Gum Problems

  • Medical Author:
    Donna S. Bautista, DDS

    Dr. Donna S. Bautista, DDS, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, San Diego with a bachelor of arts in biochemistry and cell biology. During her time at UC San Diego, she was involved in basic research including studying processes related to DNA transcription in the field of molecular biology. Upon graduation, she went on to attend dental school at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to her formal dental training, she provided dental care for underserved communities in the Bay Area through clinics and health fairs. She also worked toward mentoring high school students interested in the field of dentistry.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

View Cosmetic Dentistry: Before and After Slideshow Pictures

Quick GuideDental Health Pictures Slideshow: Top Problems in Your Mouth

Dental Health Pictures Slideshow: Top Problems in Your Mouth

What is the best way to care for your gums?

The best way to care for gums is to develop a routine of good oral hygiene at home and regular visits to your dental professional. Seek specific advice about how to properly clean around the teeth. As a general rule, it is recommended to brush twice a day and floss daily. More care and attention is especially important for those with dental braces and dental work such as dental crowns because dental plaque is often retained around these areas. Address any changed areas such as sores or discolored areas that persist in the mouth so that early treatment is possible if needed. During pregnancy, hormonal changes make the gums more sensitive and easily prone to inflammation. Good dental hygiene is essential at this time to prevent a quick progression of gum problems.

Is it possible to prevent gum problems?

Most gum problems are preventable or, at the very least, can be controlled. For some individuals with inherited gum disease, it can be a lifelong effort to keep the gum disease in check. Identifying problems at an early stage with self-monitoring and regular dental exams is key to avoid potentially bigger problems down the line. Finally, good dental care is essential at home and with your routine dental professional visits.

REFERENCES:

"Gum Disease and Heart Disease." American Academy of Periodontology.

"Oral Cancer Facts." OralCancer.org. May 2015. <http://www.oralcancer.org/facts/>.

"Periodontal Diseases: Percentage of Adults with Destructive Periodontal Disease." Oral Health, U.S. 2002 Annual Report. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)/CDC.

"Periodontal Diseases: Percentage of Adults with Gingivitis." Oral Health, U.S. 2002 Annual Report. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)/CDC.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/2/2015

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  • Gum Problems - Flossing

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