Just about every area of your body is susceptible to infection, including your mouth. And if you have an infection, it’s important to get treatment promptly. In the case of your mouth, infected gums can not only be very painful, they can also be a sign of a more serious condition such as advanced periodontal disease, otherwise known as periodontitis.
Periodontitis affects the area of your mouth just below the gum line, in the v-shaped crevice between your tooth and gums, known as the sulcus. This impacts the attachment of your tooth and causes the nearby tissue to break down. Once the tissue is damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that can store bacteria and lead to gum infection. Since gums provide fundamental support for our teeth, it’s vital to keep them in good health.
Although serious gum infections aren’t extremely common, they can lead to major issues if not treated in a timely manner. While most of us want to keep our teeth and gums healthy, your gums can be prone to gum infection if not cared for properly. Identifying warning signs that can lead to infected gums is an important way to help prevent further gum disease and all the side effects that come with it.Signs that you may have infected gums include:
- Gums that are swollen, tender or bleeding
- Receding gums
- Pus coming from the gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
- A noticeable change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, it is important that you visit and consult with your dentist to determine the severity of infection and the proper course of action to take to combat the issue.
As soon as you notice a gum infection, you should consult with a dentist. Once gum infection is diagnosed, you will have numerous treatment options that will vary based on the severity of the gum infection. Here are some common methods of treatment for gum infection:
- Antibiotic Therapy: Just as you’d expect with any type of infection, antibiotics are often used to treat gum infection. Your dentist may elect to use an antibiotic pill or injection directly into the gum infection site.
- Root Planing and Scaling Treatment: This advanced gum infection treatment cleans deeply between your gums and teeth—all the way to the roots.
- Gingivectomy: A gingivectomy is a form of gum infection treatment that involves the removal of gum tissue.
- Flap Surgery: If your gum disease is severe, flap surgery may be necessary involving bone or tissue grafts.
Maintaining healthy gums and avoiding infection can be easy if you make oral hygiene a priority every day. By brushing and flossing daily, you can significantly reduce your risk of gum disease and infected gums, in addition to tooth decay and other oral health problems. Start a diligent routine and stick to it, and you will benefit from these healthy habits.
- Brushing twice a day. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste such as any of the Crest Pro-Health Toothpastes twice a day. Four of the Crest Pro-Health toothpastes (Clean Mint, Clean Cinnamon, Night and Whitening) are the only ones that are accepted by the ADA for six different benefits: fighting cavities, plaque, sensitivity and gingivitis, whitening teeth, and reducing bad breath. There are also gingivitis toothpastes that target the bacteria trapped around the gum line and cause plaque, offering additional protection. All Crest Pro-Health toothpastes are triclosan free.
- Floss your teeth daily. Be sure to get in between each and every tooth to remove food particles that cause plaque and tartar build-up, and can eventually lead to infected gums.
- Use an anti-gingivitis mouthwash You may also want to use a mouthwash that kills the bacteria that causes plaque. There are a variety available and some have more than one benefit (like strengthening enamel, preventing cavities, or whitening) for a healthier mouth all around.
- Visit a dental professional at least twice a year for a professional cleaning This will remove tartar buildup that you can’t take care of at home. Tartar buildup can lead to more plaque buildup on and around the tartar in hard to clean areas which can be bad for your gums.
Since prevention is the best way to avoid gum infection, it’s important to make caring for your teeth and gums a top priority. Following these important guidelines will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and help prevent gum infection.