Gum disease can have serious repercussions. Once the condition progresses to periodontal disease, which is also called periodontitis, it can lead to tooth and bone loss.
The early stages of gum disease may only present as inflamed gum tissues that bleed and swell easily. However, periodontitis includes the formation of pockets or gaps between the gums and the teeth. These spaces can become filled with oral bacteria and plaque that cause gingival infections that can spread to the jawbone.
Still, periodontal disease is often reversible. The dentist may use specialized treatments, such as scaling and root planing, to clean the plaque and tartar accumulations from the dental surfaces. If significant damage to the gums has occurred, the dentist may also need to perform reconstructive surgery on the gingival tissues.
In addition to the actions taken by your dentist to improve your condition, there are some measures that you can take to help your gums heal. Here are a few behavioral changes that you can make to improve the condition of your periodontal tissues.
Stop Biting Your Nails
Many people bite their fingernails habitually, especially during periods of stress. As the nails are bitten, small slivers of the nail material may be torn away. These rough pieces of debris may become lodged between the teeth, or they may even slip beneath the gums, becoming caught in a gingival pocket.
Fingernails may seem harmless. After all, they do not provide a sugary food source for oral bacteria. Nevertheless, the nails can cut at the gums, further inflaming the tissues. Additionally, the nails are likely to be covered by bacteria that can cause a gum infection.
If you bite your nails, you can make it easier to overcome your habit by getting an expensive manicure, coating your nails with vinegar or another unsavory substance, or wearing gloves when you are feeling stressed. Also, chewing a stick of gum when you feel anxious can occupy your mouth while encouraging a cleansing release of saliva.
Don't Skip Flossing
Flossing helps to clean the areas of the teeth that are difficult for a toothbrush to access, including the area along the gum line. If string floss is not preferred, you can use an oral irrigator.
An oral irrigator can clean the tooth surfaces that lie above and beneath the gums. In addition, the massaging flow of water from an irrigator can help encourage a healthy blood flow throughout the gingival tissues.
To learn more ways to keep your gums in great shape, schedule a consultation with a dentist like Tony Parsley, DMD.Share