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A few good habits can make a dramatic difference

y the time we are adults our teeth and gums have had a real workout. When our gums are healthy, they continue to fit snugly to our teeth. However, many of us have developed some type of periodontal (gum) disease. This disease is an infection in the supporting tissues of our teeth.

Some studies have indicated a link between gum disease and other major health conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory problems, diabetes, pregnancy risks, and Alzheimer’s. Additional studies are needed to confirm this association and to understand the role gum disease may play in these other conditions.

Gum disease begins with bacteria, which combines with food particles and mucus to form plaque, a colorless, sticky film that forms on our teeth. Oral hygiene practices can remove most of the plaque, but any that remains hardens and becomes calculus, also called tartar. This buildup of plaque and tartar can lead to the onset of periodontal disease. The initial and mildest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. The symptoms include red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Gingivitis can usually be cleared up with professional cleanings and improved oral hygiene.

If gingivitis goes untreated, the disease will advance to a severe stage, called periodontitis. The symptoms of periodontitis include bad taste or bad breath that doesn’t respond to mouthwash, sensitive or loose teeth, and painful chewing in addition to red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. This stage of gum disease can lead to tooth, gum, and bone loss.

The very best treatment for periodontal disease is prevention, healthy habits are critical in preventing gum disease:

  • Practice excellent oral hygiene – brush at least twice daily for two minutes, making sure to clean every surface of every tooth.
  • Clean between teeth –use dental floss, or an interdental cleaner between teeth every day – this is crucial.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning and exam.
  • Eat a healthy diet and do not use tobacco products.

Pure Gold Professionals in Dentistry have highly skilled, experienced doctors and an expert dental team offering a wide array of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services, waiting to be your partners in optimum oral health. Call 909-435-4558, email, or stop by, we are conveniently located at 303 Brookside Ave. Redlands, CA (map), and waiting to serve you.

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