Periodontal disease is a serious concern. It can affect not only your teeth but also your gums and bones. Periodontal disease can refer to either gingivitis or the more damaging periodontisis. Here are four ways you can safeguard against periodontal disease:
1. Floss your teeth.
Your dentist always tells you to floss your teeth, and they're not just saying that to nag you. Flossing is one of the most important ways you can prevent periodontal disease since floss reaches between teeth where your toothbrush's bristles can't reach. If you haven't been flossing regularly, you may notice that your gums bleed when you start again, and that's an early sign of gingivitis. Floss gently and with good technique, and you can clear away the bacteria causing bleeding gums and inflammation.
2. Use mouthwash.
Mouthwash isn't just used to make your breath smell fresh. It can actually help you prevent periodontal disease by killing any bacteria lingering in your mouth. If your dentist notices signs of gingivitis, they might recommend you use antiseptic mouthwash. This mouthwash contains alcohol and other bacteria-fighting ingredients that can get your mouth clean. Choose a mouthwash that contains fluoride for extra protection against cavities.
3. Have your teeth scaled regularly.
Tooth scaling is a routine part of your dental checkup, and it's one way that your dentist can help you prevent periodontal disease. When plaque builds up on your teeth, over time it can harden to become a substance called tartar. Tartar can cause cavities and infection in your gums that may lead to periodontal disease. Your dentist will get rid of tartar by carefully scraping it off your teeth using special tools. This procedure may cause some discomfort, but once it's done you can maintain the results by brushing and flossing your teeth consistently at home.
4. Visit your dentist if you notice symptoms of periodontal disease.
A little bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth isn't good, but it's not a cause for alarm. Be on the lookout for signs of more advanced periodontal disease. According to Mayo Clinic, bright red gums that feel sore when touched, loose teeth, and pus seeping from your gums are all symptoms of periodontitis. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your dentist to schedule an appointment immediately. Timely periodontal disease treatment can save you from worse complications down the road. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and root planing to eradicate bacteria colonies beneath your gums.
For more help, contact a dentist, like Tony Parsley, DMD.