If you think you may have gum disease what should you do? See a dentist, treat gum disease at home, or bury your head in the sand?! I joke, but actually the latter option is what many people do do, creating bigger problems for themselves further down the line.
Common symptoms of mild gum disease (gingivitis) include:
- Bleeding gums,
- Sore, inflamed gums (you may notice redness and swelling),
- Bad breath (halitosis).
Treating Gum Disease At Home
If you symptoms are very mild, for example you’ve noticed a little blood when you brush your teeth, your gums are a little sore and inflamed, and perhaps you’ve become aware that your breath is a little smelly, you can probably treat this at home.
The first thing to do is take a long hard look at your oral hygiene routine and if you’ve been skimping in the past, start looking after your teeth and gums properly! This means brushing at least twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste; flossing regularly; using interdental brushes several times a week; and always brushing your teeth last thing at night before you go to bed.
You may also like to: – use a medicated mouthwash for a short period of time while you treat the infection, or a saline rinse instead; give you tongue a brush to remove bacteria (this may also help your bad breath); and invest in a GumSaver brush to target below the gum line where bacteria is impossible to reach with a conventional toothbrush.
What you must never do is avoid brushing the affected gums. Although brushing the areas that are sore or bleeding may not be pleasant initially, it is vital that you clean these areas thoroughly to remove the bacteria and stop it from making the problem worse. You should soon see some improvement and any discomfort from brushing will go away.
When To See Your Dentist About Gum Disease
If you gums are more seriously inflamed, perhaps you’ve been one of those people burying their heads in the sand, book an appointment to see your dentist today. If you haven’t currently got a dentist, click here to find a local dental practice. They may not be able to see you straightaway so follow the advice above about improving your oral care, and especially brushing your gums and removing as much of the bacteria affecting them as possible.
If you have gum disease a GumSaver brush can be used every day for 5-10 minutes to effectively remove the bacteria below the gum line. However, it should be used in conjunction with your normal toothbrush and brushing routine – not replace it. Brushing your teeth with a normal toothbrush will remove the bacteria and plaque from the surface, using a GumSaver brush removes the bacteria from hard to reach places and stops it from inflaming the soft tissue there.
With luck, by the time you see your dentist you will already have noticed some improvement and have stopped the bacteria in its tracks. At this point your dentist will either advise you on continuing treatment at home or if necessary they will recommend a course of treatment at the surgery.
If you have tried treating gum disease at home and haven’t seen any noticeable improvement after a week, I would strongly advise you to book an appointment with your dentist so they can see how serious the problem is.
Why You Should Never Bury Your Head In The Sand
Mild gum disease is uncomfortable but many people learn to live with it. It’s surprising how few people get alarmed when they see blood on their toothbrush, often even telling themselves ‘it’s normal’. Bleeding gums, bad breath, red and inflamed gums are not normal, they’re your warning sign that something is wrong.
The problem with living with mild gum disease is that it doesn’t stop there. It progresses to more serious gum disease as plaque builds up and irritates the gums, tartar forms, gums recede, pockets develop between the soft tissue and tooth, bacteria continues to multiply, bone can be damaged and even lost, and teeth become loose and may need to be removed.
This is what happens if you bury your head in the sand.
So the answer is:
- If your gum disease is mild you can generally treat gum disease at home,
- If you don’t see any improvement after a week, book an appointment with your dentist but continue treating gum disease at home,
- If your gum disease is more severe, book a dental appointment straightaway but treat at home while you wait for the appointment,
- Always go to your dental check ups, your dentist may spot the early signs of gum disease before you know you have it,
- Never bury your head in the sand!