A nice smile needs one extremely important feature — teeth.
If you are missing one or more teeth, people will notice, and that will not improve the appearance of your smile in pictures or in person.
Most people realize that taking care of their teeth will help prevent tooth decay and cavities. However, many people don’t realize there is another oral health issue that is more likely to cause tooth loss.
Believe it or not, gum disease causes more lost teeth than anything else in the United States.
At Lapalco Dental Center, our dentist and the rest of our staff want all our patients in and around Marrero, LA, to keep as many of their teeth for as long as possible. This is why we promote preventive care and periodontal treatment in our practice.
Taking Care Of Your Gums
You should be proactive if you want to keep your gums and smile as healthy as possible.
This starts with your dental hygiene. Following the recommendations of the American Dental Association will go a long way toward keeping your mouth free from tooth decay and gum disease.
The bacteria that cause those problems live inside your mouth, and they multiply every day. A good oral hygiene routine helps to keep them under control.
Brushing twice per day with a fluoride toothpaste is an effective way to remove bacteria. You should be brushing for two minutes every time, and you should be sure to scrub your teeth on all sides.
The ADA also recommends using an interdental cleaner at least once per day. Dental flosser, flossers, and water flossers are three examples of interdental cleaners.
When used correctly, these will remove food particles and plaque from the spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach, namely between your teeth and below your gumline.
If you have questions about any interdental cleaner, please contact our Louisiana dental center or ask when you visit us for your next cleaning and examination.
Professional cleanings are important for maintaining your oral health. During these cleanings, a member of our staff will remove any plaque or tartar that may have formed in your mouth, and then we will polish your teeth for good measure.
As part of your visit, we will check for any periodontal problems, and we will let you know what you should do to address them if we find anything.
What To Watch For
As important as preventive care is in preserving your periodontal health, it’s equally important to know the symptoms of gum disease.
In the early stages (known as gingivitis), you may notice bleeding when you brush or floss. This is often a sign that you may not be brushing or flossing frequently enough or that you may not be brushing or flossing correctly.
Red, swollen gums are another sign of gingivitis. Following the ADA guidelines for your daily oral care can reverse those symptoms in many cases.
If your gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, you may notice these symptoms as well:
▸ Receding gums
▸ Sore and tender gums
▸ Bad breath (halitosis) or a bad taste in your mouth that won’t go away
▸ Pus leaking from your gums
▸ Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
Below the surface of your gumline, you may have pockets forming inside your gums where bacteria can hide from your toothbrush and dental floss. As plaque and tartar build in those pockets, the infection can start to eat away at that bone that holds your teeth in place and may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth.
Our hope is that you will make an appointment for a periodontal treatment at the earliest signs of gum disease. This is when treatment is the least invasive and the most effective.
Scaling and root planing is a common first step to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar formations from the roots of your teeth. We also use dental lasers to remove the infected gum tissue without surgery.
Our lasers effectively evaporate the infected tissue and seal the remaining healthy tissue at the same time. This is more precise that gum surgery, and it decreases the time you need to heal from your treatment.
Stay Alert, Be Proactive
Keeping your mouth as healthy as possible requires keeping your gums healthy, too. Take the steps needed to prevent periodontal disease, and be aware of any changes that could indicate a problem.
Remember to visit Lapalco Dental Care for routine cleanings and to seek treatment as soon as possible at our dentist office in Marrero, LA, if you think you may have gum disease.