Make Gum Care A Priority

December 19, 2023

Make Gum Care A Priority

Gum health is surprisingly critical to overall health

With September being Gum Care Month, it’s an excellent opportunity for us to remind patients to take time brushing and flossing and schedule regular hygiene appointments every 6 or 12 months. Those with periodontal disease may require more frequent visits for scaling and root planning every three months. In addition, keep your teeth and gums healthy. Untreated gum disease can cause bad breath, bone loss, tooth loss, and endocarditis.

Those Pink Tablets

As kids, many of us experienced chewable pink tablets that stained plaque. The pink tablets, technically called “plaque disclosing tablets,” helped children learn proper brushing techniques by revealing plaque that remained after brushing. Unfortunately, adults do not use the pink tablets and are often unaware of the plaque remaining. Unfortunately, that missed plaque is invisibly irritating gums, especially on the backsides of teeth.

Gum Disease Causes

Anything that creates a dry environment in your mouth can lead to gum disease and cavities by creating an environment where bacteria thrive. Dry mouth (also called xerostomia) is caused by mouth breathing, smoking, cannabis, diet, dehydration, medications, aging, stress, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren’s (SHOW-grins) syndrome.

Poor dental hygiene causes gingivitis and can lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease creates deep pockets around teeth that allow mouth bacteria into the bloodstream resulting in endocarditis. Endocarditis is a brutal heart condition with severe symptoms and life-threatening consequences. Proper brushing twice a day (for two to three min each) and flossing once a day helps prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease. 

Periodontal disease is only one cause of gum injury. For example, brushing aggressively or using the wrong toothbrush can cause gum recession, which may require surgical gum grafts.

Mask Mouth?

The term “Mask Mouth” recently appeared in the news and is promoted by Colgate based on a PNW Study that encourages proper breathing techniques and good oral care. However, an ADA poll of 2,500 dentists did not find a link between mask-wearing and dry mouth. 

Note: we are proponents of mask-wearing to prevent the spread of disease. You will see us wearing them even when we’re not in a pandemic. If you’re concerned about Mask Mouth, focus on regular brushing and flossing and keep wearing your mask. 

We're Here For You

If you have questions about oral health, brushing, flossing, or gum care, schedule an appointment so we can discuss options such as specific toothbrushes, floss types, dental picks, prescription toothpaste, prescription mouth rinse, and disclosing tablets. CLICK HERE for a list of ADA Accepted oral care products.

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