Gums are important because they protect the underlying bone and the roots of the teeth from bacteria. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue around the tooth. Red, swollen and bleeding gums are a the first signs of gum disease. Gingivitis is not usually painful in its early stages and if caught early it is reversible with proper oral hygiene. If gingivitis is left untreated, it will progress to a disease stage called periodontitis which begins to deteriorate the bone and supporting structures around the tooth. It is important to note, there are an increased risk of various systemic diseases with periodontal disease particularly atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The best thing you can do when caring for your gums is brushing and we know you have heard it before, but yep, it’s FLOSSING! Yes, I said it. FLOSSING. It ultimately helps get rid of bacteria and food particles that will start to rot and smell between your teeth and underneath the gums. The floss helps to remove the sticky biofilm called plaque which creates inflamed gums. There are many different types of floss, so find one that works for you and ask your dental hygienist to show you the correct way to floss so you get the most benefit. Many people find flossing difficult or time consuming, but it is quite possible you are not doing it correctly and may even be causing more damage than good. A few tweaks will seriously make it so much easier.
See your Dentist on a regular basis to have a dental exam and x-rays and your Dental Hygienist for a professional dental cleaning at least every 6 months. As everyone is an individual and oral situation may be different, your hygienist may recommend scaling more frequently. Ask your Dental Hygienist what scaling (cleaning) frequency is recommended for your situation.