Without healthy gums, your teeth lack structural integrity. For that reason, allow us to take this opportunity to share how you should take care of this important and all-too-often neglected part of the mouth. Unfortunately, people often experience gum disease without pain. The reason this is problematic is because, unless you’re regularly visiting the dentist and conscientiously flossing and brushing your teeth, you may go for a long period of time before discovering the issue. And the longer gums go neglected, the more serious the underlying problem can become.
Gum Disease Defined
Healthline describes gum disease as follows:
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 Damages Gums, leading to:
Thankfully, since gum disease does not immediately impact the bone and tissue holding teeth in place, the damage is reversible if it is treated in a timely manner. Advanced gum disease is called Periodontitis. This stage of infection undermines the integrity of the bones that anchor teeth. Therefore, if it goes untreated, it can affect gums, bones and tissues connected to teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) reports the signs that may signal gum disease:
- Change in the way teeth fit together when they bite
- Changes in the way dentures or partials fit into the mouth
- Chronic bad taste or breath (Halitosis)
- Gums that easily bleed
- Gums that pull away from teeth
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Separating or loose permanent teeth
Causes of Gum Disease
- Crooked teeth that are difficult to keep clean
- Medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
How to Take Care of Your Gums
- Brush at least twice a day
- Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
- Eat a diet low in sugar and high in protein, vegetables, and healthy grains
- Floss at least once a day
- Quit smoking (or never start)
- Replace your toothbrush every three to four months
- See your dentist regularly
- Use a therapeutic mouthwash or rinse
- Use fluoride toothpaste
Schedule a Dental Appointment if you notice:
- A loose permanent tooth
- An abscess
- Difficulty chewing
- Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold
- Persistent bad breath
- Persistent toothache
- Red, swollen gums, or gums that bleed
If you suffer from any of the above, never fear. Treatments exist which can help address even the most severe forms of gum disease. However, try to prevent these by taking care of your teeth.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.