When visiting the dentist for your routine dental examination the dentist will check your gum health along with the overall health of your mouth. This is to make sure you have no signs of gum disease. The first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. Plaque around the gum line can cause your gums to become inflamed this causes bleeding, swelling and soreness especially when brushing and flossing. By brushing twice daily and flossing between your teeth, your gum health can be improved dramatically.
From around the age of 12 flossing can be added into your routine. Interdental brushes, floss or dental tape can be used depending on what you find easiest. Flossing removes plaque and excess food in the areas that your toothbrush does not reach. This helps prevent gum diseases and cavities from forming. Many people suffer from bleeding gums and avoid flossing for this very reason. Flossing helps gum health therefor helping to stop gums from bleeding.
The next stage of gum disease is periodontitis that is when the supporting bone and fibres holding your teeth in place start to be damaged. This can cause a pocket to form below this gum line which traps food and plaque making it harder to keep the gums clean. Stepping up the cleaning at home can help prevent further damage along with dental treatment such as seeing the hygienist.
When gum disease progresses even further you end up with advanced periodontitis which is when the bone and fibres are destroyed which then makes the teeth mobile. In this case teeth will most likely need to be removed.
Some people are more at risk then other when it comes to gum disease. These include smoking, age, diabetes, pregnancy, weakened immune system, medication, malnutrition and stress. Dentists will also check your gum health when you attend a dental examination so be sure to mention any concerns you may have.