What Are the Causes of and Treatments for Gum Disease?

Jun 24, 2013

When we think about taking care of our dental health, we often forget about the health of our gums in favor of preventing cavities and keeping our teeth white and shiny. However, even if your teeth are in peak condition, you might still be neglecting another equally important aspect of your dental health — your gums. Gum diseases such as gingivitis and the more severe periodontitis are often believed to be the most common disease affecting humans after the common cold.

 

The Symptoms

  • Swollen, Red Gums — Normal, healthy gums are typically not puffy and have a pink color. When your gums—especially in the area surrounding the gum line—are inflamed and more pinkish in color, you may be experiencing a mild form of gum disease.

  • Bleeding While Brushing/Flossing — Healthy gums won’t begin to bleed at the slightest signs of brushing or flossing. If you’re brushing and your gums begin to bleed you might have gum disease.

  • Receding Gums/Loose Teeth — The most problematic symptoms of gum disease are the possible receding of gums. As bacteria spreads into pockets between gums and teeth, gums react by receding and eventually wearing away at the “support system” of the tooth. With the weakened infrastructure supporting the tooth, your teeth may become loose and fall out or need to be removed.

 

What Can I Do?

 

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Practices — The best tool in your arsenal to combat gum disease is to practice good, regular dental hygiene procedures. That includes flossing regularly and brushing at least twice a day. Gingivitis and less severe forms of gum disease can often be cured by better brushing and flossing habits before the disease progresses to Periodontitis.

  • If Applicable, Quit Smoking — Smoking has been directly linked to the health of patients’ gums (and teeth), quitting—while easier said than done—can be an effective way of cutting down on your risk of gum disease.

  • Visit Your Dentist Regularly — Scheduling regular appointments with your dentist is something you should always be doing, but in the case of gum disease, your dentist can help identify the early signs of gum disease and (if necessary) prescribe you a more professional treatment or refer you to a periodontist for more severe stages of gum disease.

If you have further questions regarding the causes, treatments or identification of gum disease, or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jahangiri, contact Noble Smile Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today.