It’s Not All About Teeth
When we think of oral health, we most likely think of protecting teeth from cavities, but our gums are every bit as important. Gums play an important role in keeping the teeth healthy. Swollen, tender, and bleeding gums signal a problem, but there are ways to we should also pay attention to keeping the gums health.
Causes of Gum Disease
When oral hygiene is neglected, bacteria in the mouth from plaque on the teeth. This is a hard, calcified substance that if left on too long, can get below the gum line and cause inflammation to the tender gum tissue. Brushing too vigorously or with a stiff bristle toothbrush can also create irritation of the gum tissue at the base of the teeth. Another problem is flossing to vigorously. Sawing on the floss irritates the gums. Untreated gum disease can cause pockets of infection at the tooth’s roots and cause the loss of the tooth.
Signs of Gum Disease
Here are some signs that there may be a problem that needs your dentist’s attention.
Changes in the way teeth fit together on biting, or in the fit of partial dentures
Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
Gums that bleed consistently during and after toothbrushing
Loose or shifting teeth
Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
Red, swollen or tender gums
What to Do
When signs of gum disease are not treated promptly by a dentist to determine if there is a serious problem, such as an abscess or infection in a pocket of tissue at the tooth’s roots, the tooth may die and need to be extracted. If your gums bleed every once in while, you probably need to use a softer toothbrush. If the bleeding is continuous, that is a good sign that something is wrong and needs your dentist’s attention right away. The same goes for pain in the jaw that can move up toward the ear. These are signs of a serious problem, so see your dentist right away.