Taking care of your oral hygiene is a relentless job, that is because our mouths are continually exposed to bacteria. We intake bacteria from eating, breathing, talking, and kissing. Much of this bacteria is fought by our body’s natural resources, but some find their way into plaque where if left in place can cause decay and disease.
Plaque is a natural substance that our body creates, it is a soft, sticky material that is created from a blend of saliva and whatever debris is in our mouths including food debris and bacteria. With so much of the food we consume containing sugar, the bacteria feeds on the sugar and then emits an acid that decays our teeth and infects our gums. The gum tissue reacts through the signs of infection, the tissue becomes puffy, red, sore, and bleeds. You may experience one or all of these symptoms. The gum tissue cannot defend itself from the bacteria, so it responds by moving away from the source of the infection, which also includes moving away from our teeth.
If the patient does not remove the plaque through regular brushing, plaque will then dry and become hard. Hardened plaque is known as tartar. Tartar is dark in color, and difficult to remove. We recommend tartar to be removed only by a professional hygienist because the removal could damage the enamel if done incorrectly.
How to Prevent Gingivitis
Preventing gingivitis, and other stages of gum disease can be simple with a diligent routine. Great oral hygiene begins at home. Creating a brushing routine will help significantly in having healthier teeth. Brush each morning when you wake up. This will reduce any bacteria you took in while you slept, and give you a fresher smile. At the end of each day brush, floss, and rinse your mouth. When you brush, be sure to angle your brush toward the gum line and remove any plaque buildup. When you floss, move the floss in a letter C formation, not just up and down, we want you to scoop any food or plaque up and out of your teeth. Rinsing with mouthwash helps wash away debris and kill bacteria.
We can assess your levels of decay, remove tartar, perform a deep cleaning including scaling and root planing as needed, place sealants if needed, provide fluoride when needed, and increase the overall health of your smile.
Are you interested in learning more about how to prevent gingivitis? Give us a call at (503) 647-4565. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!