Did you know that as many as 1 out of 7 people in the United States suffer from gum disease? The most common form of gum disease is gingivitis and not many people even realize that they have it to begin with.
It can come about when you don’t take good care of your dental hygiene and it can quickly turn into a worse form of gum disease: periodontitis.
Periodontal disease can involve the loss of teeth and even gum infections when it gets severe enough. Fortunately, how to treat gum disease doesn’t have to be difficult, and you won’t have to deal with the severity of periodontitis as long as you take care of your dental health ahead of time.
Keep reading and learn more about how gum disease comes to be and what you can do to keep it from getting any worse.
Understand How Gum Disease Starts
Every time you eat or drink something, especially something containing sugar such as candy or fruit, the bacteria in your mouth will latch onto those food particles at once. Once this happens, the bacteria will metabolize the food particles and create acid as a byproduct.
This acid isn’t strong enough to cause you any pain, but it certainly is strong enough to start breaking down your tooth enamel. Even though tooth enamel is one of the strongest tissues in all of the human body, it still doesn’t stand a chance against this acid. Eventually, the acid will break down your teeth to such an extent that it will cause tooth sensitivity, tooth decay, and even cavities.
It doesn’t stop there. The same bacteria that produce the acid also create plaque. Plaque is a sticky film that coats your teeth that can be removed when brushing or flossing.
But if you don’t remove it, it will eventually become tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that you usually can’t remove on your own. It grows between your teeth, especially along your gum line.
Tartar is often the main culprit when it comes to the development of gum disease. That’s because it irritates the gums to such an extent that it causes gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. The problem is that many people don’t even know they have gum disease until it progresses to a more serious stage.
Brush Your Teeth
The first thing you should do is start brushing your teeth more often. You will be able to brush away any acid and plaque before they have the chance to cause any damage to your teeth and gums.
Many people make the mistake of not brushing their teeth or flossing as often as they should. While this may seem harmless, it can actually damage your dental health in a serious way over time. The main reason for this has to do with certain strains of bacteria that live in your mouth.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Also, not only can you treat gum disease by brushing your teeth more but you can also keep tooth decay and cavities at bay. Flossing is also very important for keeping your gums healthy. If you’ve ever flossed and found your gums bleeding as a result, that may be because you have a very mild form of gum disease already.
The reason your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth is that they are inflamed and more sensitive than usual. But you will find once you floss your teeth more, your gums will no longer bleed and they will become much healthier.
Visit the Dentist
But what should you do if you already have tartar that you can’t remove on your own? Going to the dentist once or twice a year is also a good idea for treating and preventing gum disease. If you have any tartar irritating your gums, your dentist will be able to remove it for you.
This will allow your gums to calm down and they shouldn’t be so inflamed. Your dentist will also be able to give you some advice to keep your gums healthy.
Tips for Treating Severe Gum Disease
There is a certain point at which you can’t do much to treat your gum disease at home because it has become too severe. You will be able to notice the signs of severe gum disease or periodontitis because they will be more obvious. You may have a receding gum line and your gums may be very red and puffy.
Some of your teeth may also be loose in their sockets. If this is the case, you will need to go to your dentist for treatment. Your dentist may provide you with antibiotics to treat the problem.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary. This is because the roots of your teeth may be exposed due to the gum recession and need to be covered with grafts. It is important to treat your gum disease if it gets this severe because it may cause a serious infection.
Learn How to Treat Gum Disease Today
Figuring out how to treat gum disease doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you start sooner than later. By brushing and flossing every day, you’ll never get gum disease in the first place.
Don’t forget that your dentist is there to help you as well! If you already have severe gum disease, you will need to see your dentist to discuss available treatment options.
To learn more about your dental options, contact us here.