Did you know that September is National Gum Care Month? While it’s important to take care of your gums all throughout the year, this month presents a perfect opportunity to learn how to prevent gum disease in Kenner. Let’s take a closer look at what gum disease actually is and what you can do to keep it at bay not only during September, but year-round.
What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also referred to by your dentist as periodontal disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums as well as the bones and ligaments surrounding your teeth. The beginning stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is marked by red, tender, sore, or bleeding gums, as well as persistent bad breath. These are the result of inflammation caused by bacteria.
As periodontal disease progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced and even dangerous. Bacteria may create pockets between the teeth and gums through which they can travel into the bloodstream and cause infection and inflammation in other parts of the body. They might also make the gum tissue recede from the teeth. If this isn’t treated, your teeth could become loose and even fall out!
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease treatment – also known as periodontal therapy in Kenner – involved two procedures called scaling and root planing. Scaling is a non-surgical procedure that painlessly removes built-up plaque and tartar from beneath the gumline. Root planing is when your dentist smooths out the rough surfaces of your tooth roots. This leaves bacteria no room to accumulate.
How Can You Take Care of Your Gums?
Thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, gum disease isn’t that difficult to treat anymore. However, the best way to treat the condition is to keep it from happening in the first place. You can do that by following these tips:
- Floss at least once a day. This is the best way to remove bacteria from along your gumline.
- Brush your teeth every morning and night with fluoride toothpaste a soft-bristled brush.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or if you’ve been sick recently.
- Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash.
- Stay hydrated by sipping water throughout the day. Being dehydrated can cause dry mouth which makes bacteria thrive.
- If you’re a tobacco user, consider quitting.
- If you’re diabetic, keep your blood sugar levels under control. High blood sugar increases your chance of contracting gum disease.
- Visit your dentist at least once every six months for a routine cleaning.
September is a perfect time to learn about how to take care of your gums, but be sure to implement the tips listed above all year long to keep your mouth happy and healthy.
About the Author
Dr. Kerry Plaisance is a graduate of Louisiana State University. He has been treating smiles in River Ridge, LA for 13 years and counting. He has ben voted as a Top Dentist in New Orleans Magazine for 10 consecutive years now. To learn more about how you can take care of your gums, schedule an appointment with Dr. Plaisance by visiting his website or calling (504) 738-5171.