. You may have to commit to having your teeth deep cleaned every three to four months for a period of one year: the plaque that causes bad breath and periodontal disease can be tough to remove.
At home, you can assist your dentist in the fight against periodontal disease. When you perform your daily dental care, make sure that you use an antiseptic mouthwash before you brush your teeth. The mouthwash will work to soften the plaque that is built up on your teeth: when you brush afterwards, it will be much easier to remove plaque and other food debris from between your teeth. You could also invest in a motorized toothbrush or in a water pick: both will assist you in removing food from your teeth and in keeping bone loss to a minimum.
Preventative dentistry is, of course, the best option to avoid dental care issues. Make sure you brush your teeth twice per day for at least three minutes, and make sure to floss daily. Taking care of your own teeth properly will inspire your children to perform the proper dental care routines. If your child has developed periodontal disease from lack of brushing, take the same steps to keep their baby teeth clean. Some people believe that it’s okay to have rotten baby teeth, but they really do need to be pulled. The bacteria that cause gingivitis can spread from a child’s baby teeth to their adult teeth. The best defense against periodontal disease is a great offense: regular brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist.
If your dentist says that they cannot save your teeth, then it’s time to look into getting dentures or cosmetic dentistry. If you have lost several teeth, dentists can implant small metal fixtures into your gums and then place artificial teeth on top of them. Your teeth will look new and you do not have to wear a bridge or dentures: talk to your dentist and they can help you determine the next steps to take if you are dealing with severe periodontal disease or tooth and gum loss. Most of us wait more than three years between dental appointments, and dentists want us to know that we need to come in at least twice per year for a thorough checkup. Our gum health — or lack thereof — can have a negative impact on our overall health, and it is vitally important that we schedule regular dental appointments.