Dental Patient Education

 

Gum Care

 

 


Why are healthy gums so important?

Most people think that if they take good care of their teeth, they'll keep them for a lifetime. That's only partially true -- good gum care is just as important.

The fact is, the leading cause of tooth loss isn't cavities, it's gum disease. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease, and if left untreated, it can lead to the more serious condition periodontitis. The result of periodontitis can be tooth loss.

To help you keep that smile -- not to mention the ability to bite and chew -- it's essential to keep your gums healthy.

How do I know whether my gums are healthy?

A dentist should check your gums during a visit. There are some warning signs you may notice that might indicate your gums need extra care. They include:

  • Tenderness or sensitivity, especially when brushing or flossing
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushing
 graphic Gums that need extra attention are red or swollen. They may bleed and can be very tender during brushing

What keeps gums from staying healthy?

Your gums may become sensitive when plaque builds up on your teeth along the gumline. Plaque is the colorless film that constantly covers your teeth. It is produced naturally from your saliva. The bacteria flourish in the plaque and release toxins which can irritate gums. When the plaque accumulates, your gums probably need extra care.

 graphic Plaque bacteria can attack your gums, releasing toxins that irritate and inflame soft tissue.

How do I get my gums healthier?

Healthy gums start at home, so pay attention to the signs tat your gums may need extra care. Schedule a dental examination every six months -- your dentist will clean your teeth and remove the accumulated plaque, along with providing your further information and instructions on avoiding plaque build-up and keeping your gums healthy.


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