Have you noticed no matter how many times you brush your teeth, swish your mouth with mouthwash, or chew a piece of minty gum, you can’t seem to get fresh breath? Not only is it embarrassing to interact with your peers and colleagues, but it’s actually a health concern. Your Midlothian dentist may be able to help you unveil the culprit: gum disease. It’s important to understand that for one—it’s not uncommon and you’re not alone. Secondly, although just about half of American adults have it, it is a serious dental issue that needs to be addressed. And most importantly, gum disease is not only preventable but can be treated with the dental services Long Family Dental office offers to our patients.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease starts when plaque from sugary, processed foods along with other dangerous bacteria in your mouth builds up along and under the gum line. Plaque, a sticky film-like substance, sits on our teeth, gums, and tongue and hardens over time if it’s not removed—creating dangerous tartar. It can cause infections that deteriorate your healthy teeth, gums, and jawbone. Some signs of gum disease include:
- Loose permanent teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Bleeding gums
- Inflamed gums
- Receding gums
How can I avoid unhealthy gums?
Gum disease can be easily prevented with good oral hygiene at home and regular dental visits with either Dr. Robert or Chris Long. Your Long family dentists can help you to maintain a strong, healthy smile with these easy steps.
1. Brush regularly.
This may seem like a given, but a lot of people don’t know how often they should brush or how to get the most out of their dental routine. Our dental practice recommends that you gently brush your teeth twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush with flexible bristles can reach all areas of your mouth. Every time you brush, aim for two minutes and focus on massaging your teeth and gums rather than scrubbing them.
2. Floss once a day.
It’s admittedly not the most entertaining part of anyone’s day, but flossing still remains a critical part of your dental routine. Flossing between each of your teeth thoroughly removes plaque that would otherwise hide in the crevices of your teeth and turn into tartar, eventually leading to inflamed and infected gums.
3. Swish and gargle mouthwash.
Using a good mouthwash will not only keep your breath fresh along with your dental routine (it’s not a shortcut or substitute to proper brushing and flossing), it can help keep harmful bacteria at bay. We recommend mouthwashes that kill bacteria and prevent tooth decay like antiseptic and fluoride enriched mouthwashes.
4. Visit your dentist!
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that you visit your dentist twice a year for dental checkups and professional cleanings. The best part is that most insurances cover these routine dental appointments! Why wouldn’t you take advantage of the opportunity to have your teeth and gums thoroughly examined, professionally cleaned, and even have a custom treatment plan developed if any health concerns were to arise? This way, our dental office can keep you two steps ahead of sneaky gum disease.
How can I schedule my next appointment?
Scheduling your next dental checkup is easy! Contact our office and one of our friendly team members will be happy to find an appointment that is convenient to your schedule. Be proactive about you and your family’s dental health. Make your next appointment today!