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Dental Health Blog


HT Complete Family Dentistry - Overland Park KS

Understanding and Preventing Gum Disease: A Comprehensive Guide

Our number one goal at HT Complete Family Dentistry is to help educate our patients on proper oral hygiene to prevent issues like cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. Most of our patients know the dangers of cavities and tooth decay, but we get a lot of questions about how to properly combat gum disease, so we want to use our expertise to dive a little deeper into the issue.

Gum disease is caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that provide plaque with the perfect hiding spots and allow it to build up and harden on your teeth. Gum disease starts innocently with swollen, red gums, and can eventually cause your gums to become irritated and start bleeding. If gum disease isn’t treated promptly, it can even spread to the jaw bones, causing a whole slew of issues, including difficulty chewing.

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common yet serious oral health condition that actually affects millions of people worldwide. Both Dr. Tinnel and Dr. Prinz want to help you understand the causes, and symptoms of gum disease, and they want to arm you with some tactics to prevent gum disease as well.

What is Gum Disease?

Before we can spot the symptoms and work toward preventing gum disease, it is important to understand what gum disease is and how it develops. We all have good and bad bacteria in our mouths, and while it is hard to determine just how much bacteria is present in the mouth, some scientists estimate there could be as many as 20 billion bacteria in our mouths at any given moment.

Those bacteria form a sticky film called plaque that can build up on your teeth and gums if left untreated. As time goes on, the plaque on your teeth hardens and turns into tartar, causing inflamed gums. If this is left untreated, it can lead to gum disease.

We know gum disease can sound scary and intimidating, but there are actually a few easy ways to prevent it and to keep your mouth healthy. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, regularly visiting Dr. Tinnel or Dr. Prinz, and prioritizing a healthy lifestyle can all help prevent the  progression of gum disease.

Importance of Oral Hygiene:

Practicing a good, consistent oral hygiene routine is essential for preventing and combating gum disease. Our team recommends brushing at least twice a day, flossing every day, and ending your routine with an antibacterial mouthwash to remove any excess plaque or bacteria from your mouth.

Some of our patients like to add a water flosser into their oral hygiene routine to remove excess food particles and stubborn plaque from hard to reach places. Remember to be consistent with your oral hygiene routine so you can be proactive instead of reactive.

Regular Dental Check-ups:

Our team at HT Complete Family Dentistry is here to help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Regular cleanings and exams by Dr. Tinnel or Dr. Prinz will help you maintain optimal health.

During your appointments, our dental hygienists will give you a thorough cleaning, to remove any hardened plaque. After your cleaning, you’ll move to the doctor’s exam chair so they can ensure everything looks healthy. Visiting Dr. Tinnel and Dr. Prinz will allow early detection and treatment of any oral issues such as gingivitis, which can ultimately lead to gum disease.

These regular check-ups also allow the perfect opportunity for our patients to ask Dr. Tinnel and Dr. Prinz questions they might have about their oral hygiene routine, or any concerns they have about their teeth and gums.

Lifestyle Factors:

We want to remind all of our patients that even your eating habits and lifestyle factors can affect your risk of gum disease. Certain lifestyle factors such as smoking, stress, tobacco use, and diets high in sugar, can increase your likelihood of developing gum disease. Smoking directly affects your immune system, and impairs the blood flow to your gums, which significantly increases your chances of developing gum disease, so we suggest a smoke and tobacco free lifestyle.

Stress, while inevitable for most of us, can still be managed with healthy habits like exercise, meditation, journaling, and practicing relaxation techniques. Excessive stress can lead to inflammation in your gums, which promotes the perfect environment for gum disease to develop.

Remember to limit your sugar intake, because the bacteria in your mouth thrives off of sugar, and opt for healthier options like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Of course, you can have sugar every once in a while, but we suggest limiting it when possible, and always practicing your oral hygiene routine after you do consume sugar.

Tailored Prevention Plans:

Every smile is unique, and every single patient we see at HT Complete Family Dentistry is unique as well, which is why we create prevention plans specific to each patients’ needs. When you become a patient of ours, we assess your background, medical history, lifestyle, genetic predispositions, and the current health of your teeth and gums, to create a treatment plan tailored to you!

This is the perfect opportunity for us to work together and design a treatment plan that you feel good about and that addresses any specific concerns you already have about your teeth. We want you to feel informed, empowered, and in control of your oral health.

Our team at HT Complete Family Dentistry is confident we can help you prevent gum disease through proper education, early detection, and our prevention techniques. Our team is dedicated to helping each patient maintain their oral health, so you can feel confident in your smile!

Are you ready to schedule your first appointment with the HT Complete Family Dentistry team? If so, call our office today at 913-962-0036, and you will be on your way to a healthy smile in no time!

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