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Healthy Gums

What are the signs of unhealthy gums?

Unhealthy gums can exhibit various signs and symptoms based on the type of gum disease present. If you notice bleeding in the mouth, either when brushing, flossing, or just in general, that's an abnormal sign and indicates an active infection. Additionally, any exposed tooth along the tooth's side is also a sign of active gum disease.

What problems can unhealthy gums lead to?

Unhealthy gums can result in numerous problems. Periodontal disease, where the gum and bones peel off the tooth's side due to a bacterial infection in the mouth, can lead to tooth loss. Another type of gum infection, unrelated to the first, is soft tissue or gum recession. This can cause additional receding of the gum and the underlying bone on the tooth's side, leading to potential tooth loss.

How can I prevent my gums from receding?

Gum recession has various causes, so a dental professional needs to diagnose the situation accurately and determine the necessary treatments. At home, you can avoid aggressive brushing and refrain from using smokeless tobacco. However, when soft tissue gum recession is too far advanced, professional interventions such as gum grafting procedures are often required.

Which approach will a dentist recommend: deep cleaning, scaling, root cleaning, or gum grafting? And how long will it take to recover?

There are many types of gum disease, each requiring a different dental treatment. The first category includes non-surgical treatments such as scaling and root cleaning, deep cleaning, and curatage, used to handle bacterial infections in the mouth. A periodontist often handles these treatments, particularly in moderate to advanced cases. The second category involves soft tissue or gum recession, typically treated with gum grafting procedures to reverse and prevent further recession.

How will my dentist ensure that I don't experience pain during the treatment?

Ensuring a comfortable patient experience is crucial. Prior to any deep scaling, root cleaning, or non-surgical treatment, we make sure the patient is adequately numb and allocate ample time for the procedure. The same rule applies for procedures like soft tissue grafting. Many patients prefer to be slightly sedated or not fully remember the procedure, so nitrous oxide and oral sedation are available in our office.

What should I do to support recovery after a non-surgical restorative gum treatment?

Following any non-surgical dental treatment, the goal is to reduce bacteria in the mouth. You can support this process by ensuring no additional bacteria enters the mouth. Therefore, brushing with proper technique and flossing twice a day is critical for optimal results.

What should I do to support recovery after a gum grafting procedure?

After a gum grafting procedure, it's crucial to follow specific instructions. We'll provide a full list of dos and don'ts at the time of the procedure. It's important not to brush the teeth in the immediate post-op phase as it can hinder the result. Instead, we'll provide certain rinses to use after the procedure that will replace brushing for the first few weeks. Icing the area, taking prescribed medications, and refraining from vigorous exercise during the immediate post-op phase are also important.

When should I schedule an appointment for a dentist to examine my gums?

Often, gum problems are asymptomatic, meaning you may not feel or see them. Therefore, if you suspect a gum issue, it's important to see a dental professional soon. Call us at (850) 909-9731 to schedule an exam so we can evaluate your gums.

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