Flossing removes plaque and bacteria that you cannot reach with your toothbrush. If you don’t floss, you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface. Plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is an invisible bacterial film that develops on your teeth every day.
Within 24 to 36 hours, plaque hardens into tartar (also called calculus), which can only be removed by professional cleaning. Floss at least once a day, and plaque never gets the chance to harden into tartar. Getting into the habit of daily flossing is easier when you floss while doing something else like watching TV or listening to music, for example.
How to floss your teeth
Take a length of floss equal to the distance from your hand to your shoulder. Wrap it around your index and middle fingers, leaving about two inches between your hands.
Slide the floss between your teeth and wrap it into a “C” shape around the base of the tooth and gently under the gumline. Wipe the tooth from base to tip two or three times.
Be sure to floss both sides of every tooth. Don’t forget the backs of your last molars. Go to a new section of the floss as it wears and picks up particles.
Periodontal, also known as gum or pocket measurement is an evaluation performed by a dental professional, which involves measuring the health of your gums and supporting bone structure for your teeth. Bone loss is first caused by an accumulation of plaque and bacteria around a tooth and if the bacterium isn’t removed properly it causes gum inflammation and in later stages, if left untreated, will eventually lead to bone loss.
A way of detecting periodontal disease is through taking periodontal measurements of each tooth at a dental visit. These measurements help us determine the overall health of the supporting structure of the teeth. A normal, healthy measurement will read from 1-3 mm and the deeper the reading the more severe the problem. To help treat moderate stages (4-6 mm) your hygienist may recommend a deeper cleaning with more frequent visits to help stop the effects of periodontitis. However, if more advanced stages are noted surgery may be needed with a referral to a periodontist (gum specialist).
Ways to help reduce periodontal measurements and maintain healthy gums:
– Brushing: Practicing proper oral hygiene daily, through brushing at least 2 times a day for at least 2 minutes.
– Flossing: Daily flossing is very important when it comes to gum health, because it goes between your teeth and under your gums to help reduce bacterial build-up where a toothbrush can’t reach.
– Eating a well-balanced diet.
– Maintaining regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning.
– Don’t smoke: Smoking increases your risk of periodontal disease.
Dr. Elizabeth Dimovski & Associates – We Protect Your Smile!
When it comes to decorating your mouth or tongue you should think twice and know the facts. When asked about oral piercings most dental professionals say no. The risks right after an oral piercing are same as any open wound, including pain, swelling, infection and scar tissue formation, but can be more serious when it involves the tongue.
Risks of oral piercing vary depending on the location of the oral piercing. Common placements of oral piercings are on the tongue, labret (the space between the lower lip and chin), lips, uvula or cheeks.
Piercings through the tongue or lip, or below the tongue, can cause tooth damage such as cracked or chipped teeth. Piercings through the floor of the mouth below the tongue or through the tongue have the highest risk of serious infection as they have the highest blood flow and are closest to the airway. Other risks include nerve, muscle or gum tissue damage. Piercings can also cause the gums to recede which may cause tooth decay and gum disease.
If after knowing all the facts you are still inclined in getting an oral piercing be sure to take precautions to avoid damage to your mouth and self. Below is a list of precautionary measures put out by the Ontario Dental Association, before and after oral piercings.
Check out the cleanliness of the place doing the piercing. Do they have an infection-control policy posted? A recent investigation by the Toronto Star and the Ryerson University School of Journalism found that half of the complaints filed against personal service settings in Toronto, such as tattoo and piercing parlours, involved items not being properly cleaned or sterilized.
Ensure that the practitioner performing the piercing is experienced and uses strict infection-control practices (an autoclave sterilizer, for example, for non-disposable equipment, and new needles and gloves) to avoid serious infections such as hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Ask for detailed after-care instructions.
Disinfect your oral jewelry regularly and brush the jewelry the same as you would your teeth.
If piercings are in close proximity to the teeth, make sure the ends, or even the entire stud, are made of plastic.
Try to avoid the tongue or the floor of the mouth for piercing because of its higher risk of infection.
Seek immediate medical or dental attention if you experience excessive bleeding, swelling or pain following a piercing, or if there is any evidence of infection (an odour or fluid from the piercing, for example).
Visit your dentist regularly so that he or she can closely monitor the piercing and any potential damage to teeth and gums.
Should you have any question on dental topics, be sure to ask us and we will be sure to answer!
One of the questions we get ask often is what is the best possible home care to prevent gum disease, dental caries and tooth loss.
Dental home care is essential in taking good care of your teeth and gums. This includes brushing your teeth half an hour to an hour after every meal and before bedtime, flossing at least once each day, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and exams every 3 to 6 months. Spending a few minutes a day on preventative measures may save you the time and money of preventing dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss and replacement!
There may be an increased risk of premature delivery for expecting mothers with gum disease. Expecting mothers with gum disease, should be aware that the bacteria in the mouth increase the levels of PGE2 (The naturally occurring prostaglandin E2, Known in medicine as dinoprostone. It has important effects in labour (softens cervix and causes uterine contraction) and also stimulates osteoblasts to release factors that stimulate bone resorption by osteoclasts.) When the PGE2 level increases in the 9th month of pregnancy labour starts. In mothers with serious gum disease the level of PGE2 rises to soon and early labour can happen. Hormones during pregnancy can aggravate existing gum disease, you may have more bleeding and swelling in the gums. Your hygienist may recommend more frequent cleanings. It is important to visit us regularly and to continue with good home oral care.
For more information please feel free to contact one of our highly trained professionals.