February is Gum Disease Awareness Month, so what better way to close it out than by giving you something to chew on?
It’s easy to misunderstand gum disease. For one thing, it’s a disease. Diseases are bad and should be taken seriously. Okay, seems simple enough.
On the other hand, it’s a unique disease, one with a talent for sneaking up on you over a long period of time. It’s a crafty little infection that’s generally painless in its early stages.
And here’s another bonus: it’s an infection caused by plaque buildup, which often you can’t even see. Perfect.
So you could actually have gum disease for years without knowing it.
Ah, what a lovely thought. A potentially dangerous infection you can’t see or feel that starts in your mouth, has 24/7 access to your bloodstream, and thus, a VIP pass to your entire body. Awesome.
The good news is that you don’t have to panic. Our own Dr. Reese and Dr. Smith at Mountain View Dental are experienced professionals who are trained to see what you can’t. They offer treatment options that can, in some cases, reverse the damage caused by gum disease.
Early detection is key. Since gum disease is so difficult to detect, diagnosing it is really a job for a qualified professional.
If you haven’t been to the dentist for a routine checkup in quite some time, we strongly encourage you to give us a call today at (770) 429-8989 to schedule an exam or fill out our online contact form. If dental anxiety is what’s kept you from going to the dentist, please ask us about our sedation options!
In the meantime, let’s talk about a little known secret that’s great for maintaining a healthy smile!
Chew On This!
If you’re brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, props to you! Practicing good habits at home is important for your overall health.
One of the body’s best natural defenses against tooth decay and gum disease is saliva. When we chew, our salivary glands are hard at work making the saliva your teeth depend on to wash away food particles, prevent plaque buildup, and protect you from cavities.
Not only that, saliva works to balance out the acid levels in your mouth from the foods we eat and protects your tooth enamel from erosion. Who said slobber was a bad thing?
A great thing about saliva production is that it’s happening almost all the time, with little effort from you. But did you know there are things you can do to help give it a little boost?
We know you’re busy. When you’re on the go, you don’t have time to stop life and skip over to the restroom for a toothbrushing break! So here are some quick drool-inducing treats to chew on in between your morning and nighttime oral hygiene rituals!
- Sugarless gum – Yes! Sugarless gum is actually good for your teeth. Even the ADA approves of chewing sugarless gum as an extra means of protection against decay. Not only does it stimulate saliva production, but many brands of sugar-free gum contain agents that can help prevent early gum disease known as gingivitis. And it gives you fresh breath. Win-Win!
- Crunchy Fruits and Veggies – Another two birds, one stone situation here! Obviously, adding fruits and vegetables to your diet is good for your overall health. We suggest reaching for firm, crunchy varieties like apples, pears, carrots, and celery. These foods hold a lot of water to help wash away food particles. And the chewing it takes to break them down encourages saliva. So chomp, away!
- Nuts – Loaded with protein and other nutrients, nuts pack a powerful punch for saliva production, your body, and your brain. Next time you have a midday craving, grab a handful of almonds or peanuts.
Keep sugarless gum, fruits, veggies, and nuts on hand for a healthy smile. In the meantime, make sure you visit us at least twice a year for regular dental cleanings and exams with Dr. Reese or Dr. Smith. Call us today at (770) 429-8989!