Healthy Living - Orthodontics

Jan 19, 2012 12:43 PM

Brush & Floss Well To Avoid Gingivitis And Periodontal Disease

From Star Orthodontics

Gingivitis
Gingivitis is medically classified as "swelling of the gums", which doesn't sound that serious, but it can lead to much more serious conditions and should be treated promptly and effectively at the first sign in order to prevent further complications. Gingivitis is actually an entry level form of periodontal disease, which attacks the gum tissue and eventually works its way to the jaw bone and causes permanent damage, including loss of teeth. If you notice any change in the appearance or sensitivity of your gums or notice bleeding when you floss or brush, you should see your dentist for an exam and cleaning. Gingivitis is easy to treat.....if you have the right plan in place & catch it early! Poor oral hygiene while you have braces can easily result in gingivitis. It's important to stay on top of your oral hygiene - brush & floss daily and see your regular dentist for cleanings.

Periodontal Disease
Periodontal means "around the tooth" and periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones supporting the teeth. It begins when plaque causes gums to become inflamed (gingivitis) and can advance to periodontitis when toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. The infection of your gums along with loss of bone and tissue supporting your teeth can lead to loss of teeth which can cause problems with speaking and eating. Periodontitis is also linked with a higher risk for heart disease and strokes. The damage from periodontitis can be very costly to repair and is easily avoided by practicing good oral hygiene.

Healthy Gums
• Pink
• Tight to teeth
• Scalloped appearance around each tooth

Gingivitis
• Swollen
• Bleeding
• Bright Red
• May be tender to the touch

Periodontitis
• Gums pull away from teeth
• Loose teeth
• Pus between gums and teeth

Advanced Periodontitis
• Bad breath
• Inflamed gums with pus
• Noticeable decay and loss of bone

Five to Follow:

1) Twice a Day! Brush & floss every morning after breakfast and every night before you go to bed. If you can brush after every meal... GREAT! If you can't, rinse your mouth with water several times throughout the day.

2) Brush ALL tooth surfaces! Get the inner and outer surfaces and the chewing surfaces. Don't just brush the front teeth... get all the way back to the molars!

3) Get the gum line! Hold the toothbrush at a 45° angle and gently brush the area where your gums meet your teeth. Remember, healthy gums don't bleed when you floss and brush.

4) The Two-Minute Rule! Brush for no less than two minutes EVERY time you brush. Insufficient brushing will leave plaque and bacteria behind.

5) Use Proper Pressure! A soft bristle brush with a compact head along with minimal pressure is enough to do the trick. Go slow and use a circular motion across surface areas of every tooth. Brushing too hard can cause loss of enamel and may contribute to a receding gum line.

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