Proper oral care is essential, but not just to keep teeth strong and healthy. Failing to pay enough attention to the gum tissue can have disastrous effects. Once gum disease begins to take hold, it can cause bone loss beneath the surface as well as exposing the teeth to decay. Knowing how to treat and prevent gum disease at home and understanding how your dentist will treat advanced gum disease is essential to restoring your oral health.
Recognizing the Onset of Gum Disease
While you might expect to experience some discomfort, gum disease is often painless. For that reason, many people don’t realize it until it reaches advanced stages or until they receive a check-up from a dentist who practices general dentistry Beaufort SC. However, if you learn the symptoms of gum disease, you’ll be able to spot it in its earliest stages. Identifying gum disease is the key to treating it more effectively and preventing it from advancing to a more severe condition.
The most obvious sign of gum disease is in the appearance of the gum tissue. If your gums appear red and swollen, there is most likely a bacterial infection. Additionally, the gum tissue may be tender to the touch or you may observe frequent bleeding. All of these symptoms indicate that you may have gum disease.
You may also notice that the gums are receding, exposing more of the teeth than they should. These symptoms are often accompanied by chronic bad breath, even when you take the necessary steps to eliminate the odor. In advanced cases of gum disease, the teeth may loosen or there may be deposits of pus around the teeth.
Reversing Gum Disease at Home
Once you recognize that you have gum disease, there are steps you can take at home to reverse it. You should begin by evaluating your dental care practices. If you have developed gum disease, you’re probably doing something incorrectly. You should be brushing at least twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush of good quality and with fluoride toothpaste. When you brush, think of it more as polishing each tooth rather than vigorously scrubbing your teeth. Pressing too hard can damage the gum tissue, especially near the gum line, and expose your mouth to bacteria.
After brushing, avoid rinsing with water, since this will flush the fluoride out of your mouth. Instead, rinse with an ADA (American Dental Association) approved fluoride mouthwash so the teeth and gum tissue can benefit from the protection. Avoid eating or drinking for at least 30 minutes after you brush. You should also floss your teeth once a day.
Our mouths produce saliva as a means of fighting the bacteria that cause gum disease. Frequently drinking water and chewing sugarless gum can stimulate the production of saliva and help your mouth flush harmful bacteria away from the gum tissue. You should also try to eat healthier. Although an office for general dentistry can provide specific dietary restrictions, you should try to eat more nutritiously and eliminate foods with added sugar. Meals should be comprised largely of fruits and vegetables, while also including whole grains and meats or fish. This will help you boost your immune system, which is essential for preventing and reversing gum disease.
Finally, you should abstain from smoking tobacco products. Smoking irritates the gums, while also introducing unnecessary bacteria to the gum tissue. Continued smoking can contribute to gum disease as well as making it more challenging to alleviate the condition. The smoke inflames the gums and makes it harder for the tissue to heal on its own.
Advanced Gum Disease Requires Professional Treatment
Gum disease can also be prevented through regular checkups with a dentist. If you don’t already have a dentist, try searching online for general dentistry near me to find an office in your neighborhood. This will make it easy to stick to your six-month checkup schedule. Seeing your dentist twice a year will help identify gum disease in its earliest stages. Additionally, a six-month cleaning will remove tartar and plaque buildup on the teeth. By ensuring your teeth are thoroughly cleaned, you and your dentist can remove bacteria before it infects the gum tissue.
In more severe cases, your dentist may have to perform surgery. This is necessary especially when the tissue has started to expose the teeth or when pus has started to develop. The dentist will likely use grafting techniques to rebuild the bone or restore the gum tissue to a healthier state. The dentist may also ask you to apply a special gel to your gum tissue on a daily basis. The gel contains proteins that will help the gum tissue regenerate.
If you develop a healthy oral care routine and watch what substances you expose to your gum tissue, you will be better able to avoid severe oral health problems. Since gum disease can affect your entire mouth, it’s important to watch for it and do everything possible to prevent it. Working together with your dentist via regular checkups can help you reverse damage before it becomes too severe.