The pink tissue that supports your teeth is extremely important to both your oral and overall health! In fact, if your periodontal (gum) tissue becomes unhealthy, you could suffer chronic bad breath, loose teeth, cardiovascular problems, and other serious and painful problems. Today, we’ll discuss oral hygiene, gum therapy, and other keys to protecting your periodontal health.
Oral Hygiene: Prevent Problems Before They Start
Genetics, preexisting health conditions, and a range of other factors can contribute to gum disease. Most often, however, oral hygiene problems are at the heart of gum issues. If poor habits allow bacteria to collect along the gum line, it can quickly lead to inflammation and gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease.
To care for your gums at home, you should:
- Be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly. Don’t forget the area along the gum line and the backs of your teeth.
- Floss daily. Floss removes plaque that accumulates between teeth in the tight spaces where your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Use an antibacterial mouth rinse. This is particularly important for individuals who are predisposed to gum disease.
Gum Therapy: Professional Help to Fight Periodontal Disease
Gum therapy, often called periodontal therapy, is any treatment that your dentist may use to help you win the victory over gum disease. The most common form of periodontal therapy is a procedure known as scaling and root planing, which essentially consists of a deep cleaning of your mouth. Not only will the dentist remove plaque both above and below the gum line, but they’ll also smooth out the roots of your teeth to make it more difficult for bacteria to stick to them.
Antibiotics, laser therapy, and in some cases, surgery, may also play a role in combating gum disease. Once your dentists evaluates the severity of your condition, they’ll design a customized treatment plan for you.
Dental Checkups: Before and After Periodontal Problems
Even if you think your gums are healthy, that’s no excuse to miss regular dental checkups and cleanings. The cleanings will remove plaque buildup that you might have missed during your normal routine. During the checkup, the professionals at your dentist’s office may notice problems with your gums well before you do. Therefore, you may be able to stop issues while they are still in their earliest stages.
If your dentist has previously treated you for gum disease, that doesn’t mean you’re cured forever. It’s important to keep an eye on your gums and be alert for signs of trouble, such as swelling, discoloration, or bleeding. Visiting your dentist as soon as you notice these symptoms may be able to spare you from another intensive periodontal procedure.
Your gums play a pivotal role in your smile’s well-being! Take good care of them through excellent oral hygiene, gum therapy, and regular dental checkups.
About the Author
Dr. Sheri Mcintosh, the owner of Distinguished Dental, always seeks to provide high quality preventive and restorative care to her patients. If you are struggling with gum problems, or it’s time for your next dental checkup, contact us at 817-337-8300 to schedule an appointment with her.