General Dentistry Questions: Are My Gums Healthy?

At our general dentistry office, we specialize in teeth health, as well as gum health. The gums, or gingival tissue, are an important part of what keeps our oral health balanced. Without the gums, the teeth and jawbone would be constantly threatened by an endless barrage of food particles and irritants.

What do gums do for oral health?

Part of the soft tissue lining of the mouth, the gums wrap tightly around the teeth and provide a seal. The gingival tissue surrounds the base of teeth and rests over the jawbone. Even if the teeth are in seemingly perfect condition, if the gums are in bad shape, your oral health can plummet.

What do healthy gums look like?

Healthy gums will appear pink in color and firm to the touch. When gums are unhealthy, they can appear red and inflamed.

Do I have gum disease?

Since gum disease is usually painless, most people may have no idea there is anything wrong. However, there can be unpleasant symptoms.

Early gum disease is known as gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include redness, tissue that is tender to the touch, swollen gums, bleeding gums, gums that have pulled away from the teeth, loose teeth, malocclusion, pain when chewing and pus between teeth and gums. Those with gingivitis may experience sensitivity and bleeding when brushing teeth. Inflamed gums will begin to pull away from the tooth and recede.

Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis and poses a threat to oral health. When left untreated, it can even cause teeth to fall out. Periodontitis affects the bones that hold teeth in place. If allowed to advance unchecked, it can ruin the gums, bones and other tissues connected to the teeth.

Thankfully, most gum disease is caught before this happens. Most damage inflicted by this infection is reversible, as long as it has not yet reached the bone.

Treating gum disease

In most mild cases, a professional dental cleaning at a general dentistry office should do the trick. In a procedure known as scaling and root planing, the dentist takes a metal tool and clears the gumline of bacteria and plaque buildup that causes gingivitis. After the area is thoroughly cleaned, the infection should clear up on its own. Very mild cases can be treated at home with good oral hygiene.

Tips on keeping the gums healthy

Gum disease can be prevented as long as you prioritize gum health. To keep gums looking and feeling healthy, start by flossing at least once per day. This helps remove plaque and food both between teeth and under the gumline. Flossing at night before bedtime brushing is the best time of the day to do so.

Getting regular dental cleanings at our general dentistry office will not only keep your teeth bright but can also help detect early signs of gum disease. Dental cleanings every six months can help treat symptoms before they become a bigger issue. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist.

Brush teeth and gums gently, twice daily with a soft-bristled brush. Be careful to brush with the grain of the gums. Fluoride toothpaste should be used to keep bacteria at bay and fortify tooth enamel.

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Request an appointment here: https://www.abcburbankdentist.com or call ABC Dental Group at (818) 578-2335 for an appointment in our Burbank office.

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