Making Gum Health a Priority
Taking care of your gums involves more than just brushing every day. Understanding why gum health is important, learning how to develop a proper routine, and knowing the signs of gum disease will allow you to keep your gums happy and healthy for years to come.
Dr. Christian Berdy joined WJXT in September for an interview to discuss this topic. Continue reading to learn more:
Why Is Gum Health Important?
Gum health is the foundation for your overall oral hygiene. When your gums are properly cared for, they protect your teeth and provide a barrier to bacteria. This staves off dental problems such as plaque buildup and cavities, while also supporting the health of your entire body.
Studies have shown that gum health is a window to your overall health. So not only can poor oral health point to bigger issues within the mouth, but a lack of oral hygiene can negatively affect other aspects of your health.
Some of the bacteria that begins in your mouth can contribute to the development of disease, including endocarditis, cardiovascular disease and most directly, periodontitis, also known as chronic gum disease.
What are the Best Ways to Keep Your Gums Healthy?
Gum health goes hand in hand with a solid oral hygiene routine. The best method to maintain the health of your gums is to build smart oral hygiene habits and practice them daily. At Berdy Dental Group we recommend:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily, with ADA-approved toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush to avoid irritation
Be sure to replace your toothbrush at least once every three months to avoid bacteria buildup.
- Using mouthwash to rid your mouth of any remaining food particles/bacteria
Dr. Berdy recommends keeping a travel-size mini mouthwash in your bag so that you can quickly rinse your mouth even when you’re on-the-go. The longer food particles sit in your mouth, the worse it is for your gums.
- Flossing everyday
While brushing does help clean our teeth, it only reaches a fraction of a tooth’s surface. Flossing is the only way to get a deep clean to remove bacteria. We also recommend the use of a Waterpik® or similar accessory to easily achieve an even deeper clean.
- Avoiding tobacco use
While it may seem obvious, tobacco products are especially terrible for your gums.
What are Warning Signs and How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease is unfortunately incredibly common in adults. A study published by the American Dental Association found that more than 4 in 10 adults have some form of gum disease – and many may not realize it. Most are only familiar with the mildest form of gum disease: gingivitis, which is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene.
The most common symptoms to watch for include:
- Constant bad breath
- Swollen gums that are extra red in color
- Sensitive or loose teeth
- Receding gum line
- Bleeding gums
Each of these are reason enough to schedule a dentist appointment, but the most common symptoms we see in the patients that come into Berdy Dental Group are gum swelling and bleeding. Healthy tissue should not bleed unless heavily agitated – so even regular flossing should not cause your gums to bleed.
Periodontal treatment is often necessary for those with more serious gum disease, which usually involves receding gums, as “pockets” between the teeth create a breeding ground for bacteria to accumulate. Berdy Dental Group is one of few practices that has expertise with the Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique – a simple option to beautify your smile while minimizing the progression of gum disease. It corrects gum recession without the use of scalpels or sutures.
Patients seeking treatment could also opt for the minimally invasive LANAP® treatment, which uses laser-assisted gum therapy to eliminate diseased tissue and bacteria from the mouth. This laser-assisted gum therapy uses a soft tissue laser to eliminate diseased tissue and bacteria from the mouth and remove plaque from tooth roots.
At our practice, we have years of experience treating gum disease. Talking to your dentist about your concerns or what you need to do to care for your gums is extremely important. Developing a routine and learning more about your gums is key to keeping them healthy. Don’t hesitate to give us a call to schedule your next appointment.