Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be an indication of plaque build-up and food debris between your teeth. These issues can lead to gum disease. Dental hygiene is imperative to overall oral health. Treat your mouth and teeth’s partner, the gums, with care. Learn more about gum disease and the simple steps you can take to improve the health of gum tissue.
Swollen, irritated, uncomfortable gums could indicate gingivitis is setting in. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease involving inflammation of the gums. Typical symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed during brushing and flossing. It is often caused by poor brushing and flossing habits and neglecting to get in for regular dental cleanings. When plaque sets in on teeth, it produces toxins that can irritate gum tissue, causing gingivitis. The good news is gum disease can easily be treated in early stages. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily, followed with a swish of antiseptic mouthwash could reverse the effects and prevent gum disease from recurring. Daily flossing is the most important step of the process. Food and debris find their way into gums between the teeth, causing irritation and creating a base for bacteria to grow. Flossing not only cleans between teeth — it also keeps gums tissue healthy and clean.
There are two stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis and cause serious infection and permanent damage to the teeth and jaw. Periodontitis begins with inflammation, or gingivitis. As plaque bacteria accumulates on teeth and moves into gum tissue, gums begin to bleed when brushing or flossing. When left untreated, this infection progresses, putting jawbones and teeth at risk for damage. Eventually, the infection causes connective tissue holding teeth in place to deteriorate. The gums, jawbones and other tissue supporting teeth are destroyed, leading to tooth loss. The worst part is severe gum disease is linked to hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure. Heart and dental health go hand in hand. The findings of a study published in the Oxford Academic have concluded people with advanced periodontitis have a 49% higher risk of hypertension. In a separate study, the Oral Health Foundation linked bad mouth taste, or bad breath as a possible warning sign for hypertension.
At Three Rivers Dental we can work together to treat and even prevent periodontitis by establishing a regular oral health routine. Brushing teeth at least two minutes daily, twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing at least once a day and routine dental check-ups and cleanings every six months will not only prevent gum disease and provide healthy, beautiful smiles, but can improve wellness overall.
Gums, or gingiva, are a soft tissue that surround and seal teeth. More advanced gum disease can cause the gums to recede or pull away from the teeth. Choosing the right toothbrush is important. Soft bristles are best for brushing, as medium or hard bristles can erode gums. Watch for bleeding, soreness, swelling, or burning and contact your dentist immediately if prolonged symptoms persist or if you notice exposed tooth roots or loose teeth. Regular dental visits are the best way to make sure you are properly caring for your teeth and gums. Ideally, you should visit the dentist every six months.
We’re in the business of helping our patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles. Contact Three Rivers Dental to learn more about gum disease, high blood pressure and your unique risks. Call 1-855-4-No Fears or schedule an appointment to improve your dental health routine. We are conveniently located throughout the Pittsburgh area in Greentree, Cranberry, Greensburg and Jennerstown.