Do you ever notice that your gums might bleed a little after brushing your teeth? This may be a sign that you have a dental condition called gingivitis. It may sound scary, but actually it’s very common and easily treatable with good oral hygiene and regular visits to your dentist. Gingivitis is actually a form of mild gum disease, however if left without treatment it can turn into a more serious condition which often requires specialist intervention. Recently gum disease has even been linked to other serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
Apart from bleeding after brushing or flossing your teeth, some other symptoms of gingivitis include:
Swelling of your gums
A change in colour from normal pink to a darker red colour
Gums that seem to be receding or moving back or away from your teeth
You can also have gingivitis without having any symptoms and because it is a painless condition you may not notice the changes occurring in your gums. Once you visit your dentist they will be able to detect any signs of gingivitis and will be able to recommend that you adopt good oral hygiene practices to avoid it getting any worse. Obviously the sooner you correct the problem the less damage your gums and teeth will be subjected to.
What Is Good Oral Hygiene?
If your dentist does detect signs of gingivitis, they will recommend that you stick to a regular routine of good oral hygiene. This will include brushing at least twice a day with a soft bristled toothbrush. Some people think that a hard or medium bristled toothbrush will really help remove any build up on the teeth, however most dentists believe that vigorous brushing with anything but a softer toothbrush can actually damage the surface of teeth and gums.
The toothpaste you use should contain fluoride, as this has been shown to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay. Brushing should be done for at least 2 minutes, and include the inside and outside of your teeth, as well as your tongue, and the best technique is in small circular movements up and down at a 45 degree angle to your teeth.
Flossing your teeth is almost as important as brushing, as a correct flossing technique can help lift food and any build up of bacteria from between your teeth. This is where bacteria can build up over time and turn into plaque. People are often amazed to find the amount of material left between their teeth, even after they have cleaned their teeth thoroughly with a toothbrush. Finally, many dentist recommend using a mouthwash after this routine.
One of the most important parts of your good oral hygiene routine is to schedule an appointment with your dentist on a regular basis. They will be able to identify any changes to your gums an your oral health in general and give your teeth a comprehensive clean that helps clean the areas that you can’t normally reach. So, to get your teeth checked, contact us for an appointment.