Your take good care of your teeth, but how are your gums doing? At Page Family Dentistry in Providence, RI, Dr. Marc Page and Dr. Lawrence Page value your periodontal health. Your family dentist will show you ways to keep those soft oral tissues vibrant and infection-free.
What is gum disease?
Your oral health influences your overall health. Plus, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in American adults.
Gum disease begins when plaque and tartar collect in between teeth and in the spaces between the gums and root surfaces. These gum pockets have a normal depth of one to three millimeters, but when infiltrated by leftover food residues, they deepen, causing:
- Fistulas on the gums
- Bad breath
- Receded gum tissue
- Exposed tooth roots
- Change in the fit of dentures and in dental bite
- Loose and lost teeth
While patients do not notice gum disease symptoms right away, your family dentist can spot these issues during your regular dental visits. If you have mild gingivitis or even advanced periodontal disease, Dr. Page can help you return to full oral health.
Risk factors for gum disease
Some are unavoidable--heredity and age, as examples. However, other factors are within your control. Risk factors include:
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Smoking and use of smokeless tobacco
- Diet (high in sugar and low in fiber)
- Teeth clenching and grinding
- Some prescriptions, such as birth control pills and some heart medications
- Some health conditions, such as obesity and diabetes, which impact the immune system
People over the age of 65 have a greater incidence of gum disease. So, age is a risk factor as well.
Preventing gum disease
At your routine check-up and cleaning at Page Family Dentistry in Providence, your dentist can recommend ways for you to keep your gums healthy. After all, prevention is the best cure for any health problem. Your tips may include:
1. Stop all tobacco usage.
2. Stay hydrated with several glasses of water daily.
3. Brush your teeth gently twice a day.
4. Floss daily to remove bacteria-filled plaque.
5. Consume a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables.
6. Wear a bite guard if you have the habit of clenching and grinding your teeth.
7. Ask your hygienist for ways to improve your oral health routine.
8. Get professional cleanings and check-ups at least every six months.
If you do have gum problems, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) or other in-office interventions to remove diseased tissue and help your gums heal.
Learn all you can
Your smile depends on your gum health. So, keep it strong with the help of Dr. Marc Page and Dr. Lawrence Page at Providence's own Page Family Dentistry. Call the office team for your routine appointment: (401) 421-9350.