While your six-month cleanings and exams remove plaque and tartar, many people fail to have an effective routine at home. When a thorough regimen of oral hygiene at home twice daily is not followed, the potential to develop early stage gum disease increases greatly. This can result in symptoms of gum disease before the next visit rolls around.
Gingivitis is the first level of gum disease. This is when bacterial accumulation develops to the point of showing obvious signs of damage to oral tissues. These signs include frequent bad breath, tender gums and gums that bleed easily when brushing. As oral bacteria reproduce, gingivitis will develop into periodontal disease. This occurs when oral bacteria are reproducing at a rampant rate and damaging gum tissues at a more destructive level.
The good news, however, is you CAN reverse the progress of gingivitis before it moves to a deeper level that is more time-consuming and expensive to treat. As soon as you notice signs (as mentioned above), begin a twice-a-day regimen of brushing your teeth a minimum of two minutes, flossing daily, swishing after brushing with an oral rinse and either using a tongue scraper or brushing the tongue to remove embedded bacteria.
Additionally, increase your water intake. A moist mouth supports the cleansing effects of saliva. Avoid or greatly limit between-meal snacking and minimize your intake of sugary foods and beverages.
With proper measures, you should begin to see symptoms subside in a few days. However, that doesn’t mean you should back off! Continue this regimen to maintain a healthy mouth and control bacterial buildup. And be sure to keep your regular hygiene appointments. These visits will help you have a ‘clean slate’ twice a year so you can avoid problems in the first place.
Once you are in the routine of this oral hygiene commitment, you’ll find it takes very little time and the payoff is well worth it! If you find flossing awkward, view our brief video on flossing:
or call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles for an appointment. Our Hygienists are fantastic instructors on flossing! Remember, be sure to react to tender, bleeding gums quickly. Gum disease only worsens without treatment and early treatment can save you time and money.