Gum disease isn't just painful; it can also lead to tooth loss. Kenneth Krause, DMD, who practices family dentistry in Westfield, shares a few tips that will you keep your gums healthy.
Remove plaque by brushing
Plaque build up can lead to gum disease. Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that contains bacteria. It mixes with the acids in the foods you eat to cause tooth decay. Brushing your teeth twice a day removes plaque and decreases your risk of developing gum disease. Plaque eventually hardens into tartar, which can only be removed during a cleaning at your dentist's office. If tartar forms on your gum line, it may attack the sensitive tissues in your gums, causing irritation and infection.
Toothbrush bristles can't reach the areas between teeth where plaque can flourish. Flossing or using an interdental brush once every day, preferably before you go to bed, helps keep these areas free of plaque.
Use an antiseptic mouthwash
Follow brushing and flossing with a swig of antiseptic mouthwash. Mouthwash helps remove food particles and kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.
Smokers have double the risk of gum disease. The increased risk occurs because smoking interferes with proper immune system functioning, making it harder for your body to battle infection. If you develop gum disease, it may also take longer for you to heal after treatment.
See your dentist
Those twice-yearly visits play an important role in preventing gum disease. A thorough dental cleaning not only freshens your breath, but also removes plaque and tartar. No matter how carefully you brush and floss, it's not always possible to remove every speck of plaque and tartar yourself. During your visit, your dentist will carefully examine your mouth for signs of gum disease and recommend an appropriate treatment if he notices signs of a problem.
Ready to schedule your next cleaning and exam? Call your family dentistry provider in Westfield, Kenneth Krause, D.M.D., at (317) 399-9329. Don't let gum disease ruin your smile!