How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease, gingivitis, or periodontal disease is a relatively common dental condition that affects more than 35.7 million Americans. If you don’t practice proper oral hygiene, plaque and bacteria will accumulate on your teeth over time. This results in the irritation, redness, and swelling of the part of the gums that wraps around your teeth called the gingiva. Like most dental issues, gum disease can spiral into a more serious condition if left unchecked, says Dr. Boals, an emergency dentist in Colorado Springs.
Any dentist in Colorado Springs will tell you prevention is better than cure for conditions like gum disease. Left unchecked, the inflammation will travel below your gum line into your jaw bone, resulting in a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. However, there’s no shame in having gingivitis. Catching it early will give your emergency dentist in Colorado Springs enough time to plan and execute an effective treatment plan for you. So what are some of the symptoms you should look out for?
- Red swollen gums may feel tender or painful and bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth.
- Bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth. The build-up of plaque provides bacteria with sustenance, and they release toxins that have a foul smell and irritate the gums and teeth.
- Receding or shrinking gums.
- Teeth sensitivity to temperature. This occurs as the gums recede and shrink, thus exposing a sensitive part of the teeth called the dentin.
- Shifting or wiggling teeth. Since advanced gum disease attacks the bone that holds teeth in place, it can loosen the roots’ hold on the jawbone. This causes them to shift slightly, and it can even change the way your teeth fit when you bite.
- Pus at the gum line.
As we’ve seen, gum disease is a precursor to a more serious condition that can severely impact your teeth and gums and may require more invasive treatments to save your teeth. The silver lining is that the condition is very easily preventable, it just requires commitment and diligence, says Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport, LA. Let’s look at some of the ways you can actively avoid gum disease.
How do I Prevent Gum Disease?
Dental conditions like gum disease are caused when you neglect to take proper care of your teeth and gums. The food particles that remain on your teeth and gums provide the bacteria in your mouth with plenty of nourishment, especially sugar and carbohydrates. They feed on these remains, releasing corrosive toxins into your mouth and resulting in the build-up of plaque between the gums and teeth. The longer this harmful film of plaque and bacteria is left there, the more time they have to harden into tartar under the gum line, causing damage to your gums and, eventually, your jawbone.
The experts at Kissing Camels Family Dentistry in Colorado Springs say the best defense you can have against gum disease is a diligent and thorough oral hygiene routine.
- Brush your teeth after each meal. This removes food debris and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to clean your tongue as it is a preferred breeding ground for bacteria.
- Floss at least once a day. This will remove the food particles and plaque between your teeth and gum line that your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Rinse your mouth twice a day with an ADA-Accepted mouthwash. They have been clinically proven to prevent and reduce gingivitis.
- See your dentist Colorado Springs CO regularly. Routine checks will enable your dentist in Colorado Springs to catch the condition in time. Additionally, if you experience any of the symptoms described above, such as bleeding, tender or receding gums, loose teeth, or persistent bad breath, seek emergency dental care in Colorado Springs.
- Avoid smoking. According to Dr. Boals, a cosmetic dentist in Colorado, smokers are three to six times more likely to develop gum disease. Smoking inhibits saliva production, making it easier for bacteria to stick to the tooth and gums and develop into plaque and tartar.
- Watch your diet. Avoid sugar as much as you can, and drink plenty of water to rinse out your mouth.
Treating Gum Disease
Gum disease is relatively easy to treat if it is caught early. Your dentist in Colorado Springs, CO, will look at the extent of your infection before deciding on the best treatment. Deep cleaning, which goes under the gum line, can be used to remove plaque build-up between your teeth and gums, and they can remove the tartar both above and below the gum line through scaling. There are also a variety of medications that can be used to get rid of bacteria and reduce the infection. However, if the infection is advanced, you may require a tooth extraction in Colorado Springs.
While gum disease is treatable, Dr. Boals says that ultimately, prevention is better than cure. Brush and floss after every meal, drink plenty of water and avoid smoking to keep your teeth and gums in top shape. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, contact the best dentists in Colorado Springs at Kissing Camels Family Dentistry for a consultation.