Periodontal (Gum) Disease (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care for Periodontal (Gum) Disease
A dentist provides major care for diseases of the teeth and gums.
A person should visit his or her dentist for the following concerns:
- Gums start to bleed.
- Gums are swollen and sore.
- Bad-smelling breath or a bad taste develops in the mouth.
- Gums become very red or very pale.
- Teeth are painful.
- Teeth are loose in their sockets.
If any of the above symptoms are present, plus fever, sweats, chills, or face swelling, go to a hospital's emergency department.
Other reasons to go to an emergency department include the following:
- The tongue feels swollen or pushes up from the floor of the mouth.
- Swelling develops below the chin, especially if it is red, tender, and warm.
Periodontal (Gum) Disease Diagnosis
During any routine dental examination, a dentist will do a periodontal exam of the gums.
- The dentist may use a probe to measure the depth of the pocket between the teeth and the gums.
- Special X-ray films may be used to evaluate the teeth, the bones supporting the teeth, and other mouth structures.
- If periodontal disease is present, the dentist will make recommendations or refer the person to a specialist (periodontist).
Periodontal (Gum) Disease Home Remedies
Good oral hygiene prevents periodontal disease.
- Brush the teeth at least twice every day. Brushing removes plaque from the inner, outer, and chewing surfaces of each tooth. A dental hygienist can demonstrate the proper technique.
- Get a new toothbrush every three months or replace the head of electric brushes every
three months or sooner based on wear from the indicator bristles. Some electric tooth brushes have been proven to reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
- Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride and xylitol.
- Floss every day. Flossing removes plaque between the teeth that a toothbrush cannot reach.
- Use a mouthwash that kills bacteria.
- Eat a well-balanced diet; avoid too many sweets and processed carbohydrates.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/31/2016
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