How to Treat & Prevent Gum Infections
Every area of your body is apt to getting infections, and your gums are no exception. Gum infections can affect your whole mouth if not treated properly and in a timely manner. If your gums are painful, it can make eating, drinking, or talking difficult and uncomfortable.
Talk to your dentist about how to treat and prevent gum infections to protect the overall health of your mouth.
Gum Infection Treatments
At the first sign of a gum infection, make an appointment with your dentist. Gum infections are fairly simple to diagnose and your dentist will inform you of your treatment options. Your options depend on how severe the infection is and how your teeth are affected.
Some common treatments include:
- Antibiotics: As with most infections, antibiotics are prescribed to treat gum infections. If the infection is severe, your dentist may elect to perform an injected antibiotic directly into the affected gum area.
- Root Planing: This is a very advanced procedure in which your dentist will perform an incredibly deep cleaning between your gums and teeth, all the way to the roots.
- Gingivectomy: This type of treatment involves removal of infected gum tissue so the infection doesn’t spread to the rest of your mouth.
- Oral Surgery: If the infection is past the point of being treated with antibiotics, your dentist may resort to performing oral surgery such as a bone graft or tissue graft.
- Salt Water Rinse: To treat gums with gingivitis, using a salt water rinse twice a day can help soothe inflamed gums. As a natural disinfectant, salt water will remove bacteria and ease pain.
- Oil-Pulling: Oil-pulling has many benefits, many of which treats inflamed gums. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that reduce plaque and infectious germs.
How to Prevent Gum Infections
Avoiding gum infections can be simple if you make oral care a priority. A diligent and purposeful routine will keep your mouth healthy.
- Brushing Your Teeth: Brushing your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste twice a day helps neutralize the bacteria trapped in your gums that cause infections.
- Flossing Daily: Using dental floss to get in between your teeth everyday removes food particles that get lodged in the spaces between your teeth. These particles cause plaque, build-up, and infections.
- Rinsing with Mouthwash: An anti-gingivitis mouthwash kills bacteria that causes plaque. There are a variety of mouthwashes available that keep your mouth healthy and protect your gums against infections.
- Regular Cleanings: Seeing a dentist every six months is crucial to your oral health. They use tools that remove tartar and plaque build up that you may not see or reach at home. This kind of build up is bad for your gums. Seeing a dentist will also protect against any infections because your dentist will be able to assess your mouth and look for any early signs of infections.