Why are healthy gums so important?

Gums are crucial because they can be thought of as the foundation of a house. If your teeth are a house that you're trying to maintain in the best possible condition, your gums and the underlying jawbone are the foundations of that house. The health of your teeth doesn’t matter if the foundation underneath isn't strong because if the foundation's not strong, then the teeth will collapse or deteriorate. This is similar to the relationship between our gums and our teeth. We want to ensure the foundation, which is your gums, is strong so that your teeth can be healthy.

How can I tell if my gums are healthy or unhealthy?

One of the first things that we look at to determine if your gums are healthy or unhealthy is their appearance. Healthy gums should be pink, not too red or too light colored. They should also have the proper shape, not puffy or soft feeling. Healthy gums should not bleed, even when lightly touched with our instruments. They should slightly rebound to our touch and then return to their original position.

What causes unhealthy gums?

There are several major things that can make gums unhealthy. One of the first things is the accumulation of bacteria. Our mouths are filled with bacteria just from the natural bacteria that occurs in our body. These bacteria can cause cavities and gum disease, making your gums unhealthy. If too much bacteria accumulates around your gums, they can become unhealthy. Another thing that can affect the health of the gums is our diet. Eating certain foods, especially ones that are higher in sugar or acid, can deteriorate your gums more quickly. Certain medical conditions, especially ones that increase the acidity levels in your mouth, can also deteriorate your gums.

Can unhealthy gums be fixed?

Thankfully, if people have unhealthy gums, most of the time, this is reversible. Or at least we can help a patient with unhealthy gums to have healthy gums. One of the first things is that we need to ensure good oral hygiene. We want to ensure that you are brushing and flossing and seeing the dentist regularly. That's important because we want to ensure that all of the bacteria, food, and other stuff in your mouth doesn't accumulate around your gums and cause problems for them. Another thing is to ensure that your diet is right. Eating healthy, not too much sugar, not too much acid, all of these things can play a part in the health of your gums.

What is involved in the process of a deep cleaning of the teeth?

Sometimes when an infection is present in your gums, we need to clean things up so that things are healthy again. One of the ways that we do that is we go and get your teeth numb. We put the gums and the tooth, wherever the gum disease is present, to sleep using local anesthesia. After the area is sleeping and you're comfortable, we clean out whatever infection is there with our instruments. The aim and the goal is that once the infection is cleaned up, your gums will be healthy again.

Why does it take more than one sitting for a dental cleaning?

Sometimes if a person's gums are very unhealthy or if there's a good amount of gum infection, the procedure or the treatment may take more than one appointment. Sometimes gum infections are located in various areas of your mouth. We usually don't clean an entire mouth in one sitting if there's gum disease present. Usually, we'll break it up into two or three appointments and just try to tackle one portion of the mouth at a time.

Is deep dental cleaning painful?

When there's gum disease present, usually it's underneath the gums and those areas tend to be pretty sensitive. As a result, before we go in there and try to clean things out and remove the infection, we usually put the area to sleep with either local or topical anesthesia so that you're comfortable while we're working on you.

What are the best ways to take care of my gums at home after a deep dental cleaning?

After a deep cleaning has been done to remove a deep-seated infection in your gums, usually the gums will be a little tender. You'll usually also be numb from the anesthesia. We always tell people to be careful when eating, drinking, and talking. In order to take care of the area that's been treated, we tell people to usually rinse with warm salt water and or mouthwash. Sometimes we'll prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash such as chlorhexidine. We also tell people to be regular about their brushing and flossing, but to do so in a gentle manner so you don't continue to traumatize the tissue that's been treated.

At what point is gum grafting necessary?

Sometimes when gum disease is present in a patient's mouth for a long period of time, it's possible that a person can lose a lot of their bone support and gum support around the teeth. In those cases, you'll see that because the tooth root will be exposed and a lot more of the tooth will be visible than you had previously been able to see. If enough bone and gum deteriorates away from the tooth, sometimes a gum graft is needed. What that means is that we'll take a portion of your gums, usually from another part in your mouth, and basically attach it or sew it to the portion of the tooth and the gums that has been deteriorated. Oftentimes, this will be done by a gum surgeon. We generally don't tend to do those procedures in our office, but we work closely with other surgeons to accomplish that.

How can I schedule a dental appointment?

If you feel like you have gum disease or you have some problems with your gums, please don't hesitate to call our office. We have our front desk personnel that are trained and ready to assist you in any way that you need. They can make an appointment for you, usually the same day that you call.

If you have any more questions or if you're ready to take action, please call our office at (916) 848-2145. We're here to help. Thank you.