Fact: gum disease is preventable.
Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping the mouth clean. Oral hygiene is considered to be the best means of prevention against cavities (dental caries), gingivitis (inflammation of gum tissues), periodontitis (severe infection of the gum tissues and bone supporting the teeth), and other dental disorders. It also helps to prevent bad breath (halitosis). Oral hygiene is essential to maintain the health of your teeth and mouth. Healthy teeth have fewer cavities. They are clean and have minimal or no plaque deposits. Healthy gums are pink and firm.
Here at Smiles @ Fleetwood, our team is dedicated to educating patients about gum disease prevention. By emphasizing prevention, patients stand a far better chance of keeping their teeth and gums in optimum health for their entire lives.
An appointment with our hygienists or Doctors at Smiles @ Fleetwood is much more than just dental cleaning. We evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums to ensure that any subtle changes over time are detected. Our hygienists will provide you with the best periodontal care, tailoring the program and frequency of dental visits to your individual needs. These visits to our practice coupled with thorough home care, are the best strategy for achieving and maintaining your smiles.
A Healthy Gum
Healthy gums help to anchor teeth firmly in the jaw bone. Gums are a nice pink color and do not bleed when brushed.
Gingivitis (inflammation of gum tissues)
Gum disease is caused by bacteria that form around teeth. You know this sticky substance as plaque. Toxins from the bacteria irritate the gums and eventually cause them to ‘pull away’. An early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. This picture shows an advanced case of gingivitis.
Early Chronic Periodontitis (gum disease)
As periodontitis sets in, the gums begin to ‘pull away’ and more of the tooth is exposed. Plaque attaches itself securely to this newly exposed area and hardens into tartar. Pockets form between the teeth and gums which harbor bacteria and worsen the condition.
Advanced Chronic Periodontitis (gum disease)
Eventually so much of the tooth is unprotected that it begins to loosen. The bone is irreversibly damaged. It can change the way your teeth fit together (your bite). Eventually your teeth may fall out or have to be pulled out.
Regular Dental Cleaning by the dentist or dental hygienist is recommended to remove plaque that may develop even with careful brushing and flossing, especially in areas that are difficult for a patient to reach on his own at home. Professional cleaning includes tooth scaling and tooth polishing and debridement if too much tartar has accumulated. This involves the use of various instruments or devices to loosen and remove deposits from the teeth.
Most dentists recommend having the teeth professionally cleaned every six months on average.
More frequent cleaning and examination may be necessary during the treatment of many of the dental/oral disorders especially where gum diseases are involved.
However, in between cleanings by a dentist or dental hygienist, everyone must have good oral hygiene to support the professional care.