You’ve probably heard that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day for healthy teeth, but do you know why? Brushing and flossing on a regular basis helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease and may reduce your risk for developing certain chronic diseases, like heart disease. Our dentist in West Melbourne, FL is dedicated to helping you keep your mouth free of disease and reducing the chances of having to experience a tooth extraction or root canal, which can make you feel self-conscious about your smile.
How Gum Disease Starts
Gum disease starts with excess bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria in your love everything you eat and drink as much as you do, and they feed off the food particles. This causes a bacteria explosion in your mouth. As the bacteria multiply, they live off the sticky film created when food particles mix with saliva. This sticky film is called plaque, and it coats every surface of your tooth.
When you do not brush your teeth regularly and floss, the plaque calcifies, forming tartar. Tartar collects on the teeth and along and below the gum line. It appears on the teeth as yellow staining and cannot be removed using regular, at-home dental hygiene products. Instead, it has to be removed by our dentist in West Melbourne.
Tooth Decay and Cavities
When you do not remove all the plaque from the surfaces of the teeth regularly via brushing and flossing, the enamel in the areas you missed can wear down, leading to a small hole that allows bacteria inside. Cavities most often form between the teeth and on the chewing surfaces. When a cavity is found, it means that you need to increase the thoroughness of your brushing and flossing routine in order to prevent more cavities from forming and to reduce your risk of developing gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is an early form of gum disease. It occurs when plaque and tartar are not completely removed from the teeth via regular at-home brushing and flossing and regular dental cleanings. The symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are red, mildly sore and bleed easily when you brush or floss.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule a dental appointment to determine the severity of your gingivitis, get a thorough cleaning and receive a treatment plan to help restore the health of your gums.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease. This is the advanced form of gum disease. Symptoms of periodontal disease include receding gums and an increase in gum infections. Inflammation and redness are also still present. Periodontal disease is a treatable oral health condition. Early periodontal disease may only need to be treated with frequent deep cleanings and antibiotics which are typically put inside the pockets that form between the teeth and gums. However, if left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone loss, loose teeth and the need for tooth extractions. Therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, you’ll need to schedule a dental appointment right away.
Other Conditions Linked to Poor Oral Health
Along with receding and inflamed gums, cavities and loose teeth, poor oral health has been linked to body-wide inflammation and artery hardening. It may also increase your risk of bacterial pneumonia, according to NCBI. Additional diseases linked to chronic gum disease include low bone density and arthritis, according to Healthline.
Protecting Your Oral Health with Our West Melbourne Dentist
Our West Melbourne dentist can help you protect your oral health and reduce your risk of developing certain chronic diseases that have been linked to gingivitis and periodontal disease. It all starts with a yearly checkup and dental cleaning. These dental checkups involve taking digital images of your teeth and jaw and examining your mouth for cavities and signs of gum disease. If any problems are found, our dentist will develop a treatment plan to restore your oral health.