Gum Health and Why it is Important
Most people will take care to look after their teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, but good gum health is often overlooked. In fact healthy gums are essential for healthy teeth and any dentist in Downham Market will tell you that if you don’t look after your gums you are in danger of losing your teeth. Your gums help provide valuable support to your teeth, protecting your teeth, the ligaments holding your teeth in the sockets and the bony sockets themselves from infection.
What are the Main Differences between Healthy and Unhealthy Gums?
Healthy gums should be a nice pale pink, will feel firm to the touch and will fit snugly around your teeth. In contrast, unhealthy gums can appear dark red and may look swollen and could bleed quite easily, particularly when you brush or floss. They might feel tender or sore if you touch them and you may notice they don’t seem to fit that well around your teeth; there may be gaps or ‘pockets’ in between your gums and your teeth where they have begun to pull away. These pockets are a particular problem and can indicate a substantial infection in your gums. This is because gum pockets can develop as a result of gum disease, a bacterial infection that produces inflammation which gradually destroys the gums.
A Quick Overview of Gum Disease
As mentioned, gum disease is a bacterial infection that can develop when bacteria in your mouth are able to build up to such an extent that the body’s immune system cannot fight back. This can occur if you fail to brush and floss the properly, a process that removes much of the plaque bacteria that build up over your teeth and gums each day. The fight between your immune system and these bacteria produces inflammation. Initially you may notice your gums bleed slightly whenever you brush or floss or that your teeth look slightly longer than before as the gums begin to pull away from your teeth and recede. At this stage you need to take quick action by visiting your dentist in Downham Market. The earliest signs of gum disease can easily be treated, completely eradicating this condition but all too often these signs are easy to miss, enabling the disease to progress into something much more serious and which is called periodontitis.
Treating Early Gum Disease or Gingivitis
Gingivitis or early gum disease can be treated by booking a checkup with your dentist in Downham Market as well as a hygiene appointment. A good hygiene appointment removes the hardened plaque bacteria from your teeth, giving your gums a chance to fight the infection and to heal. At the same time you’ll find your hygienist will probably have lots of useful information and practical advice on how to look after your teeth and gums at home. They can show you the best way to brush your teeth as holding a toothbrush at the correct angle enables the bristles to reach right down to and just below the gum line where plaque tends to build up. If you struggle with flossing, ask your hygienist for advice as it’s important that you brush and floss regularly to help eradicate your gum disease.
If you are overdue for a check-up or have noticed your gums bled last time you brushed or flossed, we’d like to invite you to book an appointment with Downham Market Dental Care as quick action could help save your gums and your teeth. Call us today on 01366 382265.