ral health habits are instilled in us from a very early age. We’re taught to brush and floss our teeth, avoid certain foods, and know that visiting the dentist is key to making sure our smiles stay healthy. However, we’re not always taught which oral health warning signs are considered dangerous and which are normal aspects of our oral health. That’s why the team at Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics - a leading dentist in Robinson, PA - is here to break down everything you need to know about gum health. We’ll touch on what proper gum care consists of, gum disease, and signs that your gums may be unhealthy.
Steps for Proper Gum Care
How a Dentist in Robinson, PA Recommends Caring for Gums
Caring for your gums is an important part of regular oral health care. The leading dentist in Robinson, PA takes the time to make sure patients know what oral health habits are important to ensuring healthy teeth and gums. Ensuring your gum health is part of your regular oral habits and include the following:
- Flossing: flossing teeth once a day helps remove plaque that causes gingivitis and irritation to the gums and teeth.
- Regular cleanings: visiting your dentist for a cleaning every 6 months can help remove excess plaque and tartar that can lead to gum irritation and gum disease.
- Brushing with fluoride toothpaste: there are plenty of great kinds of toothpaste that contain fluoride that helps strengthen and protect your teeth and gums while providing a thorough clean.
- Therapeutic mouthwash: available over-the-counter, therapeutic mouthwash can help reduce plaque, prevent gingivitis, and reduce tartar growth.
Each of these steps plays an important role in keeping your gums healthy. However, there are a number of things that affect your gum health even if you have good oral hygiene, including genetics, smoking, and the existence of other health issues like diabetes.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
A Dentist in Robinson, PA Breaks Down What You Need to Know About Gum Disease
Why exactly are gums so important? Gums play a major role in keeping your teeth in place and are at risk for gum disease without proper care. Gum disease occurs in two steps: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the first step and is caused by plaque buildup that irritates and infects the gum. If you have gingivitis, the good news is that it is completely reversible. No bone or tissue damage is done with gingivitis, but it can cause discomfort and irritation in the mouth.
Periodontitis, or gum disease, is the advanced stage past gingivitis that can cause serious issues in the mouth. When gingivitis goes untreated, the built-up plaque causes the inner layer of the gum and the bone to pull away from one another. This forms small pockets between the gums and teeth that fill with debris and become infected. As your body attacks this infection, the enzymes in your body break down the bone and connective tissues that hold your teeth in place. Because of this, most people with periodontitis end up losing teeth and having persistent issues with oral health moving forward.
Gum disease is not only painful but is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Because of this risk, it’s important to understand which symptoms to look for if you think you may have gingivitis.
Signs of Unhealthy Gums from a Dentist in Robinson, PA
Warning Signs for Gingivitis and Gum Disease
There are a number of things to look for if you think your gums may be unhealthy. While some of these symptoms can occur for a number of reasons, it’s important to note persistent issues with your gums and teeth and talk to your dentist about any of the following concerns:
- Bleeding gums: a major warning sign for gum health is bleeding during brushing or flossing. While this can occur from brushing too hard from time to time, healthy gums should not bleed with normal oral care.
- Gum inflammation: if your gums are swollen and tender, it may be a sign of early stages of gingivitis.
- Reddened gum tissue: healthy gum tissue is light to medium pink in appearance. If your gums are dark and red, this may be a sign of an infection.
- Persistent bad breath: also known as halitosis, persistent bad breath is often a sign of infection. A dentist in Robinson, PA can help you discover the source of this infection.
- Gum sensitivity: sensitive gums can be a sign of infection or early stages of gingivitis. However, sensitive gums can also be caused by things like teeth whitening and other treatments.
- Gum recession or pocketing: Gaps between your teeth and gums and a receding gum line are signs of advanced gingivitis and you should see a dentist right away.
Think it may be time to check up on your gum health? Get in touch with the leading dentist in Robinson, PA at Rosslyn Farms Dental Aesthetics today to schedule a checkup.