Preventing Gum Disease

Even if you have good home care habits, dental plaque tends to develop over six months. Plaque irritates gum tissue, causing gum pockets and inflammation. If inflammation becomes chronic or advanced, treatment is required to help your body heal and fight, not only infection in the mouth, but also throughout the body.

As a patient of Jay Lopez, D.D.S., you will receive regular comprehensive examinations every six months and regular periodic dental cleanings every six months. For some patients, we recommend more frequent cleanings dependent on whether you have a history of faster plaque development, tooth decay, gum inflammation, or certain systemic medical histories.

The circumstances that speed up plaque development, include incomplete brushing and flossing, unbalanced nutrition such as a diet high in sugar, and smoking. These and more circumstances increase your risk of gum disease and make it more difficult to treat gum disease once it starts. One of the most common additional circumstances is diabetes, but other inflammatory and immune deficiency diseases also make it harder for your body to fight infection. This is because, once certain infectious bacteria and viruses take hold in your gum tissue, they easily are passed through your bloodstream to all organs of the body.

By coming to our conveniently located Tucson office for regular dental cleanings and checkups, we can treat oral health problems before they advance and require more extensive treatment. But, between your appointments, there are some things you should do daily to combat the development of gum disease. First and foremost is maintaining optimal home care. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ideally you will brush after every meal and snack. An electric toothbrush will be more effective than a manual one in the removal of food debris that bacteria feed on. You also need to floss once a day. Water flossing with a Waterpik® Water Flosser, in addition to string flossing, has been beneficial to many patients in preventing and combating gum disease.

Secondly, make good food choices and stay away from sugary foods. If you are suffering from gum disease or at high risk of gum disease reoccurring, Dr. Jay R Lopez will recommend you use CariFree® and PerioScience oral home care products to neutralize and balance the pH level of your mouth. Are you using tobacco products or regularly drinking alcoholic beverages? These lifestyle choices make it difficult for your body to fight infection and for gum tissue to heal.

Dr. Jay Lopez, D.D.S. partners with OralDNA Labs to offer Oral DNA Saliva Testing. The offered lab tests are run on a sample of your saliva to determine which harmful bacteria are present and the amount of the bacteria. Certain bacteria cause gum inflammation (gingivitis). Different bacteria cause gum and bone disease (periodontitis). There also are genetic predispositions that can make you more susceptible to periodontitis—and, with Oral DNA Saliva Testing, we can test for the genetic biomarker IL-6. Based on the results of the saliva tests, Dr. Lopez can prescribe bacteria-specific antibiotics and a schedule of recall appointments for dental cleanings and other periodontal treatment if more advanced treatment is indicated.

Learn more by reading these related articles on our website and on the OralDNA Labs website: