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All Posts in Category: Gum Disease

Tips for healthy gums

Maintaining Healthy Gums

When most people think about dental health, they may focus mostly on preventing decay and cavities in their teeth, but having healthy gums is just as important as having healthy teeth. Healthy gums are vital for your overall well-being and dental health and quite often give early indications of a problem in your mouth. Bleeding and swollen gums are often a sign of gum disease, but other issues that require attention and treatment can also cause such irritation. Thankfully, there are ways to minimize the discomfort and potential damage to sore, painful gums.

Brushing correctly

Brushing your teeth too vigorously can damage the delicate tissue of your gums, so it’s important that you brush properly. Always choose a soft toothbrush with blunt end nylon bristles because the medium or hard bristled toothbrushes can damage enamel and lead to swollen, red gums. Whether you use an electric or manual toothbrush, move the brush with gentle, circular motions that massage the gums and clean teeth without furious scrubbing. Avoid back and forth motion as this can damage and irritate gums causing gum recession, soreness, and bleeding.

Flossing correctly

Flossing is an essential part of proper oral hygiene, and a step many people avoid or do incorrectly. Flossing removes plaque where your toothbrush can’t reach, and this is vital because built-up plaque can irritate gums and lead to more severe issues. When you floss, work gently to avoid causing bleeding swollen gums. Don’t force the floss between teeth, but slide it carefully up and down along the curve of each tooth.

Signs of unhealthy gums

Without practicing proper oral hygiene, you increase the risk of having gum disease. Gum disease has different severities from mild gingivitis to the most serious type called periodontitis. One of the main causes of gum disease is improper oral hygiene, which leads to the formation of plaque on the teeth from built up bacteria. The bacteria can lead to inflamed gums that are swollen, red and may bleed. Gingivitis isn’t always painful, but that doesn’t make it harmless. Early treatment of gingivitis helps reverse it and can restore good oral health. Without treatment, gingivitis can get worse, progress to periodontitis and even lead to tooth loss. There are several signs of unhealthy gums including:

  • Bleeding gums during and after brushing
  • Tender, swollen or red gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Deep pockets between gums and teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Shifted or loose teeth
  • Changes in bite or alignment of teeth
  • Change in fit of partial dentures or bridge

Tobacco use and gum health

It isn’t just smoking that’s bad for your gums and oral health; any tobacco use has detrimental effects on your dental and overall health. Smokers are at a higher risk to develop gum disease, and tobacco use can lead to bleeding, sensitive gums, and mouth sores.

Prevent gum issues

To prevent gum issues such as bleeding, swelling or soreness, maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Eating a well-balanced diet with ample calcium and Vitamin C can help minimize the potential for gum issues. Drink adequate water, especially after meals to help wash food particles from your teeth and prevent the development of bacteria that leads to plaque. If you’re a smoker or use other tobacco products, look into ways to quit to improve your oral and overall health. Relax and try to keep your stress levels low because high stress raises the hormone cortisol in your body, which can cause inflammation in your entire body, including your gums.

If you experience any swelling, bleeding or soreness in your gums, contact Dupont Dental to set up a professional dental exam and cleaning to help improve and protect your oral health.

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Prevent gum disease

Preventing and Reversing Gingivitis

Keeping your regular six-month cleaning and dental exam appointments is an essential part of good oral health as dental professionals remove plaque and tartar at each visit. However, without an effective oral health routine at home that includes twice daily brushing and daily flossing, there’s a higher risk of developing gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease, including the first level of gingivitis, can develop quickly—even between six-month cleanings.

Gingivitis explained

When bacteria in the mouth develop to the point of revealing obvious damage to oral tissues, this is known as gingivitis. Signs of damage include bad breath and tender and bleeding gums during brushing. If the oral bacteria are allowed to continue reproducing, gingivitis develops into periodontal/gum disease. During periodontal disease, oral bacteria reproduce so quickly; they damage gum tissues at a destructive level higher than seen during gingivitis.

Reversing gingivitis

Fortunately, it’s possible to reverse gingivitis before it develops into gum disease and doing so prevents the need for more expensive and time-consuming dental treatments. At the first sign of gingivitis, patients who haven’t been following a good oral health routine need to start doing so immediately. By brushing for at least two minutes twice a day, flossing daily, using an oral rinse and brushing the tongue, patients remove embedded bacteria and improve their oral health. Additional ways to reverse gingivitis is to increase water intake as a moist mouth supports the cleaning properties of saliva. Limiting snacks and minimizing intake of sugary foods and drink can also stop and reverse gingivitis.

Maintaining an oral health regimen

When patients start and maintain a regular oral health regimen, the symptoms of gingivitis should diminish within a week. Even when symptoms subside, it’s vital to continue to maintain oral health as it controls bacterial buildup and prevents gingivitis from returning. Regular dental visits and cleanings give patients a clean slate twice a year that they can take advantage of with continued daily brushing and floss to prevent problems.

Once patients have established an oral hygiene routine and commit themselves to following it, they discover that it’s worth the effort with the numerous benefits it provides their oral health. Early treatment and reversal of gingivitis prevent the development of gum disease that doesn’t go away on its own. If you’re experiencing any of the signs of gingivitis, contact Dupont Dental to schedule an appointment to help restore and maintain the health of your teeth and gums.

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Gum Disease

Treating Gum Disease with Deep Cleaning


Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease is any disease that affects the periodontal tissues that support and surround your teeth. Early detection and treatment of gum disease avoids the potential of more invasive surgery treatments if it progresses to later stages. Scaling and root planing, also called deep cleaning, is one of the most common non-invasive procedure for treating gum disease and can help you restore and protect your oral health.

The goal of deep cleaning

Your dentist performs a deep cleaning to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque that affect your teeth and other periodontal areas. Plaque is bacteria that has built up and attached itself to tooth surfaces, and as teeth don’t shed their surface as your skin does, this build up occurs constantly. Without removal, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which is a cement-like buildup on your teeth that’s impossible for you to remove without professional dental help. Tartar and plaque are the biggest culprits in periodontal diseases including gingivitis and tooth decay.

Removing plaque and tartar

Scaling and root planing is an intensive cleaning performed by your dentist that removes plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, following a deep cleaning. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from below and around the gum line and dental professional may use mechanical or ultrasonic tools to chisel off and break up the plaque and tartar. Root planing is where the dentist smooths the tooth roots, which makes it harder for bacteria to build up there and become tartar and plaque.

Benefits and drawbacks of scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing isn’t as painful or invasive as surgical methods of removing plaque and tartar. With a deep cleaning, your dentist doesn’t have to cut or stitch your gums, and that means your mouth heals faster. However, scaling and root planing is most effective for mild cases of gum disease and won’t work well for patients with moderate to major gum disease. Following deep cleaning, you have experience short-term discomfort and your teeth may have higher sensitivity due to the removal of the plaque buildup that served as an insulating barrier.

As one of the most popular and common non-surgical treatments for treating gum disease, scaling and root planing can restore your oral health and prevent future dental issues in the future. Protecting your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene is essential for the health of your mouth, but when you encounter issues with gum disease, there are various treatments to help reverse its damaging effects. Dupont Dental wants you to have a bright, healthy smile you’re proud to share so contact our offices today to schedule an appointment.

Featured image via this dentist in NJ

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