What You Should Know This National Dental Hygiene Month

Aside from the time for costumes and candy, October is also National Dental Hygiene Month, dedicated to raising awareness for the importance of good dental health. Over 90% of adults in America have had tooth decay in at least one of their permanent teeth, and nearly 75% have some form of gum disease, from mild to severe. In spite of their commonness, these cases could have largely been avoided with proper dental hygiene. To help promote good oral health among our patients and readers, your Lake Orion dentist, Dr. Greenfield, explains the tenets of a clean and healthy mouth.

Lend Your Mouth a Helping Hand

What you put in your mouth is essential to the state of your oral health. Over the millennia, our diets have changed drastically, and the natural measures that our bodies have developed to protect our teeth and gums have been largely outmatched by our own invention. For instance, sugars and carbohydrates feed certain oral bacteria the fuel needed to synthesize organic acids, which siphon your teeth’s minerals and erode your tooth enamel (your tooth’s protective outer layer). This process, called demineralization, is the beginning stage of tooth decay. For the most part, our mouth’s defenses (i.e., saliva, tooth enamel, etc.) can adequately address the acids produced from natural sugars. However, when humans began refining sugar, these bacteria developed an insatiable appetite for it, and the acids they produced soon overwhelmed our natural responses. However, we are not helpless against the increased onslaught. Since before the earliest record of human history, our ancestors have worked to combat dental maladies and relieve tooth discomfort. Today, we can protect our mouths by taking a mere couple of minutes out of each day to perform a simple routine.

Proper Oral Hygiene

Tooth decay is not the only consequence of excessive bacterial buildup. When plaque collects at your gum line, it can irritate the tissue and cause gums to separate from teeth. Left unchecked, this irritation leads to gum disease and the destruction of your gums, supporting jawbone, and connective tissue. The most effective method to combat tooth decay and gum disease is to inhibit the accumulation of the bacteria that cause them. Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day can help prevent plaque from collecting on your teeth and gums, and attending your dental checkup and cleaning every six months will allow Dr. Greenfield to inspect your oral cavity for any abnormalities. Early detection drastically improves your chances of successful treatment. To learn more about maintaining your excellent oral health, call Lake Orion Family Dentistry at 248-693-6213 today to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve families from Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, and Rochester Hills, as well as many other areas in southeast Michigan.