Improving Gum Health Within Your Daily Dental Routine

Oral health refers to the general health of your mouth, including your teeth and gums. Periodontics specifically focuses on the gums and bone that surround the teeth, or periodontal tissue. There is a tendency to focus primarily on the teeth when it comes to dental hygiene, but the support structures for the teeth are just as important. Taking care of your gums will keep your teeth healthy. 

How can you improve gum health within your daily dental routine? Here are some helpful tips. 

Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day 

The most important thing you can do to improve and maintain your oral health is to brush your teeth twice a day. Brush once in the morning right after you eat breakfast. Then brush in the evening after your last meal or snack before going to bed. This removes food residue and plaque from your teeth before it can cause decay. 

Floss Once a Day 

Flossing once a day at night before bed will remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth that feed plaque bacteria. It also removes plaque that forms between the teeth before it can harden into calculus, which is more difficult to remove and more likely to result in gum disease. Using string floss is the best method, but flossers are also effective if you find them easier to use. 

Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush 

The best type of toothbrush to use is a soft-bristled brush. Medium or hard-bristled toothbrushes can be too rough for your gums, causing irritation as you brush. Your gums may eventually recede, or pull away from your teeth, leaving them unsupported and the roots exposed and susceptible to damage. 

Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste 

Some toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients such as baking soda. While they may be effective at scrubbing stains off of teeth, the abrasiveness of the baking soda can irritate your gums, which makes them more susceptible to gum disease. This may also lead to gum recession and a lack of support and protection for your teeth. 

Brush Along Your Gum Line 

Brushing technique is also important. When you brush, be sure to focus on your gum line. Plaque tends to gather at the edge of your gums, which increases your risk of gum disease. Brush back and forth and in a circular motion to ensure that you are reaching all areas effectively. 

Use an Electric Toothbrush 

Electric toothbrushes offer many benefits for oral health. They have been proven to remove more plaque than a manual toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes also provide an even pressure across all of your teeth, which reduces the risk of irritation to your gums. 

Try a Water Flosser 

A water flosser sprays pressurized water through a wand with a small hole in the end. It is used to clean between your teeth and under dental prosthetics. They come with various attachments that are designed to clean different-sized spaces in your mouth. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Gum Disease 

What causes gum disease? 

Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue and how your own body reacts to that bacteria. It is caused by plaque that builds up on the teeth and hardens into calculus, which contains bacteria that have reached maturity and are capable of infecting the gum tissue. 

Can gum disease be cured? 

Once gum disease takes root and progresses to a certain point it can be difficult to cure. It can be managed to prevent symptoms and damage to the jaw. Existing damage from gum disease can be reversed with periodontal surgery using bone grafts and growth factors.  

When To See a Periodontist 

If you have any of the signs of gum disease, such as red, irritated, or bleeding gums, it may be time to see a periodontist. When gum disease is treated in the early stages,, it is much easier to treat. Severe gum disease needs professional treatment. Scott H. Froum, DDS, PC provides treatment and management of gum disease to eliminate the infection and prevent it from recurring. 

Call 212-751-8530 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

How Quickly Can Gingivitis Turn Into Periodontitis?

Gingivitis is a common condition caused by bacteria which affects the gum tissue. It is characterized by red, swollen, bleeding gums, and sometimes bad breath. Periodontitis, sometimes called periodontal or gum disease, is a more advanced stage that occurs after gingivitis and results in loss of bone and gum tissue that hold the teeth in the mouth. 

If you have the signs of gingivitis, you may be wondering how long it may take before it turns into periodontitis. Here’s what you need to know to treat gingivitis and prevent periodontitis from developing. 

Symptoms of Gingivitis

Gingivitis may be indicated by one or a combination of the following symptoms:

Symptoms of Periodontitis 

Periodontitis is the next stage when gingivitis has progressed to gum disease. The symptoms of periodontitis include the above symptoms of gingivitis, as well as: 

Stages of Periodontal Disease 

There are 4 stages of gum disease

  1. Gingivitis. The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. There is some irritation of the gum tissue, causing them to be sore or bleed. Many people are not aware that they have gingivitis because the symptoms are mild. It is typically noticed by your dentist during a routine dental cleaning or bleeding when you brush and floss. 
  2. Early periodontal disease. When gingivitis goes untreated, it can develop into periodontitis. The earliest stage includes moderate symptoms such as spacing or black triangles between the teeth and gums, slightly loose teeth, and pain when chewing. Once periodontitis has set in, there is irreversible damage to the support structures for the teeth. At this point the disease can be managed and treated. 
  3. Moderate periodontal disease. As periodontitis progresses the symptoms will worsen. There will likely be greater discomfort when chewing and there will be more extensive damage to the bone and gum that hold the teeth in the mouth. 
  4. Advanced periodontal disease. When periodontitis reaches the advanced stage there may be loss of teeth and significant damage to the jaw bone. It may not be possible to save all of the teeth at this point. 

How Long Does It Take to Go From Gingivitis to Periodontitis? 

From the earliest stage of gingivitis, it can take about anywhere from months to years to develop periodontitis, depending on individual patient factors. But this is only the case if the gingivitis is allowed to progress unchecked by a periodontist. Gingivitis is relatively easy to treat, but it is necessary to act quickly. Once it progresses to periodontitis it becomes much more difficult and more costly to treat. 

How Can You Stop Gingivitis From Becoming Periodontitis?

At the first signs of gingivitis, the following steps can be taken to prevent periodontitis from developing: 

Prevent Periodontitis With Help From Dr. Froum 

Scott H. Froum, DDS, PC is a highly qualified periodontist who treats and helps prevent periodontitis. Our goal is to detect gingivitis in the early stages and provide the necessary treatment to prevent it from progressing to periodontal disease. 

Call 212-751-8530 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.