Your gums play an essential role in your oral health. While many people believe that the primary purpose of gums is to help hold your teeth in place, the actual purpose is to create a tight seal between your mouth and your bloodstream.
Your gums are living tissues that adhere to the surfaces of your teeth. The close connection prevents food, saliva, and bacteria within your mouth from entering your bloodstream.
No matter how well you care for your teeth and gums, your mouth is filled with thousands of types of bacteria, some of which are potentially harmful. If the bacteria enters your bloodstream, it can cause widespread health issues throughout your body.
Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is the result of inflammation and infection of your gum tissue.
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis and is characterized by red and swollen gums. Your gum tissue should appear firm and pink, and you should not feel pain while brushing or flossing.
Some signs that you might have gingivitis include:
It’s important to see a periodontal specialist if you notice these signs of gum disease. When caught early, gingivitis can be reversed by embracing better oral hygiene routines.
When gingivitis is untreated, full periodontal disease can result. Some signs of the serious condition include:
Don’t ignore these signs of periodontal disease. If the condition advances, tooth loss and serious health issues can result.
The best way to prevent gum disease is to take excellent care of your teeth and gums. Be sure to use a soft-bristle toothbrush and brush gently twice a day. Daily flossing is also important. Remember, it’s never too late to begin a flossing habit.
Scheduling regular dental exams is also essential for your gum health. Your dentist can detect the early stages of gum disease and instruct you on ways to improve your gum health. This is truly an area where prevention is better than treatment.
For advanced periodontal disease, addressing tissue inflammation and infection is the first priority. You may need to take a course of antibiotics during treatment to reduce the risk of serious infection.
A treatment called scaling and planing is one approach to improving periodontal disease. The technique involves removing plaque and tartar from the area beneath your gums. The surface of your tooth roots is altered to make it harder for bacteria to take hold in those areas.
Gingivectomy is another option. The procedure works by surgically trimming away a portion of inflamed gum tissue. Gum grafting might be necessary if you’ve lost a significant volume of gum tissue. Your treatment plan might also include medications or tissue-stimulating proteins to help promote new tissue growth.
Learn more about treatment for periodontal disease during a personalized consultation. Booking takes just moments online or over the phone.