Do you have red, swollen gums? Do they bleed when you brush or floss your teeth? If so, you likely have an infection of the gums. Other early signs of gingivitis include sensitive teeth, heavy tartar buildup, and bad breath. As you know, there are two types of gum disease. Gingivitis is when your gums are inflamed. If untreated, this can lead to periodontitis or gum disease. Are you worried that the condition will worsen or result in tooth loss? Here are some steps you can take to reverse periodontal (gum) disease:
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Stepping up your dental care routine is crucial in reducing the effects of infection. As always, you must brush your teeth for a couple of minutes twice a day. You also must use floss in between your teeth daily or use other interdental cleaners to fight gum disease and prevent tooth decay. It is also highly advisable to use antibacterial mouthwash regularly after you brush and floss your teeth. If you have a health problem like arthritis that keeps you from cleaning your teeth thoroughly, opt for an electric toothbrush.
Get Regular Professional Cleanings
Seeing your dentist or dental hygienist regularly is one of the best ways to remove gum disease for good. A thorough cleaning usually includes scaling and root planning to get rid of the tartar and plaque that have accumulated below your gumline. It is generally recommended that you visit an oral health care professional every six months to help keep bacteria from building up. For those who have gum disease, you will likely be advised to get professional cleanings every four months or as often as needed. The more dental plaque and calculus you have, the more visits it will take to eliminate them and prevent them from building up.
Consult with Your Doctor for Medications
There are several medicines that your doctor can prescribe to treat gum disease. These include antimicrobial mouthwash, pain relievers, antiseptic chips, enzyme suppressants, and antibiotics. Also, be mindful of certain drugs that have an adverse effect on gum tissues. The most common medications that can increase your risk of gum disease are anti-seizure drugs, certain immune suppressors, and some forms of calcium-channel blockers.
Commit to Certain Lifestyle Changes
Smoking tobacco is one of the risk factors for both gingivitis and severe gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking weakens your immune system. This prevents your gum tissues from healing. It is also highly advisable to reduce your sugar intake. Steer clear of sweet foods and drinks, candies, dried fruit, and white bread, or other sources of refined carbohydrates. Drink water rather than soda and eat fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
The key to reversing periodontal (gum) disease is getting rid of the tartar buildup. You can reverse gingivitis. But you cannot reverse periodontitis, only slow it down. That is why you must catch the disease in its early stages. This way, you can keep the inflammation from progressing into periodontitis.
To learn more about periodontal gum disease, contact Laser Family Dental today in Troy, Michigan at (248) 250-9333 to book an appointment.