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Gum Health: At-Home Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy

Gum Disease TreatmentHealthy gums are not only vital to your oral health, but to your overall health as well. In addition to causing tooth decay and loss, recent studies have shown that the chronic inflammation from gum disease can contribute to the development of cardiovascular and other systematic diseases. Keeping your gums healthy is an important part of keeping YOU healthy!

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, which is a sticky film made up of bacteria, mucus, and other particles. When plaque is not properly removed, it hardens and becomes tartar that can cause gingivitis, or inflammation of the gums. Although plaque can be removed by you with proper brushing and flossing, tartar buildup can only be removed by your dentist or dental hygienist.

Gum Disease: More than Just an Oral Health Problem
What is Gingivitis?

The Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease has three stages:

  1. Gingivitis This early stage of gum disease can be corrected by proper brushing and flossing.
  2. Periodontitis Caused by inflammation around the tooth, this stage is a more advanced form of gum disease. Treatment at this stage is crucial to preventing further breakdown of the teeth.
  3. Advanced Periodontitis The final stage of gum disease causes deepening of the gum pockets and destruction of the bone that holds teeth in place. Teeth may loosen during this stage and need to be extracted.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Early symptoms of gum disease can include red, swollen gums and the pulling away of gums from the teeth, which can form pockets of infected material. Advanced periodontitis is characterized by:

  • Persistent Bad Breath
  • Pain when chewing
  • Loose or highly sensitive teeth.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best thing you can do to keep your gums healthy is with proper oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene includes:

Proper Brushing: Be sure to brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your gums and brush each tooth 15 to 20 times. Make sure to move the brush gently and do not cover your toothbrush or store in a closed container, as this encourages bacteria growth.

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Proper Flossing: Flossing is the best way to remove food stuck between teeth. Proper flossing techniques include using about 18 inches of floss held tightly between your thumb and forefinger and guided between each tooth with a gentle rubbing motion. When you reach your gum line, curve the floss gently around the tooth and rub the side of the tooth with an up and down motion. Repeat between each tooth and make sure to get the back side of your back teeth.

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Proper Nutrition: Sugary and acidic foods can contribute to tooth decay. The best diet for good oral health includes lots of calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt, and cheese and avoids sticky sweets and pastries. If you do eat sweets, be sure to brush afterward if you can, or rinse your mouth out with water if you can’t.

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Regular Dental Care: Be sure to keep all dental appointments, including cleanings and regular checkups. Twice-yearly cleanings will help keep your teeth tartar-free, and checkups will help your dentist keep an eye out for any developing oral health issues. If you begin to experience any dental issues, such as the symptoms of gum disease, calling your dentists for an appointment right away can help prevent the later stages of gum disease or tooth loss.

Your Dental Health

Gingivitis & Gum Disease Treatment

Have a question for Dr. Kennth J. Wolnik about your gums or oral health? Please contact Dr. Kennth J. Wolnik online or at:

6363 York Rd, Ste 202
Parma Heights, OH 44130

(440) 888-5055

[email protected]

Office Hours
Monday: 7:00am – 4:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 7:30am – 1:00pm

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