This Is Why Gum Disease Can't Be Fully Prevented At Home
Gum disease is a serious problem that many people suffer from. While early gum disease is typically more of a nuisance and uncomfortable, later stages of gum disease can leave you with severe pain, bleeding, and even tooth loss. If you've been taking good care of your teeth and gums at home and don't think you need to worry about gum disease, here's why you should still be going to see the dentist on a regular basis.
The Usual Steps
Taking care of your gums is generally as easy as brushing your teeth and flossing them. Brushing, of course, removes plaque and keeps your teeth and gum line healthy. Meanwhile, flossing removes debris and plaque from between the teeth and under the gumline, which also helps to prevent gum disease. So if these methods work so effectively, why are you still at risk for gum disease?
The main problem here is that gum disease can't be fully prevented at home due to the nature of plaque. There is no at-home method that removes 100% of plaque. While removing as much of it as possible will help to prevent gum disease and extend the period of time where you're less likely to develop it, as long as some plaque remains, it will eventually become tartar.
Once plaque hardens into tartar, it can't be removed at home. This not only puts your teeth at risk of cavities but can also cause gum disease. Tartar is irritating and home to numerous bacteria that can infect and inflame your gums. Once the tartar has invaded your gumline or is under your gums, flossing and brushing can't touch it, which is where the trouble begins. If the tartar remains for long enough, mild gum disease can progress into a more serious form, causing serious issues.
How to Prevent It
The nice news here is that simply seeing your dentist once or twice per year can typically prevent gum disease entirely. This is because they have access to training and a wide variety of specialized tools that can strip away tartar and plaque effectively. With the tartar removed, the amount of bacteria is reduced, and the gums can begin to heal. If your gum disease has already progressed, your dentist will take extra steps to beat the infection, like providing antibiotics or performing a deep gum scaling.
Taking excellent care of your teeth and gums at home is great for you, but it's not foolproof. Don't forget to visit a dentist on a regular basis for preventative dental care.