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Practicing good dental hygiene is the most important action you can take to prevent periodontal disease. Most individuals tend to overlook their gums when it pertains to having a bright, healthy smile. However, healthy teeth need healthy gums. Early-stage gum disease isn’t apparent and doesn’t cause pain. Still, as it advances and bacterial plaque builds up, it hardens into dental tartar, causing symptoms of swollen gums, bleeding when brushing, and eventually painful discomfort. If you have concerns or symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our office in Merrimack, NH to schedule a dental exam with Dr. Kevin Boulard at Something To Smile About.

What is gingivitis?

Healthy gums should look firm and pink. Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease (periodontal disease) that causes swelling, redness, and irritation of the gingiva or part of the gum tissue at the base of the teeth. It commonly occurs because of a film of bacteria or plaque accumulating on the teeth due to poor oral hygiene and lack of dental visits for professional cleanings. If left untreated, it can become a more severe infection, known as periodontitis, which can become painful and eventually cause tooth loss. Some signs of unhealthy gums or periodontal disease are:

  • Red, tender, or swollen gums
  • Visible plaque and tartar buildup
  • Gum tissue that appears to be pulling away from the teeth
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing

Tips for healthy teeth and gums

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gingiva or gum tissues that hold teeth in place. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease caused by the buildup of plaque, a naturally occurring biofilm containing bacteria. If left untreated, it can cause tender, inflamed, or swollen gums when you brush, eventually causing gum recession and tooth loss. If you are concerned about gum health, you should do the following:

  • Floss at least once a day
  • Brush twice a day for at least two minutes
  • Use fluoride toothpaste that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance
  • Use an antibacterial mouthwash daily, but don’t consider it a substitute for brushing
  • Quit smoking or tobacco use as it can harm your oral health
  • Have a professional dental cleaning every six months to remove plaque and tartar buildup
  • Drink plenty of water to rinse out the mouth, remove food particles, and reduce the risk of dry mouth

How to strengthen gums

Many things can cause receding gums for Merrimack, NH patients, including periodontal disease, poor dental hygiene, aging, and brushing too hard. Unfortunately, gum tissue doesn’t grow back or regenerate. However, you can keep the problem from getting worse by following these tips and visiting the dental experts at Something To Smile About. During your initial consultation with Dr. Boulard, he will listen to your concerns and examine your gums to determine the proper preventive dental procedures needed to fit your oral health needs. The severity of the gum infection will determine periodontal disease treatments. Dr. Boulard will discuss his recommendations for your treatment plan thoroughly, so you understand the complete process.

Dr. Kevin Boulard and the dental team at Something To Smile About in Merrimack, NH want to help you have good oral health and prevent future concerns about periodontal disease. To learn more about how you can improve your gum health, schedule an appointment with Dr. Boulard by contacting our office today.

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