Why Never to Avoid Treatment for Gum Infection by your Alexandria, VA Dentist
Have you noticed your gums turning red and getting inflamed recently? Are they sensitive to touch and extremes of cold and heat? If yes, these might be an indication of possible gum infection in your mouth. However, there is no need to worry. First of all, remember that you are not alone as most people end up having gum diseases at one point or another in their life, and it is a rather simple problem you can fix if diagnosed early enough.
Like most dental problems, gum infections also surface when you neglect proper dental care for a prolonged time. If you think about it, you will realize that taking proper care and performing adequate maintenance to your teeth and gums is similar to taking good care of your car. Just like your car, if your gums and teeth don’t get proper maintenance regularly, they will surely develop issues.
This is why we always recommend all our patients schedule preventive care checkups every six months. The main advantage of a preventive checkup is that it helps us identify any potential dental problems you might have at a very early stage and map out a successful strategy to fix the issue. Remember that identifying gum infection early enough is very important in its successful treatment. As with any other medical condition, the sooner you find out your dental issues, the easier it will be to fix them.
How is gum infection near Alexandria, VA, treated?
Gum infections usually start with gingivitis. It is a condition that surfaces when too much plaque builds up on your teeth. If you keep up with your regular preventive care visits, you can significantly reduce the chances of plaque piling up on your teeth. This will eliminate the chances of developing gingivitis altogether and will also prevent the development of more serious dental issues such as periodontal disease.
Avoiding periodontal disease is one of the important parts of dental health because it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among many adults. As this condition becomes severe, your gums may start to recede, exposing your teeth’ roots. In such cases, you have two problems to deal with, namely cavities and tooth loss. This is because when your teeth become exposed, they lose their protective coating of enamel. Without enamel, your teeth become more prone to dental decay. Not only that, but when your gums recede, your tooth root has less surface to grab onto, and this may eventually lead to tooth loss.
Once you lose a tooth, you have left with only two options, and none of them are good. The first option is to get dentures. This is a comparatively cheap option but has several drawbacks. Another option is to get dental implants, which are more strong and durable when compared to dentures. However, keep in mind that dental implants are costlier than dentures. This is why experts at Annandale Smiles always emphasize the importance of preventive dental care, which will allow you to avoid all these unnecessary dental complications from occurring.
Importance of Preventive Dentistry
Do you remember the last time you had a dental checkup? If you’re having difficulty remembering the exact date, the chances are that you’re overdue, and it would be best if you could schedule one right away. Under normal circumstances, experts at Annandale Smiles recommend scheduling these preventive dental checkups at six–month intervals provided that you do not have any serious dental issues.
Broadly speaking, our preventive dental checkups consists of two parts, namely a detailed dental cleaning and an oral examination by an expert dentist. The first procedure we will carry out is the dental cleaning. We will proceed with this procedure only after making sure you have settled comfortably in our treatment room. Once you feel comfortable about your surroundings, one of our dental technicians will carefully scrape all the plaque that has piled up on your teeth since your last visit.
It would be best if you remembered that despite regular brushing and flossing several times a day, you would have plaque buildup. Keep in mind that the only way you can completely get rid of the plaque on your teeth is through a dental cleaning procedure, and this is precisely why preventive dental checkups are important. However, daily flossing and brushing will undoubtedly slow the rate at which plaque forms.
The dental technician may also take dental X–rays during these checkups and pass them on to a dentist who will perform a detailed examination of your teeth and gums. If gingivitis is diagnosed after his initial examination, you will be prescribed a mild antibiotic for treating the condition. This type of early treatment for gingivitis makes sure the problem gets fixed soon and prevents it from developing into other more severe dental conditions.
What happens if you ignore the early symptoms of gum infection near Alexandria, VA?
Always keep in mind that leaving gingivitis untreated can severely affect your dental health. This is because if you decide to ignore it when it starts, there is no doubt that the plaque on your teeth will continue to build up and aggravate the condition. In most cases, gingivitis, which started innocently with red, tender gums, might lead to more severe dental problems such as bleeding of the gums and even periodontitis.
If you observe blood in your toothbrush while brushing, it is a clear warning sign that your gums are unhealthy, and it is high time for you to take action. If you still ignore the problem, the next thing you will have to deal with will be the gum recession, which will ultimately end up in periodontal disease or even tooth loss, and that’s when the real trouble starts.
How can you reduce your risk of gum infection near Alexandria, VA?
Even though having preventive dental checkups once in six months is effective in keeping your teeth and gums healthy, there are certain other healthy routines that can help you to achieve good oral health, such as,
Brush Twice a Day – Most people think brushing their teeth once a day is enough to maintain good oral hygiene. However, this is not enough. We recommend you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. Also, remember to floss your teeth every time you brush. There are several dental picks available on the market that you can use to floss your teeth. Make sure you have one for each member of your family.
Quit Smoking – When it comes to gum infection, research has shown that people who smoke are seven times more likely to develop gum infections than people who do not smoke. That’s one more reason to quit smoking if you are a smoker.
Use a Different Toothpaste – Most people don’t think much when they go out to buy toothpaste. For them, all toothpaste is alike, and they buy whatever toothpaste is on sale. However, this is not the right approach. You should be aware that some toothpaste comes with additives that can help strengthen your teeth and improve your general gum health. So, be selective next time you go out to purchase your toothpaste.
Find Ways to De–Stress – There is no doubt that your stress levels have a significant impact on your overall health, including your teeth and gums. This is because cortisol, the stress hormone, interferes with the functioning of your immune system. When your stress level gets unusually high, it leads to more cortisol production, making your immune system weaker. Remember that when your immune system is compromised due to high–stress levels and cortisol, your body becomes more prone to all types of infections, including gum infections.
Follow a Healthy Diet – Gum infections are usually a sign of a weak immune system. So, to avoid them, you need to eat healthy food that nourishes your body and make your immune system stronger.
Keep in mind that even though we cannot guarantee that practicing the above lifestyle will reduce your chances of a gum infection to zero, we can vouch that it will lower it considerably. If you are looking for a professional dentist to treat gum infection near Alexandria, VA, make sure to give us a call.