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Do it Yourself - Treating Gum Disease

Posted on Sep 15, 2014 11:16:30 AM by Jeff Rubel

Do it Yourself - Treating Gum Disease | Coral West DentalDealing with gum disease is something that doesn’t have to take over your life. While the disease can be painful and cause quite a bit of destruction to your teeth and gums, there are things that you can do on your own to prevent the spread of further damage. Take a look below for a few tips and tricks for do-it-yourself gum disease treatments.

If you’re dealing with the initial onset of gum disease, which is also known as gingivitis, you may not even realize that you have a problem. Symptoms are typically very mild in the beginning, which means that quite a bit of damage may be done before you realize you have a problem. The first sign will typically be tender and swollen gums that bleed easily. Gums may have begun to recede from your teeth, but this is often difficult to notice.

Gingivitis is caused by plaque buildup on your teeth. Plaque is made up of the bacteria, mucus, and food particles that gather in your mouth every day. This bacteria that builds up in your mouth will begin to produce toxins that will attack your gums. If you don’t take steps to control the problem, gingivitis can quickly turn into periodontal disease, which is a more severe form of gum disease. By the time the disease has progressed to this state, bacteria has made its way under the gum and will begin to attack the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth, which can actually result in tooth loss.

The number one way to control the spread of gum disease is to stop the plaque growth immediately. The best way to do this is by brushing your teeth. Brushing every single day, twice a day, will help to fight off the growth of plaque. If you’ve begun to see symptoms of gingivitis, which will be tender, bleeding gums, you might be tempted to slack off a bit to avoid the pain. That’s absolutely the worst thing you could do at this point, so it’s important to power through. If you’re in the very early stages, a few weeks of regular brushing may be enough to fend off further growth and stop the gingivitis in its tracks.

When brushing, be sure you are using toothpaste that includes fluoride. Spend at least two solid minutes brushing, angling the brush to cover every surface and reach into every crevice. Work to gently get the bristles under your gums, and brush your tongue to scrape off as many germs as possible.

Another absolute must is daily flossing. Many people avoid flossing altogether, or only do so occasionally. However, your toothbrush is unable to penetrate between teeth where food and bacteria are growing. Flossing every day is essential in maintaining good gum health. If you only floss on the random occasion, you’re allowing plaque to build up, which can eventually turn to tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a professional cleaning, and that’s if you catch it early enough. If it’s allowed to grow and harden, it can actually grow into your gums and the roots of your teeth. As you can see, flossing is more important than you may have previously thought!

Something else you can do to fight gum disease is to lead a healthy lifestyle in general. Common risk factors for gum disease are using tobacco products, poor nutrition, and stress. When your body isn’t performing at its best, you aren’t able to fend off infection as easily. By avoiding these things you will not only improve your overall health, but you will be doing your best to prevent gum disease.

Finally, it’s important to visit your dentist regularly. While this may not technically be a DIY approach, it is an essential piece of the puzzle. A dentist will be able to remove all of the plaque that you may have missed in your teeth cleaning routine, and they will be able to get rid of any tartar that you may have. Dentists are also able to detect a number of diseases in the early stages, which is often the key to beating them. Twice a year visits to the dentist are a good idea for every member of your family.

While the steps above will certainly help you keep gum disease at bay, it’s important to keep it up. Daily oral care is the only way to prevent gum disease – slacking off here and there may not seem to make a big difference, but make it a habit and you may be dealing with health problems that you’d rather not face.

To read more, download our free eBook "7 Step Checklist to Determine if You Have Gum Disease".

Determine if You Have Gum Disease | Coral West Dental

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