The majority of adults in the US are dealing with gum disease to some extent. If you are, too, you may feel discouraged to learn that there’s not really a “cure” for this chronic condition. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be managed and improved to prevent any serious effects from taking over. Chances are good that you or someone you love have gum disease in Jacksonville — so keep reading to learn how to keep it from spiraling out of control. We’ve got 4 tips to help!
#1: Excellent Oral Hygiene
When plaque and tartar builds up on the teeth and around the gums, your body responds to the bacteria with inflammation. As a result, gum disease may first show up as bleeding, tender, and swollen gums. To prevent these side effects and reduce the infection, your dentist in Jacksonville will advise you to improve your oral hygiene practices at home.
Excellent oral hygiene at home includes…
- Brushing teeth for two minutes, twice a day or after each meal
- Flossing teeth daily
- Using an antiseptic mouthrinse to kill additional bacteria
#2: Regular Visits to the Dentist
In addition to improved oral hygiene at home, you should visit your dentist regularly to control and prevent gum disease. During a routine checkup and cleaning, your dental hygienist will measure the depth of what we call “periodontal pockets.” These are empty spaces between the teeth and gums where bacteria has made its home. Deep pockets (over 4 millimeters) indicate moderate to severe levels of gum disease and the need for professional treatment.
#3: Treatment for Gum Disease
Gum disease treatment will fight the infection and help to prevent it from worsening. Attending to the problem early will result in the most successful treatment, so routine visits to the dentist are crucial for early detection.
Laser gum therapy precisely targets the diseased tissue without harming what’s healthy in the process. This method also minimizes bleeding and speeds healing, for an easier treatment overall. Several visits to the dentist are usually required for moderate levels of gum disease. If significant periodontal tissue has been lost, a gum graft may be recommended to replace what’s missing.
#4: Kick Bad Habits
Smoking and tobacco inhibit your mouth’s ability to heal itself after gum disease has developed. The nicotine also inhibits saliva production, allowing bacteria to collect more quickly and worsening the infection. To manage your gum disease, avoid tobacco use of any kind. Talk to your dentist or doctor if you are ready to quit smoking but are unsure where to start.
These are 4 excellent ways to manage gum disease — and it all starts with your periodontist in Jacksonville. If you have this common condition, don’t wait to get started! Your healthy, long-lasting smile depends on effective handling of gum disease.
About the Authors
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki and Dr. Richard Aguila are dentists bringing the highest standard of dental care to their Jacksonville practice. To learn more about their services or to schedule an appointment for gum disease treatment, you are invited to contact the office at 904-683-4781.