Your Mouth Is Talking To You – Bleeding Gums, Bad Breath and Sensitive Teeth are Signs You May Have Gum Disease. Get Healthy Gums and Keep Your Teeth…
When you think of your dental health, what comes to mind? For many people, dental health begins and ends with healthy teeth. They focus their efforts on keeping teeth clean and free of cavities, and neglect the tissue that surrounds and protects their teeth – their gums.
Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth. They form a seal that protects the underlying bone and provides a barrier against infection. However, this seal can be broken when plaque builds up along the gum line and can cause inflammation known as gingivitis.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gingivitis is caused by a buildup of plaque where the gum meets the tooth, and is often associated with periodontal pockets. These occur when the vertical space between the tooth and gum line becomes greater than three millimeters.
At this stage, gum disease is reversible. However, if left untreated, plaque can migrate down the root and cause more serious inflammation or even bone loss. The bone can become scalloped and uneven and bone volume will decrease around the teeth. This stage of periodontal disease is called periodontitis, which is irreversible.
This is a very definitive diagnosis and the most common reason people lose their teeth. What’s interesting is that all of this happens without discomfort, which makes it difficult for patients to understand how serious it can be.
How To Prevent Gum Disease
Clearly, our gums play an important role in our dental health and deserve the same level of care as our teeth. Here are a few ways to help prevent gum disease and reverse the early signs of gingivitis.
1. Practice good oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing daily not only protects your teeth, it keeps harmful plaque from forming that can lead to gingivitis. If you are not already, brush your teeth properly at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, preferably in the evening to remove any food and debris from the day.
A Waterpik is also a great tool for those people who either don’t like flossing, or would prefer a deeper clean. And lastly, a good mouthwash will also help kill bacteria that leads to plaque. The important thing to remember here is that leaving food between your teeth will result in bacteria, plaque and gum disease.
2. Keep up with your regular dental cleanings
Regular dental cleanings are necessary to remove built-up plaque and tartar that can negatively impact your oral health. While you may think you’re doing a good job at keeping your teeth and gum line clean, there is only so much a toothbrush and waterpik can do.
If left on your teeth long enough, plaque will form into tartar – or calculus – which is a hard deposit that is much harder to remove and can make it difficult to brush and floss your teeth. The bacteria in tartar can also irritate and damage your gums and lead to gum disease. Dental cleanings every 6 months will go a long way in removing excess tartar and plaque and maintaining healthy gums.
3. Get a deep cleaning, if needed
Over time, tartar can develop below the gum line putting you at an increased risk of periodontal disease and periodontitis. Deep teeth cleaning – also known as scaling and root planning, or non-surgical periodontal therapy – is the process of removing tartar that forms beneath the gum line to stop the progression of gum disease.
If your dentist has ever recommended that you get a deep cleaning, it’s important that you get one, and soon. If you put off deep cleaning teeth for too long, the disease will progress and you may develop periodontists. If you’re unsure if you need a deep cleaning, there are a few signs you can look for, including bad breath and bleeding gums.
If you think you may have gum disease, or are nervous about the health of your gums, schedule an appointment with our dentist office in Brandon, FL. We’ll be happy to confirm your diagnosis and help you restore your dental health.