9 Things You Should Know About Your Gums
- Posted on: Jul 28 2016
Gum disease is far too common.
We have seen it many times in our dentist office in Webster, TX, and research shows more than half of American have some form of gum disease at any time.
Your gums aren’t just extra tissue in your mouth. You should make time to care for them every day just like you do your teeth.
Our team at Clear Lake Dental Care wants all our patients to understand why this is important. So, today, we are presenting 9 things you should know about your gums.
#1. Brushing and flossing are for your gums, too.
We spend a lot of time cleaning, repairing, and replacing teeth. It’s why we recommend following ADA guidelines to brush and floss your teeth every day.
The bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease live your mouth, and they multiply every day. Daily brushing and flossing are necessary to reduce their numbers so they don’t cause the problems we mentioned.
#2. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
If you care about your smile, then you need to take care of your gums. In the advanced stages of periodontal disease, your gums can separate from your teeth, and bacteria may attack the bone that holds your teeth in place. This can cause your teeth to feel loose or fall out of their sockets.
#3. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease.
Researchers know this is a fact, although they aren’t completely certain why this is the case. One hypothesis is that diabetes can lead to dry mouth, which also raises your risk of gum disease.
Another thing researchers have learned is that periodontal problems can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar.
#4. Pregnant women have an increased risk of gum disease, too.
During pregnancy, women produce more progesterone. This is important for the development of the baby. Unfortunately, it’s also good for bacteria.
And pregnancy isn’t the only time that females have an increased risk of gum disease. Females going through puberty and menopause also are more likely to have periodontal disease.
#5. Gum disease can be reversed in the early stages.
Red, swollen gums and gums that bleed when you brush or floss are symptoms of gingivitis, which is the mild form of gum disease. At this point, you often can reserve the disease by following the ADA guidelines for brushing (two minutes twice per day) and flossing (every day).
To floss correctly, you need about 18 inches of dental floss. Wrap it around your middle fingers, grip a small portion between your thumbs and index fingers, and work it between your teeth and below your gumline.
#6. Flossing isn’t the only way to clean between your teeth.
The point is the clean the spaces that your toothbrush can’t reach. For people who either can’t or won’t floss, you may want to consider alternative interdental devices.
Flossers have short handles with a U-shaped opening on one end. A piece of floss has been threaded between the ends of this opening. Many people find flossers more convenient or more comfortable to use than dental floss.
Water flossers use water pressure instead. These devices spray a stream of water to remove plaque and bacteria between your teeth and gums.
#7. Advanced gum disease requires professional treatment.
If you don’t take steps to treat your gum disease in the early stages, then you will need the help of a dental professional to remove it.
One example of this is a treatment called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, a dentist or hygienist will clean below your gumline to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the roots of your teeth.
#8. The symptoms of gum disease get worse as it advances.
Bleeding and swollen gums are minor issues compared to the problems of periodontitis, which is advanced gum disease.
Advanced symptoms include gums that bleed easily (even when you aren’t brushing or flossing). Pus leaking between your gums and constant bad breath are two noticeable symptoms. Loose teeth and receding gums are other more obvious problems.
If your gums recede too much, we may recommend a gum graft to restore gum tissue that you have lost.
#9. Get help as soon as you notice any gum disease symptoms.
At Clear Lake Dental Care, we want your teeth to remain in place for as long as possible. That’s why we want you to take care of your gums. That includes getting treatment for periodontal disease before it’s too late.
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