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Dental Hygiene and the Gum Disease Connection

Dental or oral hygiene is the practice of brushing and flossing the teeth regularly to keep them and the mouth clean.

People generally have a very cavalier attitude when it comes to brushing teeth on regular basis. For going brushing or flossing because they forgot, or were too tired before they went to sleep is actually quite common. Almost everyone is guilty of doing that. But little do people know, that being careful about their oral hygiene is not only a way to prevent a multitude of dental problems; it’s how one can keep your teeth healthier for a longer period of time.

Research indicates that a lack of adequate dental hygiene can causesevere periodontal or gum diseases. When not removed, plaque which is the deposits of oral bacteria and food particles can collect and build up along your gum line, creating an environment that allows bacteria to foster and grow.

Some of the common gum diseases that occur due to insufficientcleanliness and maintenance of oral hygiene include but are not limited to:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, marked by the inflammation of the gingival tissue at the gum line. The condition is common in adults and children both and is characterized by frequent bleeding upon brushing,swollen gum margins and redness of the gums.It is important to take gingivitis seriously and treat it promptly. Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss.

Periodontitis is the prolonged, more aggressive version ofgingivitis where the infection and inflammation is carried forth to affect thebone as well as the other supporting tissues that surround the teeth. Characteristically, there is pocket formation between the gums and the teeth, as well as detachment of the tooth structure from the bone leading to a loosening of the teeth.  Periodontitis is common but largely preventable. Periodontitis is usually the result of poor oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily and getting regular dental checkups can greatly reduce your chance of developing periodontitis.

Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, commonly known as ANUG or trench mouth is one of the most severe forms of gum disease whereall the features of gingivitis and periodontitis are exacerbated and are accompanied by ulcerationspresent on the gum sections that lie between two adjacent teeth.  Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis (ANUG) occurs most frequently in smokers and debilitated patients who are under stress. Other risk factors are poor oral hygiene, nutritional deficiencies, immunodeficiency (eg, HIV/AIDS, use of immunosuppressive drugs), and sleep deprivation. Some patients also have oral candidiasis.

Fortunately for us, unless predisposed by genetic factors, unfavorablelifestyle choices, or underlying medical conditions, gum diseases are generally reversible and treatable. The best dental hygiene practicesto completely avoidgum disease and to maintain perfect gum health include:

  • Tooth Brushing– regular tooth brushing, at least twice daily, with a recommended toothpaste andtoothbrushing technique can help keep periodontal issues at bay.
  • Dental Flossing –Dental floss and other cleaning aids are helpful in preventing the collection of plaque in tight inter-dental spaces.
  • Mouth Rinses- While mouth rinses that contain anti-septic ingredients are particularly beneficial in preventing the buildup of plaque, they should only be used when professionally prescribed. However, over the counter mouth rinses – those without the anti-septicare also somewhat effective in sustaining gum health.
  • Professional Dental Cleaning or Scaling–It is recommended that every single person, even those with seemingly perfect dental health, visit their Gainesville dentist regularly and opt for professional dental cleaning or Scaling at the very least once every year for optimal dental health.

To obtain an expert dental opinion with regards to your dental health, feel free to call our Gainesville Dental Office. Call today or book an appointment online.

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