Gum tissue performs many important functions that are key to maintaining oral health. With proper oral hygiene habits and regular cleanings, our gums can serve the important role they play in protecting our teeth. When plaque and tartar build on our teeth, the gums can become inflamed. Over time, this can lead to gum disease.
If you live near Docklands, Melbourne, our dental clinic provides comprehensive periodontal treatment for all stages of gum disease. We encourage all of our patients to be proactive in the fight against gum disease. These easy to follow tips can help you avoid many of the causes of gum disease and gum recession.
Tips For a Lifetime of Healthy Gums
Use a soft bristle brush
If you brush too aggressively or if you use a hard bristle toothbrush, you may be damaging your gums. Overly aggressive brushing is a leading cause of gum tissue recession. Once you have experienced extensive gum tissue loss, your only treatment option may be gum grafting. If you currently use a medium or hard bristle toothbrush, replace it with a soft bristle brush as soon as possible. When brushing, use gentle circular motions. If you have further questions on proper brushing techniques, ask one of our skilled dentists or oral healthcare professionals during your next visit.
Treat signs of gum disease early
Advanced gum tissue recession and bone loss is not reversible and may require surgical treatments. To prevent permanent damage to your gums and teeth, it is critical to treat gum disease early on or to prevent it altogether.
Consider orthodontic treatments
Teeth crowding can make flossing difficult. It can also interfere with effective brushing. One means of improving your oral health is orthodontic treatments. When teeth are evenly spaced, your dental hygienist will be able to clean your teeth and gums more effectively. Misaligned teeth can also cause gum tissue recession in certain areas of your mouth. If portions of your gums are protruding due to misaligned teeth, those areas are more vulnerable to wear during brushing.
Schedule annual dental exams and cleanings
Gum disease is completely preventable. Even when it is not prevented, early detection and treatment can reduce the chances of irreversible damage that can require tooth extraction or gum grafting.
During your exam and cleaning, one of our dentists will look for signs of gum disease. Mild forms of gum disease can be addressed through cleanings. As long as you follow-up with twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, you can prevent the spread of gum disease while reducing its symptoms.
Even if you have not been to a dentist in several months or years, it is never too late to begin treating gum disease.
Brushing alone cannot reach between teeth or below the gumline where bacteria and plaque can build. Flossing at least once a day prevents decay between your teeth while reducing the amount of bacteria and food particles below the gumline. If you have a hard time using floss, an interdental brush or oral irrigator can provide many of the same oral health benefits.
The most repeated mantra in oral healthcare is oft repeated for a reason. When plaque and tartar built along the base of your teeth, the interaction between that buildup and bacteria causes gum disease. Over time, gum disease can lead to tooth decay, gum tissue recession, and even tooth loss.
Cut back or eliminate smoking
Numerous studies have tied tobacco use to the onset of gum disease. Tobacco is also known to negatively impact the body’s immune system, furthering the potential damage done by periodontitis.
Eat a nutritious, plant-based diet
Foods that are highly processed, full of sugar, or starch-heavy can lead to an acidic environment in your mouth that can accelerate the presence of tooth decay and gum disease. Individuals who eat a plant-based diet are less likely to develop cavities or gum disease.
Use a therapeutic mouthwash
Therapeutic mouthwashes are usually available over the counter and can play an important role in reducing plaque. Rinses also remove food particles from your mouth. Rinsing is never a replacement for brushing or flossing, but the three oral hygiene habits are most effective when used in conjunction.
Gum Disease Symptoms
If your gums are swollen and prone to bleeding, you probably have some form of gum disease. Gum disease stages can be mild, moderate, or advanced. During your visit to our dental clinic, one of our dentists may look for signs of:
- Swollen or tender gums
- Pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while flossing or brushing
- Gum tissue recession
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad breath
During your dental checkup, one of our staff members will probe the depth of your periodontal pockets. A depth over 3mm indicates the presence of periodontal disease.
Treatment Options for Periodontitis
One effective treatment for periodontal disease that we use is called deep cleaning. This procedure includes both scaling and root planing. Scaling cleans teeth below the gum line with the goal of removing plaque and tartar. Root planing smooths the rough surface of teeth roots to prevent the return of bacteria. Topical antibiotics may be used in conjunction with these treatments. If you have moderate to severe levels of gum disease, we may recommend multiple appointments that are scheduled closely together.
During follow-up appointments, one of our staff will check and chart your periodontal pocket depth, which should recede over time. As your gum disease symptoms lesson, you will not need to undergo as many cleanings. During your visits, we will provide information on good lifestyle, nutritional, and oral hygiene habits. If your symptoms advance past what deep cleanings can great, we will refer you to a periodontist for evaluation and treatment.
Contact Our Docklands, Melbourne Office Today
If you are putting off treating gum disease, you may be incurring most expensive dental costs in the future. Our clinic can treat gum disease at any stage. To schedule your next cleaning, exam, or periodontal treatment, call Dockland Dental Studio at (03) 9021 9487.