Dental and Gum Health (Teeth for Life)
Dental and gum health by the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic are important aspects in achieving and maintaining good overall dental health status. The gums that surround the teeth provide additional protection and support, and should therefore be well taken care of to ensure that dental and gum problems do not have a chance to develop.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by poor dental hygiene, which can result to the formation of plaque. The plaque that forms on the gum line and on the teeth surfaces can lead not only to gum disease, but also to tooth decay – especially if proper dental attention is not sought soon enough.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
The following are the most common symptoms of problems with dental and gum health:
- Tender, swollen, or red gums
- Gums that bleed easily with even the slightest pressure, especially when brushing the teeth
- Gums that slowly recede, causing the more of the tooth structure to be exposed; receding gums that are not addressed in the earliest stages can also cause the roots of the tooth to be exposed – a very uncomfortable dental and gum health problem.
- A persistent bad taste in the mouth, or bad breath that cannot be remedied by tooth brushing or the use of mouth rinses
- Teeth that start to loosen, or teeth that start to shift from their original positions
- The formation of deep pockets in between the teeth and the gums; left untreated, this condition can result to tooth loss.
Types of Gum Diseases
Gingivitis – Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, and is considered as the mildest type of gum disease. Gingivitis is caused by improper dental health practises, but can also be the result of any of these factors: smoking, effects of medications taken, and existing medical conditions. Common symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are swollen or bleed easily, and are red in appearance. If gingivitis is not given the proper dental treatment, it can progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis – Periodontitis is the result of gingivitis that has been left to worsen. The plaque and bacteria that have been left to build up may go under the gum line, causing painful pockets between the gums and the teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
Dental and Gum Health Treatment
Medications – Dental and gum health treatment by the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic may involve the use of medications to stop or prevent the spread of further infection, and to kill the bacteria that is causing the gum problems. Antibiotic gels, oral and antimicrobial mouth rinses, and oral antibiotics may be prescribed for the treatment of gum diseases.
Scaling and Root Planing – Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning treatments that have the goal of removing the bacteria and plaque causing the gum problems. Root planing removes the rough spots on the root of the tooth, while scaling removes the tartar that has built up under and above the gum line.
Surgical Gum Treatments – Surgical gum treatments may be done in cases when medications, scaling, and root planing are not enough to treat the existing gum problems. A flap surgery may be done to surgically lift the gums, enabling the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic to successfully get to the tartar deposits that may not be reached through scaling and root planing alone. Gum tissue or bone grafts may be necessary to enhance the growth of new bone or gum tissue, to replace the tissues that were lost due to gum diseases.
Prevention of Dental and Gum Health Diseases
Good Oral Hygiene – Proper tooth brushing, and the regular use of dental floss, can prevent dental and gum health problems from developing. Antibacterial mouth rinses may also be used to clean the other parts of the mouth that tooth brushing or dental flossing alone may not be able to reach.
Regular Dental Checkups – Good dental and gum health can be monitored by the dentist at Woodbury Dental and Laser Clinic through regular dental checkups. The regular visits to the dentist can also help in the prevention of existing gum diseases from worsening into more serious dental problems.
Stop Tobacco Use/Smoking – Smoking and the use of tobacco products can aggravate dental and gum health problems, and may even cause oral or mouth cancer. The risk of developing periodontitis is much higher in smokers or those who use tobacco products, compared to individuals who do not smoke or use tobacco in any form.
Well-Balanced Diet – Good dental and gum health will be enhanced with proper diet, which boosts the immune system that fights infections and the development of diseases. Food and beverages rich in Vitamins A and C, which are rich in antioxidants, can boost the body’s ability to fight infections – including those that can develop in the mouth or gum areas.