You can go your whole life without getting a single cavity and still lose your teeth if your gums aren’t healthy. Yet even most of the people who take good care of their teeth still neglect their gums.
Most people see their teeth as the photogenic star of the band, and consider their gums the backup dancers. But gum health matters even beyond your dental health. Gum problems can be a signal you have issues elsewhere in your body. For example, sleep apnea can cause a receding gum line, pale gums can point to anemia, and periodontitis has been linked to diabetes.
How we treat gum disease
We have many methods to remedy gum disease, as well as the associated bone disease that can accompany gum disease.
Gum & Periodontal Therapy, which covers a wide variety of treatments including scaling, root-planing, pocket reduction surgery, gingival grafts, and guided bone and tissue regeneration.
Periodontal Debridement, which is a process of removing plaque both above and below the gum-line, then addressing any infections with medication. The goal is to help your gums reattach to your teeth.
Tooth Extraction. A severely infected tooth can threaten the gums, too. Sometimes tooth extraction is an appropriate part of an overall gum health strategy.
Socket Preservation can help to prevent bone loss by caring for the socket left in your gums after tooth removal.
What do healthy gums look like?
Healthy gums are firm and light pink. They fit snugly against your teeth and keep them firmly in place.
If your gums are red, puffy, or are pulling away from your tooth to expose the root you’ve got gum problems. Also, brushing your teeth should never make your gums bleed. If you’re spitting blood right along with your rinse water it’s time to call us to get your gums checked.
How to improve gum health naturally
You don’t want to rely on dubious home remedies to fix gum disease. But there are some natural steps you can take to keep your gums healthy, or to slow the progression of gum disease.
First, floss. The accumulation of tartar causes gum pockets, which provides a place for bacteria to breed. Brushing and flossing every day won’t necessarily stop all tartar from forming (some people are genetically predisposed to it), but it can reduce the amount of tartar.
Avoiding sugary snacks and sodas also can help your gum disease. Sodas are especially dangerous to your gums, because the acid attacks them and erodes them.
Symptoms of gum disease and other problems
As we mentioned, red, swollen, puffy gums, receding gums, and bleeding gums are signs you may have gum disease. Other signs your gums may need attention include:
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Bad breath that sticks with you no matter how much you brush
- A change in your bite
We check your gums as part of your regular dental visits, so if you’re keeping up with those there’s a good chance you’ll be able to catch gum disease before it progresses too far.
Don’t delay to act on gum problems
The longer you wait to treat gum disease, the more expensive the solution can be. If you suspect you have a problem, call Capital Dental Design in Richmond and make an appointment today.