It’s no secret that the key to a consistently healthy smile is a consistently good hygiene routine at home. That’s because the most common and destructive oral health issues, including severe periodontal disease, begin with the oral bacteria that accumulate on your teeth and gums every day. The key to preventing such issues is to prevent oral bacteria from growing strong enough to become a threat. At our Encinitas/San Diego periodontal office, part of the exceptional treatment we provide includes education about the role good hygiene plays in your oral health, as well as explaining why you might still develop gum disease without professional care.
The Beginnings of Gum Disease
Before understanding hygiene’s role, it’s important to understand how gum disease and other chronic oral health issues develop. Gum disease, which describes a progressive infection in your gum tissues, first develops when certain types of oral bacteria gather into spots of plaque on the roots of your teeth. To reach your teeth roots, these bacteria work their way underneath your gum tissues. They release toxins to make your gums separate from your teeth (known as gum recession) and create larger periodontal pockets for them to gather. The more bacteria accumulate and the longer they remain, the more damage they cause to your gums and periodontal tissues.
The Limitations of Good Hygiene
Gum disease is just one of several different conditions that can result from excessive oral bacteria buildup, which is why maintaining consistently good hygiene practices is vital to protecting your smile. By brushing your teeth twice and flossing at least once every day, you can largely inhibit the buildup of plaque on your teeth and along your gum line. However, it’s common to miss some bacteria. When you do, some of them can have the chance to migrate underneath your gums, far out of reach of your toothbrush and floss. Removing them requires professional care from your dentist or periodontist, and doing so as soon as possible is essential to preventing gum disease.
How to Improve Your Preventive Efforts
In addition to brushing and flossing your teeth every day, it’s important to attend a regularly scheduled checkup and cleaning appointment at least twice every year. Professional cleanings are essential for removing tartar (calcified plaque) from your teeth and gum line, and a professional examination is the only way to determine if you’re already at risk of gum disease development. If so, then undergoing periodontal cleaning, or scaling and root planing, may be necessary to stop the minor gum infection (gingivitis) from ballooning into more serious gum disease.
Prevent or Treat Gum Disease ASAP
Keeping a strict schedule of good hygiene efforts is important, but it takes more than just hygiene to effectively protect your smile from the dangers of gum disease. For more information, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kania by calling her periodontal office in Encinitas/San Diego, CA, at (760) 642-0711.