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How To Prevent Gum Disease

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is most often found in people aged 30 to 40 years, but a lesser form, gingivitis, can form in teenagers. Most often this is a result of bacteria and mucus from our mouths forming plaque that builds up along the gum line on the teeth. This plaque then hardens and cannot be brushed away. Several risk factors increase the appearance of plaque build up, including: a genetic susceptibility, hormonal changes, illnesses, and smoking.

You may have gum disease if you experience some of the following symptoms, and if you do suspect signs, please make an appointment for a thorough exam and cleaning. Firstly, red, tender, or swollen gums can be a positive indicator. Also, breath that smells bad and stays bad is another symptom that should signal immediate action. If you experience pain while chewing, this may also indicate need for plaque removal. Finally, teeth may appear longer or may be sensitive or loose. Upon examination at the dentist, be prepared to discuss your medical history and undergo a thorough examination of your gums for inflammation with a probe. An x-ray may also be necessary.

Committing to proper dental care right now will give you good breath, better overall health, and a lesser chance of developing periodontitis. Brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day will be a solid foundation for a cleaner mouth. Flossing every day is also important, as this allows gums to be cleaned along the teeth. Regular dental visits for biannual checkups and professional cleanings should also be a part of the regimen. Lastly, smoking is known to be one of the highest risk factors for gum disease. Avoiding smoking should be seriously considered.

If treatment is needed, the course will vary depending on the extent of infection. The focus will be on learning good oral cleaning behaviors and sticking to them every day. A deep cleaning will likely be performed where tartar is scraped from around the gum line (this is called scaling), and this may extend down to the tooth roots (called root planing) to get rid of excess bacteria. Medications may be prescribed for mouth rinses to lower levels of bacteria or destructive enzymes found in the mouth. Surgery may be necessary for lingering inflammation or the presence of deep pockets of bacteria.

Controlling the environment in your mouth will surely lessen the likelihood of these procedures, so remember to brush and floss daily and visit the dentist regularly.

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Westside Dental Center is your Plantation Dentist for general and cosmetic dentistry conveniently located in Plantation, Florida, for more information visit consider us your Plantation Dentistor call our office to set an appointment 954-476-4535.

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