Three Mistakes That Can Make Your Gum Disease Worse

Dentist Blog

Getting a gingivitis or periodontal disease diagnosis from your dentist can be alarming, and for good reason – these are forms of gum disease that can lead to both bone loss and lost teeth if you aren't careful. While you will naturally want to up your oral hygiene routine to overcome the gum disease, you need to avoid making the following mistakes.

#1: Brushing too hard

Receding gums are often a side effect of gum disease. Several things can lead to this issue, including plaque and calculus buildup around the base of the teeth, infections in the gum, and outside damage to the gums. It's the last one that often catches people by surprise. Many people assume that more vigorous brushing or a stiffer brush will keep the plaque away and save their gums, but often this just leads to gum recession. Instead, use a softer bristle brush and brush smarter instead of harder. This means holding the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gum line and brushing gently so that food particles are removed right at the gum line, thus cutting down on plaque.

#2: Continuing with poor habits

Certain habits increase your chances of gum disease and lead to a worsening of your condition. Tobacco products, including both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, lead to increased tartar and plaque buildup while also compromising the healing capabilities of your gums. Diet can also play a role, since carbohydrate and sugar laden foods tend to cause increased plaque buildup. If you are serious about overcoming gum disease, you will need to quit tobacco and improve your dietary habits. You don't need to give up the carbs and sugar completely, but you should scale back and also make sure to brush when you do partake.

#3: Not following your treatment plan

Once you are diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist will provide you with a treatment plan that includes a combination of at-home treatments and office visits. Skipping these treatments can result in tooth loss. At-home treatments can vary, but generally they include brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once daily, and possibly using a prescription mouthwash. You may also be instructed to use a gum stimulator or a water pick. Office treatments generally revolve around frequent periodontal cleanings so that plaque doesn't have a chance to build up, but you may also need to get bone or gum grafts depending on the severity of your gum disease.

For more help, contact a dentist office in your area.


21 March 2017

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