Gum disease is something that can affect any mouth with the wrong circumstances. It’s important to learn about gum disease, find out how to prevent it, and visit your family dentist regularly to stay in control of gum disease before it becomes a major problem. The professionals at Contemporary Family Dentistry are here to help your whole family battle gum disease! We have the resources you need for clean, healthy gums.
WHAT IS GUM DISEASE
“Gum disease” refers to a few different gum-related problems. Gingivitis is the most common, and means “inflammation of the gums.” Gingivitis can affect children and adults. It can cause sensitivity, swelling, redness, and bleeding of the gums during brushing. If your gums bleed when you floss, this may be a sign of gingivitis and should be taken seriously. A child telling you it hurts to brush is a red flag!
Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease. It refers to damage that reaches below the gums and into the bones and deep tissues that support the teeth. If an infection occurs in the shallow, V-shaped crevice between the tooth and gum (the sulcus), it is periodontitis. Periodontitis can ultimately lead to reduced bone levels and loose teeth. It is crucial to stop gum disease in its earliest stages, before it reaches the point of causing damage to your teeth or bones. Understanding what causes gum disease is a great start at preventing it.
Periodontitis happens for a few different reasons, and possibly a few of them together. First, there is a strong genetic component to gum disease. Did your parents lose their teeth early due to gum disease? If so, you may be at an increased risk for tooth loss. In addition, certain medical conditions, like smoking and diabetes, can make it worse. But, the most contributing factor to gum disease, is bacteria, plaque, on the teeth and gums. Bacteria release toxins that irritate the gums, and, in an attempt to kill the bacteria, your body destroys the bone around the teeth resulting in the loosening of the teeth. It is imperative that the bacteria be removed by a dentist or hygienist as soon as possible before permanent damage is done to the bone around your teeth.
HOW TO PREVENT GUM DISEASE
Dr. Henderson has experience helping people solve and prevent periodontal disease. She wants to help you achieve your healthiest smile, and your gums and bone are the foundation for your smile. She and her team are here to tell you that caring for your teeth begins and ends with your gums! There are things you can do every day to prevent gum disease. Here are a few:
- Brush, brush, brush! Brushing your teeth after meals, or at least twice per day, can remove plaque and food debris before they get the chance to cause damage. Don’t forget to brush along the gumline and your tongue to remove hidden bacteria.
- Floss at least once per day. Flossing is great for your gum health! It removes lodged food that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing regularly strengthens your gums and makes them healthier. That’s why they stop bleeding with regular flossing!
- Reduce risks. Smoking, eating unhealthy food, and simply getting older all increase your risk of gum disease. Defective fillings or bridges can also cause gum disease, as can conditions such as diabetes. Recognize your risks and visit your dentist regularly to stay on top of developing periodontal disease. A close relationship with your dentist can be a great asset to those at higher risk of gum disease!
As soon as you notice symptoms of gum disease, come to our office for treatment. Symptoms may include gums pulling away from the teeth, persistent bad breath, pus coming from gums, or loose teeth. Early treatment of gum disease is vital for the overall health of your mouth. We can help you prevent gum disease, treat existing problems, and reverse its negative effects with high-quality solutions. Let us help you combat gum disease, and keep your teeth forever