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Preventative Periodontics: Is It a Myth?

Posted on: Friday, October 27th, 2017

To start with, let’s define periodontics. This is the branch of dentistry concerned with all the structures surrounding your teeth. These would include your gums, the little ligaments that hold your teeth in your jawbone, and the bone around your teeth.

Keeping these structures healthy is every bit as vital as keeping your teeth healthy and free from decay. If you suffer from gum disease or infections in the bone, you can lose your teeth, or decay could take place rapidly, severely damaging your teeth.

Fortunately, when you take good care of your teeth, you are also taking good care of your gums and other structures. Specifically, here’s the outline of care that does the job:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time
  • Use a soft-bristled brush and replace it every three months or when it shows signs of wear
  • Floss your teeth daily
  • See your dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations (or more frequently if recommended)

If you follow this schedule of care for your teeth and gums, you can prevent problems such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Let’s define those two terms as well:

Gingivitis: The early stage of gum disease. Signs of gingivitis include red, swollen gums that may bleed when you brush your teeth, and gums that have receded, making your teeth look longer.

Periodontitis: This is the more severe form of gum disease. You may have the symptoms above plus pus along the line of your gums, a persistently bad taste in your mouth or consistently bad breath. These are signs that bacteria is thriving under the gum line and damaging your gums and other structures.

We can treat gingivitis and periodontitis and return your gums to health but you can actually prevent these conditions from ever starting. And as you can see from the list of instructions above, most of this work is done at home.

The secret is consistency. You must brush thoroughly twice each day and you must floss your teeth daily. You probably know many people who don’t do this. If you can develop this healthy habit, you will improve the health of both your teeth and gums and it’s very likely you can keep gingivitis or periodontitis from ever getting started.

If you have questions about your at-home care or if you need to update your cleanings or examinations, call us. We’ll answer your questions or get you scheduled for your next appointment. Working together, we can preserve your health and your smile.



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Dr. Wright is living proof that it is never too late to pursue your dreams. After becoming a certified dental assistant in 1973, then working as an oral surgery tech for 23 years, Dr. Wright went back to school to become a dentist. She attended Indiana University and received her Doctorate of Dentistry. She loves the opportunity to meet and help new people.