Oral Hygiene & Gum (Periodontal) Disease

Oral Hygiene & Gum (Periodontal) Disease

Practicing good oral hygiene is the foundation of preventative dentistry. It protects against excessive plaque build up, bacteria, cavities, infection and bad breath. It also mirrors the health of your overall body.

Poor oral hygiene is a major contributor to oral infection, tooth decay and gum disease (periodontal disease). Gum disease is an infectious disease caused by excessive tartar and multiplying bacteria. Gum pockets become inflamed, eventually leading to tooth loss if left untreated.

According to substantial international studies, periodontal disease is linked to an increased risk of developing more serious health complications. These include: Type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke, digestive disorders and heart disease. For pregnant mothers with gum disease, the risks of premature delivery and low birth weight are also heightened.  Our dentists have a strong focus on education and are committed to the health and longevity of your teeth. We encourage you to pay close attention to your oral hygiene and practice excellent maintenance habits to prevent future complications and address any existing damage. To establish an effective dental care regime, we recommend that you take the following preventative steps:

Daily at-home care

Cleaning routine: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and after meals, for two minutes each time to thoroughly remove plaque and clean tooth surfaces. Floss once per day to ensure leftover food debris hiding between teeth is removed from places your toothbrush cannot reach. Using mouthwash and a fluoride toothpaste can strengthen tooth enamel, remove more bacteria and prevent tooth decay. And don’t forgot to replace your manual toothbrush or electric toothbrush head every three months to achieve an effective clean.

Diet: Following a healthy diet is just as important as a good cleaning routine when maintaining oral hygiene. What you consume and how often you eat impacts your teeth. Eat more nutritious foods to stimulate saliva and strengthen enamel. Limit food and beverages that are high in sugar and carbohydrates – your body converts this sugar into acid, which can attack your tooth enamel, causing decay and discolouration.

Bi-annual professional care

Professional clean: Visiting Harbourtown Dental every six months for a dental assessment plays a vital role in prevention. A professional clean removes plaque and tartar above your gum line that at-home cleaning cannot tackle. Next, a fluoride application will further protect and strengthen teeth.

Oral evaluation: The most important part is your evaluation, which is why dental assessments are more than “just a clean”. Dental assessments provide our team with an invaluable opportunity to carefully inspect your mouth, teeth and gums and identify potential problems as early as possible. We will be looking for signs of tooth decay, loose or broken teeth, damaged tooth fillings and prosthetics or gum disease. Detecting problems in their early stages can prevent them from escalating into more serious complications that are harder, if not impossible, to repair. For example, a simple filling or fissure sealing at the right time could prevent the need for root canal therapy down the track – treatment that is costly, time-consuming and could have been avoided if existing problems were addressed earlier.