Gum Disease May Affect More Than Oral Health
- March 15, 2016
Are you doing what you should to keep your mouth healthy? Before you say yes, keep in mind that a healthy mouth is more than just healthy teeth.
You also have to keep your gums free from disease as well.
By some estimates, gum disease affects as much as 80 percent of the U.S. population, and the Centers For Disease Control found that close to half of adults over 30 years old have some form of periodontitis.
At the office of Robert I. Hlavac, Dental Corporation, we take gum disease and gum disease treatment seriously. We hope that you do, too, which is why today’s blog is about preventing gum disease.
If you live in or near Concord, CA, then we want you doing what you are supposed to do to care for your gums.
Basic Preventive Care
If you can prevent an illness, then you won’t have to worry about treatment. With gum disease, this starts with two things that you should be doing every day, brushing and flossing your teeth.
Let’s review what you should be doing. Here are the things you will need:
- A soft-bristled toothbrush
- Fluoride toothpaste
- Dental floss or another interdental device
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice per day for two minutes each time. The purpose of brushing is to remove as many bacteria as you can from your mouth.
Bacteria are what causes both tooth decay and gum disease. Brushing scrubs away many of those bacteria each time you do it.
The fluoride in the toothpaste serves another purpose. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is your body’s natural protection against tooth decay.
You can use any kind of toothbrush you want — a basic manual toothbrush or a fancy electric one — but neither is going to clean your entire mouth. This is why the ADA also recommends flossing once per day.
The kind of dental floss you use doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you use it.
Dental floss allows you to remove bacteria from between your teeth and under your gumline — that is, from the places your toothbrush can’t reach.
Some people have difficulty using dental floss. If you are one of these people, look into alternatives such as water picks and flossers instead. The important thing is that you find a way to consistently clean those hard to reach areas of your mouth.
Signs Of Gum Disease
Do your gums look redder than normal? Do they look swollen? Do your gums bleed while you brush or floss? Answering yes to any of those questions means you may have gingivitis.
Fortunately, this mild form of gum disease can be reversed with basic care. This includes the steps described above and routine cleanings at our office.
If your gums are bleeding, that is a good indication that you are not flossing as often as you should or that you may not be flossing correctly.
If you do not take steps to reverse your mild gum disease, then it can turn into periodontitis. This is a more advanced form of gum disease, and you will need professional help to treat it.
Signs of periodontitis include the symptoms of gingivitis, but they also include:
- Tender, sore gums
- Receding gums
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Pus leaking from your gums
- Loose teeth
Risks Of Gum Disease
We hope you understand the long-term effects gum disease can have on your oral health.
If left untreated, gum disease can attack your jawbone. This is what makes your teeth feel loose, and it can cause your teeth to fall out.
Gum disease has also been linked to other health problems as well.
For instance, people with gum disease may be more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of arthritis. Women with gum disease may be more likely to give birth prematurely, too.
At our office, we offer a range of gum disease treatments. This starts with scaling and root planing, but it also may include gum grafts and laser gum treatments depending on the severity of your condition.
Keep Your Mouth Healthy
If we could have our preference, none of our patients would develop gum disease. If you do, then we want you to know that our dentist is ready to help you and anyone else who lives in or near Concord, CA.
To get started with at professional cleaning and examination, call 925-391-2718 or fill out our online form to make an appointment with Robert I. Hlavac, Dental Corporation.