The average person spends more time thinking about chewing gum than the gums in their mouth!
When was the last time you considered your gums when thinking about oral health? If it has been a while, this is your reminder that gum disease can affect anyone. It can lead to long-term health risks and require painful surgeries to repair.
The aesthetics of your smile are important, too! Proper gum health is part of maintaining the look of your teeth. If you like your smile, then you should be prioritizing proper gum care.
Are you taking care of your gums? If you’re not sure, read on to learn about proper brushing and ways to prevent painful gum disease, and how Lee Trevino Dental in El Paso can help!
What Is Gum Disease?
You may have heard of gum disease referred to as gingivitis or periodontitis. Gingivitis is the most common type of gum disease. If left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis, which is considerably more dangerous.
Gingivitis is typically caused by a bacterial infection in the gums. When food and plaque get stuck in your gums, you have a higher chance of contracting an infection. If you brush properly, you can avoid this contamination.
Gingivitis manifests in the form of painful gum inflammation. You might notice bleeding when you brush your teeth. In severe infections, you might even notice pus.
An unusual sign of gum disease is persistent bad breath that does not go away after brushing. You might also notice unusual sensitivity in your teeth. Gingivitis makes it difficult to chew your food comfortably.
The infection can cause separation between the teeth and gums. Your teeth may feel looser and fail to fit together properly. This can lead to bone and tissue damage and, ultimately, the loss of adult teeth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
There is a genetic factor to gum disease. If members of your family have been diagnosed with gingivitis in the past, you are more likely to have issues with infection.
Smoking is one of the highest risk factors for gum disease. Chewing tobacco can also contribute. Pharmaceuticals, both medical and recreational, can also increase your chances of a serious gum infection.
Existing dental issues can lead to or exacerbate gum disease. This might include broken fillings, crooked teeth, or poorly fitting dental appliances. Anything that makes it more challenging to brush properly can lead to an increased risk of infection.
Pregnancy, compromised immunity, and diabetes can also increase your risk of gum disease. Always consult a dentist or periodontist if you have concerns about taking care of your teeth.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Gum disease is typically treated via deep cleaning, antibiotic medication, and oral surgery.
Your dentist can deep clean your teeth using several non-surgical methods. The first is scaling, which is a tartar-removing procedure. Root planing is a technique used to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the roots of your teeth.
Some practices also offer deep cleaning using laser technology, which is often less painful than the alternatives.
If you require medication, your dentist will discuss your options. They might include special mouthwash, oral antibiotics, or antiseptic chips.
Often, individuals with gum disease require some kind of surgery to repair the damages. Surgery can be painful and expensive. It might require healing time and require you to miss work or school.
Because tooth loss is very common, many individuals with gum disease opt for cosmetic surgery. This might include receiving dental implants to replace one or more missing adult teeth with artificial roots and crowns. Lee Trevino Dental offers cosmetic services for those seeking to replace teeth lost due to gum disease.
Am I Brushing Properly?
The best way to prevent gum disease and tooth loss is to make sure that you practice proper mouth care. Even if you brush your teeth daily, improper brushing can lead to infection in difficult-to-reach areas of the mouth. This can be a challenge for those who struggle with executive functioning.
Proper brushing involves brushing your teeth at least two times a day. You should brush when you wake up in the morning and before going to sleep at night. Avoid brushing too frequently, however, as it can wear down enamel.
When selecting a toothbrush, look for one that has soft bristles. This will usually be clearly labeled on the package. Electric toothbrushes are also excellent tools if they are within your budget.
Do not cover your toothbrush. This can cause bacteria to grow on the toothbrush. If you are at risk, introducing this bacteria to your mouth might lead to an even greater risk of infection.
Replace your toothbrush or brush head every three to four months. If you are ill, you will want to replace it sooner.
Toothpaste should include fluoride, which will help strengthen your teeth. If you struggle with reaching spaces in between teeth, you might floss. This can only increase the cleanliness of your mouth.
How to Brush Effectively
You will want to hold your toothbrush against your gums. On average, you should aim to brush each tooth about 15 to 20 times. Two solid minutes of brushing is usually enough to ensure that you have given attention to each area of your mouth.
Short, gentle strokes are enough. Brushing too vigorously can be harmful. Back and forth strokes are effective on your outer tooth surfaces.
Brush your upper front teeth using downward vertical strokes. Do the same for lower teeth, but brush upward.
Great Oral Health With Lee Trevino Dental
Great oral health leads to great general health. Individuals with gum disease have a higher risk of experiencing cardiac complications. Choosing to take care of your gums can keep your whole body strong and well.
When it comes to your oral health, prevention is key. Lee Trevino Dental in El Paso can help keep your teeth in ideal shape. Lee Trevino Dental associates are kind professionals experienced in both general and cosmetic dentistry.
Are you ready to take your oral health into your own hands? Reach out today and schedule an appointment at Lee Trevino Dental.