Disease is an interesting thing. Sometimes the body can ultimately heal itself from some diseases, yet complete healing is unlikely for others. Gum disease is like that. Once you have it, you always have it. It is kind of similar to diabetes in that treatment doesn’t cure you of it. Instead, treatment and good home care help to manage the disease.
So What Exactly Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an inflammatory disease that affects your teeth and the supporting structures of your teeth. Studies show that gum disease affects nearly half of all adults aged 30 and above. While gum disease does have some symptoms that come with it, symptoms can vary from person to person. Also, many symptoms may go unnoticed by most patients.
Have you ever noticed any of these symptoms?
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Difficulty chewing
- Tooth mobility
- Bad breath that won’t go away with brushing, flossing, or mouth rinsing
We think it is important to note that diabetes, tobacco use, and poor hygiene are all factors that increase a person’s risk for developing gum disease. A weakened immune system can also be problematic for the health of your gum tissue as you may notice more inflammation.
So Bleeding Gums Aren’t Normal?
Chances are that when you cut your hand or leg, you immediately tend to it and get a bandage. Your gum tissue is no different. It’s not normal or healthy to experience bleeding from your gum tissue. Your gum tissue should be pink in color and free from bleeding. If you do notice bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating, call your dentist and have them evaluate what is going on.
How Can Gum Disease Be Best Managed?
Gum disease is best managed through collaborative efforts between you and your dental office. Routine checkups and good homecare are critical to all gum disease treatment programs. While treatment may vary from patient to patient, these general steps can serve as a guideline to helping bring your gum tissue back to health:
- Routine dental x-rays to evaluate bone levels
- Routine dental exam to monitor the color and overall appearance of your gum tissue
- Regular perio charting to monitor changes in pocketing
- Scaling and root planing to treat areas of deep pocketing and help reduce inflammation
- Routine maintenance cleaning to reduce bacteria and promote healthy gum tissue
- A healthy diet and exercise promote the best healing
- Excellent home care, including routine brushing and flossing
- Possibly see a periodontist (gum tissue specialist) if things aren’t improving with the above treatment
- Antibiotics and laser treatment may be used in some cases
Gum Disease Runs In My Family, Will I Also Get It?
Gum disease has a genetic component, but the good news is that if you recognize it as a concern, there is much that you can do to prevent it from becoming a problem. Homecare and preventative treatment through routine cleanings are one of the best things you can do for your teeth and gum tissue!
Talking to your hygienist about your concerns about gum disease is a great way to get your questions and concerns answered. Your dental team will also be able to closely monitor your gum health so that it can be caught early if any problems arise.
Are you scheduled for your next cleaning and exam? If not, reach out to us at Taylor Dental today! We want to help you minimize gum disease risks and know that exams and dental cleanings play a key role in your dental health!