Gum Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
If your gums are mildly swollen and red, flossing every day and brushing your teeth in the morning and before bedtime can help reverse these symptoms of gum disease. For more information on how to care for your teeth, see:
The following steps can also help to reverse or prevent gum disease:
If you smoke or use spit tobacco, the best thing you can do for yourself is to quit. Tobacco decreases your ability to fight infection and delays healing. Tobacco users are more likely than nonsmokers to have serious gum disease that leads to tooth loss and that doesn't respond as well to treatment.5 Quitting is difficult. But many people find success through a combination of medicine, a stop-smoking program, and counseling. For more information on how to quit, see the topic Quitting Smoking.
If brushing and flossing aren't effective in reversing gum disease, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection. Antibiotics can be put directly on the gums (topical), swallowed as pills or capsules, swished around your teeth as mouthwash, or inserted into the pockets of advanced gum disease. Your dentist may recommend that you use a medicated toothpaste that contains an antibacterial ingredient that reduces plaque and gingivitis when used regularly.
If used properly, antibiotics safely treat gum disease by giving swollen, infected gums a chance to heal. Practice good dental care during and after treatment so that your teeth and gums stay healthy.
What to think about
Antibiotics alone usually cannot cure severe gum disease. In some cases, root planing and scaling combined with antibiotics is enough to stop severe gum disease, but surgery may be required.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Find out what women really need.
Pill Identifier on RxList
- quick, easy,
Find a Local Pharmacy
- including 24 hour, pharmacies