Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adult patients, and yet this important oral health issue is often overlooked by even the most diligent patients. Periodontal disease can weaken your teeth, cause painful gum tissue, and contribute to bone deterioration. Our Glendale dental office wants you to understand how your dental alignment can contribute to gum disease.
As you may already know, gum disease is the result of a bacterial infection of gum tissue. During the day bacteria builds up in your mouth as you eat, drink, and speak. Bacteria coat your teeth and oral tissues in a film of sticky plaque. This plaque slowly demineralizes dental enamel, and infects vulnerable tissues. Brushing, flossing, and using an antibacterial mouth rinse are ways to help minimize plaque build-up and keep a clean, healthy mouth.
However, for patients with crowded or crooked teeth, it can be especially difficult to diminish plaque effectively. The spaces between crowded teeth are difficult to clean, and thus become breeding grounds for bacteria. In order to prevent and treat gum disease, patients with misaligned teeth must be extra vigilant.
What can you do?
Patients with misaligned teeth should do the following things to minimize plaque build-up:
· Floss at least once a day—floss is a great way to clear plaque from the spaces between teeth
· Use an antimicrobial rinse each time you brush—mouthwashes can help you kill bacteria that you’d otherwise miss with brushing alone. And mouthwashes have the added benefit of freshening breath.
· Rinse your mouth after each meal—every time you eat, your mouth creates plaque as it metabolizes food. Your mouth will generate plaque for about 30 minutes after you finish eating. To reduce plaque build-up, rinse your mouth with water after each meal, this will clear away some plaque and leftover food (which generates plaque).
· Consider having your teeth straightened—straight teeth are easier to keep clean because there are fewer tight spaces in which bacteria can colonize. Using Invisalign or braces, you can get a straight smile that is easier to keep plaque-free.
Make sure to see your dentist at least every 6 months in order to keep a clean mouth and allow your dentist to check for signs and symptoms of gum disease. Our Glendale dental office can help you develop a dental hygiene plan that works for your unique situation, give us a call today!