Gum disease is a common dental condition that a lot of adults experience. It refers to when the gums can easily be swollen or infected. In some cases, the gums bleed even when just brush your teeth. Learn more about gum disease here and how you can prevent or treat it.
What is Gum Disease?
Like what was mentioned, gum disease is a dental condition wherein the gums are sore or infected. It is caused by the existence of plaque on your teeth that aggravate the gums. Plaque is a substance that sticks to the teeth and it generally comes from food and drinks that stay in your mouth for long periods of time. If plaque is not removed, it can turn into tartar which is also just a hardened form of plaque. This is the yellowish build-up found on the sides and back of your teeth.
The hardened plaque contains bacteria. Although not all of the bacteria in it are harmful, some can cause infection to your gums. This is why when you brush, your gums easily bleed even if you do it gently. Sometimes, your gums will just look red.
Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. But when it is left untreated and more plaque forms on your teeth, it can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis is more serious than gum disease because your jaw’s tissue can weaken which will cause your teeth to fall off.
How Do You Treat Gum Disease?
The most common indicators of gum disease are tender gums. You’ll notice that your gums are tender when slight movements make it bleed. Most of the time, it will bleed when you brush your teeth. Another common symptom is bad breath. Although bad breath can be a result of different things, it can also be a sign that your teeth have bacteria on it.
The first thing you have to do is to go to a dentist. This is important because your dentist will assess how bad gum disease is. Depending on how bad the damage is, your dentist will recommend dental cleaning, a mouthwash, or surgery.
If the damage is not that bad, you can reverse periodontal disease with mouthwash. Your dentist will recommend a certain mouthwash that will help flush out the bacteria damaging your gums. This will also help strengthen your gums so that it doesn’t get swollen when you hit it or when you accidentally bite it. The main goal of your dentist is to reduce the current swelling and avoid further infection in your gums.
However, if your gums are seriously damaged, then surgery will be recommended. This surgery is meant to restore your gum’s tissues. There are different kinds of surgical treatments for gum disease and they will depend on the kind of damage your gums have. Most of them will include removing the tartar from your teeth.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is something you can prevent. Since it is caused by hardened tartar on the teeth, then the best way to avoid gum disease is to keep your teeth clean. The easiest way is to practice proper dental hygiene. Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day. It would also help that you know how to brush your teeth properly. Each area of your mouth should be thoroughly cleaned.
You should also include flossing every day. Flossing is always neglected by a lot of people because it seems unnecessary when you already brush. But this is not the case. Flossing further cleans the sides of the teeth where plaque usually forms.
And finally, you should let your teeth be cleaned by your dentist every 6 months. An intense dental cleaning done by a professional will remove all the tartar that has stuck to your teeth. Hardened tartar won’t be removed by simply brushing so you have to go to a dentist for this. During the cleaning, your dentist will use tools that will scrape the tartar from your teeth. After the whole procedure, they will ask you to rinse using a mouthwash to flush away the bacteria. A dental cleaning twice a year should not be missed so that gum disease will not form.