How to Improve Gum Health: The Importance of Periodontal Care
How to Improve Gum Health
When many people think of dentists, they think of teeth — but good oral hygiene should focus on the entire mouth. Our gums and bones are the foundational support for our teeth, and should be treated accordingly. Poor periodontal care can cause swelling, pain, and even lead to tooth loss!
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your gum health, even in cases of advanced gum disease. Here’s what you need to know about improving your gum health:
Why is gum health important?
Failing to maintain good oral hygiene creates a buildup of plaque that can lead to gingivitis and/or gum disease. These diseases cause discomfort and even tooth loss when not treated properly.
- Gingivitis is “a common and mild form of gum disease…that causes irritation, redness and swelling.” It can typically be treated with a professional dental cleaning, but you will need to practice good oral hygiene to prevent it from recurring.
- If not treated in time, gingivitis can evolve into periodontitis (gum disease). With periodontitis, “the inner layer of the gum and bone pull away from the teeth and form pockets,” which “collect debris and can become infected.” This can cause tooth loss over time as the gum and bone are destroyed; according to WebMD, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
To improve your gum health and avoid gum disease, you will need to follow guidelines for maintaining good oral hygiene, including preventative dental services.
Seniors and gum disease
Gum disease is most commonly seen in adults, especially seniors. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):
- 47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease.
- 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.
Because of this, seniors in particular should make sure they are attending the recommended preventative dental appointments for teeth cleanings and exams. This is especially true of adults with other risk factors for gum disease; the CDC lists smoking, diabetes, stress, heredity, and poor oral hygiene as increasing your risk.
Steps to improve gum health
The Journal of the American Dental Association recommends the following steps to prevent gum disease:
- brush your teeth twice a day;
- clean between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner once every day;
- see your dentist for an examination and a professional cleaning regularly
- show your dentist or dental hygienist how you brush and clean between your teeth and ask if you can make any improvements
- if you smoke or chew tobacco, stop. Tobacco use increases the risk of gum disease.
Gum disease treatment
Although these steps are useful in keeping gums healthy, patients already experiencing gum disease should seek treatment from a dentist for periodontal (gum) care.
According to the American Association of Dentists, the first step in treating gum disease is typically a non-surgical process called “scaling and root planing,” which helps gum tissue heal by removing the “plaque and tartar deposits” on both the tooth and root surfaces.
Depending on the severity of the disease, gum grafting may be necessary. These gum-grafting techniques can replace and/or enhance the tissue around the teeth to improve stability, shape, and aesthetics. This is typically used to fix receding gums.
Find Periodontal Care Near You
At DGY Dentistry Ann Arbor, we provide a range of services to treat gum disease and regenerate bone and gum tissue. We pride ourselves in clearly communicating your procedures and choices with no-pressure consultations and transparent payment options.
We are conveniently located at 3100 E. Eisenhower Parkway with easy access to surrounding Washtenaw County and the larger Southeast Michigan area. Contact us today to learn more about periodontal care near you.