Exploring Your Gum Treatment Options
Do your gums feel swollen, or are you becoming more sensitive to cold or hot foods and drinks? While preventative care is important, catching problems early is your next best bet to keeping small problems from becoming major issues.
The best thing about cavities is that they do not occur overnight. If you both floss and brush your teeth regularly, you are likely to avoid developing cavities. If you only brush your teeth, however, you may develop tiny “flossing cavities” around the base of your teeth at the gum line. These cavities start out small but can progress rapidly if not treated.
We all essentially know how to brush our teeth, but do not be afraid to ask your dentist to go over the basics again. Many of us neglect the area behind our bottom teeth, just in front of our tongue, as well as the sides and back of our upper and lower final molars. Keeping your teeth clean will give you more than fresh breath and pearly whites: it can prevent gum disease.
Warning Signs of Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the term used to describe inflamed or swollen gums. A simple mouth probe with your tongue will reveal any areas more swollen than usual. You can also use a mirror to check for excessive redness, and keep track of any new sensitivities to hot or cold food. If you experience bleeding while flossing or brushing, check your technique but also book an appointment with your dentist.
You may not otherwise experience pain at this point, which is why many people wait to have things treated. If left alone, however, gingivitis can cause infection and inflammation that go deeper into your teeth, gum line, and jaw bone.
Extensive tartar buildup below the gum line can cause major problems for your teeth, mouth, and jaw. Flap or pocket reduction surgery is often used to remove this excess tartar in order to avoid pulling any teeth. If your gum has become infected or diseased, the tissue may no longer be viable. In this case, your dentist may recommend soft tissue grafts to replace the affected area. In some cases, tissue regeneration may be possible.
If your gum disease has progressed beyond tartar removal, tissue grafts, or regeneration, your dentist will use X-rays and other tools to determine if your bones have been affected. If so, you may need surgery to prevent any infection or disease from spreading.
In extreme cases, advanced gum disease may require that some teeth be pulled. Unfortunately, the more teeth you lose, the more pressure is put on your remaining teeth. You will also be unable to chew as well or as thoroughly as before. Bridges and other prostheses can be used to help close gaps and relieve the pressure on your teeth, but your dentist may discuss dentures as an option, especially depending on the severity of your gum issues. Thankfully, today’s dentures are more comfortable and natural-looking than ever, so they may be the ideal solution for your needs.
Call Door Creek Dental today to discuss your gum treatment options and schedule and appointment.