Brushing and flossing are important to preventing oral health complications, such as tooth decay and gum disease. However, home oral hygiene is only half of the preventive measures you need to take. You need to visit your dentist in Agawam every 6 months. The American Dental Association recommends every over the age of two sees their dentist twice a year for a regular checkup and dental cleaning. Both of which are equally as important as brushing and flossing to prevent gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection in the gums that results from bacteria found in plaque and tarter. It is estimated, that roughly 50% of all adults in the United States have a form of gum infection. While it is quite common, it is easily preventable with the right home care and appointments with your dentist.
Gum disease develops when plaque and tartar begin to accumulate around and underneath the gum line. Brushing and flossing properly are needed to remove the buildup to prevent the gums from becoming infected. However, there are some areas a toothbrush and floss simply cannot reach. Therefore, you need to see your dentist twice a year.
How Do Checkups Prevent Gum Disease?
At your routine dental appointment, your teeth are professionally cleaned to remove plaque and tartar that have not been removed with home oral hygiene. In addition, a comprehensive examination is performed. While many tend to believe this only involves looking for cavities and other damages to the teeth, it also includes checking the health of the gums.
With a regular checkup, we detect the early stages of gum disease sooner. As a result, the infection and buildup are easily resolved. When caught early, the first stage of gum disease is reversible without causing any long-term damage. However, if the infection is not found early, it will progress to more advanced stages of the infection. Once this occurs, your teeth are at significant risk of serious complications, including tooth loss. Not to mention, gum disease is directly linked to your overall health. When the infection is not treated, you have an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease and several other serious problems.
How Can My Dentist Help Me?
To protect your teeth from gum disease, you need to properly care for your teeth at home and maintain your semi-annual dental appointments. At each appointment, we thoroughly clean your teeth and perform a complete examination.
In addition to looking for cavities, we will also check your gums for any signs of infection, such as inflammation, redness, or bleeding. If we find any symptoms of early gum disease, we will perform a procedure known as root scaling and planing to clean below the gum line. By doing so, we stop the progression of the infection as long as you continue to maintain proper oral hygiene.
If you suspect you have gum disease or have not been to the dentist regularly, you need to contact Lifetime Dental today to schedule an appointment.