GUM DISEASE – Do you have Gingivitis, Red, Swollen, Bleeding or Sore Gums?
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What is Gum Disease or Gingivitis?
Your teeth are covered by a sticky coating of bacteria which, if not removed by regular brushing and flossing, can infect the gums.
When gum disease progresses to the next stage, it may start to erode the jawbone which causes the teeth to loosen. Getting your problem solved before this happens is a lot cheaper than what could happen next.
When teeth become loose, the treatment may be extraction and then you will need dentures or teeth implants.
Gum disease symptoms include pain, swelling and bleeding gums. If you experience any of these and they don’t go away after implementing a good oral hygiene routine (brushing and flossing) then you do need to see a dentist who will recommend the best gum disease treatment for you.
If your gums are bleeding regularly, that’s a sign that gingivitis has set in. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding and swollen gums caused by an accumulation of bacteria, but this early stage of periodontal disease (periodontitis) doesn’t have to progress.
When your gums are irritated but your teeth are still firmly planted in their sockets, it’s still early and very possible to treat the gingivitis with scaling and root planing to clean bacteria and tartar off the deeper surfaces of the tooth, including the roots.
So if you see a hint of red on your toothbrush, this should give you enough cause to see a dentist – as soon as you can. It is so much better for your oral health and your wallet, if you deal with the problem in its early stages.
Without wanting to alarm you, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Gingivitis can lead to much more serious gum disease called periodontitis and tooth loss” so it’s really not worth taking the risk of waiting and seeing what happens. But on the plus side, in most cases, Gingivitis can be relieved with proper oral hygiene
Gingivitis Treatment-What You Can do
It is important to note that the following tips apply to everyone but we list them here for those people who just noticed they are developing symptoms and cannot get to a dentist immediately. They are not intended to replace getting good dental advice from a qualified dentist but they may help you avoid getting gingivitis or help stop gum disease, in its early stages, from getting worse until you can see a dentist.
Use Antibacterial Toothpaste.
One way you can fight the build-up of plaque on your teeth is to use an antibacterial toothpaste. You can also buy anti-gingivitis toothpastes that can reach the plaque found around your gum line and neutralize it for clinically proven healthier gums.
Brush your Teeth Twice a Day.
Make sure you brush for two minutes, twice a day. We also recommend using an electric toothbrush which will give you a more thoroughgoing clean than a manual brush. You should pay special attention to the gum line, which is where a lot of toxic plaque bacteria can build up. Note Well: a healthier mouth starts at the gums.
Be sure to hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, and brush using short circular strokes. Do not to use too much pressure. To avoid applying excess pressure when brushing, try holding your brush like a pen between your thumb and forefinger. Don’t forget to brush the outer, inner, and chewing surfaces of each tooth.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash.
Mouthwash can get to plaque bacteria that’s hiding in those hard-to-reach places. But not all mouthwashes are created equal. Some have ingredients that may be damaging your teeth without you knowing it.
Why Mouthwash can be Damaging to Teeth
One ingredient found in most mouthwashes is alcohol but commercial mouthwashes also have a low PH level which means they are highly acidic with acid levels that are almost the same as household vinegar. These two properties, low PH level and Alcohol, together can hasten the erosion of your tooth enamel.
Alcohol Suppresses Saliva Production
Saliva production is essential for keeping a healthy balance of the good and bad bacteria in your mouth. However, mouthwashes with alcohol, when used over a long period and too frequently, suppress saliva production. This causes dry mouth and slowly strips away your mucous shield.
Saliva creates a buffer between the acids and the sugar in what you eat and drink and your teeth. Thus the suppression of saliva production increases the vulnerability of your teeth to acid damage causing them to soften and become more susceptible to decay which leads to an increase in the build-up of bacterial plaque over time.
What to look for in a Mouthwash
- Try to avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol and those with a low PH level.
- Use an alcohol-free mouthwash that’s also alkaline.
- If it’s immediate fresh breath you want, buy a sugar-free gum with xylitol. It works like a mouthwash without the damaging effects to your teeth.
Flossing is a great tool for the treatment of gingivitis, as it removes food particles that can feed plaque that your toothbrush could miss.
Best Way to Floss
- Use about 18 inches of floss, wind most of it around the finger of one hand, and wind a small piece around the finger of the other hand.
- As you move from tooth to tooth gradually unwind fresh floss.
- Slide the floss up and down between each tooth, and curve it around the tooth at the gum line so it slides between the teeth and gums removing that hard to reach plague.
If after a few days you still have gingivitis symptoms, you should make an appointment to visit your dentist and see an oral hygienist.
Gum Disease and Serious Long-Term Health Problems
Research has also linked gum disease with a variety of serious long-term health problems such as
- Cardiovascular disease,
- Diabetes, and
If you suffer from bleeding gums that are tender, or have become red, swollen or have started to recede you need to have your oral health assessed by your dentist.
Gum disease can have a lasting impact on your oral and overall health and needs to be taken very seriously.
Gum Infection Symptoms You Should Not Ignore
Bleeding, Sore Gums and Diabetes
Gum disease is often more severe in people with underlying conditions such as diabetes, which reduces the body’s resistance to infection. This puts your gums at risk of inflammation due to the bacteria that live in plaque. Other oral signs of diabetes include:
- Dry mouth
- Fruity smelling breath
- Oral fungal infections
So if your gums ache or bleed it may be the result of gum disease or diabetes that is getting worse. You know what to do and “Find a Dentist Near Me” is here to help you.
Mouth or Gum Sores, Patches, or Lumps
If you notice a persistent sore or patch of irregular skin on your gums, cheeks, or tongue that won’t heal, make sure to have it checked. Mouth sores are incredibly common and generally nothing to worry about.
In very rare cases, however, sores can be a sign of oral cancer. While you shouldn’t feel alarmed, it’s still wise to take precautions and get it checked out. As part of your visit to a Dental Care specialist the dentist will check for any abnormalities of your gums, cheeks, tongue, and neck.
Oral cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer. It often starts as a small white or red spot or sore in the mouth. If you need another reason to stop smoking, then you should be aware that oral cancer is more prevalent with smokers or tobacco users in any form. Another high risk category is people who drink alcohol. Signs that you may have oral cancer include:
- Bleeding sores that don’t easily heal
- Hard spots or rough areas
- Discoloured tissue
- Changes in the way teeth fit together
- Lumps or irregular tissue in the mouth, cheeks, neck, or head
Oral cancer is not something you should try to diagnose at home. If you see any of these signs in your mouth, be sure to see a dentist who can refer you to the appropriate specialists for care, if needed.
Gum Disease Quick Read Summary.
Get those gums checked to rule out anything sinister
After flossing, you rinse your mouth out with water and notice a trail of blood in the sink. Make no mistake: it is not normal for your gums to bleed. If the bleeding persists despite brushing twice a day and flossing daily, it’s time to visit the dentist.
Bleeding gums can indicate gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis– and ultimately result in tooth loss.
But bleeding gums aren’t only indicative of periodontal disease, they can also be a sign of malnutrition or even certain types of cancer or other serious ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.
Bleeding gums is common, but that does not mean that it is normal. Take it as a sign that you need to have a conversation with the dentist about your oral health habits and what can be done to get your gums back to full health.
My Gums are bleeding! Here’s a tip
When you floss, your gums bleed a little. Here’s a tip – if your gums bleed – keep flossing during your oral hygiene routine. If after a week your gums are still bleeding when you floss, then don’t ignore it, it’s time to book in to see your dentist.
Bleeding or sore gums can be an indicator of early gum disease which can lead to more serious gum infections and oral problems such as bad breath, tooth loss, and sensitivity to hot and cold – you don’t want any of that, right?
Forget Home Remedies – It’s Time to See a Dentist
As much as you may hate going to the dentist or feel you can’t afford it right now, there are times when you just have to accept, not doing something will be worse for your health and far worse for your wallet in the future. Here are some examples
- You notice a change from a normal pink colour to red or bluish-red swollen gums,
- Puffy, or Inflamed Gum Tissue with a spongy feel,
- Receding gums, making the teeth look larger – you may also see some of the root,
- Swollen Sore Gums with Pus, a bad smell or odour,
- New spaces forming between the teeth
In “Find a Dentist Near me” you will discover the answers to the most often asked concerns about cosmetic dentistry such as;
- How much does it cost,
- How long does it take,
- Exactly what are the steps for a procedure,
- What are the options?
Important Note: The information and advice on Find a Dentist Near Me should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice from your own dental practitioner.
Have you Got Questions – Use Our Ask an Expert to Get Answers
Please note that any recommendations given online by dental experts are only supplied as a guide, because they will not have had the possibility to examine your mouth and evaluate your oral health. You should always seek professional advice from a cosmetic dentist personally at a consultation prior to taking any action about your oral health and smile.