October 29, 2016
The American Academy of Periodontists says that a comprehensive gum health evaluation (CPE) helps patients know their risk for developing gum disease, a major cause of tooth loss among American adults. Dr. James Block, dentist in Fremont, performs routine checks for gum disease with every six-month oral examination. Here’s what he tells patients to help them have healthy gums for a lifetime.
Brush and Floss
Mom always told you to, and Dr. Block agrees. So does the American Dental Association which advises kids, teens, adults and senior adults to brush twice a day for two minutes each time with a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing should occur at least once a day.
What do these ordinary hygiene practices do? They reduce plaque and tartar build-up on teeth and gums. The bacteria contained in this biofilm causes tooth decay and yes, gum disease with its:
- Redness, swelling and pus at the gum line
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Loose and lost teeth
- Bone deterioration
- Related systemic health problems such as heart disease
Get Six-month Exams and Cleanings
The whole family should see Dr. Block twice a year for exams and hygienic cleanings. The dentist can see gum disease at its earliest stages and suggest ways to keep ahead of it. The hygienist scales tooth surfaces to remove plaque and tartar and their associated bacteria.
During his routine exams, Dr. Block measures gum pockets, the spaces between gum tissue and teeth. Pockets measuring three mm or less are considered normal. Measurements deeper than this are cause for alarm and treatment, as needed, with:
- Deep root planing and tooth scaling
- Soft Tissue Laser treatment which debrides infected tissue, sanitizes and helps secure gums to teeth
- Antibiotic therapy at the gum line
- Oral surgery with a trusted area specialist (severe cases)
If you receive treatment in Fremont for gum disease, Dr. Block may bring you into the office more frequently than every six-months for cleanings and check-ups.
Eat a Gum-friendly Diet
Generally, what’s good for your teeth and your waistline is good for your gums. Eliminate as much processed sugars and carbs as possible. Up your intake of:
- Dairy products for their calcium
- Water (at least eight glasses a day)
- Leafy and fibrous vegetables (onions are highly antibacterial)
- Sugarless gum with xylitol
Model healthy eating for your children, too, so they pick up good habits for optimal oral health.
We all know how toxic cigarette smoke is. Heart disease, lung and oral cancers, stroke, COPD–the list goes on, but did you know that it includes gum disease? The poisons and the heat of cigarette smoke infect gums and actually burn the top layers of soft oral tissues. So, for best gum health, start a smoking cessation program under the supervision of your primary care physician.
How Are Your Gums?
Find out by scheduling a check-up and cleaning. Your gums are too important to neglect. Contact James Block Dentistry for an appointment.
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