Healthy teeth begin with a strong/solid foundation. The gums and jaw bones are the foundation of our teeth and we need to keep them healthy to prevent tooth mobility and loss.
The best way to keep that foundation healthy and happy is to keep the bacteria cleaned off. Bacteria and food particles form a sticky plaque that covers our teeth. Brushing and flossing are the best methods to disrupting and removing most of the plaque. Plaque that doesn’t get cleaned off begins to mineralize immediately and eventually turns into a hard calculus that can only be removed with specialized instruments used by trained professionals. A regular 6 month cleaning will remove all of the calculus deposits that have formed in our mouths.
The longer bacteria stays on teeth in the form of plaque and calculus, the more the toxins irritate our gums and cause inflammation. If the bacteria is not removed it will grow and grow and move down the roots of our teeth destroying the jaw bones around the teeth. This is called periodontal disease and is characterized by bone loss, receding gums and “pockets” of bacteria around our teeth.
Periodontal disease can affect our whole body health and has been linked to other diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, low birth weight babies and other diseases. It is important to remove the bacteria when we see periodontal disease and this is done by a procedure called scaling and root planing. This involves removing the deep calculus and the very outer surface of the root where bacteria have grown into the root. This will allow our gums to physically attach to the roots of our teeth and provide a barrier to help keep bacteria out. Periodontal disease can not be “cured” but only maintained to help ensure that the bacteria that is undermining the foundation of our teeth is diligently removed. In some cases where bone loss is more severe, gum surgeries or bone replacement is required if teeth are going to be saved. If not treated appropriately and in a timely manner, tooth loss will occur.
The best tools for preventing tooth loss are brushing effectively twice a day, using floss daily, and teaming up with a dental office for regular cleaning and maintenance of your teeth and gums!