In a rush to brighten the teeth and improve the smile, we overlook the gingiva surrounding it. We neglect bleeding and inflamed gums. They subdue initially but as the situation worsens, the gum problem becomes the most complicated dental issue. Bleeding of the gums is the first sign of showing you that something is not right with the tooth or gums. We usually think of it as a consequence of harsh brushing and hard bristles. Your tender, swollen and red gums aren't normal. Most of us consider only gingivitis and periodontitis as the gum issues ignoring the rest. We shall talk in depth about our gums, the problems they go through, and remedies.
The gums are said to be unhealthy when they start getting damaged and get various diseases. As we spoke above, bleeding from the gums is the primary symptom of a disease condition. The bacterial invasion is the root cause for all traumatic gum diseases. The bacteria and plaque get deposited in the deep areas around and inside the tooth and the plaque accumulates into tartar. The residing bacteria start producing irritation in the gums, to which our body's immune system responds with inflammation, redness, swelling, and bleeding. This is called gingivitis. If taken care of properly, this condition can be reverted back easily. If neglected, in the next step of progression comes periodontitis. This is the spreading of the disease to the tooth and its bone structures. This leads to further receding of the gums, mobilized teeth, and abscess.
Gum Diseases - Symptoms
There are several symptoms to recognize your gums aren't healthy. You can catch them up easily and keep your gums’ health on track. Gingivitis is associated with these symptoms - the gums become more tender and softened. They swell and become puffy, and they can be painful sometimes. Bleeding may happen on flossing, but bleeding gums while brushing and after brushing, shouldn't be ignored. Then comes the bad breath that never leaves. The gums and the structures of the tooth show abscess or painful sores. In extreme periodontitis conditions, deep pockets form between the gums and the tooth creating a gap. The tooth becomes loose and mobile due to the spread and infection and the gums recede. All of these are mild to severe symptoms of gum disease.
Caring For Your Periodontal Issues
1. Floss The Teeth
Regular flossing and brushing habits can halt upcoming gum diseases. An effective cleansing regime helps fight plaque, bacterial arrivals, and spread of bacteria. A regular visit to the dentist for a deep cleaning can substantially establish great gums. The flossing reverts the bad breath, the tartar and plaque accumulation between the teeth gaps, the formation of decays, and cavities, and also cleans up the deep areas. Effective and regular flossing once a day can flush out all the plaque accumulated. Though flossing may be painful it is far beneficial if made a habit. This preserves your gums from painful conditions, swollen and bleeding gums, and other complications.
2. Don’t Smoke
Imagine your mouth with bad breath caused by smoking in addition to the already existing foul breath due to the gingivitis. Smoking is to be avoided completely, not just because it causes bad breath, but also because of its complications. Cardiovascular and respiratory functions get altered with smoking. The saliva in the mouth becomes barely sufficient, which is a welcome condition to bacteria. Gums are tentatively destroyed as the bleeding doesn't stop, blood supply and nerves can get damaged, and bacterial invasion is more likely possible. Smoking also contributes to receding gums. The best choice is to quit smoking.
3. Rinse And Clean
Apart from the use of prescribed mouthwash to rinse your mouth repeatedly, there are other rinsing techniques. Whatever the process involved, the main reason behind a rinse is to flush out the bacteria and plaque from the mouth. The oldest practice of rinsing other than with water is salt water rinse. It is believed to be an effective antiseptic and toothache reliever. Essential oils like coconut oil, peppermint oil, grape seed oil, and cinnamon oil are also used for rinsing a dry mouth.
4. Deep Cleanings
We are suggested a traditional two visits per year to the dentist. The negligence we show to this precious advice throws us into the need of visiting the dental office more for complicated dental issues. Schedule your regular checkups to preserve oral health. Dentists help prevent the advent of many problems. Cavities, decay, and periodontal disease are put on halt. Deep cleaning of the gums and regular cleanings keep the bacteria and plaque at a great distance.
5. Brushing Habits
Brushing has been our most heard suggestion from our elders and the dentist. Most of us follow it honestly so as to maintain a beautiful smile. Poor dental hygiene is a stepping stone for complicated oral health. Brush the teeth two times a day and do it the right way. Do not use the same brush for too long. Do not rush to complete your brushing in a minute. Do not overbrush the tooth because this makes tooth enamel go away. Do not rinse straight away with water after brushing. Don't use a too hard-bristled toothbrush to clean. Do not forget to scrape your tongue and floss as well. Apart from all these, using an incorrect brushing technique spoils your whole regime and damages the teeth.
6. Therapeutic Mouthwash
There are many types of mouthwash in the stores. Alcohol-free mouthwashes, fluoride-rich mouthwashes, mint flavored, etc., are among those available. The purpose of using mouthwash is to remove the plaque and bacteria. The rinse with mouthwash washes away the sugars, acids and kills the resident bacteria from the mouth. Some believe oil pulling is more natural than a rinse with mouthwash.
7. Foods And Drinks
Foods that get stuck in the teeth gaps such as starches, meats, and fibers are harmful. Carbonated drinks, and citric acid drinks such as tangy and fresh lemonades and fruit juices, worsen gum and teeth diseases. Sweets, sugars, alcohol, and smoke are the first ones to avoid if you have issues with your gums. Foods that help heal gum problems are fiber-rich veggies and fresh fruits – and chewing them removes plaque. Water and dairy products increase saliva and prevent dryness. Berries, green leaves, guava, ginger, turmeric, and cloves keep your gums healthy. Neem and aloe vera can also serve as home remedies for gum diseases.
The causes of gum disease vary. Stress also adds to unhealthy gums. Besides poor oral hygiene and bad oral habits, teeth grinding habits are responsible for bleeding gums. The medications we use for other diseases directly show their effects on the gums. Internal diseases such as stomach issues and diabetes also affect gingival health. Smoking and alcoholic addictions worsen the cases. Harmful and poor food habits, being overweight, or having diabetes also aggravates gum disease. Badly aligned braces or restorations, broken dental fillings, and crowded teeth lines are also responsible.
Gingivitis and other periodontal diseases are better to be prevented than to be treated. While there are treatments for gum diseases, proper oral hygiene is a great foundation to halt them. The dentist checks your gums by a probe. The periodontal pocket depth is assessed and an X-ray examination detects bone loss. The treatments include deep cleaning, scaling, root planing, and lasers to remove tartar and plaque. Antiseptic mouthwashes as well as antiseptic and antibiotic drugs help reduce inflammation.
About The Author
Dr. Sonal Bhoot is the founder of Lee’s Summit, MO-based dental practice, Dental Expressions. Dr. Bhoot has over 15 years of dental experience and received her doctorate in Dental Medicine (DMD) in 2003 from the New Jersey Dental School. Dr. Bhoot has certifications and proficiencies in cosmetic dentistry, CEREC training, Invisalign, endodontics, oral surgery, TMJ disorders, restorative dentistry, laser treatments, and more. She treats the whole family including children.