14 Sep 2018 Gum Disease- You Don’t Want It
Gum disease can come on subtly. Perhaps your gums ache after you floss. Perhaps you notice some blood when you brush. Maybe your gums look swollen. If you don’t take care of your gums and teeth, eventually, you could find yourself losing healthy teeth or even jawbone! Gum disease is no laughing matter. Learn how easy it is to prevent gum disease from occurring.
What is gum disease?
Gingivitis and periodontitis are both types of gum disease. Gingivitis is another name for gum inflammation. This occurs when you start slacking off with your brushing and flossing. When you don’t brush and floss, plague (bacteria and food particles) builds up in your mouth. It can cover the surface of your teeth or get in between your teeth, causing cavities. It can also seep into your gums. In the early stages of gingivitis, plague building up under your gums can cause them to easily bleed, recede, or become swollen. Any of these signs are an indicator that you should get to your local family dentist.
If you have these symptoms and continue not to floss and brush, you could develop a more serious gum disease call periodontitis. With periodontitis, plaque continues to build up under the gums. An inner layer of gum and bone pull away from the teeth to form pockets. This pockets become a favorite hangout spot for bacteria. The more plaque and bacteria that collects in these pockets, the easier it is to have an infection. Toxins or poisons produced by infection break down bone and tissue that hold teeth in place. With nothing holding teeth in place, teeth, even healthy teeth, will start to fall out. This is a terrible fate for healthy teeth and it’s especially terrible because it is so easy to prevent.
What starts this whole process? What can cause plaque to form?
- Lack of oral hygiene—this is the biggest cause!
- Hormonal changes (think pregnancy and menopause)
- Diseases like HIV, diabetes, and cancer
- Medications that cause dry mouth (your saliva is your body’s natural defense against plaque)
Am I getting gum disease?
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Receding gums
- Pockets in gums
- Loose teeth
How do I prevent gum disease?
Preventing gum disease is as easy as 1-2-3: Brush, floss, rinse, and then repeat. You’ve heard it before and you will hear it again. The number of benefits to daily brushing, flossing, and rinsing are astronomical. It comes down to daily habits. Reducing the amount of bacteria in our mouths will stop gum disease from developing or progressing. What we do every day can change our lives.
Brush to get plaque off the surface of your teeth.
Floss to get plaque out of your gums and from between your teeth.
Rinse with an antibacterial rinse to further reduce your mouth’s bacteria count.
If I already have gum disease, what are non-surgical ways to treat it?
Besides daily oral hygiene, you can treat periodontitis or gingivitis in a few ways.
- With professional cleanings. Cleanings can get plague and tarter off your teeth and can clean out your gums.
- With a scaling/root planning treatment at your dentist. This treatment is done with a local anesthetic. Your dentist will go under the gum line and scrape away rough patches on your tooth that may attract bacteria. Your dentist will also remove plaque.
Don’t wait until tomorrow. Commit to yourself today to start brushing, flossing, and rinsing. Remember, it’s as easy as 1-2-3!