I accepted your request for me to follow you on Twitter and noticed you have written a book on gum disease.
I am awaiting a date for a biopsy because the roof of my mouth has developed some white patches. But in the meantime, my gums have started to bleed and are quite sore sometimes. Horrible.
What advice would you give me?
Thank you for writing in with your question.
It’s important to note that I don’t give advice, diagnosis or offer treatment solutions. That is for licensed dentists, periodontists and doctors to do. However, I can comment a bit on your situation.
Is it accurate to say that your gums “just started bleeding” or have they been bleeding for a while? If I had to guess, I’d say that you have seen them bleed before. Bleeding is definitely a sign of a problem, most likely gum disease – but since you are getting a biopsy your dentist could rule out other possibilities once the results are in.
If this is gum disease, first and foremost, I would suggest visiting a periodontist if you are not already under the care of one. I prefer periodontists over regular dentists because of the additional training they receive that relates specificially to periodontal tissue (gum tissue). In addition, the focus of their practice tends to be in that area as well. A general dentist may have other things on her menu besides helping you to get your gum tissue healthy again.
If you are indeed facing gum disease, which seems to be likely. There are quite a number of things you can do. Here are 5 tips.
1. Quit smoking if you have been. The smoke is highly toxic to your gum tissue and increases the risk of gum disease and the problems that come with it! Ask any periodontist and he will absolutely verify that smoking is bad for your gum health. Lela Bryan has a very interesting program (you can find her on twitter as well) You can learn more about Lela’s program here.
2. Gum Disease is caused by an accumulation of anaerobic bacteria which grow under a structure called dental plaque. The key is to remove the plaque at least daily – most professionals will probably recommend at least twice a day.
Remove may not be the right word. Breaking up the plaque is perhaps a better way to look at it. This takes away the comfortable breeding ground that the anaerobic bacteria love to reproduce in. Brushing and flossing are both methods that aim to break up this plaque. The plaque begins to form again almost immediately, this is why you must continue to disrupt it daily.
However, brushing and flossing are not enough for many people – the proof of that is in the high number of people who actually have gum disease.
While it is tempting for a dentist to blame the patient, I like to suggest that the patients are not or have not always been well educated about gum disease. Many people, up to 96%, can improve thier gum health via greater efforts at home care. But what do you need to do exactly? That is the question.
The answer is different for every person. I’ve discovered and believe that every person needs to work at a different level of effort to achieve the goal of getting rid of gum disease and making sure that it does not come back! Unfortunately, only your own efforts are going to tell you exactly how much work you need to do because the amount of work varies for each person.
3. Besides brushing and flossing ( in addition to, not as a replacement for) consider the Hydro Floss Oral Irrigator This device did a great deal of the work in healing my gums back up – to the point that I was told that I did not need that SRP (Scaling and Root Planing) treatment they had recommended just 5 months before. Two studies have been done on the Hydro Floss and it’s ability to produce a reduction in plaque in between office visits. Again, reducing the plaque is a key point to improving your periodontal health.
4. Use dental tape, instead of dental floss. Dental tape is thicker. Physics tells us that it will do a better job just for that reason alone. Waxed or unwaxed does not matter. But I personally prefer unwaxed.
5. I favor one of two mouthwashes for periodontal health. One is CLOSYS – in England, it may go by the name of Retardex. The other is Perio Therapyby Dr. Katz. I like them both. If you go with the latter option, you might consider using a coupon from http://therabreathcoupon.com
I hope that helps a bit. I invite you to improve your knowledge about fighting and defeating gum disease further by reading my book: What You Should Know about Gum Disease which is available in print form at Amazon or in e-book form at http://Gingivitiskiller.com
I also encourage you to sign up for updates from me at http://tobeinformed.com/sign-up.html on the topic(s) of your choice.
Please feel free to ask a follow up question by clicking “Ask Dave” at the upper right hand corner of your screen.
Get and stay healthy and well!
* please note that this post is for informational purposes only and does not seek to provide advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have or think you might have a periodontal problem or any health problem, visit your dentist or doctor immediately for advice, diagnosis and treatment. The USFDA has not evaluated statements about product on this site!