Keeping your gums healthy is essential to maintaining a healthy smile. Healthy gums should be light pink in colour and shouldn’t bleed when your brush or floss. Bleeding is a sign that your gums are unhealthy and inflamed.
When plaque is not removed from your teeth regularly it becomes calcified by the minerals in your saliva, forming what dentists’ call calculus. Calculus is as hard as rock. Once it has formed on your teeth it cannot be removed with your toothbrush at home. To remove calculus you need to see a dentist for a professional clean.
So why do dentists’ recommend having your teeth cleaned regularly? Because over time calculus irritates your gums and causes gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease causes your gums to recede and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. Unlike a cavity affecting one tooth, gum disease affects all your teeth. If you have gum disease, you most likely won’t get any symptoms until your condition is very advanced. As gum and bone recession progresses, the dentine surface of your teeth will be exposed causing temperature sensitivity. In the advance stages of gum disease, severe gum recession and bone loss will result in teeth becoming loose.
Luckily gum problems can be avoided by maintaining good oral hygiene habits on a daily basis and seeing your dentist regularly. If you already have gum disease, your dentist can develop a suitable treatment plan to manage your condition. Your dentist can also show you how to brush and floss effectively. Brushing and flossing correctly will help to reduce calculus build up and ensure your gums stay healthy. Even with the best at home care, most people still need to see the dentist routinely to remove calculus build up. Your dentist will recommend a suitable time frame for you to return for another professional clean.
If you notice any symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding or swollen gums, bad breath or visible build up on your teeth, you should see your dentist as soon as possible for assessment and to discuss your treatment options.