October 5, 2019
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every two American adults has been affected by gum disease. While this statistic makes it seem nearly impossible to avoid, this common oral health condition is easily preventable. The key is being able to spot the symptoms early and catch it before it has had a chance to develop into something more severe. With the right preventive measures in place and the knowledge on how to keep your mouth healthy, you won’t become a part of this statistic. Read on to learn everything there is to know about fighting off gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that damages your oral tissues and jawbone, which supports the teeth. When plaque accumulates in your mouth, it provides the perfect environment for harmful oral bacteria to breed in. As they munch on sugar and carbohydrates found in the film covering your teeth, they produce waste in the form of toxins and acid. The acid erodes your enamel, leaving your teeth vulnerable to decay, and the toxins cause gum inflammation and irritation. Without timely intervention, the condition only gets worse and results in more severe side-effects, becoming incurable.
What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
It’s important to be able to spot the symptoms of gum disease early so you can visit your dentist for periodontal therapy. When the issue is ignored, the severity of the signs progresses and causes lasting oral and overall health problems. Some signs to keep an eye out for (in the order of early to late-stage gum disease), include:
- Swollen, tender, and irritated gums.
- Bleeding while flossing.
- Chronic bad breath.
- Oral sores.
- Receding gums that are pulling away from your teeth, causing them to look longer.
- Pus pockets between your gums and teeth.
- A change in your bite.
- A change in the way your dentures or partial dentures fit in your mouth.
- Loose or falling out teeth.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
Although gum disease is so prevalent, it’s highly preventable and can even be treated with good oral hygiene and early professional intervention. Some of the actions you can take to keep harmful oral bacteria from accumulating and causing an infection include:
- Keeping up with your oral hygiene routine. Be sure to brush twice each day for at least two minutes with a non-abrasive toothpaste and soft-bristled brush to remove plaque and food debris.
- Visiting your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings. Your professional can reduce the accumulation of plaque and tartar in your mouth, preventing a bacterial invasion. They can also help spot early signs of the disease that you may not be able to at home.
- Visiting your dentist for periodontal therapy. Based on what stage your disease has progressed to, your dentist will develop a custom-tailored treatment plan to ease your discomfort and reverse the condition, if possible.
- Floss at least once a day to limit the amount of plaque and food debris in your mouth.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash every day.
With the proper preventive dental measures in place, you can ensure that your mouth will stay healthy and happy for years to come. The last thing you would want is to become a part of a statistic and suffer from the terrible and severe side-effects of this bacterial gum infection.
About the Author
Dr. Jaclyn Jenson has been the leader and owner of Renu Dental for over a decade. Her focus is to provide each of her patients with comfortable and trustworthy dental care that keeps the small problems from ever having a chance to become more severe. She strives to give her patients the high-quality preventive care and knowledge they need to maintain healthy and beautiful smiles for years to come. For questions or to schedule a consultation for periodontal therapy, visit Renu Dental’s website or call 218-281-1301.
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