What makes a healthy mouth?

There’s more to a healthy mouth than a bright smile and straight teeth. Good oral hygiene begins with taking proper care of your gums, teeth, and tongue. Without the proper care, even the healthiest of mouths are susceptible to gum disease.

So what exactly is gum disease and how can it be prevented?

Gum disease begins when plaque – a sticky bacteria-filled, film-like substance – builds up along and under the gum line causing gingivitis. Common symptoms of gingivitis include

  • Inflammation
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding

The good news is that damage caused by gingivitis is reversible because the bone and tissue haven’t been impacted.

However, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to advanced forms of gum disease known as periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Signs of advanced gum disease include:

  • Consistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Separating or loose permanent teeth
  • Bleeding, swollen, red, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

So how can you prevent gum disease? Here are a few tips.

  1. Floss and brush at least two times per day with fluoride toothpaste
  2. Get regular cleanings
  3. Don’t smoke
  4. Use a therapeutic mouthwash.

If it’s been longer than six months since you’ve been in to see us or if you are looking for a new dentist, give us a call today at 573-243-5200 to schedule an appointment. We are proud to offer preventative and restorative dentistry to patients of all ages.