Implant Dentistry and Periodontics - Michael D. Edwards, DDS, MSD
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Serving Fishers and Indianapolis since 2004

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Preventing Periodontal Disease

You've probably heard of the dangers of gum disease and you understand how important it is to avoid it. As a dedicated provider of gum disease treatment in Indianapolis, we have outlined 5 ways to ensure that your gum tissue is healthy, clean, and protected. Here's what you can do right now to prevent gum disease, or to heal your gums if they've already begun to show the preliminary signs. You can also check out our page of Gum disease risk factors.

Regular Oral Hygiene

Proper tooth brushing not only cleans and strengthens teeth, it also stimulates the gums, removing bacteria from below the surface. This is done by brushing the teeth at a 45 degree angle, toward the gums, so that the bristles are pointed at about the point where the teeth and gums meet.

Your flossing routine is also critical to the health of your gums. Regular flossing breaks up the tough networks of bacteria that can form between your teeth. It also helps the gums to remain firm, preventing decay. In order to see these benefits, it is important to floss around the curve of each tooth, all the way up to the gums, rather than just in between the teeth.

Use of an antimicrobial rinse can be beneficial to the prevention and control of gum disease. There are many different varieties, so be sure to check with Dr. Edwards about what might be best suited to meet your needs.

Regular Dental Cleanings

Over time, the buildup of plaque can harden, resulting in tough tartar. For this reason (among others), it is important to visit a dentist regularly for deep dental cleanings. Using specialized tools, your hygienist is able to reach and clean areas of your teeth that may be difficult to access with your household toothbrush and floss, and break up tartar that is too hard to be brushed away. In addition to this cleaning, you will receive x-ray exams, have your gums checked for deep pockets, and note any excessive bleeding. It is recommended that you have this done at least every 6 months, though you may need more frequent cleanings to combat established periodontal disease. In that case, Dr. Edwards can recommend a timeline tailored to your needs.

Healthy Diet

The foods and drinks you consume can have a big effect on the health of your gums and teeth. Foods high in simple sugars can increase the growth of harmful bacteria. On the other hand, a balanced diet which contains the vitamins and minerals you need enables healthy bone and tissue maintenance and contributes to the body’s ability to fight disease, including gum disease.

Eliminating Harmful Habits

Some habits, such as bruxism (teeth grinding) and the use of tobacco can trigger or worsen gum disease. Grinding or clenching can put excess pressure on the teeth, loosening them and causing the gums to recede. Smoking or chewing tobacco causes accelerated plaque and tartar buildup which is a main cause of gum disease.

Physical Fitness

Studies have shown a link between healthy body weight and the prevention of periodontitis. When physical fitness is maintained with proper exercise, there is usually less risk of gum disease.

Medications

Some medications, such as those that cause dry mouth, can increase your risk of gum disease. If you are on such a medication, talk to Dr. Edwards or your primary care physician to find ways to ensure the health of your gums and teeth.

If your gums bleed easily, or become red, swollen or sensitive, schedule an appointment today. Dr. Edwards and our staff of capable specialists are eager to assist you. Gum disease can be managed and overcome, with our team on your side. We look forward to hearing from you soon!