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Healthy gums are an important part of good oral health. Depending on pigmentation, normal gums range in color from pale pink to dark red and even black for people with very dark skin. Healthy gums feel firm to the touch and are snug around the teeth. Gum disease is indicated by bright pink or red and puffy, swollen gums. They may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Some individuals experience bleeding when eating certain foods.

Regular general dentistry can identify the early stages of gum disease. When your teeth are cleaned, the dental hygienist checks for pockets that may form between the gums and teeth. Deep pockets present a problem. Food debris gets caught in them, and plaque forms. Next, the accumulations of plaque turn into tartar, hard brownish-yellow deposits around the base of the teeth.

The tartar accumulations push the gums away from the teeth. The bacteria produces toxins, which lead to infection in the gums. Early gum disease is called gingivitis and is very easy to treat. If the disease is not treated, it progresses and turns into periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can ultimately lead to tooth loss.

Gingivitis Treatment

Early treatment of gingivitis begins with a thorough professional cleaning of the teeth. Your hygienist cleans the teeth with special instruments designed to remove plaque and tartar. Plaque, the clear sticky film that adheres to teeth, can be removed with proper brushing; however, brushing your teeth cannot remove the tartar accumulations caused by plaque.

After the plaque and tartar are removed, planing instruments are used to smooth the roots of the teeth so that the gums can reattach. Often, special toothpaste and/or mouthwash is recommended to aid the healing process. Adopting healthy oral hygiene practices and keeping up with your regular visits to your dentist are usually enough to stop gingivitis from returning.

Individuals who are prone to excessive plaque buildup may need to have their teeth cleaned professionally more than once or twice a year. Some people are genetically predisposed to gum disease. It can also be caused by certain medicines or medical conditions.

Avalon Dental Group will restore health to your gums with early detection and treatment of gum disease. Contact our dental practice today to schedule an appointment for the treatment of red, swollen or bleeding gums.

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