How to Get Rid of Gum Disease
Gum diseases affects an estimated 50% of adult Americans, with between 20-30% at risk of losing teeth due to this common dental condition.
If you suffer from gum disease, you will know only too well the tell-tale signs of this oral health issue, including bad breath, bleeding gums, and tooth decay.
Fortunately, gum disease can be easily treated, and there are also steps you can take to prevent it from coming back.
Read on to discover how to get rid of gum disease quickly and effectively. Plus, our top prevention techniques that guarantee to keep your mouth and gums healthy.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is a common dental issue that often goes undiagnosed, which is why it is often referred to as a silent disease.
Gum disease is caused by a build-up of plaque which is essentially bacteria and can cause serious dental health issues if left untreated.
How common is gum disease?
As mentioned briefly above, gum disease is incredibly common in the United States, affecting roughly 1 in every 2 adults. Furthermore, as many as 30% have gum disease that could lead to tooth loss, and 8% have severe periodontal disease.
Typically, women are more affected by gum disease than men, although both genders can develop it.
In terms of risk factors, you are more likely to get gum disease if you are a smoker, have a poor diet, or do not practice good oral hygiene. If you have a family history of dental disease, you are also more at risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems.
How is gum disease diagnosed?
Your dentist can diagnose gum disease during a check-up in which they will look for the below signs of gum disease:
- Swelling or bleeding of the gums
- Larger or deeper pockets between the gums and teeth
- Teeth sensitivity
- Teeth movement
- Breakdown of bone in your jawbone
If you have had gum disease before, you may not need to visit your dentist for an official diagnosis and will be able to simply treat your symptoms with an over-the-counter or home remedy.
How to get rid of gum disease
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or you recognize the symptoms of this ailment, then there are several treatment options available to you.
Practice good oral hygiene
The simplest and most effective way to get rid of gum disease and prevent it from returning is to have a good oral hygiene regime. This should include:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing once a day
- Use a mouthwash
Visit the hygienist
As gum disease is caused by a build-up of bacteria living in the mouth, you need to ensure that you book an appointment with your hygienist. Ideally, this should be done twice a year, although you may need to go more often if you suffer from chronic gum disease.
Most dentists offer these services, so it is worth checking before looking elsewhere for a hygienist. Our Asheville dentist clinic offers a wide range of dental treatments, including deep cleaning for gum disease.
During your appointment, your hygienist should clean your gums and teeth, including cleaning under the gum line. They may also do something known as scaling, which involves scraping the tartar on your gum line.
Use antibiotic gel
In some cases, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic gel that you spread on your gums. This can help prevent an infection from developing, and it can also help to speed up the healing process.
You can also get antiseptic chips that you insert into the pockets in your gums which slowly release medication that reduces the number of bacteria present.
Try an antimicrobial mouthwash
If you would like to treat your gum disease with an over-the-counter remedy, then an antimicrobial mouthwash is a good idea. These can be purchased at most pharmacies and online and do not require a prescription.
In severe cases of gum disease where other treatments have been ineffective, your dentist may recommend surgery. Some of the most common dental surgeries for gum disease include:
- Flap surgery
This involves your dentist lifting your gums so that they can remove any tartar deep beneath your gum line. They will also stitch your gum back tighter to make it harder for bacteria to get in.
- Gum graft surgery
This is where your dentist takes tissues from another part of your mouth, such as your palate, and then covers any exposed tooth to prevent tooth decay.
Are there any home remedies for gum disease?
If you prefer a more natural approach to dental care, then you may want to try one of the below natural remedies. However, it is worth noting that these are not medically approved treatments for gum disease, and they may not be effective in treating all cases.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has both antibacterial and antiseptic properties, which means it could prove effective in the treatment of gum disease. You should not apply tea tree oil directly to your mouth and instead, mix 1-2 drops into your normal toothpaste and then brush as normal.
Coconut oil pulling
Oil pulling has been used for centuries to clean the teeth and gums and involves swishing coconut oil around the mouth.
Coconut oil has both anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help to prevent bacteria from growing in the mouth and help treat gum disease.
Honey has antibacterial properties and is also known for its healing abilities, meaning it can help to eliminate bacteria and prevent infections.
Apply raw honey directly to the gum tissue after brushing.
How to prevent gum disease
There are several steps that you can take to prevent gum disease, including:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Always spit after brushing but do not rinse your mouth as this removes fluoride
- Floss at least once a day
- Replace your toothbrush every 1-3 months
- See your dentist for regular check-ups
- Stop smoking