Looking After Your Gum Health
Specialist periodontist, Navidah Chaudhary, reminds patients to take care of their gums
Whilst Covid restrictions have added quite a lot of complications for most business, please rest assured that we are doing all that we can to ensure that our Chelmsford patients have access to essential dental care. Hopefully, as the number of vaccinations given increases, we may soon be able to return to something like normality. In the meantime though, it is important that patients take on additional responsibility for looking after their oral health to the best of their ability.
One thing that should not be forgotten at any time, and especially in the current situation, is that your gum health is just as important as looking after your actual teeth. Indeed, failure to do so could even eventually lead to the loss of some of your teeth.
How healthy are your gums?
How do you know whether your gums are healthy or not? This is a good question but one that is relatively straightforward to answer.
In most cases, healthy gums shouldn’t be noticeable. That is to say that there should be no discomfort caused by them, they should also be a healthy pink colour which indicates that blood is flowing to them well enough. They should also be firm to the touch, with no associated discomfort when you touch them.
On the other hand, there are a number of possible signs which may indicate that all is not well with your gums and that you need to take action to restore their health. These include:
- Tenderness or soreness of the gums
- Inflammation of the gums
- Bleeding when you brush your teeth
- Receding gums
- Redness of the gums
- Wobbly or loose teeth
Not all, or even any of these may necessarily be present, even when you do have gum disease and you should always have them checked by the hygienist at Blue Sky Dental clinic on a regular basis. If any of these symptoms do appear though, you should make an appointment as soon as you can rather than wait for your scheduled one unless it is imminent.
Managing gum disease
Most of us will have gum disease at some point in our lives, perhaps, for example, when we have been ill and not cleaned our teeth as well as we normally do. For most of us, this isn’t a major problem and a return to proper care will soon have our gums back in good health. Long term neglect of our oral health though is likely to have serious consequences.
There are a number of things which may contribute to the onset of problems like gingivitis and periodontitis. These include:
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Poor quality brushing of the teeth, where the gums are largely neglected
- Failure to use dental floss in order to remove interdental food particles and bacteria
- A poor diet that is high is sugars
- Medications that lead to a dry mouth
The dental hygienist
One thing that everyone should do is to see the hygienist at our Chelmsford practice at least twice a year. If you are in a group that is more vulnerable to gum infections, such as diabetics or those on certain medications, you may be recommended to do so more frequently. These appointments are a good opportunity to discuss and assess how you look after your gums and suggestions may be made to change certain habits so that your risk is reduced.
You will also receive a non-invasive treatment called a ‘scale and polish’. This is an excellent way of removing any built up bacteria and mineral deposits known as tartar. Tartar creates a rough surface that attracts more deposits and can soon start to cause problems. Removing this will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy and can also remove some surface staining of the teeth, making them look nicer and feel fresher too!
Failure to look after your gums well can lead to serious oral health issues and you may require a much more invasive treatment known as root scaling. This includes not only the removal of bacteria from the gums, but deep on the roots of the teeth and also, sometimes, on the supporting bone as well. There really is no need for the problem to reach this level if you stay on top with good cleaning and dental hygienist appointments.
If you are concerned about your gum health or would like to see the hygienist at our Chelmsford clinic, please call Blue Sky Dental on 01245 211070.