The state of your gums is just as important to your oral health as the state of your teeth. Many unsavory oral symptoms are actually associated with your gums.
Here are a few symptoms that may resolve, as your gingival tissues become healthier.
Bad breath is often associated with the sulfur-releasing anaerobic bacteria that reside on the tongue. However, halitosis can also come from infected gums. The bacteria that cause the infection can emit odors that make your breath smell bad.
A gingival infection often starts as simple inflammation as the soft tissues are exposed to oral acids. However, as the health of the gums decline, pockets or spaces may develop between the teeth and gums, permitting bacteria to accumulate in the spaces and cause an infection. Once the infection is resolved, the smell of the breath should improve.
One of the first signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. You may notice that your toothbrush bristles look a bit pink, after a brushing session.
In the early stages of gum disease, more extensive oral hygiene is often enought to resolve the condition. Brushing and flossing thoroughly, along with the use of an antibacterial mouth rinse, should improve the health of the gums, alleviating the bleeding.
Like the bleeding, gingival swelling is a symptom of gingivitis, which is an early stage of periodontal disease. Extensive dental hygiene should resolve the puffy look of the inflamed gums.
As the gums become infected, an abscess may form. The pimple-like bump on the gums is usually filled with pus, due to the infection in the tissues. The abscess may be painful and leak malodorous pus into the oral cavity.
To help the abscess and the infected gums heal, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics and oral rinses. In addition, special attention should be given to regular brushing and flossing. An oral irrigator may also be used, to help clear plaque and debris from the spaces just below the gum line.
A severe case of periodontal disease is called periodontitis. With the condition, which includes the formation of deep pockets in the gums, a gingival infection can spread to the jawbone, weakening it and causing the teeth to become loose in their sockets.
With specialized treatments, such as a root scaling and planing procedure, the gums can start to heal and the jawbone can recover.
To learn more about your gum health, try here.