In our first blog post, Dr. Roberto Monteagudo of WisconsinSmiles wrote about the “Link Between your Mouth and your Heart.” Dr. Monteagudo defined periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, as an inflammatory condition caused by plaque, bacteria and tartar buildup around the teeth and gums. The blog discussed the conclusive link between oral health and cardiovascular health. Knowing that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes it makes it extremely important to know how to prevent gum disease. Of course, there are also the obvious effects of periodontal disease including tooth loss, receding gums, and bone loss. In this blog post, Dr. Roberto Monteagudo outlines tips to prevent gum disease with the aid of educational images and video. We want to encourage you to post comments and ask questions. The team at WisconsinSmiles is here to help answer any of your oral health questions.
The good news is that gum disease is completely preventable and if dealt with early the negative effects can be reversed. Once periodontal disease develops, intensive treatments from a professional dentist like Dr. Monteagudo is needed. The best form of treatment is prevention. Regular tooth brushing, flossing, and mouth washing, however, are effective only above and slightly below the gum line. With the following three simple tips to prevent gum disease, we hope to help you combat this serious health issue or avoid it entirely. So, what exactly should you be doing for your daily oral health routine? Here are the answers provided to you from the experienced dental team at WisconsinSmiles in West Allis, WI.
Interesting Fact: 75% of the United States population suffers from some stage of periodontal gum disease.
Oral Health Tip #1: What is your daily dental routine?
Remember all the things your mother told you when you were growing up? Brush your teeth twice a day, floss and don’t drink soda. Well, it turns out she was right! Here is a list of the daily oral health tasks you should be doing to keep your smile healthy and clean.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. This is probably the easiest thing that you can do to prevent gum disease. Brush your teeth once in the morning after breakfast, and once before bedtime. Brushing your teeth help to free up food particles and plaque that have accumulated throughout the day. Did you know the first toothbrush recorded in history was made in 3000 BC, a twig with a frayed end called a chew stick?
- Flossing is very important! Dr. Monteagudo recommends flossing at least once daily. Flossing helps to remove any food particles or plaque that may remain in between teeth and around the gum line after brushing.
- Use a tongue scraper. The tongue acts like a sponge and retains bacteria. That bacterium on the tongue causes bad breath and halitosis. In fact, there are even products available called tongue scrapers right next to the toothbrushes at your local drug store. They feel good too!
Not only will your body thank you for this needed maintenance but your loved ones will thank you for not having bad breath. Don’t you just love the feeling of a sparkling clean mouth?
Products to go above and beyond: Fluoride toothpaste, sugar-free gum with xylitol, and electronic toothbrush from Sonicare.
Oral Health Tip #2: Schedule regular dental cleanings.
There are limitations to how effectively you can clean your teeth and prevent gum disease. Your dentist, like Dr. Roberto Monteagudo, has the training and technology that allow him/her to deeply clean and diagnose problems early. WisconsinSmiles recommends scheduling a regular dental appointment and deep cleaning every 4-6 months. A dental cleaning consists of removing plaque that hardens into tartar and cleans around the gums in those hard to reach areas. Regular dental cleanings will prevent plaque buildup, receding gum lines, cavities and tooth loss, all of which are the symptoms of gum disease. Most importantly if you have already developed gum disease your dentist will be able to develop a treatment plan.
Gum Disease is relatively painless, and people may not be aware of the problem. Ask yourself, how long has it been since you’ve been to the dentist? Do you floss regularly? You know the answers to these questions. It might just be time to make that appointment today. That is why a professional examination by your general dentist is very important. If you allow gum disease to become severe, it will lead to tooth loss and bone loss in the upper and lower jaw. So don’t let it get to that point, see your dentist. See images of gum disease here.
Oral Health Tip #3: Live a healthy lifestyle.
You are what you eat. It is true! Okay so here is a good analogy. Trees get all their nutrition through their roots. The roots soak up all the minerals and water from the surrounding soil, right? Well, imagine if the soil was polluted, then the tree probably would not be very healthy. The same is true for us. The food we eat is our soil. It’s our nutrition. So, if you eat healthy foods and have a well-balanced diet you’re going to improve your overall health. The opposite is true as well. So make smart choices and choose foods that include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Eating healthy boosts the body’s immune system, allowing it to fight bacteria formed in the mouth. Look for foods that are high in vitamins C, A and E, along with other key antioxidants like bioflavonoid and zinc, in your diet. Drinking plenty of water increases the production of saliva, reducing the chances for the bacteria that cause gum disease to thrive. Good nutrition is important for adult and is vital for children. For more information on making healthy food decisions ask Dr. Roberto Monteagudo during your oral health exam.
Tasty treats that are also healthy: Mozzarella and other cheeses, peanuts, yogurt, and milk are good for your teeth. They help clear the mouth of harmful sugars and protect against plaque.
Periodontal disease is a serious condition. Dr. Roberto Monteagudo is an expert in diagnosing and preventing gum disease. We hope these three easy oral health tips to preventing gum disease are helpful. In addition, avoid smoking to help prevent gum disease. Smoking causes dryness in the mouth, creating a favorable environment for bacteria to grow and do damage. Since more than one-half of the cases of periodontal disease affecting American adults can be attributed to cigarette smoking, researchers now believe that smoking may be the major preventable risk factor for the disease.
As your trusted, lifelong dental partner, Dr. Roberto Monteagudo in West Allis, WI wants to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have any other questions about your oral health. And share this information with someone you know by clicking on one of the links below. Staying informed helps us all stay healthier.