Gum care : essential

Massaging gums  with toothbrush bristles to remove plaque and food deposits is essential for good oral health. Flossing is recommended at least once per day, preferably before bed, to help prevent  gum disease, and cavities between the teeth. Gingivitis occurs when cleaning is not thorough enough and plaque deposits are  left at the gum line - the bacteria in plaque attack the gums causing them to become redder and more swollen, and they  bleed when brushed. What happens often is that the patient notices this early sign and falsely thinks the gums are bleeding because they are brushing too hard. They then brush the gums less ,therefore  leaving more plaque deposits so that eventually the deposits harden into calculus, and the gingivitis progresses to periodontal disease. In periodontal disease the periodontal fibres attaching the gum to the root are gradually destroyed, creating a gap between the gum and the root called a pocket. As the disease progresses, the pocket deepens as more fibres are destroyed and  the bone supporting the tooth in its socket is also destroyed. Once pockets are 4mm or more, deeper methods of cleaning or even surgery are required.