Since we were kids, for healthy teeth and gums we were taught to avoid sugar-laden foods, brush and floss daily and get regular dental cleanings.

Interestingly, it isn’t sugar that causes cavities, but the acid produced by bacteria feeding on sugar and other carbohydrates that lead to decay.

Most of us regularly brush, as we well understand the risk of tooth decay. However, many of us indulge in sweets and ignore our gum health, rarely flossing or taking other factors affecting gum health into consideration.

Failure to take proper care of our teeth and gums can result in gingivitis, bacterial infection in gums, or gum disease which are ideally prevented and, if need be, treated.

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis simply means gum inflammation. The early stages of gingivitis include symptoms of bleeding gums upon flossing or brushing due to bacteria in plaque building up.

Improper oral hygiene, hormone fluctuations, certain medical conditions and medications, tobacco use and family history all play a role in gingivitis. Aging, diabetes, stress and a poor diet are also believed to be factors.

It is important to realize that flossing doesn’t cause gums to bleed, rather it is the lack of flossing that causes bleeding.  Once you get in the habit of proper flossing your gums will become healthier and the bleeding will likely stop. If not, gingivitis can be treated, but, if left alone, could be a precursor to gum disease.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease also known as gum disease occurs when the bone and gum begin to separate from the teeth. Accumulation of debris in the pockets that develop results in infection and plaque growing beneath the gumline.  This triggers an inflammatory response that causes bone and connective tissue breakdown and eventually, tooth loss.

If you have bad breath, tender, red, swollen or receding gums, loose teeth or changes in your bite, New Look Dental can help.

Prevention Tips & Care

Brushing for two – three minutes with a Sonicare toothbrush twice a day, flossing daily and checkups twice a year are prevention givens. It doesn’t matter when you floss as bacteria in gums multiply in less than half an hour all day long. Just floss whenever works for you! More frequent cleanings can be helpful to those on certain medications or with lifestyles that hinder dental health. Adding in a mouth rinse, eating healthfully and avoiding tobacco help as well.

While prevention is ideal, if you have gum disease, New Look Dental can provide periodontal disease treatment including antibacterial mouth rinses to minimize bacterial growth and plaque control, and laser dentistry. Note: Treatment varies according to disease progression.

While genes play a role in having a healthy, beautiful smile, without proper tooth and gum care, even the most “gifted”, resilient smile can vanish.