Brushing your teeth does more than just clean your pearly whites; it also keeps your gums healthy. Gum care is very important for oral health because healthy gums are the foundation for a healthy mouth. Unhealthy gums can lead to periodontal disease (better known as gum disease). There are two major stages of gum disease: gingivitis and periodontitis, both of which cause major problems.
- Irritated, inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive gums
Gingivitis is a precursor for periodontitis which can cause:
- Receding gums that expose teeth roots to infection
- Bone loss, leading to tooth loss
- Pain in and around the gums
- Bad breath
- Research has found a link between gum disease and heart disease
Gingivitis is reversible with proper brushing and flossing. Once bone loss and periodontal disease have occurred, however, there is no turning back. Patients who have gum disease will always have it, and it remains critical to their oral health to stay on top of their condition. Regular visits (sometimes 3-4 times per year) with the hygienist are important for regular gum disease maintenance. Periodontal disease ebbs and flows a bit, and you may experience periods of exacerbation intermixed with periods of latency. It’s important to see us regularly so that we can properly manage the disease.
What you can do at home to help prevent periodontal disease:
- Remember to brush your gums when you brush your teeth. Try to gently massage your gums with your brush to get any plaque that is at the gumline.
- Floss and use mouthwash.
- If you have any signs of gingivitis, call us ASAP
After diligent cleaning, gingivitis should clear up. However, if you find yourself facing periodontitis, schedule an appointment with us immediately. Each case of periodontal disease is different, and there are many ways to treat it depending on what damage has occurred and what part of the gum is being affected.
Friendly Dentistry is a dentist in Greensboro, NC. If you need a cleaning, contact us to schedule an appointment.