When it comes to your mouth’s health, it’s not all about how straight your teeth are or how bright your smile is. You can’t forget about your gums! Healthy gums are the first step to perfect teeth. Even if you’re cavity-free and have the pearliest chompers in town, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to gum disease. Since it’s usually painless, most people have no idea that anything is wrong with their gums.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease starts when plaque builds up under and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film-like substance that’s filled with bacteria. It can cause infections that hurt the gum and bone, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque also can cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Gingivitis causes your gums to become:
- Inflamed Gums
- Tender Gums
- Swollen Gums
- Prone to Bleeding Gums
Fortunately, since the bone and tissue holding the teeth in place aren’t impacted, this damage is reversible.
You can also develop periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease. Periodontitis impacts the bones that hold your teeth in place. Left untreated, it can ruin the gums, bones, and tissues connected to your teeth.
The final stage of gum disease is advanced periodontitis. This is when the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed. It can impact your bite, and teeth may need to be removed.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), signs that you might have gum disease include:
- Consistently bad taste or breath
- Separating or loose permanent teeth
- Gums that easily bleed
- Gums that are swollen, red, or tender
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
Healthy Gums Are The First Step To Perfect Teeth
Gum disease is preventable. Here are a few ways you can help keep your gums healthy.
It’s a fact, flossing daily (combined with brushing and a rinse) helps protect against gingivitis by removing plaque and food particles, keeping your teeth and gums healthy, while giving you a beautiful smile. Flossing is essential to your smile’s health, no matter what your age. And yes, even kids should floss to get used to a healthy oral care routine. You might be asking,
“Why is flossing so important?” Here’s the answer: By flossing, you remove plaque and food particles in between your teeth and gums, and help prevent gingivitis.
#2 Get Regular Dental Cleanings
Having to visit the dentist every six months may not be the appointment that everyone looks forward to, but it is one of the most important ones to keep. If you have found yourself wondering what the point of having regular dental checkups and cleanings really is, we’ve got something for you to think about.
- Oral Cancer Detection
- Plaque, Tartar and Cavities
- Gum Disease
- Keeping Bad Habits In Check
- Find Problems Under The Surface With X-Rays
- Head, Neck And Lymph Node Checks
#3 Quit Smoking
Smoking tobacco products can make gum disease get worse faster. Smokers have more severe bone loss and more deep gum pockets between their teeth and gums than nonsmokers.
In studies, smokers were three to six times more likely to have gum destruction than nonsmokers. Severe bone loss was five times greater among current or former heavy smokers than among people who never smoked.
Not only does smoking increase the chance that you will develop gum disease, it makes treatment much more difficult. And the treatment is less likely to succeed. That’s because smoking hinders healing in your mouth.
#4 Brush Twice A Day
Brush your teeth after every meal. This helps remove the food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Scrub your tongue too, since it can harbor bacteria. Your toothbrush should have soft bristles and fit in your mouth comfortably.
Consider a battery-powered or electric toothbrush. These can help reduce gingivitis and plaque more than manual brushing. Swap toothbrushes or toothbrush heads every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles start to fray.
#5 Use Fluoride Toothpaste
As for toothpaste, store shelves are lined with brands that claim to reduce gingivitis, freshen breath, and whiten teeth.
How do you know which one is best for healthy gums?
Make sure to choose toothpaste that contains fluoride and has the ADA seal of acceptance. After that, the flavor and color is up to you!
Fluoride in toothpaste is nothing new; the mineral was first added to toothpaste over a century ago, and children and adults alike continue to fight tooth decay by brushing with it twice a day. And although there are various types of fluoride used in oral care, sodium fluoride toothpaste is a particularly safe and effective product.
#6 Use A Therapeutic Mouthwash
Usually available over the counter, therapeutic mouthwashes can help reduce plaque, prevent or reduce gingivitis, reduce the speed that tarter develops, or a combination of these benefits, according to the ADA. Plus: A rinse helps remove food particles and debris from your mouth, though it’s not a substitute for flossing or brushing. Look for the ADA seal, which means it’s been deemed effective and safe.
It doesn’t matter whether your brush, floss, or rinse first. Just do a good job and use the right products.
Schedule A Consultation with Dr. Kaeley Today!
Dr. Kaeley, one of the best periodontal dentist in the San Francisco Bay Area, shall provide you custom treatment options for your periodontal needs. If you think you might be suffering from gum disease or if you have inflamed, sore or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with us immediately. We even offer customized sedation options for our patients in San Ramon who experience anxiety about going to the dentist. We want all of our patients to feel totally relaxed and comfortable during their visits with us.
Gum disease can cause tremendous harm to your overall health and should be treated as soon as possible. After you call, the first step will be for us to setup a time for you to come into our office, meet Dr. Kaeley at Progressive Periodontics and Implant Dentistry at San Ramon, CA and discuss your concerns and questions with her. From there, Dr. Kaeley will work with you to develop a customized treatment plan that fits your needs and get you back on the road towards optimal health.