How Plaque Buildup Causes Gum Infection near Arlington, VA

Are your gums red and inflamed? Are they tender and sensitive to touch or extremes of temperature? Do they bleed when you brush your teeth? If you answered yes to any of the questions above, then you might have a gum infection near Arlington, VA.

If you do, it pays to take action right away. While gingivitis is mildly painful and more of an annoyance than anything, it’s also a condition that can progressively worsen over time, ultimately leading to periodontitis if nothing is done about it.

You may not know this but periodontitis disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the United States. In this article, we’ll give you a better understanding of both conditions.

Understanding the Dangers of Gum Infection near Arlington, VA

Let’s start with gingivitis. It’s an infection caused by the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque buildup is inevitable, even if you brush and floss daily, which is why it’s so important to stay current with your preventive care. We recommend coming in to have your teeth cleaned, scraped free of plaque, and polished every six months as the cornerstone of your dental care.

Unfortunately, even if you do that, there’s no guarantee that you won’t still suffer a gum infection near Arlington, VA, at some point. Prevention is a powerful tool, but it’s not the only one, and there are a number of other things you can do, or at least bear in mind to further reduce your risk. Here are a few things to consider:

  1. Consider Giving Up Cigarettes – Did you know that if you smoke, studies show that you’re a staggering seven times more likely to get a gum infection near Arlington, VA? It’s true! That by itself may not be enough reason to consider quitting, but it’s certainly one more reason to add to the list.
  2. Oral Hygiene – Almost everybody brushes their teeth at least once a day, but honestly, once a day isn’t enough. We recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing each time you brush. The flossing part is where most people tend to fall down, and it’s easy to understand why. The image that comes to mind when someone mentions flossing is wrapping a strand of floss around your fingers and prying your mouth open to try and work it between your teeth.

  3. Granted, flossing that way is annoying, but these days, there’s a better, faster and more convenient option. Go to the drugstore nearest you, and you’ll find all sorts of floss picks which make it something super simple to do.

  4. Improve Your Diet – We are what we eat, and unfortunately, most of us don’t eat very well, which means that we’re not giving our bodies the building blocks they need to keep them in optimal shape, and if they’re not in optimal shape, they can’t fight infection as well. You don’t have to commit to making radical changes to your diet, but at the very least, consider taking a good multivitamin in order to give your body more of the stuff it needs to keep you healthy.
  5. Consider Changing Your Toothpaste – A significant percentage of people tend to buy whatever toothpaste is on sale and don’t spend much time thinking about it. If your teeth and gums are healthy, you can mostly get away with that, but if you have less than optimal dental health, then it pays to spend some time thinking about the kind of toothpaste you’re using. Some toothpastes are fortified with various additives that promote gum health and may even help repair the enamel of your teeth.
  6. De-Stress! – This is a big one, but it’s surprising how many people don’t even consider it. At first glance, stress and your teeth don’t seem to have a lot to do with each other, but they’re more interconnected than you might think. If you spend extended periods of time stressed out, the high levels of cortisol in your body will start to degrade your immune system, which makes your body less able to fend off infections. Conversely, de-stressing will bolster your immune system, making it less likely that infections will occur in the first place.

In addition to those things, it also pays to at least be mindful of the fact that changes in your body’s hormone levels can dramatically degrade your body’s immune system. Here, we’re talking about things like pregnancy, puberty, menopause, and monthly menstruation. Mostly, these are things you only have limited amounts of control over, so it’s not like you can will them not to happen, but it does pay to at least be mindful of them and the impacts they can have.

In any case, if you have a gum infection of any kind, coming to see us is a great first step. We can get rid of the plaque in your mouth that’s causing the issue, get your teeth cleaned and with regular preventive care visits, help keep it that way.

Then, when we’ve helped you optimize your oral health, if you’re not as happy with the quality of your smile as you could be, we can help with that too. In addition to offering a full range of general dentistry services, we offer a wide range of cosmetic services as well and can help you build the smile you’ve always wanted for yourself. Give our office a call or stop by to see us today!