Why are my gums inflamed even though I brush and floss daily?

gum disease ManhattanMany patients think that if they brush and floss every day, they’re completely protected from developing gum disease. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Periodontal disease can still develop even in patients who stick to a regular home oral hygiene regimen, and these patients may notice inflammation of the gum tissue as an initial symptom of this condition.

A number of factors can cause gum disease to emerge in patients who brush and floss regularly. Improper technique can allow plaque and tartar to accumulate despite the brushing and flossing. Are you brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day? If not, you should be. Patients also should be sure that they are flossing the correct way. Ask your periodontist for guidance on technique if you feel that this is contributing to your problem.

Furthermore, some patients’ mouths may just harbor more bacteria, which can then collect along the gumline and cause gum disease. Genetic factors also can influence susceptibility to periodontal disease. In these cases, patients may need to go beyond brushing and flossing, such as getting professional dental cleanings more frequently than every six months, to minimize their risk of periodontal disease.

If you do notice symptoms of gum disease, such as gum recession, bleeding, or swollen gums, it’s important to consult with a periodontist for an evaluation and recommended treatment. Many interventions can address gum disease effectively, but it’s in the patient’s best interest to get treated as early as possible, before the condition has an opportunity to progress. More advanced periodontal disease requires more invasive treatments, generally speaking. However, if you catch the disease early, a non-invasive treatment can be effective.

Daily brushing and flossing is not a foolproof safeguard against gum disease, although a solid oral hygiene routine is still an important precaution. Some patients will face an increased risk of this condition due to any number of factors. If you notice signs of gum disease or your dentist recommends that you see a specialist to have this condition treated, contact our office to schedule a consultation and learn about your treatment options.

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