Gum disease occurs when the bones and tissue around the teeth become infected from bacteria that are caused by the build-up of plaque.
This condition starts out as gingivitis, but if not properly treated, it can progress to periodontitis.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
• Gums are red, swollen and tender
• Bleeding gums while brushing and flossing
• Pus-filled sacs between the teeth and gums
• Change in the teeth alignment
• Partial dentures do not fit right
• Receding gums
• Loose teeth
• Mouth sores
• Bad breath
Prevention of Gum Disease
1. Brush your teeth every morning, after each meal and at bedtime. Make sure to clean the front, back and sides of your teeth. Brush your tongue at least once a day to remove any bacteria. If you are unable to brush after eating, chew a stick of sugar-free gum that contains xylitol.
2. For more thorough plaque removal, choose an electric toothbrush that operates with a back and forth motion.
3. Use an antiplaque, antiseptic or fluoride mouthwash at least once a day, preferably before bedtime.
4. Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and below the gum line.
5. Use a chewable disclosing tablet once a week after brushing to check for any plaque that has been left behind on your teeth.
6. Visit your dentist every six months for regular checkups and thorough teeth cleaning.
7. Reduce tooth decay by adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet. Avoid foods that are high in fat, saturated fat, sodium and sugar, which can harm your teeth and gums.
8. Decrease plaque build-up by including cheese, milk, peanuts and yogurt to your daily diet.
9. Avoid snacking before bedtime.
10. If you smoke, stop using tobacco products. These can cause the gums to become infected and delay the healing process.
Treatment of Gum Disease
1. Periodontal Flap Surgery
– Prevents tooth loss by decreasing the pocket gaps between the gums and teeth.
2. Bone Surgery
– Prevents future gum disease by reshaping the jaw bone and eliminating the bacteria filled craters.
3. Tissue Regeneration
– For advanced stages of periodontal gum disease that destroys the bone, re-growth of the bone may be achieved with a grafting technique called tissue regeneration.
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