Tooth decay and gum disease are responsible for around 90% of tooth loss. Fortunately, this is generally preventable with good oral hygiene habits including regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental exams and cleanings.
Harmful bacteria can build up in the mouth, especially between the teeth and gums, and even on the tongue. A good oral health routine at home can help to prevent this bacterial buildup. Cleaning between the teeth with dental floss or proximal brushes, and gentle brushing of tooth surfaces can reduce the risk of bacterial buildup. Additionally, the use of a tongue scraper can prevent buildup on the tongue.
Getting frequent professional cleanings and examinations can help identify and remove any build up that has been missed. Advice may be given about any areas that need additional focus or help with instruction on proper methods for brushing and flossing.
Additionally, during the dental examination the exposed space between the gum and the tooth can be measured based upon a scale of approximately 1-9 millimeters. The more space that exists, the higher the number of millimeters, and the greater risk of gum disease. This is often referred to as pocket depth.
Generally, healthy gums will measure between 1 and 3 millimeters. If the pockets depths reach higher numbers, it typically indicates inflammation of the gums due to bacteria, and the dentist may recommend deeper treatment in order to help restore gum health.
Tooth loss is generally something that everyone wants to avoid, and of course, dental work can be costly and time consuming. If you are interested in maintaining your good tooth and gum health, Dr. Heidi Finkelstein at My Plantation Dentist can help. To schedule your appointment for an examination, please contact us today at 954-584-1030.