Peridontal Disease Santa Barbara CA

PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE
PREVENTION

HOW TO PREVENT PERIODONTAL DISEASE in Santa Barbara

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? Are you concerned that your teeth are getting loose? Do you have an "off" taste in your mouth or bad breath that just won't go away? You may have periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.

Periodontal or gum disease can become a serious problem if it is left untreated.

Preventing Gum Disease in Santa Barbra CA

What is the Importance of Preventing Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease can lead to many problems.

Periodontal disease, at its worst, can cause tooth and bone loss and it can be quite painful when it is severe. But even in mild cases, it can cause problems, such as bad breath or bleeding gums. Your smile may be affected, because your inflamed gums may become red and swollen.

Additionally, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that periodontal disease may be a factor in other health conditions, including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease. This is because bacteria in the gums can travel to other parts of the body, causing infection and inflammation.

How Does Gum Disease Lead to Tooth Loss?

Periodontal or gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. Of course, no-one wants to lose teeth if not necessary. However, everyone is susceptible to gum disease. Periodontal disease is common and happens when food particles lead to plaque on the teeth. Bacteria feed on the plaque and cause an infection in the gums, which leads to inflammation and other problems.

How Does Gum Disease Typically Progress?

Gum disease starts off as gingivitis, inflammation of the gums, and can progress to periodontitis, which is a more serious infection of the gums that can lead to bone and tooth loss. This is why prevention is so important.

What Risk Factors Make Someone More Susceptible to Gum Disease?

There are several risk factors that make people more likely to develop periodontal disease at some point including poor dental hygiene, genetics, certain illnesses, smoking, and teeth grinding.

Why Does Diabetes Put Me at Higher Risk for Periodontal Disease?

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections.

How Does My Genetics Affect My Chance of Developing Gum Disease?

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, as many as 30% of Americans may have a genetic tendency that predisposes them to periodontal disease. If you are one of these people, you may be up to six times more likely to develop gingivitis or periodontitis.

What Illnesses Increase My Risk of Getting Periodontal Disease?

Certain types of illnesses that can compromise the immune system, such as cancer or HIV, could make someone more likely to have problems with gum disease. Some types of medicines may also have side effects that increase the possibility of periodontal disease.

Why Does Smoking Put Me at Risk for Periodontal Disease?

Both tobacco and marijuana smoke have been shown to increase risk of gum disease in various studies. Why? It may be as simple as the smoke drying out the inside of the mouth or irritating the gums.

If I Grind My Teeth at Night, Will I Develop Gum Disease?

Teeth grinding or clenching can also make you more prone to gum disease. If you have any conditions or habits that might contribute to periodontal disease, let us know here at See Me Smile Dental, so we can take special care to monitor your gum health.

Periodontal Disease Risk
Managing Periodontal disease/

Is Periodontal Disease Preventable?

The good news is, you can alleviate, prevent, and often reverse gum disease with the right treatment and maintenance. If you have serious periodontitis that has progressed to the point of bone or tooth loss, you won't be able to regrow that bone or generate a new tooth. You can still, however, greatly improve the health of your gums and rejuvenate your oral health.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have Gum Disease?

The first steps to take are to have a consultation with us at See Me Smile Dental in Santa Barbara, California. We will do a thorough exam and take X-rays to gauge the health of your teeth, gums, and bones. We will also measure the depths of your gum pockets. Then, depending on the health of your gums, we will come up with a treatment plan.

What Is the Treatment for Periodontal Disease?

Typically, periodontal patients need special deep "periodontal" teeth cleanings from either three to four times a year, when it is acute, to twice a year for maintenance. If your gum pockets are deep and infected, we may recommend a special deep teeth cleaning and root scaling that requires some local anesthetic. This will clean the deep rooted tartar and plaque that is causing the gum inflammation and infection.

Once we have set the foundation for your gum health with a professional cleaning, you need to take over with maintaining your teeth and gum health at home. It's not that hard to do!

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease and Tooth Loss?

The most important thing you should do to help prevent and recover from gum disease is to properly brush and floss your teeth.

The best, cheapest, and easiest way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is proper daily self-maintenance at home, combined with regular professional cleanings at See Me Smile Dental. These two things will reduce your risk of tooth loss, which can be a consequence of advanced gum disease.

How Do I Properly Brush My Teeth to Avoid Gum Disease?

Even if you are already brushing and flossing on a regular basis, you may not be doing your teeth cleaning in an optimal manner. With better brushing technique, you can get much better results.

Make sure you talk to us here at See Me Smile Dental in Santa Barbara if you have any questions about proper brushing techniques. We will be happy to demonstrate for you.

Here are a few key points to remember when it comes to brushing and flossing:

  • Get the Right Equipment: You can use either a manual toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush. If you use an electronic toothbrush, find one with a small head that can be easily angled to clean hard-to-reach areas of the mouth.
  • Keep Brushes Fresh: Your toothbrush or electric toothbrush brush head should be replaced every three months.
  • Frequency of Cleaning: You should brush at least twice per day if not three times per day or after every meal. Floss at least once per day.
Propertly Clean Teeth to Periodontal disease/
Managing Periodontal disease/
  • Time for Cleaning: You should make sure you clean your teeth for 2 minutes each time you brush. Plan to spend 30 seconds on each "quadrant" (upper left, lower left, upper right, lower right). Electric toothbrushes often have timers to help you brush long enough.
  • Toothbrush Pressure and Position: Angle your toothbrush at 45 degrees to reach all areas of the tooth and gum line. Don't press too hard - over brushing can also irritate the gums.
  • Where to Brush: Make sure you brush the insides as well as outsides of your teeth. Gently brush against the gum line, but don't put too much pressure on the gums. You should also brush your tongue to remove bacteria and food particles, from back to front.

How Often Should I Floss?

Make sure you floss at least once per day after you brush. If you truly hate floss, alternatives to floss exist, such as soft gum picks and brushes, waterpiks, and floss picks that set the floss up on a plastic frame so you don't have to wind it around your fingers. Normal floss is the best, but it's better to use something than nothing at all.

What Kind of Mouthwash Should I Use?

Once you are done flossing, you should use an antibacterial mouthwash to rinse your mouth. You can also use diluted hydrogen peroxide - mix some hydrogen peroxide (the kind you get from the drugstore) with an equal amount of water and swish for 30 seconds.

What Lifestyle Adjustments Can Keep My Gums Healthy?

In addition to regular flossing and brushing, keep your gums healthy with healthy habits. These include:

  • Better diet: Eating too much sugar or drinking sugary sodas won't help your gums. A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy nutrients can positively impact your gum health.
  • Stop smoking: As mentioned above, any kind of smoking can aggravate the gums.
  • Reduce stress: Being stressed out puts a stress on the immune system too. Set aside time for rest and relaxation, or use mindfulness techniques to keep a cool head.
Lifestyle Adjustments to Help Prevent Periodontal disease/

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