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Richard L. Rausch, DDS
1 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2201, New York, NY 10020

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dentist caring for gums

September is National Gum Care Month

dentist caring for gums

Learn now how to take care of your gums correctly, so you can keep a healthy smile for years to come.

You don’t need to have anything wrong with your gums in order to take good care of them. On the contrary, by practicing proper oral hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly, you can make sure nothing does go wrong with your gums or teeth and you can maintain your healthy, beautiful smile forever.

Keeping your gums healthy is an important part of any oral care routine, so is seeing the dentist. Call today to schedule your appointment with a dentist in Rockefeller Plaza.

The Start of Gum Disease

Gum disease takes place when the gums swell, turn red, and get sore. They may also start bleeding when you eat hard or crunchy foods like apples or when you brush or floss your teeth.

Without proper treatment, gum disease can cause bad breath and a sour taste in the mouth, it can make the gums shrink, and it can lead to loose teeth and even to teeth falling out.

Call our dental office in Rockefeller Plaza right away if your gums bleed at any point or look puffy or red, feel irritated, or if you have chronic bad breath. Request an urgent appointment if your:

  • Gums are extremely sore or swollen
  • Teeth are loosening or falling out
  • Bite has changed or your chewing is suddenly painful or difficult
  • Speech is different
  • Mouth develops red patches or ulcers
  • Mouth or lip develop a lump

Preventing Gum Disease

Since the cause of gum disease is an accumulation of plaque on the teeth, the key way to prevent gum disease is to keep that plaque from forming. As such, proper, regular, home oral care and regular dental checkups are the two pillars of gum disease prevention. They both are also part and parcel of any effective gum disease treatment program.

By removing plaque from your teeth when it’s just forming, you prevent it from building up and causing a problem. Therefore, brush your teeth a minimum of twice each day using fluoride toothpaste. Floss and possibly use an interdental brush to clean between your teeth a minimum of once each day. Every one to three months, replace your toothbrush or, if you use an electric toothbrush, your toothbrush head. Replace it sooner if the bristles start fraying.

Meanwhile, make sure to see your dentist in Rockefeller Plaza for ongoing checkups and professional cleanings. This is especially vital if you have type 2 diabetes or you’re pregnant.

Even if you don’t have anything wrong with your teeth or gums, you should still see your dentist at an agreed-upon regular schedule in order to make sure it stays that way. Contact us now to set up a schedule for your regular dental checkups and cleanings.

When you meet with the dentist, they will examine your teeth and gums for any signs of gum disease. They may take some dental x-rays to more closely examine your teeth and jawbone. At this time, they may provide you with a referral to a specialist for additional testing or for treatment.

Treating Gum Disease

The type of treatment you’ll receive for gum disease depends on its severity. In the early phases of gum disease, your dentist will advise you on proper oral care and suggest ways you can improve your dental habits to increase gum care, such as by introducing an interdental brush or antimicrobial mouthwash into your daily mouth care routine. Your dentist may suggest scheduling a professional cleaning by a dental hygienist in Rockefeller Plaza.

If you smoke, your dentist will advise you against it. Smoking is an irritant and it dries out the gums and mouth. This creates a fertile ground for the bacteria that produce gum disease to thrive and makes it harder to eliminate them and treat the disease.

For more serious cases of gum disease, treatment may involve a deeper cleaning that gets beneath the gums. If the irritation and inflammation have led to a full-on infection, antibiotic medications may also play a role. In the most severe of cases, you may require gum surgery, such as scaling, tooth planing or even tooth extraction.

How Gum Health Affects Total Health

The health of your gums affects your overall health in so many ways. Many conditions that seem unrelated to gum disease or, for that matter, any issues involving the mouth at all have been linked to gum disease in some manner, such as:

  • Pregnancy – Increased progesterone levels associated with being pregnant can promote gingivitis.
  • Cardiovascular conditions – Due to the increase in bacteria getting into the bloodstream from the mouth, periodontal disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease; if you have diabetes in addition to periodontitis, that increases your heart disease risk even more.
  • Respiratory conditions – Infections like pneumonia and bronchitis can result from dental plaque migrating to the lungs.
  • Stroke – Oral bacteria can promote blood clot development, which can increase stroke risk.
  • Kidney problems – The gums and kidneys play a mutual role in one another’s health. Gum disease causes the kidneys to work more, with gum inflammation associated in studies with lowered kidney function; meanwhile reduced kidney performance also increases the likelihood of gum disease.
  • Pancreatic cancer – In a study on pancreatic cancer and gum disease, researchers found that subjects with gum disease had a greater risk of pancreatic cancer developing.
  • Breast cancer – A study on gum disease and breast cancer found that women who had gum disease also had greater chances of developing breast cancer.
  • Aging – Getting older has been linked with dry mouth, receding gums and oral cancer, among other mouth concerns, which makes it all the more important to continue seeing your dentist in Rockefeller Plaza regularly as you age.

Call our office in Rockefeller Plaza to schedule a dental cleaning and exam today! We’re here to help you. 

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Richard L. Rausch, DDS

1 Rockefeller Plaza, Suite 2201, New York, NY 10020

(646) 863-8184