Healthy gums are just as important as the wellness of the rest of your body, but why do we neglect gum health? About half of Americans struggle with some sort of gum health issue which means unhealthy gums are more common than you probably thought. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your gums in good shape outside of the dentist’s office and how your dentist may be able to help with dedicated gum disease therapy if there’s a problem.
How Do I know If My Gums Are Unhealthy?
Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums that can affect the supporting bones around your teeth. While it can be tough to identify in its earliest stages, here are some tell-tale symptoms patients should be on the lookout for when brushing and flossing at home:
- Your gums are red, puffy, or swollen.
- Your gums bleed when you brush or floss.
- Your teeth may look longer because your gums are receding.
Most gum issues start because of poor oral healthcare. Plaque forms into tartar at the gumline which causes your gums to become easily irritated (like bleeding when brushing or flossing), red, or puffy.
If you can catch gum disease at these early stages, it can still be reversed! If you let these issues fester, it can eventually lead to missing teeth, and loss of healthy jawbone.
What Can I Do to Keep My Gums Healthy?
If gum disease is caught in its early stages, it can be reversed by maintaining a good oral health routine. Make sure you are brushing twice a day for 2 minutes each session, and that you floss once a day to clean out plaque in between the teeth.
If you are a smoker, quit. Smoking is strongly associated with gum disease and it weakens your immune system. Additionally, smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal once they are damaged.
Another way to keep your gums and mouth healthy is to use a therapeutic mouthwash. Look for a mouthwash with the American Dental Association seal of approval. This will ensure that you choose an effective and safe mouthwash that will reduce plaque, slow down tartar formation, and remove food and other debris from your mouth.
What Can My Dentist Do to Help?
Your dentist will use a tiny ruler to measure and check for any pockets around the teeth during regular checkups. The depth of these pockets in a healthy mouth is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. If your pockets are too big, you will need gum disease therapy to restore your health.
Gum disease therapy is a fancy way of saying your dentist needs to clean your gums. The pockets around your teeth that are home to tartar and bacteria need to be cleaned out so your condition doesn’t get worse. Your trusted dentist will clean your teeth to remove tartar above and below the gum line. If your condition is more severe, an expert may recommend scaling and root planing. This is a procedure that smooths irregularities on the roots of your teeth making it much harder for plaque to develop, as well as removing bacteria and tartar from above and underneath he gumline.
Are your gums red, puffy, or bleeding regularly? Maintaining a good oral health routine and regular checkups is a great way to bring their health back. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your local dentist today to get the help you need.
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Dennis E. Stansbury has been helping patients achieve amazing oral health for decades! He participates in continuing education courses because dentistry is always changing and advancing. He wants to make sure he is always providing the latest and greatest to his patients. He currently owns his own practice in Tyler where he is ready to make your gums as healthy as possible! For any questions or comments, he can be contacted by phone at (903) 561-1122.