Gum Disease Treatment Tips To Keep You Smiling

When we look at beautiful smiles, healthy gums send out a message of health and youth. They’re a healthy light pink color, are firm, without swelling, and they snuggly hug your teeth. This can usually be achieved by following an oral regimen and using gum disease treatment techniques if necessary.

But when oral home care and regular visits to our office are lacking, gum disease can develop. The top seven reasons are listed a bit further down the page. But first, let’s take a look at the two kinds of gum disease…

Gingivitis

  • Gingiva means gums and “itis” means inflammation = gingivitis
  • gum surfaces can appear puffy and deep pink or red
  • sometimes, gums bleed when you brush or floss – even a little bit means gingivitis is present
  • gingivitis in not usually painful
  • it can cause persistent bad taste in your mouth and relentless bad breath
  • caused by an accumulation of plaque bacteria – a naturally occurring sticky film on the teeth and at the gumline
  • it is not destructive, but can lead to a more severe type of gum disease that is
  • can be reversed with thorough home care plus regular professional dental hygiene cleanings at our practice – you should see changes within a few to a couple of weeks … but stay vigilant as gingivitis can return if attention to homecare begins to slacken
    • brush twice a day minimum with a toothbrush with soft bristles and applying light pressure – don’t scrub
    • floss once a day minimum
    • don’t forget to clean your tongue with your brush or with a tongue scraper which can be more effective than brushing – ask us for advice next time you’re in
    • replace your brush every 3 months or when the bristles are freyed
    • pay close attention to your diet to ensure well-rounded nutrients including a balanced diet that covers off the recommended daily dose of vitamins and nutrients

Periodontitis

  • the color of gums appear red, dusky red, or purplish
  • gums can feel tender when touched and bleed easily
  • gums may be painful
  • sometimes people with periodontitis experience pain when chewing
  • gums bleed easily and often
  • bad breath is chronic
  • damages your teeth’s supporting ligaments and bone
  • gums that pull away from teeth (gum recession)
  • loose or shifting teeth – change in the position of your teeth
  • excessive buildup of hardened plaque (called tartar or calculus) on your teeth around the gumline
  • sometimes there’s pus between your teeth and gums
  • an inflammatory response throughout your body as oral disease has been connected to, has a relationship with, or has been shown to influence other inflammatory diseases such as…
    • heart disease
    • stroke disease
    • diabetes
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • some types of cancer
    • osteoporosis
    • lung disease
    • rheumatoid arthritis
    • pregnancy complications
    • pre-term births
    • low-birth-weight babies
    • kidney disease.

If gum disease is left untreated and it progresses, it can develop into a more severe form of gingivitis called periodontitis. At this stage, teeth can become so loose that surgery or tooth extraction is necessary. The good news is you can avoid that altogether with a strong at-home hygiene routine and regular visits to our practice.

Suspicious? What are the ways you can tell if you have developed gum disease?

Have you noticed blood on your toothbrush or in the toothpaste you spit out after cleaning your teeth? Perhaps your gums bleed when you eat. Or maybe you have really bad breath all the time (also known as halitosis). These are all signs of gum disease.

What are some of the causes of gum disease?

The seven main causes of gum disease include:

  1. Plaque buildup.
  2. Smoking and chewing tobacco. Smoking not only makes your teeth and fingernails yellow, but it also makes your mouth much more vulnerable to gum disease.
  3. Hormonal changes in females. During the time of the menstrual cycle (or if you’re pregnant), your gums may become inflamed, irritated, puffy, red, or bleed a little when brushing or flossing.
  4. Prescription medications. There are some drugs that give you dry mouth or reduce your saliva flow, which makes bacteria spread more.
  5. Nutritional deficiencies. If you ingest too many sugary substances or don’t get all your daily vitamins, it can make your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria.
  6. Crooked teeth. Crooked teeth can be a breeding ground for gum disease because plaque and tartar tend to build up between the gaps and spaces in the misaligned teeth.
  7. Family history. If there is a history of gum disease, talk to us, your dentist in McKinney, about it. Your genetics may put you at a slightly increased risk for infection.

Here are some home treatment options (traditional and more holistic) you can try…

  • Brush and floss at least twice daily.
  • Get rid of stubborn bacteria trapped under the gumline.
  • Swish with mouthwash.
  • Be careful with the foods and beverages you consume. Alcohol, carbonated drinks, and sugary snacks can all be harmful.

If you’re concerned about gum disease or are displaying any symptoms mentioned in this article, please call us at 469-352-9859 today. We can help keep your smile beautiful and functioning the way it should.