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Ballston Dental Arts
900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

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dentist showing proper gum care

Gum Care Is an Essential Part of Dental Care

dentist showing proper gum care

When it comes to dental care, there are a lot of areas to consider. However, it often seems like people are more concerned with their teeth than with the other areas of their mouths. While your teeth are important, the other areas are just as important for healthy oral hygiene, such as your gums.

To remind you just how important it is to care for your gums, September is National Gum Care Month. During September, many dental professionals will focus on helping people understand how important their gums are to, not only their dental health, but also their overall health. Let’s take a minute to learn about the ins and outs of gum care.

What Problems Can Develop From Poor Gum Care?

Failure to care for your gums properly can lead to the development of periodontal disease. Once you develop periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, you open the door to a number of other health-related problems.

In fact, experts suggest that periodontal disease can lead to stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. On top of that, periodontal disease is the lead cause of tooth loss for Americans aged 35 and older.

This September, start taking care of your gums by scheduling a dental checkup and cleaning with you dentist in Arlington. Call our office today.

What Is the Proper Way to Care for Your Gums?

Like caring for your teeth, the best way to care for your gums is by following a daily dental hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing every day and scheduling time to see your dentist for cleanings twice a year.

The toothbrush you use plays an important role in keeping your gums healthy. Try to get a toothbrush that has soft bristles of multiple lengths. Also, be sure to change your toothbrush at least once every three months.

Remember that the further along gum disease gets, the harder it becomes to treat. That’s why it’s so important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist in Arlington. Your dentist can clean your teeth and check for any signs of gum disease. If you have early warning signs, the dentist can recommend preventive measures to stop it from progressing.

Signs of Gum Disease

The easiest way to know if you have gum disease is to visit your dentist. However, what if it isn’t time to see your dentist yet? Some early warning signs of gum disease might indicate that you need to see your dentist now rather than later.

The most common sign is red, swollen gums. Once your gums get like this, they’re usually sensitive as well. If you notice that your gums bleed when flossing or brushing, that’s another sign of possible gum disease. Oftentimes, gum disease will also cause bad breath.

You should look for gums that are pulling away from your teeth too. This will often cause loose teeth. More advanced signs might include pockets of infection or even visible pus buildup around your gums and teeth.

What to Do If You Think You Have Gum Disease

All right, you read the warning signs above, and now you think you have gum disease. What do you do? Gum disease isn’t really something that you can treat on your own. It’s going to take work on your end but also a visit to your dentist.

Scheduling an appointment with your Arlington dentist will help you determine just how severe your gum disease is, so don’t delay in making an appointment.

The Stages of Gum Disease

There are three different stages of gum disease. As gum disease progresses, it becomes harder to treat. Ideally you want to stop gum disease at stage one or prevent it altogether with proper at-home oral care. Understanding the stages of gum disease is an important part of National Gum Care Month.

Stage One: Gingivitis

Gingivitis usually occurs when food particles and bacteria stick to your teeth and cause plaque to form. As the plaque hardens, it forms tartar, which irritates the gums.

In most cases, you won’t experience pain with gingivitis. You will, however, see some bleeding while flossing or brushing your teeth. The good news is that gingivitis is completely reversible with treatment.

Stage Two: Periodontitis

Periodontitis is what happens when you ignore the warning signs of gingivitis. The tartar that was forming on your teeth will now cause pockets to form in your gums. Then, more bacteria, food particles, and plaque become trapped in these pockets, which leads to infection.

If left untreated, the infection can damage supporting tissues and even cause bone damage. Treatment is still possible but typically involves professional scaling, antibiotic treatment, and root planing.

Stage Three: Advanced Periodontitis

If you don’t do anything about periodontitis, it will progress into an advanced disease. This is when the damage becomes permanent and causes teeth to loosen and even fall out. At this point, treatment involves oral surgery to repair the bone and tissue that was damaged by the periodontitis.

Self-Care Involves Gum Care

As you can see, gum disease is a progressive disease. It’s possible to prevent it with proper oral hygiene. Even if you get gum disease, it’s easily treatable with the help of your dentist as long as you don’t let it get too far. It all starts with self-care at home and visiting your dentist regularly. This is why National Gum Care Month is so important.

Let Us Help You Care for Your Gums

Do you want to learn more about proper oral hygiene and self-care? Do you want to know how to prevent gum disease? If so, it’s time to schedule an appointment to visit your dentist in Arlington.

Remember that keeping a healthy smile starts with having healthy gums, and we can provide expert gum care. We provide more than just gum care services, though. Call us to schedule an appointment for a checkup and cleaning.

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Ballston Dental Arts

900 N Taylor Street, Suite 150, Arlington, VA 22203

(703) 291-3111