The health of your gums is just as important as the health of your teeth. Healthy gums are firm and pink, and don’t bleed during brushing and flossing. If your gums are unhealthy it can lead to infection and loss of teeth. If you are concerned about your gum health it is best you arrange an appointment with your hygienist, but here are a few tips on what can be done at home.
Flossing is vital to gum health. Some of us may be put off as you may experience bleeding when you first try it, but this bleeding is caused by a lack of regular flossing. Bacteria in our mouth form a film on our teeth called plaque. This plaque can extend below the gum line, sitting on the roots of our teeth. The presence of plaque under our gums causes our gums to become red and inflamed. Left untreated, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth in an effort to escape the bacteria. When our gums are inflamed they are prone to bleeding. If you experience bleeding gums challenge yourself to floss once a day for at least a week and see if you notice a difference.
To floss correctly, bring the floss down below the gum level, hugging the tooth in a c-shape. Move the floss gently up and down to scrape the plaque out from under the gums. As the bacterial presence below your gums decreases your gums will become less inflamed and should stop bleeding. However, if you have been previously neglecting your oral care you may need to do more than introducing flossing to your hygiene routine. If this is the case, we recommend seeing a hygienist.
A hygienist will look at your gum health, checking for ‘pocketing’ and calculus. Pocketing is areas below the gum line where the gum has come away from the roots of the teeth due to inflammation. The hygienist will measure these areas and advise you on an oral health routine to improve your condition. In time, these areas can be improved with adequate care.
Calculus is calcified plaque. It can occur on your teeth both above and below the gum line. Brushing at home is not enough to remove it, but your hygienist will be able to take care of this for you. Depending on your level of calculus this may require a couple of appointments. Once the calculus is removed and an oral health care routine established, gum inflammation should reduce.
In extreme cases specialist help may be required, and your hygienist will refer you to a periodontist. Periodontists are doctors who specialise in gums, and they will help you to bring your gum health back on track.
At Real Dentistry we have a hygienist available to help you with your gum health. If you are concerned at all regarding the health of you gums, call us today to arrange and appointment, or follow the link to find out more: