Although it can be prevented with simple and disciplined oral hygiene habits, gum disease is a major oral health condition affects, in some form, up to 75% of people in the developed world. Sadly, it is believed that only 2% of these sufferers actually seek professional treatment. Proper preventative care such as routine cleanings and check ups are crucial in gum disease prevention. Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is an extremely important oral health topic that you should be aware of to know when it is time to see a dentist.
There are some warning signs of gum disease that may seem obvious, and others that may surprise you. Although it is possible to have gum disease without any symptoms at all, the major warning signs are:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, tender and/or swollen gums
- Appearance of pus between teeth when gums are pressed on
- Loose teeth or gums that seem to be pulling away from teeth
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Change in your bite
In gum disease prevention, your daily oral hygiene habits are your first line of defense. It is important to realize that brushing alone is not enough. If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing daily, it will harden into tartar and cause infection in your gums. A professional cleaning at your dental office is the only way to successfully remove the tartar build-up that causes gum disease.
If you have a smoking habit, you are at a significant risk for gum disease. Smoking can not only cause gum disease but it can also inhibit your periodontal disease treatment. Heredity also plays a role in gum disease. Therefore, if you brush and floss daily and you do not have a smoking habit, it is still crucial that see your dentist regularly to be sure your family history of gum disease does not affect you as well.
The good news is that treatment of gum disease is very effective if you see your dentist early. Unfortunately, you may not realize the link that gum disease has with some other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. Gilreath Family Dentistry welcomes patients at all levels of gum disease concern and can provide successful treatment options for you.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,