To preserve a great smile you also need healthy gums.
Your teeth may be the “star” of your smile, but your gums play a vital supporting role if you want to keep your teeth in your mouth. In fact, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in the United States.
While a majority of people will develop gum disease at some point, the good news is that this problem is treatable and preventable in a vast majority of cases. And at Nashua Family Dentistry, we focus on non-surgical treatments whenever possible.
It’s also a big reason we hope you will call (603) 546-7460 to make an appointment at our Nashua, NH dentist office soon. Regular dental cleanings and exams are essential for preventing periodontal disease or identifying it in its earliest stages.
Why Gum Disease Develops
All of us have bacteria that live in our mouths. Some of these are beneficial, and some bacteria are harmful. The harmful ones can cause tooth decay and gum disease if you have too many of them in your mouth.
This is why dentists urge our patients to brush (twice) and floss daily. The scrubbing you do while brushing removes bacteria and plaque from the fronts, backs, and biting or chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Flossing is necessary to remove bacteria, plaque, food particles from between your teeth. Your toothbrush may not be able to get into those areas, but dental floss, flossers, and water flossers can.
If the bacteria are not removed, it will build plaque, which may harden into tartar. This can lead to the irritation of your gums, which sets the progress of gum disease in motion.
In the early stages, you may be able to reverse the infection by brushing and flossing. However, you will need professional help to treat gum disease that has reached this advanced stages.
How It Develops
If your gums are healthy, they will feel firm to the touch and appear to be pink.
If your gums appear red or swollen or they bleed when you brush or floss, then you may have gingivitis, which is the mild form of gum disease. Please note: your gums should NOT bleed. If they do, this is a sign that something is wrong.
As we noted above, dental professionals recommend flossing daily flossing, yet less than half of American actually do. If you notice your gums are bleeding and you haven’t been flossing like you should, being more deliberate about including it in your daily oral hygiene could make a difference.
If your gum disease continues to progress, you may notice other symptoms:
- Pockets forming between your teeth and gums
- A bad taste in your mouth that never seems to go away
- Sore or tender gums
- Pus coming from your gums
- Loose teeth
Any one of these signs is a clue that you could have the advanced form of gum disease known as periodontitis. This requires professional help to remove. If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you should visit us as soon as possible.
Treat Your Gums Right
Gum disease is an epidemic that affects tens of millions of Americans every year. You can take steps to treat and prevent it, and doing so just might save your teeth as well.
Regular cleanings at Nashua Family Dentistry along with your daily oral health routine can keep your mouth free of plaque and tartar. Should you develop gum disease, we can give you a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar buildup below your gumline.
If needed, we also offer laser dentistry to remove infected gum tissue. This allows us to treat gum disease without surgery, which reduces your recovery time as well.
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a few years or you haven’t scheduled your next dental exam, we encourage you to contact us online today or to call (603) 546-7460 to request an appointment with us.