We are open - safety is our top priority!
Posted on: September 7, 2022
Good Gum Health = Good Overall Health
If it’s September, then it’s time to smile big for another Gum Care Awareness Month. And, it’s time to give us a call to set up your next dental exam and cleaning.
What Gum Disease Looks Like
You can recognize whether you may have gum disease by looking out for one or more of the following indications:
- Your gums are red or swollen and they bleed with relative ease, especially while brushing your teeth or flossing.
- You have a bad taste in your mouth or consistently bad breath.
- Your gums have plaque or white spots on them.
- Your gums appear to be pulling back from your teeth.
- Your teeth fit differently in your mouth, such as having shifted or separated, or you’ve noticed a change in your bite or your speech.
- You have loose teeth or you lose teeth easily.
- You see pus in the spaces between your gums or teeth.
In most cases, gingivitis is painless, which is part of why so many affected people don’t notice it or do anything about it. However, as gingivitis becomes chronic, meaning it persists untreated, a variety of complications could occur, including pain. The condition could progress into periodontitis.
So, don’t put off taking proper care of your mouth for another minute. Put a thorough dental hygiene routine into place for yourself, if you don’t have one already, and call us to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup and cleaning.
When gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, you may develop receding gums, which are spots in which diseased gums shrink away from a tooth, uncovering its roots. You may develop deep pockets around your teeth that catch plaque, food, and other debris, making the problem worse and more painful.
These developments can occur quite quickly or they can develop slowly over time. They can affect a single tooth or your entire mouth. You may or may not recognize these symptoms, even if the condition has progressed, which is why it’s essential to see your dentist in Sweetwater regularly–so you can get a steady, professional assessment of the state of your oral health. Not only can the dentist identify signs of gum disease where you may have overlooked them, the dentist can also determine your particular risk level of acquiring gum disease and suggest adjustments to your home hygiene program that give more care to your gums.
Can Gum Disease Be Prevented?
You can prevent gingivitis and periodontitis relatively easily in most instances. The best way to prevent gum disease is by properly controlling plaque. You achieve this by brushing your teeth to rid plaque from your teeth’s outer surfaces and flossing to remove plaque and food debris from between the teeth.
To reach some of the more hard-to-reach areas in your mouth or to get around and between teeth that are crooked or twisted, you can also use an interdental device. You may choose to use a mouthwash containing antiseptic and antimicrobial agents to get rid of any excess bacteria still present after you brush and floss.
In addition to these basic practices that should become part of your daily routine, if they aren’t already, there are several other actions you can take to eliminate the factors that promote gum disease.
- Get adequate sleep and reduce and relieve stress; these play a big part in keeping the immune system strong, and the immune system plays a big part in preventing and healing from gum disease.
- Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible, as smoke dries out your mouth and makes it harder to kill off bacteria as it grows.
- Avoid eating too many carbohydrates and sugars and eat more vegetables and grains instead; eating a balanced diet in general will also support your immune system in fighting off inflammation and infection.
Gum disease may also have a genetic component. It can therefore be helpful to research whether gum disease runs in your family and, if it does, discuss with your dentist how you can take better care of your gums to prevent it.
How Dentists Diagnose Gum Disease
To determine whether or not you have gum disease and, if so, to what degree, a dentist in Sweetwater will use the following methods:
- Examine sensitive teeth to see if there are any areas where the gums are receding.
- Examine the gums to look for swelling, redness or bleeding.
- Measure the gums in order to determine how deep the gum pockets are.
- Check for loose teeth which might be the result of either an improper bite or bone loss.
- Take dental X-rays, particularly bitewing x-rays to see if any bone has deteriorated
Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?
While gum disease remains in its early state, you can typically reverse it on your own by improving your home dental care routine, including making sure you’re consistent with it. You can also enlist the aid of your Sweetwater dentist for a professional cleaning to make sure your mouth is clear of all bacteria and food debris.
Once the infection has spread to the bone, however, and become periodontitis, you may start to experience some irreversible effects, like bone loss and gums unattaching from the teeth. This is why it’s vital to catch gum disease in its tracks as soon as you can.
Managing Gum Disease
Caring for your teeth and gums properly doesn’t take much time or effort at all; it just takes thoroughness and consistency. It requires a regular program of dental hygiene at home and regular cleanings and checkups from your Sweetwater dentist, your primary care doctor for your mouth.
Set yourself on the course to total oral health. Call us to schedule an appointment for your next checkup and cleaning today.