How to Keep Your Gums Healthy
Your gums are the basis of healthy teeth. Without healthy gums, your teeth will loosen and you could wind up losing them. Keeping your teeth strong is an important aspect of good oral health care, but keeping your gums healthy is just as important. The bad news is that your gums are highly susceptible to disease. The good news is that keeping gum disease at bay is easy with proper oral care at home and regular routine checkups at the dentist’s office.
Gum disease is so common that nearly every person will experience it at one time or another. Even people who brush and floss regularly and correctly may end up with gum disease. Some people simply inherit a tendency to get gingivitis, the less severe form of the disease. You may also get gingivitis when you are suffering from an illness, either because of the illness itself or as a side effect of medication you may be taking. Whatever the reason for gum disease, in addition to checking for signs like swollen, sensitive or bleeding gums, you should see the dentist for checkups every six months. A dentist can sometimes spot very early signs of gingivitis before symptoms are apparent to you.
At Alabama Family Dentistry we can help you keep your gums healthy by catching and treating gingivitis before it progresses to the more complicated condition of periodontitis. Periodontitis is the presence of bacterial plaque or tartar below the gumline. At this stage, a deep cleaning is necessary to reverse the gum disease. That means the dentist has to use special tools to go behind your gums to scrape away the plaque and tartar, and then smooth the area so that your gums can reattach. Before gum disease gets to this stage, simple gingivitis can be reversed with just a regular dental cleaning.
Healthy gums should be pink in color and not cause any pain when brushing. If you ever have gum pain or bleeding when you brush, you should make a dental appointment as soon as possible. Brushing and flossing twice a day is important to remove food particles, which if left beyond can allow bacteria to build up and cause gum disease.
If you’d like to learn more about how to keep your gums healthy and your teeth strong, give Alabama Family Dentistry a call. We have four offices in the Birmingham, Alabama area for your convenience.