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Dentist in Cape May Says You Need More Than Brushing and Flossing!

Patient having a dental exam

As you know, self-care is crucial for leading a long, happy life. In that spirit you probably do your best to take care of yourself by eating well, exercising and managing your stress levels. But when it comes to your teeth and gums you may be missing an important piece of the puzzle. Sure, you know that you should brush twice a day and floss each night, but if your gums are swollen or bleeding anyway you may be feeling frustrated and discouraged, not to mention confused. If you aren’t sure why your good hygiene habits aren’t enough to keep your gums healthy, your dentist in Cape May will explain why regular dental visits will make a big difference.


Why Are Checkups Important if You Brush and Floss Each Day?

Don’t get us wrong – having a good hygiene routine is still extremely important for having healthy teeth and gums, but it’s only half the battle!

Brushing and flossing can remove plaque, which is a soft film mainly made of bacteria. If you’re removing most of this film each day with brushing and flossing, you’re significantly reducing your chances of developing cavities and gum disease.

However, there are a couple of issues. First, even with good brushing and flossing you can’t remove tartar. Tartar deposits are also made of bacteria but aren’t soft like plaque. Instead, tartar is hard and cement-like, and can only be removed professionally.

Second, gum disease can cause deeper “pockets” to form around each tooth. These pockets collect both plaque and tartar that can’t be accessed with your toothbrush and floss. If not professionally removed these deposits can cause gum disease to become worse, which then becomes a vicious cycle.

Bleeding, swollen gums are often the first sign of gum disease and are the result of bacteria-laden plaque and tartar remaining under the gumline.

However, the only way to know if you have this condition is to have your dentist examine your gums. Not only can they tell you if you have gum disease but they can discuss your treatment options as well.

How Can Your Gum Health Affect You?

There’s been an incredible amount of research done in the last 20 years showing a link between gum health and overall health. Studies have consistently shown that unmanaged gum disease can increase the risk of the following:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Diabetes
  • Cognitive decline

As it turns out, caring for your teeth and gums is a great way to stay healthy over the long term.

You can think of you and your dentist as being on the same team with the common goal of improving your oral health. Neither of you can do it alone, but together you can make sure you have a healthy smile for life!

About the Author

Dr. Scott J. Maslow is an award-winning dentist with over 30 years of experience. He’s dedicated to helping his patients achieve excellent oral health by providing outstanding dental care as well as teaching them how to care for their teeth in between visits. He can be contacted for questions through his website or at (609) 522-3145.

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