Your teeth were designed to last a lifetime, and they can with proper care, which includes correct gum care.
Gum disease–or periodontal disease–describes bacterial growth and production of factors that gradually destroy the tissue surrounding and supporting the teeth. More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease. Harmful bacteria are contained in a colorless sticky film called plaque, the cause of gum disease. If not removed, plaque builds up on the teeth and ultimately irritates the gums and causes bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss.
Cavities, or tooth decay, often mistakenly thought to be a dental issue only for children, can happen at any time in your life. Tooth decay ruins the enamel that covers and protects the teeth. Without proper care and cleaning of the teeth, bacteria can cling to the teeth and form a sticky, colorless film called dental plaque. This plaque can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
How to avoid dental problems? Good daily dental practice, including:
- Brush after meals with a toothbrush that has soft or medium bristles.
- Use toothpaste with fluoride.
- Use dental floss every day.
- Eat fewer sweets, especially between meals.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco products.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups.