Gum disease starts small but can quickly lead to more serious issues if left untreated. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that build up and infect your gums, leading to tooth loss if not addressed. Knowing the signs of gum disease and following simple steps can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and protect your smile from periodontal damage.
What Is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gums caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth. It usually starts as plaque, a sticky film that forms on teeth, and when left untreated, it can turn into tartar. Tartar is hardened plaque that builds up along the gum line. It creates an environment where bacteria can thrive and cause inflammation and infection of the gums.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
The most common symptom of gum disease is red, swollen, and tender gums. Bad breath (halitosis) can also be a sign and receding gums that expose the roots of your teeth. If left untreated, your teeth may become loose, fall out, or require removal due to decay.
Preventing Gum Disease
Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent gum disease and maintain a healthy smile. First, good oral hygiene is essential for preventing periodontal damage. Brushing your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily will help remove plaque and keep your mouth clean. Additionally, regular dental check-ups are essential to maintaining good oral health. Your dentist can detect early signs of gum disease and provide treatment before it becomes more serious.
Another way to protect your teeth from periodontal damage is to quit smoking. Smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight infection. It also decreases the amount of oxygen reaching your gums, making them more susceptible to bacteria.
Treating Gum Disease
If you do develop gum disease, there are treatment options available. Your dentist may recommend a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage and restore your periodontal health.
Gum is caused by bacteria that build up in the mouth and infect your gums. Knowing the signs of gum disease and following simple steps can help maintain healthy teeth and gums and protect your smile from periodontal damage. Good oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups, and quitting smoking are all important for preventing gum disease. Treatment options such as a dental cleaning or surgery are available if you develop it.
1. What is the best way to prevent gum disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing every day, and visiting your dentist regularly.
2. What are the symptoms of gum disease?
The most common symptom of gum disease is red, swollen, and tender gums. Other symptoms include bad breath (halitosis), receding gums that expose the roots of teeth, and loose or missing teeth.
3. Is there a cure for gum disease?
In most cases, gum disease can be treated with a dental cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair damage and restore periodontal health.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,