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gum disease

What You Need to Know About Your Gum Heath

It is important to maintain good gum health, for a number of reasons. Gum disease affects one's overall health, from heart disease to bone loss.  Keeping one's teeth clean can actually improve the health of the entire body. There are three things to keep in mind when thinking about gum health:

  • A regular dental checkup actually includes a screening for signs of oral cancer. It is a serious dental disease that pertains to not just the mouth, but the lips and  throat as well. It is usually curable, but only if it's diagnosed and treated in its early stages, making it very important to get regular dental checkups. Visit Dr. Kristen Ritzau, a San Clemente dentist, for a free consultation and check-up.
  • Additionally, note that bad breath can be a result of poor dental health. Over 85 percent of those who have bad breath actually have a dental condition that is to blame for their bad breath.  Mouthwash does not cure bad breath, it only masks it.  Brushing the teeth and tongue, as well as flossing regularly can combat bad breath, but it is always best to speak with a dentist like Dr. Kristen Ritzau about any concerns about your oral health.
  • Poor dental health like stained and yellowing teeth could be a sign of a poor diet.  Sugar from foods and soft drinks combine with oral bacteria to produce acids in the mouth that can actually attack tooth enamel. This is what leads to both cavities and gum disease.  If one has either, or both, of these conditions, it would be wise to evaluate diet. Limit soft drinks, candy and other foods that are high in sugar in order to maintain good dental health. And most importantly, make a visit to the dentist to get those stains removed before they create permanent damage to your gums.

Dental problems will not go away without the proper treatment.  Seeing a dentist every 6 months is imperative for maintaining good oral health. Make an appointment with Dr. Kristen Ritzau today to keep your gums healthy and get an update on your oral health!

Gum Disease

Can Gum Recession Be Reversed?

Many people do not realize they have gum recession. This condition is a very gradual progression in which the gum line slowly recedes from the tooth, showing more of the tooth, even the root. The first sign that is typically noticed is the onset of tooth sensitivity or pain. When the gum pulls back from the tooth it leaves the tooth open to bacteria. This bacteria grows and eventually causes damage to not only the tooth, but the bone and other soft tissue in the area. Left untreated this condition will lead to tooth loss. Effective intervention and prevention can limit the degree, even reverse some of the signs, of this condition.


There are several reasons a person will develop gum recession:

  • Aggressive tooth brushing, brushing too hard, using too hard a bristle, or brushing too often.
  • Brushing the wrong way, strokes should be vertical or circular.
  • Injury and/or trauma, including piercings of the lip and/or tongue
  • Genetic disposition.
  • Grinding or clinching teeth.
  • A misaligned bite or crooked teeth.
  • The use of chewing and/or smoking tobacco.
  • Hormone changes.
  • Poor oral care.
  • Periodontal disease.


The degree of gum recession will determine the process that will be used to stop and optimally, reverse the effects of this condition.

In the event that Dr. Kristen Ritzau finds signs of gum recession the first step is to have a deep cleaning performed. During this visit and subsequent cleaning, plaque and tartar that has worked its way on the tooth and root will be removed. This process is often referred to as planing or scaling.

Once thoroughly cleaned, areas of root that have been exposed may also be smoothed. This process makes it harder for the bacteria to return and thrive in the same location. Depending upon the condition of the mouth, Dr. Ritzau may also recommend a course of antibiotic use as well.

For individuals with more advanced stages of gum recession it may require surgical intervention to reverse the effects. Common procedures used are:

  • Pocket reduction
  • Regeneration
  • Soft tissue graft


Preventing gum recession is possible for the majority of individuals. Practicing good oral care is the key to this approach.

Having regular dental examinations and cleanings plays an important role in prevention and treatment of gum recession, so call Dr. Ritzau today to set-up an appointment if you have any of the above symptoms: 949-498-4110.