How much do you like your teeth?
Maybe a better question is how much to you like having teeth?
We are assuming that you enjoy being able to eat the foods that you like to eat. If you have any doubts about how important your teeth are to this process, just ask someone who is missing teeth how that affects their diet.
At Dietrich Dental Services, we want all our patients in and around Port Charlotte, FL, to visit us a couple times each year. We know that professional cleanings and examinations at our dentist office along with a good oral hygiene routine can help you keep your teeth for a long time. Hopefully, your entire life.
We also know that periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States, so we would urge you to take care of your gums if you want to keep your teeth.
A Quick Comment About Flossing
You probably saw some of the recent news stories questioning whether flossing was helpful.
We would encourage you to continue flossing. If for no other reason, flossing removes food particles from between your teeth and below your gumline. These are spaces that you can’t clean effectively with a toothbrush.
Those stray food particles are just what bacteria want. The bacteria uses the sugar in your food to create plaque (a sticky film that clings to teeth) which increases your risk of tooth decay and gingivitis.
We mention gingivitis for an important reason. This is a mild form of gingivitis. Its symptoms include gums that bleed when you brush, floss, or both and gums that appear red and swollen.
By flossing, you can reverse the symptoms of gingivitis. Regular flossing can keep your gums from swelling, and by flossing daily, your bleeding should stop.
We do have one caveat. Don’t floss too hard. Just like brushing too hard, hard flossing can cause its own problems.
With this in mind, ignoring your gums or, more specifically, ignoring the signs of gingivitis could lead to periodontitis.
What Is Periodontitis?
This is a more advanced form of gum disease. Extra flossing is not going to get rid of periodontitis.
This requires a periodontal disease treatment from a dental professional. Our staff at Dietrich Dental Care prefers to use non-surgical periodontal treatments. This is less invasive, and the recovery time is shorter with these kinds of treatments.
One example of periodontal treatment is called scaling and root planing. This goes one step beyond the kind of cleaning you receive during a routine visit to our office.
With scaling a root planing, a dentist or hygienist will remove plaque, tartar (hardened plaque), and bacteria from the roots of your teeth. You could say this can serve as a staging area for bacteria to attack your gum tissue. By removing it, we can reduce the progress of your periodontal disease, and the remove infected gum tissue if needed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Periodontitis?
Periodontitis is more severe than gingivitis. The severity of your symptoms can vary based on habits (like using tobacco) and some things you can’t control (genetics).
Knowing the signs of periodontitis will help you decide if you need to make an appointment. Here’s what you should watch for:
▸ Bleeding gums — When you have periodontitis, this can occur more often than just when you brush or floss.
▸ Gum recession — Think about a receding hairline. Now imagine your gums doing something similar, and you will understand gum recession.
▸ Sore, tender gums — You may notice this soreness when you are biting or chewing something, or this can be a lingering soreness that never seems to go away.
▸ Bad breath — Having constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be an indication that bacteria cause an infection in your gums.
▸ Loose teeth — As your gums recede, they can loosen the hold on your teeth. Likewise, bacteria can attack your jawbone in the advanced stages of gum disease. This can leave your teeth feeling loose or falling out.
Make, Then Keep Your Dental Appointments
By coming to Dietrich Dental Services for routine cleanings and examinations, we can help prevent gum disease or and treat it before it gets out of hand.
When you come to our dentist office in Port Charlotte, we will remove any plaque or tartar that you may have missed. We’ll also let you know if we see any signs of gum disease or other oral health problems, so we can treat it as early as possible.