What Everyone Needs to Know About Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease, especially the all-too-common gingivitis, presents an imminent danger to your smile. Taking care of the gums around your pearly whites is something everyone needs to do now to preserve smiles for years to come.

The first of the stages of periodontal disease is inflammation. Bacteria lodge on the surface of a tooth near the gum line. The immune system detects them, and sends out the heavy artillery of inflammation to get rid of the germs.

A side effect of getting rid of germs, however, is destroying pockets of gum tissue. These little layers of inflammation can lie beneath healthy gum tissue so you don’t even know they are there, until they have grown so large they start exposing the yellow roots of your teeth and making your teeth come loose.

So what do you do to keep advanced gum disease from ruining both your beauty and your bite?

    1. Make a habit of brushing after every meal.

You need to brush for 1 to 2 minutes. A toothpaste that alkalizes your mouth with baking soda, making it inhospitable for acid-loving plaque bacteria, and foams away bacteria with peroxide is a good choice. Dentists often recommend toothpastes with fluoride, but if you don’t have cavities, you don’t need the fluoride.

    1. Make a habit of flossing every day.

Use waxed floss to protect dental work, such as crowns and fillings. The idea behind using floss is getting food particles off your teeth, not off your gums. Wrap the string in a U shape around each tooth to get the food particles between teeth you can’t reach by brushing, but don’t run the string up and down into your gums.

    1. Make a habit of seeing your dentist for a checkup and cleaning at least twice a year.

Scaling your teeth, if needed, keeps the little pockets of gingivitis from every forming in your gums. Round, black sores on your gums, by the way, are a sign you need to see your dentist right away, the same day you notice them, if at all possible.

    1. Keep your gums healthy with herbal mouthwashes.

You might be surprised to learn that, at least in the UK and USA, the original herbal mouthwash was and is Listerine. It contains essence of thyme, also known as thymol, which fights gum decay. If you have tooth pain, you might prefer a mouthwash that contains oil of cloves, which relieves tooth ache.

    1. Let your dentist do the hard work of fighting periodontal disease.

Overly vigorous brushing and flossing actually can do more harm than good. Seeing your dentist regularly so the procedures will be simple is the best way to fight gingivitis. Then follow steps 1 through 4 to keep it from coming back.