Take Gum Discomfort Seriously
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults. It rarely comes on suddenly–it normally gives you plenty of warning, and when you see the warning signs, it’s time to see the dentist, because your gums, your teeth, and your overall health are in jeopardy.
Appearance of Your Gums
Healthy gums are a light pink color. If they’re a red, nearly bloody color, you’re probably suffering from gingivitis, an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis will also make your gums swollen. Healthy gums slope evenly down to the point where they meet your teeth in an even, scalloped line. Swollen gums have a puffy appearance and normally have an uneven line on your gums.
Oral Hygiene Irritation
Brushing and flossing shouldn’t hurt. First make sure you’re brushing and flossing properly. Use a soft-bristled brush and only gentle pressure. Make small, controlled movements with the brush. For flossing, remember to ease the floss gently between the teeth, using back-and-forth motions to work it past the contact point of your teeth. If brushing and flossing still hurts, and especially if it causes bleeding, you’re experiencing gum disease.
Eating also shouldn’t hurt your teeth or gums. Husks from popcorn kernels are notorious for their ability to slip between teeth and gums. Corn chips, potato chips, and other brittle snacks can form sharp points that poke your gums. Meat fibers and those from some types of fruits and vegetables can slip between teeth and cause gum irritation. Occasional pain of this type isn’t necessarily a concern, but if it happens regularly or starts to happen more often, you should treat it as a warning sign.
What to Do about Gum Discomfort
When you experience gum discomfort, you should make an appointment with your dentist. You might be tempted to try to address this at home with a more strict oral hygiene routine. But this could make things worse. If your gums are already suffering, more brushing and the use of mouthwash could do more harm than good. After an evaluation of your gums, your dentist will tell you whether you need additional treatments or if increased home care is a good idea.
If you are concerned about the state of your gums in the South Denver area, please call 303-759-5652 for an appointment at Park Meadows Dental Care.