How-to: tell if you have gum disease
Pfft…gum disease! That’s just what they use to scare you into brushing your teeth…right? Wrong. Gum disease is a real and serious oral issue that can result in dire consequences if left untreated. But if you don’t know what to look out for, how can you cure it?
It’s time to get familiar with the ins and outs of gingivitis so you can be alert and prepared if it rears its ugly head…
What is gum disease?
Put simply, gum disease or gingivitis, is infection of the gums, which generally occurs as a result of improper dental hygiene practices.
The first signs
The early signs of gum disease usually appear in the form of inflamed gums that feel tender during regular teeth brushing.
Left untreated, gum disease generally progresses to bleeding gums and painful swelling around the teeth. Gums may also turn bright red or purple at this stage.
If ignored over time, gum disease can take over the entire mouth, resulting in mouth sores, general mouth pain and oral infections that can lead to illness and damage to the teeth.
How to cure gum disease
When the first signs occur, it’s time to take action. Start by using an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day to attack the infection in the gums and switch to a soft toothbrush so as not to further inflame gums. Ensure you brush twice a day and floss regularly, to prevent bacteria around the teeth from hanging around in your mouth and possibly resulting in bleeding gums. If your symptoms don’t improve within a week, or if you start to notice worsening symptoms, book an appointment with your dentist, who will be able to give your mouth a professional clean and remove deposits from the teeth.