Gum disease is one of the most commonly diagnosed dental problems, and many will experience it to some degree in their lifetime. Gum disease is a progressive condition that will continue to spread without proper treatment. For many patients, gum disease is preventable. Routine dental care can provide the opportunity for our team to screen for the early signs of disease and help you avoid further infection and damage.
How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Smile?
Gum health is an important part of both oral health and overall health and wellness. Healthy gums will help you enjoy a stable smile while supporting your teeth. When they become infected, and bacteria begin to compromise gum tissue, pockets can form around tooth roots. These pockets can destabilize the teeth while also allowing the infection to spread into the bloodstream. What begins as gingivitis can develop into periodontitis without treatment and be the cause of complex dental problems. Gum disease remains a leading cause of tooth loss in adults today.
Periodontitis and associated poor oral health are proven factors in other health concerns, including cardiovascular disease and internal inflammation. Healthy gums have also been shown to support a more robust immune system, something of particular importance today.
How Do I Avoid Gum Disease?
Regular dental care visits for exams and cleanings will offer significant protection against more advanced stages of gum disease. When we see you every six months, we can remove any built-up plaque from all surfaces in the mouth. If the early signs of gingivitis are present, we will offer oral hygiene tips or specific treatment options to halt progression. When caught early, conservative measures can successfully reverse gum disease and restore oral health.
Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine at home each day is also a key factor in avoiding gum disease. Daily brushing and flossing are essential in minimizing bacteria on tooth surfaces that can lead to gum disease. Rinsing the mouth or consuming water after snacks and meals also help to remove sugars and food particles in and around the teeth.
If you notice that your gums bleed after brushing or flossing or that they have become swollen or irritated, schedule an appointment with us so that our dental care team can identify the cause and help you avoid the effects of gum disease.