Smiling with all your pearly whites is a good thing. With proper hygiene and maintenance, that’s not a problem, but what if you fail to take care of your oral health? Chances are you’ll develop the nasty mouth condition known as gum disease. It might not sound horrible, but when it affects your whole oral cavity, you’re in trouble.
Gum disease occurs when smelly, yellow residue called plaque builds up on your teeth. The bacteria from plaque infects the bones and gum tissue that support the teeth. Eventually, the condition of these body parts deteriorate, causing oral pain, halitosis or bad breath, and tooth loss.
It’s easy to lose your precious smile to gum disease, but it’s also easy to stay away from this unpleasant condition. Here are some ways on how to get rid of gum disease.
Kinds And Symptoms Of Gum Disease
Gum disease can be classified into two kinds: gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is a condition where the gums around the teeth become inflamed, caused by plaque sticking on tooth surfaces and in the gaps between the gums. The bacteria creates toxins and chemicals that inflame the gums surrounding the teeth.
Gingivitis symptoms include:
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen gums
- Purple or bright-red gums
- Mouth sores
- Itching gums
- Painless gums, except when pressure is applied.
- Receding gumline.
The other type of gum disease is known as periodontitis or pyorrhea alveolaris. It’s a collection of inflammatory mouth diseases that affects the tissues around the teeth. It’s caused by bacteria that stick and grow on tooth surfaces, especially under the gum line. Periodontitis causes progressive bone loss around the teeth leading to tooth loss. Compared to gingivitis, this is a more serious oral condition.
The periodontium is the one inflamed because of periodontitis. It’s made up of the:
- Cementum – outer layer of the roots of the teeth
- Alveolar bone – bony sockets where teeth are anchored
- Gingiva – gum tissue
- Periodontal ligaments or PDLs – connective tissue fibers that attach the gingiva and cementum to the alveolar bone.
You have periodontitis if you experience:
- Recurring gum swelling
- A persistent metallic taste in the mouth
- Gum bleeding or redness when brushing, flossing or biting hard food.
- Deep pockets between the gums and teeth
- Gingival recession
- Loose teeth
Whichever of these two you’re experiencing, your priority must be to get rid of the condition before it worsens.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
The most obvious way of saying goodbye to gum disease is to prevent it from developing in the first place. You can do this by keeping your mouth, gums and teeth clean and plaque and bacteria-free all the time. Brush regularly, at least after every meal, to remove stuck food particles from your teeth. Use a dentist-approved toothpaste that gets rid of tartar and plaque. Many dentists also recommend special motorized toothbrushes with smaller heads, because these removes plaque more effectively than a usual toothbrush.
Flossing is an important hygienic practice too. Since brushing only removes plaque from the surfaces, some residues that are beyond the reach of a toothbrush remain, and these can cause gum problems. Flossing removes plaque from under the gumline and between the teeth, making sure no plaque is left. Make it a habit to floss after you brush. Using an antiseptic and anti-plaque mouthwash is also a good practice.
Pay Your Dentist A Visit
When it comes to your oral health, there’s one individual you can always turn for help: your dentist. Visit your dentist regularly, at least once every three months. Checkups with an oral health care professional lets you monitor levels of attachment around the teeth and monitor oral health hygiene. Your dentist can identify early symptoms of gum disease and prescribe proper treatment.
It’s also important to have dental cleanings every time you go to the dentist. Dental hygienists have special instruments that debride or clean hard-to-reach oral areas, ensuring no plaque gets left behind. Have a cleaning session every three or four months to maintain your oral health and shoo away gum disease.
It makes sense that the food you eat greatly affects your gum’s condition, since they go through your mouth. According to research, those afflicted with gum disease have a diet deficiency of at least six nutrients. Before proceeding to cure the condition, you must first try to control what you eat.
We all know that too much sugar is bad for the teeth because it causes cavities to build up, so avoid too much sweets in your diet. Aside from sugar, do you know that too much starchy food can also cause gum disease? Starchy food enrich the acid that eats away the teeth’s enamel, so try to lessen these too.
Here are other diet tips to remember to prevent or cure gum disease.
- Opt for natural foods, not only because of the nutrients, but also because these let you exercise your teeth and gum, because of the extra chewing you need when masticating these food.
- Munch on natural foods high in Vitamin C. This vitamin is used by the body to produce collagen, a tough protein fiber that works by keeping the gum strong. It can also treat gum disease. Raw vegetables, like cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, celery and broccoli. As for raw fruits, you can try cantaloupe, apples and oranges.
- Nuts and walnuts also contain nutrients that can help treat gum disease.
- Get some calcium to protect your teeth against tooth decay. Yogurt is a wonderful source, great for the gums and the teeth.
It doesn’t seem significant, but that stick of cigarette you can’t avoid also causes gum disease. Chewing or smoking tobacco causes adverse effects on your health, like affecting your gum and causing gum disease. It can also cause heart and lung disease or cancer. If it’s your vice, lessen or completely stay away from smoking cigarette or tobacco. You’ll not only stay away from oral health problems, but other more dangerous health problems as well.
Some people experience gum disease problems that are already too severe to be treated by typical diet changes, oral hygiene practices or cleaning. In these cases, dentists would recommend alternative methods like:
- Scaling and Root Planing or SRP – This is advisable for patients who experience receding gums or bone loss. SRP is an intensive, non-surgical, deep-cleaning method that works by scraping the tartar and plaque from below and above the gumline. Then, root planing is done, smoothening rough tooth spots where germs collect in order to remove bacteria that contributes to gum problems. When the surface is clean and smooth, the gums can reattach to the teeth again.
- Pocket reduction procedure – Sometimes, pockets form on the gums, which then cause infection. For patients who experience this, pocket reduction procedure is the most apt solution. After the infection is removed, the dentist applies a medicinal agent to the area. The medicine works by promoting new growth in the gums.
- Soft tissue graft – This is done on the most severe cases of gum disease and is usually performed more than once. Healthy tissues from healthy spaces in the mouth are removed, and are placed over the damaged, but bacteria-free gum areas. The grafted tissue regenerates the damaged parts, restoring dental health.
Gum disease ruins oral health, adds insecurity and leads to worse health problems. If you’re experiencing this awful dilemma, turn to these tactics immediately. They’ll help bring back your beautiful and radiant smile.