How to Fight Gum Disease
The first line of defense against gum disease is regularly brushing and flossing your teeth at home. This means at least twice a day and using the proper technique. You should always use a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste when you brush your teeth. It is recommended that you hold your brush at a forty-five degree angle to your gumline and clean each surface of your tooth using gentle circular motions. It takes around two minutes to properly brush your teeth. As for flossing, avoid harmful sawing motions with the floss. It is much better to use an up-and-down method for flossing between teeth. These important home care tools should be supplemented with biannual visits to your dentist for a professional exam and cleaning.
Practicing proper oral hygiene as described above may be enough to fight gum disease. There are two stages of gum disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. During gingivitis, your gums will be swollen or red, and will tend to bleed easily during brushing. Plaque is the cause of tooth decay, and ultimately what leads to developing gum disease. That is why it is so important to regularly brush and floss your teeth and visit the dentist regularly. It is all about plaque removal. If plaque is allowed to accumulate, it will turn into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist. If your plaque and tartar levels get bad enough, you may need a deep cleaning in order to reverse or halt the development of gingivitis. This deep cleaning is called a scaling and root planing procedure. Scaling is when the dentist scrapes away the plaque and tartar that have accumulated above and below your gumline. Root planing is when our periodontist in North Hollywood removes the hard bacterial deposits at the root of your tooth. This procedure will restore proper health to your teeth and gums, but it will be up to you to maintain them.
If gingivitis is allowed to progress into periodontitis, then surgery may be required. Common surgeries for fighting gum disease are flap surgery, tissue grafts, and tissue regeneration procedures.
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