Oral Hygiene and Your Smile

Do you ever stop and think about how important your daily oral hygiene efforts are to your smile? They are crucial! You are the main line of defense when it comes to protecting your teeth and gums from the ravages of tooth decay and gum disease in between our dental cleanings and exams.

You see, bacteria in the mouth never take time off. And because bacteria thrive in the mouth, it rests on you to clean teeth and gums every day to prevent the bacterial buildup known as “plaque” from attacking your smile. The food you eat (and drink) feeds oral bacteria and produces acids that attack the teeth and gums. Sugary, starchy foods especially help bacteria form into dental plaque, and you can feel plaque when you run your tongue along the teeth before brushing. This sticky film will harden and cause problems between the teeth and along the gumline.

Plaque acids weaken tooth enamel and irritate gum tissue unless it is removed. And it’s not just cavities that will arise when the enamel is weakened. Over time, gum irritation makes them pull away from the teeth and form pockets which fill up with bacteria and pus. Without treatment, your teeth will loosen and fall out.

This is where your oral hygiene efforts make all the difference. To keep plaque in check, brush at least twice a day and floss once a day. While a toothbrush clears plaque along tooth surfaces, dental flossing clears plaque along the gumline and in between the teeth where your brush can’t clean.

Use a toothbrush with a small head so that you can reach the molars and a soft-bristled toothbrush to protect gum tissue and tooth enamel. If you are cavity prone, you can use an antimicrobial toothpaste with fluoride. To lower bacteria in the mouth, you can rinse with an antimicrobial mouthwash once a day, and we are happy to give you personalized advice depending on your oral health.

If you would like more personalized information, or to schedule your next cleaning, please call our Gill Family Dentistry team at (209) 549-1721 today. Our dentist, Dr. Amandeep S Gill and staff in Modesto, California, are here to work with you to create your healthiest smile!

There Is Help for Bleeding Gums

At Gill Family Dentistry, Dr. Amandeep Gill and our team want you to know how important oral care is for your gum health. Because your gums support your pearly whites, you will want to keep them in tip-top shape! Following are some tips we would like to share with you if you are experiencing bleeding gums:

– Limit your consumption of sugar and sugary drinks, and increase your intake of vegetables. When you do eat sugar, rinse well with water afterwards and brush your teeth to limit the exposure to teeth.

– Certain medications, such as blood thinners, can cause bleeding of the gums or interfere with saliva flow by causing dry mouth, a condition which allows oral bacteria to thrive. Your doctor may be able to switch medications or alter the dosage to help you.

– If you smoke, the toxins can actually interfere with your gum’s ability to receive nutrients and can cause inflammation. As the gums bleed, harmful bacteria which live along the gumline can enter the bloodstream via the ulcers in the gums and travel to your organs to cause inflammation.

– Bleeding gums are actually contagious by spreading harmful amounts of bacteria. If you or your partner has a lot of oral bacteria, avoid sharing drinks, keep your toothbrushes from touching, and be aware that kissing will spread the bacteria and make you more susceptible to bleeding gums.

– It is so important to brush your teeth at least twice daily. Using an electric toothbrush can massage the gums which increases nutrient absorption into the gums by stimulating blood flow.

– Floss at least once each day to remove dental plaque, a biofilm made of bacteria and waste products. If you have difficulty flossing, a water flosser may be a good investment to remove bacteria between the teeth.

– Keep up with professional dental cleanings to remove tartar (hardened plaque). Dr. Amandeep Gill may recommend more frequent dental cleanings, antibiotic treatment, scaling and root planing (deep cleanings), or gum surgery to help alleviate bleeding gums.

At Gill Family Dentistry, we can diagnose and treat gum disease before it becomes a serious problem. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call Gill Family Dentistry in Modesto, California at (209) 549-1721 today. We are excited to help you achieve a healthy smile!