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When it comes to maintaining good oral health care, it is not all about just keeping a bright and healthy smile.  You should not forget about healthy gums! An underlying health condition can lead to serious consequences, including loss of teeth and receding gums.  The early stage of gum disease causes inflammation, swelling and bleeding. You can also get periodontitis, an advanced form of gum disease which can damage your bones and teeth.

If caught early enough, gum disease can be controlled with good oral hygiene habits and regular professional cleanings. More extensive care for periodontitis can be successfully treated by our office with the WaterLase laser surgery (https://oldmtpleasantdentistry.com/waterlase-laser-dentistry/), which combines laser energy with a gentle spray of water to treat problem gums.   Waterlase laser surgery has the benefit of a less swelling and post-operative sensitivity for the patient.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) warning signs to look for include:

  • Gums that are red, swollen, tender and easily bleed
  • Persistently bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Permanent teeth that have become loose or are separating
  • Change in the way your teeth fit together
  • Gums that have receded from your teeth

What should I do to keep healthy gums?

  1. Floss your teeth everyday

The ADA (www.mouthhealthy.org) recommends you floss at least once a day to help remove plaque and food that cannot be removed with your toothbrush.

  1. Get regular dental cleanings

Our office can help detect early gum disease symptoms when you maintain regular appointments for cleanings. We treat the symptoms before they become a serious issue. We will professionally clean your teeth and remove any tartar or plaque you may have missed when brushing or flossing.  We will help you reverse the process of gingivitis and help you keep healthy gums.

  1. Stop Smoking

Smoking is directly linked to poor oral hygiene and the onset of gum disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that smoking will weaken your immune system, which makes it more difficult to fight off gum infection. Smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal after they have been damaged.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day

Brush your teeth to help remove food and plaque caught between your teeth.  Use a soft bristled tooth brush that fits your mouth comfortably and fluoride toothpaste when you brush.  You should also scrub your tongue to get at any lingering bacteria.

  1. Therapeutic mouthwash use fights gum disease

The ADA recommends using therapeutic mouthwashes to help reduce plaque and the speed that tartar develops in your mouth to reduce the incidence of gingivitis.


Dr. Ted Melchers and his staff provide dental care to patients and their families throughout the low country of South Carolina.  Our patients are our primary concern. Our dental team is here to help develop a treatment plan that is right for you.  Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com.