Oral health is something you may overlook from time to time, especially when it comes to the gums. Many people focus on brushing their teeth and ensuring they stay white, but your gums are equally important.
Taking care of your gum health is essential to keeping your oral health intact. You risk a gum infection or periodontal disease without proper gum care.
If you're concerned about your gum health, our team at Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California, can help. Dr. J. Paul Fuentes and Dr. Andrew Peterson are our expert periodontists who provide personalized care and cutting-edge treatments for gum disease and other oral health issues.
What is a gum infection?
Every area of your body is prone to infection, including your mouth. Your gums are especially prone to disease due to the bacteria that gather in your mouth throughout the day.
A mild gum infection, known as gingivitis, almost always affects the area between your teeth and gums. If we don't treat it early, gingivitis can quickly become a severe periodontitis infection.
Periodontitis leads to significant complications like receding gums and tooth loss. Early on, gingivitis starts to break down the tissues between the teeth, causing pockets to form. The pockets trap bacteria, leading to chronic infection and periodontal disease.
The good news is that you can quickly turn gingivitis around by taking control of your oral hygiene. Simply brushing correctly and flossing can significantly reduce the complications of repeated gum infections.
Telltale signs of a gum infection
To stop a gum infection from worsening, we advise you to look for signs and symptoms, such as:
Early in a gum infection, you may notice that your gums bleed easily, especially during flossing or brushing. The bleeding usually stops quickly but can open up more areas for bacteria to enter your gums.
Swelling or tenderness
Your body responds to an infection by creating inflammation in the surrounding tissues. Swelling and inflammation in the gums are common early signs of gum infection and pending periodontitis.
Bacteria that collects in the pockets of the gums often leads to halitosis or consistently bad breath when you have a gum infection.
Pain while chewing
The tenderness and bleeding associated with gum disease often cause pain as you chew food. The longer the infection lingers, the worse the pain becomes as the gums recede and cause further damage to your mouth.
Foul taste in your mouth
The same bacteria that lead to bad breath can also cause a foul taste in your mouth with a gum infection. As the bacteria grow, the taste becomes worse along with your breath.
The longer you allow a gum infection to fester, the worse the complications become. The only way to prevent significant issues from gingivitis is to recognize the signs early on and change your oral health habits.
Preventing and treating a gum infection
Make an appointment with us as soon as you see the signs of a gum infection. Doing so helps you avoid invasive treatment procedures and long-term complications of gingivitis.
If we determine that you have the early stages of gum disease, we may recommend such oral health habits as:
- Quitting smoking
- Flossing regularly
- Brushing two to three times a day
- Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash
- Using fluoride toothpaste
The best thing you can do for your teeth and gums is to get regular professional dental cleanings and checkups. Regular dental visits allow us to assess your gum health and look for any signs of deterioration.
For severe cases of gum disease, we may need to perform more invasive treatments such as scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery, or bone grafting.
Call us today at 626-600-2009 for gum infection treatment or request a consultation through this website.