Gum disease is a common issue that affects most people at some point in their lifetime. Fortunately, it can be easily managed and prevented.
Gum disease can take shape in a number of forms, from quite minor to very severe. Gum or periodontal disease generally occurs when there is a build-up of plaque on the teeth, particularly where the gums meet the teeth.
Often, gum disease can be present in its early stages without you even being aware. However, in most cases your gums may become increasingly sensitive to pressure and begin to bleed easily, especially after brushing and flossing. Luckily, gum disease can be easily maintained and prevented with a few simple tips.
Although most of us already know how important it is to brush twice a day, we aren’t often told how to brush correctly. Using an electric toothbrush is always recommended; however, if you prefer a manual toothbrush, make sure it is soft bristled. Brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums with short, gentle strokes and use vigorous pressure while putting the bristles between the teeth.
Make sure you reach all the surfaces of your teeth, including using vertical strokes to reach the inside surfaces of the top-front and bottom-front teeth. Bleeding gums will lesson over time with correct maintenance.
Flossing is just as important to gum health as brushing as it helps you to reach the 30% of the tooth that is missed through regular brushing. When you don’t floss, plaque and tartar can begin to develop between the teeth and irritate the gums, leading to gum disease.
If you aren’t able to floss for any reason, chewing sugar-free gum after meals can also help to remove some food particles between the teeth.
Using a mouthwash or mouth rinse can help to keep the gums clean, healthy and free from harmful bacteria. The great thing about mouthwash is that it ensures all surfaces of your teeth receive some form of maintenance, even if small areas are missed when brushing.
Be sure to ask your dentist or periodontist which mouthwash is best suited to your specific condition. It should be noted that mouthwash is not recommended for children under the age of six.
Smoking can be a major contributor to gum disease as it decreases the circulation of blood, which keeps the gums healthy. It also reduces the gums’ capacity to heal effectively.
It’s not all bad news for smokers though, as research shows that many of the periodontal concerns related to smoking can be reversed once you quit.
Regular Periodontal Check-Ups
One of the most effective ways of preventing or maintaining gum health is to regularly attend periodontal check-ups.
Regular check-ups not only allow your gums to be monitored constantly, but it also helps your dentist or periodontist to correct and treat any existing ailments. Your periodontist can also provide useful advice on how to ensure the longevity of your gum health, tailored to your specific condition.
Maintaining your Periodontal Health at Pacific Periodontics & Implants
Dr Adrian Hoffman and the team at Pacific Periodontics & Implants are committed to providing patients with the most advanced and effective periodontal treatments, paired with a focus on patient care.
If you have noticed the progression of gum disease and would like more information, or to book an appointment, contact the friendly team at Pacific Periodontics & Implants today!