Many of us spend so much time thinking about the health of our teeth that we forget about an equally important component of oral health—our gums. If you want to maintain a healthy smile, you really need to protect your gums from infection and damage.
This short article from our Elmhurst dentists is all about how to spot gum disease, and what you can do to reclaim your smile.
If you are dealing with gum disease you may notice:
- Malodorous Breath: we aren’t just talking about the occasional day of bad/stale breath. The type of bad breath that is associated with gum disease is hard to treat; you really need to clear oral bacteria from your mouth in order to conquer this type of unpleasant breath.
- Receding Gum Tissue: healthy gum tissue comes right up to the edge of the patient’s tooth; this tissue is important because it protects your tooth roots, and the tooth nerves. As gum disease ravages your smile, the structure of your gum tissue will begin to break down. You may be able to see that your tissue is actually pulling away from your teeth. The result is a gap between your gums and your teeth—this space is called a periodontal pocket.
- Bleeding Gums: another symptom of damaged gum tissue is frequent bleeding, swelling, and sensitivity. You are most likely to notice that your gums start bleeding when you brush, floss, or chew something abrasive.
The key to treating gum disease, and eliminating these unwanted symptoms, is to address the underlying infection of your oral tissues. Your dentist may recommend:
- That you adopt a different daily oral hygiene routine—your dentist can make suggestions about what type of toothbrush, Waterpik, and mouth rinse is right for your smile.
- Come to the dentist’s office for professional cleanings more frequently—this can be especially important in the early stages of treatment, as we try to clear out as much bacteria as possible, so that your tissue can heal.
- That you receive gum tissue grafts to rebuild your gums and allow your tissue to heal.
Gum disease can really take a toll on your smile, which is why our Elmhurst dentists strongly encourage you to seek treatment for oral tissue infections as promptly as possible. We look forward to speaking with you!