When it comes to our mouths, teeth tend to get all of the attention because they are bright, white, and impossible to miss. And it’s drummed into us from an early age to take good care of our pearly whites — which is definitely a good thing.

But teeth work in tandem with a less flashy, but every bit as important, player in our oral health: the gums. Healthy gums are necessary to hold the teeth in place. They should be pink, firm, and form a tight seal around each tooth. And, like teeth, they are susceptible to disease if not cared for properly.

At Johnson Dentistry of Bryan, TX, we will help you keep your entire mouth healthy. If you’ve been experiencing problems with your gums or you are due for a cleaning and exam, call our office at 979-279-8839 or fill out our online contact form.

How to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Many of the same practices that keep your teeth in good shape will keep your gums healthy, too.

  • Brush your teeth twice per day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes at a time, being sure to brush around the gum line. Do not brush too hard, which can injure the gums.
  • Floss regularly. You should floss at least once per day, getting between each tooth and beneath the gumline.
  • Use mouthwash. Mouthwash can rinse away the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease (or periodontal disease) and tooth decay.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your gums. It compromises your immune system, making you more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Minimize your consumption of starches and sweets. These foods cause harmful bacteria to proliferate in your mouth.
  • Schedule a checkup at Johnson Dentistry. We will clean your teeth of the plaque and tartar that harm your gums and we will be able to spot early signs of periodontal disease.

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

If you notice any of the following signs, you may have a problem with your gums. Keep in mind that gum disease is often silent in its early stages, manifesting no symptoms at all.

  • Inflammation or red, swollen gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • A gum line that appears to be shrinking — or teeth that appear to be getting longer
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Teeth that are loose or wiggly
  • A change in your bite, or how your teeth fit together
  • Pockets or gaps between your teeth and gums

How Is Gum Disease Treated?

The good news is that periodontal disease is reversible. How it will be treated depends on the severity of your disease. In its earliest stages, regular dental cleanings and good oral hygiene at home may do the trick. For more advanced cases, procedures called scaling and root planing, antibiotics, and even surgery may be required.

If you suspect you may have gum disease, call Johnson Dentsitry of Bryan, TX at 979-279-8839 to schedule an examination and cleaning, or get in touch with us online. We will be able to determine the severity of your periodontal disease and create a treatment plan to bring your mouth back to health.