Oral Hygiene2018-03-22T10:23:39+00:00

Oral Hygiene

Why is Oral Hygiene Important?

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is more common than you might think. Adults over 35 lose more teeth to periodontal disease rather than to cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life.  Because it is not usually detected until it has reached advanced stages, many people may have this disease without even knowing it. Periodontal disease is serious – It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and new research is exploring possible links between gum disease and diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other serious ailments.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. It eventually hardens into tartar. When the tartar is not removed, it can lead to an infection that may eventually break down the gum tissue and spread to the underlying bone. In extreme cases, teeth can loosen and fall out.

The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable and treatable! If caught early, it can be reversed. Good oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease, but regular dental check-ups are essential to early detection, especially in those with a family history of the disease.
Brushing and flossing are very effective ways to remove plaque from your tooth surfaces. However, it is important to develop proper techniques. Our hygienists will be glad to review flossing with you during your regular office visits.

Good nutrition plays a large role in your dental health. Brushing and flossing help keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong. However, a balanced diet will help boost your body’s immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to oral disease.

How often and what you eat have been found to affect your dental health. Bacteria feed on the sugars in your mouth and produce acids which attack your teeth. Snacking on starchy and sticky foods, which are slow to dissolve, gives bacteria more time to create the acid which destroys tooth enamel.

Starchy and sticky foods create less acid when eaten as part of a meal. Saliva production increases at mealtime, rinsing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids. It is very important to brush, floss, and rinse after you eat starchy or sticky foods. This would effectively remove particles that could increase the acid concentration in the mouth, which would ultimately lead to tooth decay and periodontal complications.

PATIENT EDUCATION

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