It’s March 20! Do you know what that means?
It’s World Oral Health Day! In the spirit of keeping that beautiful smile as healthy as it can be, we’re answering some frequently asked questions about gum disease. Knowing what it is and how to prevent it is the first step to your best oral and overall health.
- What is gum disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection in your mouth caused by plaque and tartar buildup near and under your gumline. If it goes untreated, over time it can not only lead to tooth loss in its advanced stage, but it can seriously threaten your overall health.
Studies have shown a link between gum disease and other health risks such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type II diabetes. The list goes on, which is why it’s so important for you to maintain a good oral hygiene routine at home. Floss once a day and brush your teeth twice daily using a soft bristle toothbrush.
Gum disease is quite an insidious infection because you could have it for years without knowing it. Often times, there is no pain associated with it, and the plaque buildup is nearly impossible to notice to the untrained eye. For proper diagnosis and treatment, you must seek the help of a highly trained team of professionals like ours at Brar Dentistry.
You should schedule an appointment with us at least twice a year for routine dental cleanings and exams. An experienced professional has the knowledge and the tools to provide you with the kind of deep cleaning that’s necessary to remove disease causing buildup under your gums. Dr. Brar will then give you a thorough exam to make sure you’re on the right track for good oral health.
- I brush and floss my teeth daily and schedule routine checkups. Am I still at risk for gum disease?
Only a professional exam can determine your particular risk, but there are certain things that do increase a person’s risk for gum disease, regardless if they practice good oral hygiene or not.
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of genetics. Research also shows you could be at a greater risk for developing periodontal infection if you have diabetes. If gum disease runs in your family or if you have diabetes, you may want to talk to Dr. Brar about scheduling more frequent checkups (every 3-4 months rather than every 6 months).
Other risk factors include smoking or using other forms of tobacco, poor nutrition, hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or menopause, old age, and substance abuse. Again, keeping the lines of communication between you and your dentist open about your individual risk factors is great way to prevent the spread of gum disease.
- I haven’t been to the dentist in a few years. Should I be concerned?
You should contact us right away to schedule an examination. If dental anxiety is what has kept you from maintaining proper oral care, our caring team wants you to know we’re here to help you. When you schedule a visit with us, make sure to ask about our sedation options.
The good news about gum disease, in its earlier stages, is quite treatable. Dr. Brar can help you get back on track if neglect has threatened your oral health.
Gum disease can threaten your smile and your health because over time, it can cause your teeth to shift, loosen, or in its advanced stage, fall out altogether. Dr. Brar offers a variety of restorative options, such as dental crowns and bridges, to help repair teeth that have been affected by infection. If you’ve suffered from tooth loss, dental implants have proven tremendously successful in giving people a beautiful, natural looking smile.
If you’re looking to regain control of your oral health, trust our team at Brar Dentistry for high quality dental care. We’re here and ready to help you!