In a healthy smile, gums sit flush against the teeth. It almost appears as though there is no gap between the gums and the teeth, even though a small and healthy pocket exists to separate the two. In people with periodontal disease, this gap can become large and quite noticeable.
If you’re having a hard time cleaning out the gap between your tooth and your gums, you probably want to shrink your gum pockets. Closing that gap will approve the appearance of your smile. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as using a miracle product. It will take some hard work on your part, as well as the assistance of a dentist, to manage the periodontal disease causing trouble with your gum pockets.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, is a condition that causes the infection and inflammation of the gums. The gums may appear to recede or the pockets surrounding the teeth may appear to enlarge. The inflammation and infection disturbs the healthy tissue, inhibiting its ability to adequately protect the roof of the tooth.
Gingivitis, the early stages of periodontitis, is an extremely common condition. Approximately half of all American adults experience gingivitis. Gingivitis can be reversed and carefully managed, but severe cases will often progress to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is often caused by a long duration of poor dental hygiene habits. Conditions like diabetes or low saliva production can contribute to the worsening of gum disease, sometimes pushing gingivitis into full blown periodontal disease.
Why Do Gum Pockets Expand?
Gum pockets can be irritated and pulled apart by food debris, bacteria, acid, plaque, and tartar that form on the teeth. Plaque, the thin and sticky buildup that accumulates throughout a day of eating and drinking, can harden into tartar in as little as 12 hours. Plaque that has made its way into the gum pocket will then harden into tartar in a way that’s nearly impossible to remove without professional dental tools. The accumulation of plaque above the healthy gum line can contribute to shrinking or receding gums.
Infection from an unhealthy mouth can further cause the gums to recede. Inflammation damages the tissue, shrinking it and pulling it away from the tooth root. This leaves the appearance of disappearing gums and gum repair procedures will be necessary to refit the gum to the top of the tooth root where it belongs.
Is There a Way to Shrink Gum Pockets?
Gum pockets can only be restored to their proper size through a dental treatment called scaling and root planing. The first thing your dentist will do is thoroughly remove all of the plaque and tartar from your teeth. Removing the accumulation of plaque beneath the normal gumline is of the utmost importance. The gums cannot establish a proper pocket when bacteria filled tartar is in the way.
The root of the tooth is then “planed.” Planing means that the root is made to be perfectly smooth. Any small holes or texture left behind on the root can serve as a place for bacteria to grow, inhibiting the gum’s ability to remain healthy and stuck in place. After the roots have been planed, the gum is made to settle back into its proper position.
In severe cases, tissue or bone grafting may be necessary to restore the gums and the jaw. This is only necessary when periodontal disease has caused excessive damage from being left untreated for a long period of time.
These procedures are far more serious. You should see a dentist the moment you suspect you might have periodontal disease. Putting it off will only decrease your chances of a satisfactory outcome from minimally invasive treatments.
How Can I Improve the Health of My Gums?
The sensitive, soft tissue of your gums are constantly exposed to bacteria. They live in a dark, wet, warm environment that perfectly facilitates the growth of even more bacteria.
Taking good care of your gums is of the utmost importance for your dental health, and here’s some tips on how to do just that.
First, See a Dentist
Before you attempt to try and treat or cure any disease at home, see your dentist. Immediate intervention by a medical professional is always the best solution -- you should be seeing your dentist at least twice a year for regular professional cleanings anyway.
Your dentist will evaluate the state of your teeth and gums, advising you of their health and teaching you the proper techniques to maintain your oral health.
Your dentist may prescribe antibiotic solutions or other medications to help you manage the side effects of periodontal disease and cure dental infections. Always follow the advice of your dentist.
Using the Right Toothbrush
Many people are under the impression that a firm bristled toothbrush will do a better job at scrubbing their teeth clean. When something gets burned to the bottom of a pot, you use a firm bristled brush to scrub it off. You use hard pressure to scrub away mildew from your shower or stains from your toilet bowl. Your mouth isn’t like your cookware or bathroom.
Firm bristled toothbrushes can actually damage the enamel of your teeth. Hard pressure will, over time, wear away the only natural protection your teeth have. Your gums are soft and sensitive, and scrubbing them with firm bristles will lead to redness, irritation, or even bleeding.
You only need a soft bristled toothbrush. Brushing gently twice a day for two minutes each time is sufficient enough to remove debris from your teeth and gums without causing any harm. Replacing your toothbrush every three months will ensure that it remains intact and effective.
Many people with gingivitis or periodontitis avoid flossing their teeth. This isn’t necessarily because they don’t want to adhere to good hygiene habits. Some of them find that their gums bleed when they floss, or they experience painful sensations when the floss makes contact with their sensitive gums.
If you find that traditional flossing is painful, opt for a water flosser. Although water flossers aren’t as effective and targeted as traditional dental floss, they still do a decent job of removing bacteria from between the teeth without causing excessive bleeding or pain. If you use warm water in your water flosser, you might even find the sensation to be soothing on your sensitive gums.
People with periodontitis often have visible tartar or stained teeth. It seems like the logical solution would be to use a whitening toothpaste. This is the opposite of what you should be doing.
Whitening toothpastes often use a combination of bleaching agents and abrasive additives to lighten the teeth and remove stains. These abrasive additives will only serve to further irritate your gums while simultaneously stripping your enamel.
A gentle remineralizing toothpaste designed to help maintain the health of your teeth and gums is always a better idea.
Toothpastes with ingredients like coral calcium and xylitol can help to restore and protect weak teeth. Natural antibacterial ingredients like our patented Nano Silver can destroy bacteria in your mouth without harming your healthy bio-film. When bacteria are dead, they cannot spread or contribute to a dental infection.
Think about what it feels like when you pour alcohol on a cut. That sharp stinging sensation is enough to make anyone jump right out of their seat. Why would you use an alcohol-based mouthwash on your irritated gums?
Mouthwashes can be formulated with gentle antibacterial ingredients like our Nano Silver to kill the bacteria in your mouth without drying out your gums and destroying the healthy microorganisms working hard to keep the balance of your oral bacteria in check.
Nano silver works by stealing electrons from the walls of bacteria cells, causing them to collapse and filling them with excess silver. As they find their way out of your mouth, they’ll spread this antibacterial silver to other bacteria and create a chain of bacterial destruction. This quick and efficient process takes place without any side effects or danger to your health.
While there are plenty of habits you can adopt to improve or maintain the health of your gums, you cannot fix your gum pockets on your own. If you’re showing signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease, you need to see your dentist.
Attempting to treat the problem ineffectively won’t give you a different outcome from outright ignoring the problem. You need to call your dentist and take control of your health.
Follow your dentist’s instructions and make sure you’re using the right products at home. You don’t want your current oral care routine to be making your gums worse. Be thorough, but be gentle. Choose toothpastes, toothbrushes, and mouthwashes that will help to keep your mouth clean and healthy without irritating your sensitive teeth and gums -- Coral Toothpaste is a good place to start!