If you’ve ever neglected your teeth and ended up with sore, red gums, you already know how quickly infection can set in. Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to keep gum disease at bay, which protects not only your teeth, but your overall health as well. Here’s a brief overview of why healthy gums are important, and how to keep yours clean and strong.
At Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, PC, in Washington, DC, Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton and Dr. Peter Grinc provide family dentistry services for your entire mouth, including both your teeth and your gums, to improve your overall health and reduce risks associated with gum disease.
Additional health risks related to periodontitis
Periodontitis, known more commonly as gum disease, is an infection that targets the gums. It slowly eats away at the soft tissue until it reaches the bone beneath. This can cause your teeth to become loose, unstable, and even fall out.
Gum disease is a slippery slope. When you lose one tooth, the surrounding teeth become unstable as well. If left untreated, periodontitis can progress until you’ve lost all of your teeth. The inflammation caused by gum disease also has been linked to other conditions, including:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic respiratory disease
Researchers are still exploring how gum disease affects your overall health, but the connections are there. If you want to keep your teeth and reduce your chances of developing a chronic illness, preventing periodontitis and keeping your gums healthy is top priority.
The good news is that gum disease is completely relatively easy to prevent and treat.
Preventing gum disease
Periodontitis often begins as gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. This is the first stage of gum disease, and your warning sign to improve your oral hygiene. You can prevent and reverse gingivitis by:
- Brushing twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Using proper brushing technique
- Scrubbing your tongue while brushing
- Investing in a therapeutic mouthwash
- Rinsing your mouth after meals
- Quitting cigarettes
- Visiting your dentist regularly
Routine dental cleanings are extremely important, especially for children, seniors, and those with poor coordination. Your dentist will be able to thoroughly examine your teeth, cleaning away plaque that you might have missed.
Dr. Culotta-Norton specializes in family dentistry, which includes people of all ages. She and her team can provide comprehensive dental care for everyone in your family, protecting you against gum disease and cavities.
You can schedule an appointment by calling 202-833-1111, or visit the contact page for more information.