Did you ever brush your teeth in the morning and your gums started to bleed? Or maybe your gums are just sore? Well, while it is possible that you just irritated your gums with a piece of food (you know, those popcorn kernels are the worst!), it is also possible that you are developing gum disease. And as we ALL know, gum disease can be very deleterious to your oral, and overall, health!

Remind me – what is gum disease again?

Gum disease runs the gamut from mild to severe. The mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, causes redness of the gums, sometimes swelling and bleeding, and is, generally, easily treatable. It can be caused by inadequate oral hygiene, but also by smoking, diabetes or other underlying health issues. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, which, in itself, has stages from mild to severe. Untreated periodontitis can lead to tooth loss, so early care and treatment of any gum disease is critical.

But I brush my teeth every day!

Sometimes you may just not know you have gum diseases, which is why it is so important to have regular checkups with your dentist. If you don’t see bleeding or swelling, it is still important to have your dentist complete a thorough exam, including x-rays, visual exams, and an easy measurement of “pockets”, which are the spaces between your gum-line and your teeth/jaw. The deeper the pocket, the more severe your problem and the more extensive the treatment plan will be.

Shouldn’t my dentist be able to prevent my gum disease?

Now, now…you can’t blame others in this case! If you see your dentist regularly, but are either predisposed to periodontal problems because of health issues or you’re not brushing your teeth, flossing or cleaning your tongue regularly with your TUNG Brush and Gel to remove bacteria that can cause gum problems, there is nothing your dentist can do to prevent the problem.

So I have gum disease – now what?

Hopefully you and your dentist have caught the problem early, so treatment can be as simple as a good cleaning, periodontal rinses and regular follow-ups. If not caught early, scaling and root planing, or “deep dental cleaning” will probably be necessary, and this is often done in several sessions to ensure good results.

Just to reiterate, though, many cases are gum diseases are completely preventable – it’s up to you! Make sure you maintain that daily oral hygiene routine and visit your dentist regularly…and don’t forget to get rid of those popcorn kernels.😉