In the language of anatomy, your gums are “gingiva.” You won’t be using such clinical terms should you ever experience gum disease. Coping with some level of discomfort, your words will become a bit more colorful, while your thoughts focus on the best way to get treatment for gum disease.
The best way, of course, is to do what you can to avoid the experience entirely through good attention to dental habits and regular visits to the dentist. But even then, that’s not always enough. Some factors in gum disease are beyond our control.
One thing is for sure: If you have the signs of gum disease, don’t ignore them. Seek help from Splendid Dental Bellaire or another dentist in your community.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease means, quite simply, that your gums are infected, which can be at varying levels of severity. The primary factor in gum disease is your dental habits – needing to brush and floss more often, and to see the dentist more often for early detection of common dental problems.
The mildest gum disease is called gingivitis. Often, people with gingivitis might be lulled into a false sense of security because gingivitis may have few or no symptoms.
Left untreated, you can progress to periodontitis, where plaque begins to burrow under the gum line, raising the potential for bone infections. In such an instance, you’ll need more advanced periodontal treatment.
Gum disease isn’t exclusively the result of poor brushing habits. Some factors beyond our control, such as genetics, stress and aging can also play a role, as can stress, poor nutrition, pregnancy, and substance abuse.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
We all have occasional tooth pains for even bleeding. How do you know when you have gum disease?
Some of the symptoms that might prompt you to head for the dentist include:
- Swelling or puffiness
- Tenderness to the touch
- Bad breath
- Losing teeth, or feeling them loosening
- Hard to chew
- Signs of pus
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
Make an appointment to see your dentist if you have one or many of these symptoms. The earlier you receive treatment for gum disease, the better chance of a good outcome.
The Best Medicine: Prevention
Gum disease is often avoidable by practicing good dental hygiene. But what exactly does that mean?
First, it involves a routine regimen of brushing — at least twice a day, if not at additional times such as after you eat. The better you get at brushing, the more you’ll be able to reduce or plaque or bacteria that cause problems. In addition to brushing, dentists say you should floss at least once per day.
The second building block of good hygiene is seeing your dentist for regular checkups, including dental cleanings. In general, once or twice a year may do the trick, but your dentist may wish to see you more frequently.
Finally, adjusting your diet can curb gum disease. Limit sugary, carbonated soft drinks, and chewing on extra-hard foods such as candy.
Treating yourself for gum disease, before you have to see the dentist, is the best approach.
Get Treatment for Gum Disease at Splendid Dental Bellaire
Maintaining a healthy set of teeth and gums takes work. Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, gum disease can set in and trigger significant health problems. That’s when you should get treatment for gum disease. The experienced team of dental professionals at Lovett Splendid Dental Bellaire provides a broad array of general dentistry services, including the latest techniques in periodontal treatment. Once your gum disease is addressed, we can also provide preventive care in the form of annual exams and professional dental cleanings. Our team can also help in the unfortunate event of a dental emergency. Don’t wait until there’s a problem. Reach out to Splendid Dental Bellaire at 832.365.4860 for an appointment today.