Tooth decay and gum disease prevention: Going to your dentist is essential!

Excluding the common cold, tooth decay and gum disease are by far the most common diseases in mankind.  They are not completely preventable. Tooth decay and gum disease are virtually guaranteed in every individual – good oral hygiene and professional care can only limit the onset and degree of effect.  Thus, a few cavities by age 21 and gum disease onset by age 55 is inevitable. With no care, the picture changes drastically: A mouthful of cavities by 21 and gum disease onset at 30. Left untreated, over the course of 20 years gum disease “eats away” the bony support around the teeth, resulting in major tooth loss by 55.

Prevention begins essentially at birth, and is a constant lifetime battle. The golden rules are simple, the ones you’ve heard forever: Brush with a fluoride toothpaste  – fluoride is in almost every adult toothpaste preparation – and floss; of course see your dentist at least every 6 months. (Note: As your young child may swallow toothpaste, use a fluoride-free toothpaste designed for toddlers until age 2 or 3. Even brushing with plain water will have some mechanical plaque removal effect if you’re concerned about the additives in any toothpaste.)  Other than a toothbrush and floss, no other gadgets have ever been proven effective. Fluoride is the only ingredient which is proven effective in preventing tooth decay.

Fortunately, both diseases are easily treated with modern technology, virtually guaranteeing the retention of almost all teeth for a lifetime. Early diagnosis is a must, and this means seeing your dentist every 6 months! Once the majority of a tooth has decayed, it is forever weakened; and once gum disease eats away the bone surrounding a tooth, it can never be restored.



Contact us  at (617) 924-7301 or [email protected] with any questions on this article,  and see our website at Greater Boston Dental is a group practice of four dentists and four hygienists in Watertown, MA,  designed to serve all your dental needs in one easy to navigate location. Please call us with any dental needs – we would love to give you reasonable, conservative, cost effective advice as your new trusted dental office.

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