Steps For Safeguarding Your Gum Health

While you’re staying inside, you should still take steps to protect your oral health. Being unable to attend checkups and cleanings means brushing and flossing properly is crucial, not just for keeping cavities away, but also preventing issues like gingivitis and even periodontal disease! In today’s blog, your Des Moines, IA, dentist has a few tips for safeguarding gum health.

The Common Causes of Periodontal Trouble

The most common cause of periodontal trouble is plaque buildup. When we consume foods that bacteria love to break down, usually sugar and starch, and don’t brush and floss properly, this allows buildup of plaque to accumulate on the surfaces of our teeth. Over time, this buildup begins to not only weaken and erode the outer tooth enamel, but to inflame the gum tissues as well. Soon, inflammation, also known as gingivitis, could develop. Over time, lack of treatment could allow inflammation to grow more severe until the gums pull away from the teeth and form deep pockets for bacteria to infiltrate, leading to the onset of periodontal disease. Aside from poor oral hygiene and plaque buildup, other factors behind the disease include smoking and using other tobacco products, inflammatory illnesses, the use of certain medications, or a family history of poor gum health.

Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

You may notice your gums look red or feel sore. Bleeding is common as well, especially when you brush and floss. You could also notice your gums receding or swelling too. If you experience one or more of these warning signs, let us know. We will discuss ways to help protect your smile from home until we can see you again for deep cleanings (scaling and root planing) and other options to help restore gum health. To help avoid inflammation and reduce the severity of plaque buildup, we suggest you start and end each day by brushing your teeth for two minutes. Next, be sure you brush your teeth every evening as well. These actions help remove trapped food particles, reducing the chances for serious plaque to accumulate.

When to Seek Treatment

For the moment, our treatments are limited to emergency care, so if you injure a tooth or notice persistent pain in your smile, let us know. We may be able to address the issue with treatment options like dental bonding or even a custom-made crown. If you have any questions, then contact our team today.


Avoiding issues like gingivitis or tooth decay helps keep your smile strong until we can see you again. To learn more about ensuring healthy, strong gums from home, then schedule a consultation with Dr. Burds by calling Gateway Dental Group in downtown Des Moines, IA, at (515) 244-9565.