How to Take Care of Your Gums
You may have the brightest pearly whites in the world. Still, if your gums are not healthy, you may lose your teeth eventually. Our gums along with the jaw bone form an important component that holds teeth firmly in their position. Gingivitis is a silent disease that usually presents with no complaints. However, if gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, then the damage is irreversible.
How can you know if you have gum infection?
The inflammation and infection of gums indicate gingivitis. The main etiologic factors of gum infection are dental plaque and tartar. Plaque is a thin film made up of microorganisms. Tartar or calculus is the yellowish-grey hardened plaque. These are the storehouses of bacteria that eventually harm the supporting structures causing tooth mobility and tooth loss. This advanced stage is called periodontitis.
You may experience either of the following symptoms when you have gum infection:
- Bleeding from gums - The bleeding may occur during brushing or flossing in the early stages. In periodontal diease, there is a possibility that your gums may bleed heavily even with mild trauma.
- Change in color and consistency of gums - Initially, your gums may become pale. Gums lose their characteristic texture and appearance. Later, you may have red, swollen and tender gums.
- Consistent bad breath
- Gum recession - The gum line shifts downwards, and even your tooth roots may be visible.
- Tooth loss - It is the most devastating result of gum infection. When the infection advances to a stage that the supporting bone is destroyed, tooth loses its support and finally falls off.
You can smile confidently if your gums are healthy. Simple home care, routine dental check-ups, and scaling can help you prevent gum infection.
How can you take care of your gums?
1. Brush twice a day - It is important to brush your teeth twice a day. A toothbrush is the most effective device to remove dental plaque. It scrapes off plaque from the tooth surface. However, it is important that you use the correct brushing technique to ensure that you also clean the tooth surface below the gum line. Toothpaste has special ingredients that fight against bacteria and eliminate bad breath.
2. Floss once a day - You should floss at least once a day. Cleaning the region between the teeth is as important as cleaning other tooth surfaces. You can use floss, interdental brush or water flosser for interdental cleaning. You can always talk with your dentist to know more about the correct brushing technique and the best interdental aid suitable for you.
3. Follow a healthy lifestyle - Nutritional deficiencies, stress, hormonal changes, and habits like smoking can also cause gum disease. Eat a balanced diet, and avoid smoking. Make healthy choices in terms of food. You can grab an apple rather than eating a burger and french fries. Sticky foods damage teeth as well as gums by forming plaque. Moreover, if you have hormonal problems or suffer from medical diseases like diabetes, contact your physician and receive timely care. Systemic diseases influence gum health, and so, you should not ignore them.
4. Go to a dentist once every six months - It is important to diagnose gum disease and take proper steps at the right time. As discussed earlier, if gingivitis advances to the aggressive form, gum damage can be more severe. You may eventually end up spending more time and money in the treatment. Thus, you should visit your dentist at least once every six months. Regular check-ups play an important role in maintaining oral hygiene. Follow your dentist’s advice strictly. Sometimes, your dentist may recommend you a dental check-up once every three months or once in every quarter. Don’t ignore the check-up appointments. You should diligently follow your treatment plan.
How can we help you?
Professional treatment is necessary for the management of gum diseases. You can prevent gingivitis by following a strict oral hygiene regimen. However, if you already have gingivitis or periodontitis, it is essential to go to a dentist for the proper management.
Scaling and root planing clear off the food debris and remove the plaque and tartar deposited on tooth surfaces, especially below the gum line. We recommend you have your teeth professionally cleaned at least once every six months. If you have crowded or misaligned teeth, then chances of food lodgment and gum infection are high. These tricky areas can be difficult to clean. If this is the case or if your clinical condition demands, we may advise you scaling at an interval of three months.
A different treatment plan follows for patients with periodontal disease. Periodontal surgery may be needed in some cases. However, at 5th Avenue Dental, we follow conservative approach for the management of dental diseases. We offer therapeutic as well non-surgical treatment for periodontal diseases. Dr. Plaster or our oral hygienist may advise you deep cleaning. In this procedure, the gums are anesthetized so that we can effectively clean the areas below the gum line. Moreover, we may advise you antibiotic therapy in which special pastes are applied in the areas below the gum line.
During your check-up appointment, Dr. Plaster or our oral hygienist will measure the extent of gum damage with special instruments like a periodontal probe. We will also take X-rays to gauge the extent of bone damage. Sometimes, we may take a sample of your gingival fluid and send it to the laboratory for determination of the causative bacteria. We use technologically advanced methods for diagnosing dental diseases to help you achieve a healthy smile.
Schedule your appointment at 5th Avenue Dental:
We hope this post answers all your queries regarding gum health. If you have further questions about your dental health or want to know more about how you can take care of your gums, please feel free to contact us.
The trained and experienced team at 5th Avenue Dental strives to give people quality dental care. We offer a wide range of dental services, including gum disease screenings, cleanings, and periodontal care. Schedule your appointment today by calling us at 509-822-2884.