Good Oral Hygiene is Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
It’s easy to keep your teeth and gums in good health. A simple routine of cleaning your teeth daily, establishing good eating habits and having regular dental visits can help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal disease (attachment loss around the tooth).
What causes tooth decay and periodontal disease?
Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Following a meal or snack, the bacteria covert sugar and starch in the food into lactic acid that demineralize and soften tooth enamel. Eventually, this process will result in enamel break down and cause cavities.
Plaque that is not removed with thorough daily brushing and cleaning between teeth can eventually harden into calculus, or tartar. Brushing and cleaning between teeth become more difficult when tartar collects along or near the gumline. Plaque that is not removed can cause the gum tissue to become irritated and inflamed, making the gums swollen or causing them to bleed. This is called gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal (gum) disease. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible with professional teeth cleaning in the dental office and good oral hygiene at home.
If periodontal disease is left untreated, the gums may pull away from the teeth and form deep pockets or spaces between the teeth and gums that become inflamed and infected. Without treatment, the infection can progress, severe bone loss around teeth can occur, and teeth can then become loose and fall out.
Twice-daily brushing and cleaning between the teeth daily with floss or other interdental clears help remove food particles and plaque from the mouth and are essential in preventing both tooth decay and periodontal disease.