Along with tooth decay, gum disease is one of the most common conditions that dentists treat. This can be a serious problem and is not something you should ignore. By going to the dentist’s office regularly and committing to good daily habits, you can prevent it. There are other aspects of this disease that you should be aware of. The more you understand about it, the more prepared you can be to stay away from it and fight it.
An overview of gum disease
Also known as periodontitis, this is an infection that attacks and destroys the gum tissue. Without treatment, it can eventually lead to tooth loss and even bone loss. It starts when bacteria build up on the gums and teeth. It will then cause a sticky substance called plaque to form. Plaque then hardens into tartar, which will damage the gums and teeth.
Brushing and flossing can prevent it
The most effective way to combat gum disease is to keep it from occurring in the first place. Brushing twice a day with fluoride-based toothpaste will keep the teeth and gums clean. This removes the acids that sugary and starchy foods leave behind. Flossing once a day is critical too. Flossing dislodges food particles from in between teeth and at the gumline, stopping bacteria from accumulating.
The symptoms are visible and uncomfortable
Most people that have gum disease will see it and feel it. In the early stages of the disease, known as gingivitis, the gums will become swollen or puffy. When the person eats, flosses, or brushes, the gums may bleed. The gums also may be tender to the touch. People with gingivitis can also have bad breath.
As the disease progresses to periodontitis, the symptoms can become more serious. There can be pus between the gums and teeth, and it may hurt to chew. Teeth can start to become loose or even fall out. The gums can also start to pull away from the teeth. Spaces can appear between the teeth as well.
There are common risk factors
Certain activities and factors can increase the likelihood of someone having gum disease. The most important thing to consider is the individual’s daily oral hygiene habits. Not brushing or flossing will lead to this condition. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also make a person more at risk of having gum problems. Women who are pregnant or going through menopause can also be prone to gum problems due to hormonal changes. Obesity and genetics can also play a role in developing the disease.
Treatment and prevention are possible
Taking care of your gums is just as critical as maintaining strong, healthy teeth. If you do not brush and floss each day, you could soon be fighting gum disease. The consequences of this condition can be serious to your oral health and overall wellness. The good news is that there are habits you can form to overcome the effects of gingivitis and periodontitis. Your dentist can also help treat these concerns.
Request an appointment here: https://www.dentistrywalnutcreek.com or call Advanced Dentistry Of Walnut Creek at (925) 937-2273 for an appointment in our Walnut Creek office.
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