About half of all U.S. adults over the age of 29 have a form of gum disease that’s essentially irreversible. Periodontitis, severe gum disease, can be managed, but the condition can’t be completely stopped. There is one surefire way to stop periodontitis – that’s to stop it from ever starting. Take a look at some of the early signs of gum disease and learn what you can do to stop it from progressing to periodontitis.
Do You Have Gum Disease?
Do you have red, receding, or tender gums? Are your teeth sensitive? Have you noticed pockets forming between your gums and your teeth? These are all telltale signs of gum disease!
Be Wary of the Warning Signs!
Know the signs of gum disease, which include the following:
- Chronic Bad Breath – This is a symptom of both periodontitis and gingivitis.
- Bleeding Gums – Bleeding is minor or infrequent for gingivitis, while periodontitis is known to produce more bleeding more frequently.
- Receding Gums – The teeth look as if they’re getting longer. This is often a sign of advanced gum disease..
- Gum Inflammation – This occurs in all stages of gum disease, but is more pronounced in the advanced stages.
- Loose Teeth – This is a sign of periodontitis. You’ll need to check in with your dentist as soon as possible to maximize your chances of saving the loose teeth.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
- Poor Dental Hygiene – Not brushing twice a day and flossing can allow the bacteria that cause gum disease to spread like wildfire in your mouth, causing your oral health to increasingly decline.
- Tobacco Use – Smoking tobacco “weakens your body’s infection fighters (your immune system). This makes it harder to fight off a gum infection. Once you have gum damage, smoking also makes it harder for your gums to heal.” (Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss)
- Existing Systemic Health Problems – Having systemic problems can exaggerate any existing issues that you have in your mouth. Problems like diabetes restrict your ability for your mouth to deliver vital nutrients and extract waste from your tissues in your gumline. (Diabetes and Gum (Periodontal) Disease)
- Genetic Predisposition – If your family has a tendency to develop gum disease, you may be at risk! (Periodontal disease: a genetic perspective)
Prevent Gum Disease!
Brushing and flossing twice daily in addition to having regular checkups and professional cleanings are critical to maintaining your dental health. But it’s not just your teeth that benefit from those habits. Your gums also stay healthy when you follow recommended dental hygiene routines.
By taking these steps, you eliminate harmful bacteria from remaining in your mouth and closing the door to oral, and systemic infection. When allowed to flourish, those bacteria can cause gum disease, or periodontal disease.
Often times, getting back to the basics, and sticking to them, is enough to rein in gum disease and prevent gingivitis, early gum disease, from progressing to periodontitis.
You’ve undoubtedly heard it all before, but here’s a quick overview of dental hygiene practices that are critical to beating gum disease:
- Brush twice a day
- Floss after brushing
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash
- Use a water flosser to clear stubborn crevices
- Minimize your intake of sugary, acidic and sticky items
Make It a Team Effort
Visiting your dentist just twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination can help you squash gingivitis. And if your condition is worse than you feared, and you’ve already developed periodontitis, those routine visits to the dentist’s office can help you catch it early and avoid incurring permanent damage to your mouth.
Looking For Treatment for Gum Disease?
Contact Dr. Nick Brand in our office in Ocala, FL so we can help you learn and understand more about how to get or maintain a healthy mouth and gums to make sure you avoid getting gum disease or treating the problems you developed! Be sure to reach out and schedule an appointment online or call us at (352) 306-5595 today!
Smoking, Gum Disease, and Tooth Loss, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/periodontal-gum-disease.html
Diabetes and Gum (Periodontal) Disease, Cedars Sinai, https://www.cedars-sinai.org/health-library/diseases-and-conditions/d/diabetes-and-gum-periodontal-disease.html
Periodontal disease: a genetic perspective, SciELO Brazil, https://www.scielo.br/j/bor/a/6HKHJrkfk4q5pk33MGp8Czv/?format=pdf