Although keeping your teeth free of decay is important, the health of your gums is also critical. Once gum disease develops, it can often be reversed with proper treatment. Here are a few treatment options that relate to gum disease in its beginning stages:
When gum disease is in its initial stages, it is called gingivitis. The symptoms associated with gingivitis include gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, gum swelling, and redness of the gums. These symptoms indicate that the gums have become inflamed. Much of the inflammation is caused by the gums' exposure to bacterial acid in the mouth.
When you eat, particles of food mix with bacteria and coat the teeth and gums. The mixture, which is called plaque, places bacteria in direct contact with the gum tissue. As the bacteria feed on the particles of food within the plaque, they release acid as a digestive by-product.
The acid damages tooth enamel, causing tooth decay, and it also inflames or irritates the gums. Thus, one of the primary treatment options for the initial stages of gum disease is good oral hygiene.
The teeth should be brushed at least twice daily for the minimum recommended two-minute period. As you brush, it is important to use a toothbrush with soft bristles so that the guns are not further irritated. A large amount of force is not needed to remove dental plaque; the bristles just need to make contact with the areas where plaque is located.
In addition to brushing, special attention should be given to decreasing the amount of bacteria in the mouth. There are multiple things that you can do to help eliminate oral bacteria. In addition to brushing, you can chew gum that contains xylitol, which has anti-bacterial properties and is an additive in many sugar-free gum varieties. Also, you can drink tea. Tea is known to have antibacterial properties due to the polyphenols that it contains.
Additionally, you can help neutralize the irritating acid in your mouth by rinsing your mouth with water periodically throughout the day and avoiding foods or drinks that add acid to the mouth, such as sodas.
Periodic dental cleanings are also important in the treatment of gum disease. Plaque that is not removed from the teeth in a timely manner can harden into tartar. Tartar, which tends to border the gum line, can trap plaque and oral bacteria due to its porous surface.
During a dental cleaning, the dentist scrapes away the tartar, removing any hiding place for plaque and bacteria. So, the chance of oral bacteria secreting acid so close to the gums is lessened.
To learn more ways to treat gum disease, schedule an appointment with a dentist or periodontist at a location like Fuller Periodontics & Implant Dentistry.