Do you ever see traces of blood when you brush or floss? If you do, you could be seeing the early stages of gum disease, or gingivitis as it’s commonly known.
Luckily, if caught in the early stages, gum disease is reversible with a few changes to your oral care routine.
It’s important to make these changes as soon as you notice pain, swelling, or bleeding as – if allowed to develop – gum disease can affect the health of your entire body.
If gingivitis is allowed to flourish, it can morph into more serious gum disease, periodontitis, and then you’ll need to visit us at Simply Smiles Dental in order to cure it.
What is it?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by the bacteria in plaque; a sticky, colorless film that is constantly forming on your teeth. If plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it will build up and the bacteria will eventually infect the gum tissue and bone that support the teeth. This can cause them to become loose, fall out, or require removal by a dentist.
What are the symptoms?
- Gums that are red, puffy or swollen, or tender
- Gums that bleed during brushing or flossing
- Teeth that look longer because your gums have receded
- Gums that have separated, or pulled away from your teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Pus coming from between your teeth and gums
- Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
A few dental tips to keep your gums and the rest of your mouth healthy
- Brush twice daily: Use fluoride toothpaste and be sure to pay attention to your gum line. Brush gently for two to three minutes.
- Floss daily: This removes plaque from spaces your brush cannot reach.
- Eat healthily: Sugar and starch increase the production of plaque. Look for foods rich in vitamin C and A to fortify your gum tissue.
- Avoid smoking cigarettes, hookah and vaporizing: The nicotine and tobacco in cigarettes and Hookah molasses have long been known to increase smokers’ risk of developing gum disease. Even e-cigarettes containing nicotine can contribute to periodontal disease and cancer.
- Monitor medications: Certain prescription medications can worsen existing oral ailments.
- Add mouthwash to your routine: An antiseptic mouth rinse can reduce harmful plaque by as much as 20 percent.
- Visit a dental professional: Schedule regular checkups to maintain a healthy smile.
Gum disease can be treated! Under the direction of your Simply Smiles Dental dentist, you can get a professional cleaning to remove built-up plaque, and then work to reverse the effects of early gum disease.
How do we ‘cure’ gum disease at Simply Smiles Dental?
Gingivitis is the only stage of periodontal disease that can easily be reversed. And if it is not reversed it only gets worse, and your teeth will start to loosen as the infected gums pull further away from the teeth.
For gingivitis, we expunge plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line. We wash the infected areas with a rinse to wash out and kill more bacteria. Finally, we give patients a detailed home care plan, to prevent return of the infection.
Mild periodontitis is often treated with scaling and root planing therapy. Scaling eliminates the plaque and tartar from your teeth above the gum line. Root planing reaches below the gum line to scrape tartar from the root surface and make it harder for bacteria to stick there. In some cases, your dentist may also prescribe an antibiotic. Patients with mild periodontitis need to have cleanings more frequently than those with healthy mouths.
For moderate periodontitis, in addition to the scaling and root planing therapy, we may put antibiotics directly into the pockets in your gums to kill bacteria that cleaning alone can’t reach. Other options include laser therapy to remove damaged gum tissue.
Severe periodontitis often leads to surgery if pockets are too deep and there is permanent bone damage. Some teeth may be so loose that they can’t be saved. Those teeth may have to be replaced with a denture, bridge, or implant.
Obviously, you want to avoid these outcomes, so practice a solid course of dental care at home, and make regular visits to your Simply Smiles Dental dentist!
Fight Gum Disease at Simply Smiles Dental
At Simply Smiles Dental, we aim to give you, your children, and your entire family, the smile and dental health of your dreams.
Our office is in Toorak Village and serves patients from Toorak, South Yarra, Prahran, Windsor, Southbank, South Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Malvern, Albert Park, Melbourne CBD, and other metro areas.
We are a Medibank and HCF Members Choice Dentist as well as an HCF Members Choice Dentist.
At Simply Smiles Dental, our goal is to make quality dental care affordable. To find out more, visit our promotions page today!
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