Gum Infections

Preventing & treating gum infections

Gum disease can be a major problem, but when it is discovered in the earlier stages, it’s possible to reverse it. As gum disease progresses, infections set in that damage bone and soft tissue. If you leave gingivitis untreated it can easily advance and develop into periodontitis. This can then lead to tooth loss and serious health problems. One of the first signs of unhealthy gums is swelling and bleeding. If you’ve noticed blood when brushing your teeth, it is essential not to ignore it. Bleeding gums are extremely common. It may simply indicate that you are brushing too hard. It can also be a symptom of other more serious dental issues, which could cause more extensive problems down the road.

The most apparent sign of bleeding gums is visible blood in your saliva or along the gumline during or after brushing. However, sometimes bleeding gums can go unnoticed, especially if you are using colored toothpaste. Another symptom of bleeding gums is soreness and redness around the gum line or between the teeth. If you notice that your gums are bleeding or that they are sore, we recommend that you book a consultation with Dr. Markle or Dr. Herman to discuss treatment solutions.

Treatment for bleeding gums

In general, good dental hygiene is the best thing that you can do to manage bleeding gums. While visiting our office, we may suggest a more thorough professional cleaning that goes both above and below the gumline. The cleaning will remove any build-up of plaque and reduce the bacteria levels on your gums to prevent worsening periodontal disease. We may also suggest that you use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill any remaining bacteria and prevent a build-up of plaque in the future.

If your gums are inflamed and sore you may be advised to use a softer toothbrush to prevent bleeding and to allow your gums to heal. If a build-up of plaque is the problem we may recommend an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes can be much more effective at removing plaque from close to the gum line.

Healthy gums are light pink and firm. If your gums are red, they bleed easily, or there is swelling, you may have moved from simple bleeding to gingivitis. This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene. The good news is, at this point, it is still possible to reverse it with the right steps and prevent the development of gum disease, or periodontal disease.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease characterized by chronic gum inflammation. At this point, the infection has spread below the gum line. The bacterial infection deteriorates the jawbone at the same time as pulling the supportive gums away from the tooth. This combination leads to tooth loss as the supportive structures of bone and tissue atrophy. Symptoms of this can include receding gums, bad breath, and gingival pockets. This can lead to pus, which is a sign of infection.

How to Stop Gum Disease

To make sure that you don’t have future gum problems, one thing that you can do is improve your oral health routine. Make sure that you are brushing your teeth, flossing, and using mouthwash every day. Also, make sure that you schedule a visit regularly every 6 months. To learn more about how to property manage good gum health keep reading:

Floss

Flossing is an important part of your daily oral health routine. Make sure that you floss at least once every day. Flossing will help you remove any plaque that may be beyond reach for your toothbrush.  It’s best to floss after you have brushed your teeth. You can floss in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon, or even at night. If you floss at least once per day you can significantly reduce the chance of periodontal disease.

Get a Regular Cleaning

We will easily detect any symptoms of gum disease if you visit regularly, every 6 months. Getting your teeth cleaned often will allow the dentist to detect warning signs before you get gum disease.  A professional cleaning will remove tartar and plaque that might have built up. This can happen even if you brush and floss because of hard-to-reach areas. If you have gingivitis, regular dental check-ups may help you to fully reverse it.

Stop Smoking

If you didn’t need another reason to quit smoking, here’s one anyway. Quitting smoking could drastically reduce the chances of developing gum disease. Smoking can weaken your immune system and it can also make it much more difficult for you to fight gum disease. Smoking also makes it much more difficult for gums to heal when they have already experienced damage.

Brush Daily

Make sure to brush your teeth every day. This can help you to ultimately remove the food and plaque that may be trapped between your gums. It’s also very important that you give your tongue a good scrubbing. Your tongue could be harboring bacteria that cause bad breath, especially the back of the tongue. You need to make sure that your toothbrush has soft bristles and fits in your mouth comfortably. If you can, consider an electronic toothbrush. These toothbrushes are far more effective at removing plaque compared to manual toothbrushes. Make sure that you replace the head every few months.

Fluoride Toothpaste

If you want to stop gum disease, make sure to choose the right toothpaste. There are store shelves lined with brands that claim to reduce gingivitis as well as freshen your breath. How do you pick the right one?  Ultimately, it just helps to make sure that you pick one that comes with the ADA seal and one that contains fluoride.

Use Mouthwash

Mouthwash is available over the counter and can help you to reduce plaque while also helping prevent gingivitis. Mouthwash can reduce the spread of plaque and reduce tartar, It can also remove food particles stuck between your teeth.

Stopping Gum Disease with a periodontist

If you believe that you are already in the later stage of gum disease, Dr. Markle and Dr. Herman can help. Our professional experience treating periodontal disease can help you reverse even the more serious stages of gum disease. Schedule an appointment with us today. We are ready to give you the support you need to make your oral health a number one priority.

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Baton Rouge Perio

10723 N. Oak Hills Parkway, Building B
Baton Rouge, LA 70810

Tel: 225-396-4587
Fax: 225-769-9939

Baton Rouge Periodontists, Dr. Kenneth Markle and Dr. Jenny Herman, provide a variety of surgical and non-surgical services for the treatment of periodontal issues. We pride ourselves on the fact that we are very conservative in our treatment recommendations and limit surgery to the areas where it is absolutely necessary.

Proudly serving Baton Rouge Louisiana and the cities of Gonzales LA Prairieville LA • Denham Springs LA Central LA • Hammond LA Zachary LA • St. Francisville LA • Baker LA • LaPlace LA

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