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Steps to Prevent Periodontal Disease

Protecting your gum health is just as important as caring for the appearance of your smile. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly half of all American adults have some form of periodontal disease. If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, Southland Dental offers the services of a visiting periodontist, Dr. Dave Rustamzadeh, who specializes in gum health. Understanding the stages of gum disease, and ways to prevent it outside of the dental office, can enhance your overall health.

What Is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease is a gum infection that persists due to poor oral care, a buildup of plaque and tartar at the gums and teeth, or even genetic pre-disposition, and can destroy jaw bone. 

Gum disease is progressive, with gingivitis occurring initially and advanced periodontitis developing over time. The first stage is categorized with bleeding during routine at-home brushing and flossing. This can be treated by visiting with our Hayward dentist for a thorough dental cleaning and optimizing your at-home oral care regimen and routine afterwards. Periodontitis occurs when plaque has spread and grown below the gum line, causing irritation and eventual separation of gums from the teeth, creating deep periodontal pockets. This can be treated by root scaling and planing, or even more complex periodontal treatment, when needed. Advanced periodontitis is categorized with eventual tooth loss due to gum recession, and negative impact on supporting structures of bones, gums, and tissue. 

Preventing Gum Disease at Home

These suggested habits can assist in preventing periodontal disease and make for a healthier, fresher mouth.

Brushing – Done twice daily, and even after meals, brushing your teeth can help remove food debris and plaque that may be trapped between teeth and gums. Not removed, this debris and plaque can lead to a higher concentration of bacteria, promoting the development of cavities and soft tissue infection. Brushing the side of your cheek can also clean up any leftover debris and plaque that may be situated there. Also, don’t forget to brush your tongue as well!   

Flossing – Essential in removing plaque and food trapped between teeth and under gums, daily flossing can prevent bacteria from accumulating in the spaces between your teeth and gums. Utilize about an 18 inch long piece of floss and, holding an inch portion taut between your fingers, follow the natural curve of the base of your tooth, gently removing plaque using a back and forth motion. 

Visit our Hayward Dentist

Dr. Muzio and Giang, as well as our visiting periodontist Dr. Dave Rustamzadeh, are here to answer your questions about gum disease, and provide necessary treatments to restore the health of your smile. For more information about our periodontal disease treatments, contact our Hayward dental practice, Southland Dental.

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