Gum disease and tooth decay are two common dental conditions that affect the appearance and function of our smile. If left unaddressed, these conditions can even lead to other health issues. Maintaining good oral health is crucial to preventing these dental conditions. Dr. John Krell is committed to providing you with the knowledge, tools, and procedures that can ensure the health of your mouth for years to come. Continue reading to learn more about preventative measures you can take to protect your smile against tooth decay and gum disease.
Understanding Tooth Decay and Gum Disease
Both tooth decay and gum disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, and other complications that impact the health of your mouth.
Causes of tooth decay: Tooth decay is primarily caused bybacteria in the mouth that feed on sugars left behind by certain foods and beverages, such as candy, soda, and milk. The bacteria transform the carbs from these foods into harmful acids. Once mixed with saliva, the bacteria and acid form a sticky substance called plaque which coats the teeth. When plaque is not removed regularly through flossing and brushing, it can damage the tooth enamel and create cavities in the enamel’s surface.
Causes of gum disease: Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is the infection of the gum tissue and bone that supports your teeth. The main cause of gum disease is the buildup of plaque. Plaque is the home of many types of bacteria that can harm the gums. Poor dental hygiene, diabetes, smoking, and stress are only a few of the risk factors of gum disease.
Preventative Measures for Tooth Decay
Establishing a proper oral hygiene routine is the first step to protecting your smile. Preventative measures include:
- Brushing with a toothbrush that has the appropriate hardness. Using a soft-bristled brush — or one that is otherwise recommended by Dr. Krell — with toothpaste containing fluoride should be part of your dental health routine.
- Avoiding foods and drinks that are high in sugar.
- Keeping up with regular dental exams, especially if you are prone to tooth decay.
- Using dental sealants to protect the surfaces of your teeth.
Preventative Measures for Gum Disease
The good news about gum disease is that it is preventable. To protect your gums and teeth, ensure that you:
- Brush twice a day to remove plaque, especially after meals.
- Floss daily between your teeth using correct flossing techniques.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash daily.
- Avoid smoking and other tobacco products. If you currently smoke, consider seeking help with quitting.
- Maintain your regular dental visits.