Don’t Ignore the Gum Line
Making your daily teeth cleaning habits more effective.
When we were younger we were probably told to “go and brush your teeth” and, for most of us anyway, we probably did, and then grew up continuing this same practice into our adult years.
Unfortunately, whilst the advice is certainly good, it would have been better if ‘and gums’ had been mentioned too. Neglecting your gum health is equally, if not more likely to result in poor oral health.
At Blue Sky Dental, both our dentists and hygienists will check your gum health as well as your teeth during consultations.
So, what problems can occur with the gums? The main problem is, of course, gum disease. In its earlier stages it is called gingivitis, whilst advanced gum disease is known as periodontitis. Gum disease occurs when the bacteria that form in the mouth are not effectively removed and the numbers grow. The bacteria then attaches itself to teeth and gums in a hardened form known as plaque. Whilst, kept under control, plaque can be removed through brushing and flossing, once it becomes hardened, a scale and polish by the hygienist at our Chelmsford dental practice will be needed to remove it.
Where gum disease is ignored and allowed to advance to where periodontitis occurs, damage and loss may be caused to the bone in the jaw, potentially leading to some loss of teeth.
Receding gums can also be caused by gum disease, leading to the tooth appearing to be longer as the roots become exposed. Not only is this where the saying ‘long in the tooth’ originates, but the recession of the gums also exposes the root which is not fully protected by enamel and is therefore more prone to decay.
There are a number of ways in which gum disease can be largely avoided. They are simple and should be observed by anyone wishing to keep their mouth in good health.
Brushing – Make sure that your brush has reasonably firm bristles and is no more than three months old. Also ensure that you angle the brush so that the bristles reach under the gum line, where bacteria may be hidden.
Floss – Only around one in five of us floss. This needs to change as flossing is by far the best way to remove both food deposits and bacteria from in between the teeth. If you find flossing difficult, talk to our Chelmsford dentist who will be able to help you.
Hygienist – We recommend that hygienist consultations are maintained so that we can monitor your teeth and gums. A simple scale and polish will ensure that any plaque that you may miss when cleaning, can easily be removed.
Don’t let your gums let you down and arrange an appointment to see the hygienist at Blue Sky Dental if you have not done so for a while. We can be contacted during working hours on 01245 211070.