How To Care For Teeth With Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease as it is better known, is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. It is a common condition affecting nearly half of the population in the US. A key factor in the development and treatment of gum disease is dental care, both at home and professional care by a dentist.
Caring for your teeth doesn’t have to be difficult. Just a few simple steps can help your gum disease clear up and stay gone. Here’s how to care for teeth with periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
How do you know if you have periodontal disease? Here are the common signs and symptoms:
- Swollen or red gum tissue. An early sign of infection is swollen or red gum tissue. This occurs due to irritation and inflammation from the bacteria that have infected the gums.
- Sore or tender gums. The irritation and inflammation from the infection can cause the gums to be sore or tender when brushing, flossing, or eating.
- Bleeding gums. The most noticeable sign of bleeding gums is pink or red in your toothpaste when you spit into the sink after brushing.
- Bad breath. The increase of bacteria in your mouth due to gum disease can cause bad breath.
- Abscess on the gum tissue. A pimple-like bump can form on your gum tissue called an abscess. It may ooze pus when touched.
If you have any of the above symptoms, you may have gum disease or just the early stage called gingivitis.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film made of food residue and bacteria that clings to the teeth. If it is not removed by brushing or dental cleanings, it hardens into calculus that is much more difficult to remove. Calculus also contains mature bacteria that are more likely to infect the gum tissue.
How to Care for Your Teeth
Whether or not you have signs of gum disease, the following instructions outline the best way to care for your teeth.
- Brush at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth twice a day will remove a lot of food particles and plaque from your teeth. Use a fluoride toothpaste and spend a total of 2 minutes brushing. Mentally divide your mouth into quadrants, spending 30 seconds on each section to ensure you don’t miss any spots. If you have recurring gum disease, consider brushing more often, such as after each time you eat.
- Floss once a day. Flossing once a day is usually effective at removing plaque from between your teeth and along the gum line. If you have gum disease that is severe or keeps returning, you could increase your flossing routine to twice a day or after each meal to ensure you remove all food from between your teeth. Flossing also makes your gum tissue more resilient and resistant to bacteria. Be careful not to floss too often, or you could irritate your gums and make them more susceptible to infection.
- Go to the dentist regularly for cleanings. Even if you brush and floss daily, there are still places you may miss. Going to the dentist for professional cleanings every 6 months allows your dentist to remove plaque from hard to reach places.
- Start a periodontal maintenance program. Some patients benefit from professional teeth cleanings more often than the usual routine of twice a year. Your dentist may recommend that you have your teeth deep cleaned once a month or every other month. The schedule for your personal periodontal maintenance program can be determined by how quickly you develop calculus on your teeth.
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry Provides Periodontal Maintenance
Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry provides periodontal maintenance programs to treat gum disease and prevent it from recurring. If you have any signs or symptoms of gum disease, let us know so that we can provide the necessary treatment.
Call 631-351-3444 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.