Gum disease is one of the most common health problems in America, yet in many cases, it is completely avoidable. Left untreated, gum disease can permanently damage many of the tissues in your mouth that are responsible for keeping your teeth in place.
Gum disease is known by professionals as Periodontitis. It is actually a term for a group of inflammatory diseases that affect the periodontium, or gum tissues. You need not be old to contract these diseases, either. Youngsters can also get it, so it's best to adopt proper dental care procedures from a young age to prevent them.
If you are one of the unfortunate people who has contracted this condition, what can you do to treat it? There are several things that can be done to help rid yourself of the ravages of gum disease, but the best thing, as with many health conditions, is to catch it early. The early stages of gum disease are known as Gingivitis, and thankfully, these can usually be completely treated if they occur.
What You Can Do To Treat Your Gums
The first stage of gum disease treatment involves a strict brushing and flossing regimen. Brush your teeth at least 3 times each day, preferably four times. Make sure you brush for at least 2 minutes. Many people neglect proper brushing, which can easily lead to dental problems, including gum issues. Next is flossing completely all your teeth, including below the gum area. You need not really floss all your teeth, only, as one dentist succinctly put it "… the ones you want to keep". Floss at least once each day, but twice is better.
You must concentrate on keeping the tooth and gum area free from the bacteria and other pathogens that can lead to more advanced gum disease problems. Your next step is to thou rough rinse your mouth with some variation of antiseptic mouth rinse. This will help kill the bacteria that cause the gum disease. Rinse for at least 30 seconds, giving the active ingredients time to work their magic.
This regimen can prevent gum disease from occurring entirely, or reverse early stage Gingivitis problems. Sadly, for many people, the problem has advanced to a stage where this alone will not be enough to reverse the problem.
What to Do for More Severe Gum Disease Problems
Your gum disease may have progressed past mere Gingivitis, to actual Periodontitis. This is more serious, and should be treated at once, lest it cost you the teeth in your mouth. Your first step, after adopting the brushing and flossing regimen described above, is to visit your dental care professional.
They will most likely recommend a thorough cleaning, including a root planning and scaling, which removes plaque and tartar below your gum line. The procedure also inhibits future plaque and tartar build up. You may have to start on an antibiotic to kill the infection from the inside as well. Sometimes the Periodontitis has progressed to the point where there is no other choice. Antibiotics are usually taken orally, but may be used topically (applied directly to the affected tissue) as well.
It is so much easier to prevent the gum disease problem, or attack it before it turns into something more severe. Not only can this kind of disease lead to tooth loss, scientists are discovering that dental problems can lead to health problems in other areas of the body also, such as heart disease. In addition, if you've been to the dentist laately, you know it is extremely expensive. That is one expense that can minimized with proper attention. Adopting the proper dental care procedures now can save you wonderful problems later. You may also be able to reverse tooth decay with the proper attention.