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When we think about gum disease (which is probably not that often!), we normally think about how to avoid it.
The best way to tackle the problem, or course, is to brush and floss your teeth and keep up regular visits to your dentist.
But if you do have gum disease, what can be done to cure it and to ensure that it does not return? At Smiles First Dental, we have answers for your questions!
What is Gum Disease?
It begins when plaque builds up on your teeth. If it stays on your teeth longer than a few days, it can harden under your gums and form a substance called tartar. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis or periodontitis.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis. Plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. This growth stimulates a chronic inflammatory response, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth begin to break down.
Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected. Pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed and replaced with bridges, dentures, or implants.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Warning signs include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Sores in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing food
- Undue sensitivity to hot or cold temperature
- Pus surrounding your teeth and gums
- Bleeding when eating hard food, flossing, or brushing
Causes of Gum Disease
Understanding the causes of gum disease can help us understand how to avoid it:
- Smoking makes it difficult for the gum tissue to repair itself.
- Hormonal Changes: cause the gums to become more sensitive, making it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Illnesses can affect the condition of your gums. Including diseases like cancer or HIV that affect the immune system. Patients with Diabetes are at a higher risk for developing infections, including cavities and gum disease.
- Medications affect oral health because some lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums.
- Poor Oral Health Habits like not flossing or brushing daily will make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Genetics (Family History) also can be a contributing factor in the development of gingivitis.
Regular brushing and flossing go a long way in preventing gum disease. Use an antibacterial mouth rinse or toothpaste to kill bacteria and reduce the amount of plaque in the mouth.
Adding these habits to your daily routine can help.
- Brush your teeth. Brushing after meals helps remove food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to include your tongue, bacteria loves to hide there.
- Flossing at least once a day helps remove food particles and plaque between teeth and along the gum line that your toothbrush can’t quite reach.
- Swish with mouthwash. Using a mouthwash can help reduce plaque and can remove remaining food particles that brushing and flossing missed.
- Know your risk.Age, smoking, diet and genetics can all increase your risk for periodontal disease. If you are at increased risk, be sure to talk with your dental professional and schedule more visits.
Better diet to avoid Gum Disease
Milk products have calcium, a nutrient that strengthens your teeth. A 2008 study in the Journal of Periodontology found that people who regularly ate dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, had less gum disease.
Snacking on carrots, apples, celery, and similar foods may help due to their crunch factor.
Treatment at Smiles First Dental
The only way to erase plaque that has hardened into tartar is by seeking professional cleaning from your Northmead dentist or dental hygienist.
By scheduling regular dental checkups—at least twice a year, early stages of gum disease can be detected and treated before it becomes serious. Remember, healthy gums should be firm, pink, and should hold your teeth tightly in place.
Dental Care at Smiles First Dental
At Smiles First Dental your oral health and the appearance of your smile is important to us. Our highly trained staff can treat any dental issue, including complicated issues related to other health conditions, including diabetes. Our commitment to our patients is dental health and an attractive smile for a lifetime!
Gap-free check up and clean
We offer all patients gap-free check ups, cleans and all preventative treatments if you are in a private health fund ($180 for patients not in a private health fund).
We like to make life a little bit easier for our patients by offering longer hours on weekdays and weekend appointments.
Visit us at our conveniently located office: 19/5-7 Kleins Rd,Northmead, NSW 2152