Gum disease occurs when the bacteria in your mouth are allowed to linger on your teeth and gums. Your mouth is a teeming hotbed of germs, and these germs can form a sticky, filmy residue known as plaque along your teeth and gumline. If the bacteria and the plaque are not removed regularly, they can release toxins and acids that can attack your teeth and gums. This can lead to an infection known as gum disease.
If caught early, early-stage gum disease (called gingivitis) is curable. However, once it advances to late-stage gum disease (called periodontitis), it has no known cure and must be managed like a chronic illness. Signs that you may have gum disease include blood in your saliva after you brush and floss your teeth, receding gums, bad breath, a sour taste in your mouth, and red and swollen gums. Curiously, gum disease is often not painful, so do not count on experiencing pain as a clue that you may have it.
Steps to Prevent Gum Disease At Home
You can prevent gum disease at home with a good oral hygiene regimen. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time, with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use fluoridated toothpaste and brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums. After you brush your teeth, make sure to floss at least once a day. To floss correctly, start with an 18-inch piece of floss and work it between each tooth and up under your gum line to remove any trapped plaque and food buildup. Use a fresh piece of floss per tooth to avoid spreading germs around.
What to Do Once Periodontal Disease Develops
Once you develop periodontal disease, we will need you to come in for a treatment called periodontal maintenance. Unlike regular cleanings, these deep cleanings may be performed at three to four-month intervals. We will perform a deep cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing, to remove all calculus from your teeth and under your gums. We will remove all of the tartar, then plane your tooth roots. This smooths them down, removing all buildup and making it harder for the buildup to return. This also helps allow your gums to reattach to your tooth roots, stopping your gums from receding any further.
If it has been longer than six months since your last appointment, or you are interested in learning more about periodontal care, then we would love to help you set up an appointment with us. Please give us here at Taglia Advanced Dentistry a call today at (312) 757-6434 for a checkup with a cleaning or for more information!