Signs of a Gum Infection

Gum infections lead to all kinds of negative outcomes, including the loss of permanent teeth. But before that happens, there are many chances for you to see your dentist in Brookeland, TX when you first begin to notice the signs of a gum infection. Being proactive about this problem can potentially save you from tooth loss. Here are the signs of a gum infection to be aware of.

Swelling Along the Gum Line

Swollen gums indicate a buildup of pus and/or bacteria, which almost certainly means a gum infection. While there are other possible causes, a gum infection is the most common. If you notice anything like this, see your dentist as soon as possible for treatment.

Bleeding Gums

Unless you’re brushing much too vigorously, your gums shouldn’t bleed when you brush them or otherwise. A gum infection often causes gums that bleed during brushing or even at other times when you aren’t practicing oral hygiene.

Receding Gums

Have you ever heard the phrase, “long in the tooth”? This refers to older people who have more of the surface area of the teeth showing due to receding gums. However, this isn’t limited to the elderly. Anyone who has a gum infection may experience the same thing.

Chronic Bad Breath

When you have an active gum infection, no amount of breath mints, rinsing or chewing mint leaves will alleviate the unpleasant odor that emanates from the mouth. While bad breath can also be a side effect from other causes, such as certain prescription medications, it’s not a sign that you should ignore, just in case it is caused by a gum infection.

Change in Teeth Alignment

Have you noticed that your bit has changed? Do your upper and lower teeth fit together differently? This indicates shifting teeth, which often goes along with an advanced gum infection. Talk to your dentist about treatment options.

When you have a gum infection, there may still be time to save your permanent teeth. The first step is to have a thorough teeth cleaning in Brookeland, TX, so your dental health can be fully evaluated. If it turns out that you do have a gum infection, treatment options are available to potentially reverse the problem. But the sooner you address the situation, the better the outcome may be.

How to Keep Gums Healthy After Tooth Extraction

Though it’s probably not something you look forward to, having a tooth extraction in Brookeland, TX is sometimes important for your oral health. Yet once your tooth is extracted, it is just as important that you follow the advice of your dentist regarding how to keep your gums healthy and allow your mouth to heal. To avoid post-extraction problems, here are some steps you can take.

Keep the Extraction Site Clean

To prevent infection, do as your dentist says and keep the extraction site clean. To do so, you can gently rinse your mouth with a glass of water than has one teaspoon of salt added to it. Though you will probably have to wait about 12 hours after the extraction before you can rinse, doing this about three times daily for a few days will yield positive results.

Don’t Drink Hot Liquids

If you like coffee, hot chocolate, or any other hot drinks, you’ll need to steer clear of these for a few days following your extraction. If you don’t, chances are the hot liquids will increase the swelling around your extraction, prompting another visit to the dentist.

Brush Your Teeth Gently

While you can gently brush your teeth following an extraction, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind. First, don’t brush close to the extraction site. If you try brushing too close, you may dislodge the blood clot that formed, leading to excessive bleeding. Also, don’t use any toothpaste when you are brushing. Since you would have to rinse and then spit out the toothpaste, this too may dislodge the blood clot.

Eat Soft, Healthy Foods

Finally, since you’re not expected to starve yourself after a tooth extraction, remember to eat only foods that are soft and healthy. Popular options include applesauce, spaghetti, and yogurt. If you need some comfort food to help you feel a little better, maybe a bit of ice cream can also be eaten.

After your tooth extraction, always take the advice of your dentist in Brookeland, TX. By doing exactly as your dentist instructs you to do and using your common sense and good judgement along the way, it should not be long until your gums are healed up and your mouth is feeling great.

Recognizing Gum Disease

Knowing the signs and symptoms of gum disease (aka periodontal disease) is very important because as this disease progresses it can increase the likelihood that an individual will develop some serious health issues.

What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

As gum disease progresses, the symptoms change. Each stage of the disease has its own telltale signs and symptoms.

Here is a comprehensive list of the signs and symptoms associated with gum disease:

  • A receding gumline.
  • Gingival tissue that bleeds with brushing and flossing.
  • Inflamed gums.
  • Consistent bad breath.
  • Unstable teeth.
  • Mouth sores.
  • A change in bite alignment.
  • A metallic taste in the mouth.

Recognizing the Stages of Gum Disease

The four stages of gum disease are:

  1. Gingivitis – At this early stage of the disease, the gums are inflamed, irritated, and likely bleeding while brushing and flossing. At this stage, dentists usually recommend a more thorough oral hygiene routine and additional cleanings with the hygienist.
  2. Early Periodontitis This stage is more severe because the gum disease has been allowed to progress. Now, in order to remove the excess plaque and calculus (i.e., tartar) that has accumulated beneath the gum line, the individual must undergo a treatment referred to as planing and root scaling. Following this treatment, as long as the patient practices good oral hygiene techniques every day and has biannual cleanings, his or her gum tissue can recover.
  3. Periodontitis This stage of gum disease can result in irreversible damage. During this stage, the disease begins spreading to the bone. Any damage caused at this stage is permanent.
  4. Advanced Periodontitis At this fourth stage, the bone continues sustaining damage, and the teeth have become unstable, which means they may begin moving around, eventually falling out. Treatment for advanced periodontitis may include the extraction of teeth.

Gum Disease Can Negatively Affect Other Parts of the Body

When bacteria develop beneath the gum line, white blood cells flood the area and begin attacking the infected gum tissue. If there is a break in the tissue, bacteria can enter the bloodstream. Once it enters the bloodstream, bacteria can cause a severe infection, heart issues, and/or lung issues.

If you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. J. Seale at Rayburn General Dentistry.

To schedule a consultation please call 409-698-8800. Rayburn General Dentistry is located at 3303 Recreational Road 255 West in Brookeland, Texas.