What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease starts when plaque builds up under and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film-like substance that’s filled with bacteria. It can cause infections that hurt the gum and bone, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque also can cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Gingivitis causes your gums to become inflamed, tender, red, or swollen, and prone to bleeding. Fortunately, since the bone and tissue holding the teeth in place aren’t impacted, this damage is reversible.
Top tips for keeping your gums healthy and well
- Brush teeth, gums, and tongue twice a day
It is important to remember to brush your teeth once in the morning and once in the evening. Make sure that you are brushing for 2 minutes every single time you brush. It is also extremely important to brush along the gum line as well as your tongue. This helps to reduce the amount of bacteria that live on the surface of the gums. Using fluoride to brush also helps.
- Floss daily
Even though brushing is extremely important, you must not forget to floss regularly. A toothbrush is not able to get in between your teeth and clean the crevices. Plaque and food gets lodged into these crevices which causes bacteria to form in between the teeth and gums. Sticky film gets stuck onto the gums and teeth which causes the bacteria to form which puts you at a higher risk for gum disease. Make sure you are flossing once a day with dental floss or a soft pick brush.
- Visit your dentist twice a year
One of the most important things you can do in order to keep your gums healthy is to visit a dentist at least twice a year. The dentist will be able to perform a comprehensive check-up in order to determine the health of your gums. You could very well be doing everything you are supposed to but could still develop gum disease. Your dentist will check your medical history, check for bleeding, as well as pockets. They will also perform a cleaning which reduces the bad bacteria on your teeth before it travels to your gums.
- Drink wisely
What drinks you consume can affect the health of your teeth. Beverages such as soft drinks and sugary juices have been targeted as culprits of tooth decay. Drinking less soft drink and more water, milk and fresh juices can help protect your teeth.
- Watch for signs of gum disease
Even if you take every precaution, it is still very important to check for signs of gum disease. It is also crucial to notify your dentist if you have any of these following warning signs of gum disease:
- Your gums bleed easily
- Your gums are very red, tender and / or swollen
- You can see pus in between your teeth and gums when they are pressed.
- Your gums seem to be pulling away from your teeth
- You have chronic bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- You notice a change in your bite or in the way your teeth fit together
- Your teeth are loose or they are separating
- The fit of your partials or dentures have changed
You have a higher risk of periodontal disease if you are a smoker, have an immune deficiency disorder, are diabetic and have cardiovascular disease.
Check out our fact sheet on gum health for more information
Taking care of your mouth means not just taking care of your teeth but also taking care of your gums. Less problems will occur if you follow the steps above and care for both your teeth and your gums. Your next dental visit will be a lot less stressful if you do.
Come and visit Providence Medical & Dental, Belmont and speak to our Dentist Dr Manu Walker about your current gum health and how you can improve it.
Contact us to today to make your next dentist appointment, call 4989 1300.