From bleeding gums to rotting teeth, gum disease certainly isn’t a pretty sight. It can wreak havoc on your mouth. Fortunately, it’s entirely preventable.
When it comes to fighting gum disease, good oral hygiene habits are key. At First Dental Associates, Dr. Nasrin Sadeghi, Dr. Medha Singh, and the rest of our experienced and professional staff can help keep your mouth healthy and prevent future complications.
In the meantime, learn more about gum disease and why it’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the bones and tissues around your teeth. Early-stage gum disease is known as gingivitis and just affects the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. Periodontitis, the more severe form of gum disease, is when the infection has spread from your gums to the bone and tissues that support your teeth.
Both periodontitis and gingivitis have been shown to put you at a higher risk for diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and pneumonia. To stay healthy and prevent further issues, early detection is vital.
Spot The Signs Of Gum Disease
Lately, when brushing your teeth, have you noticed blood in your sink? If so, you could be looking at one of the first warning signs of gum disease. Additional signs of gum disease include:
- Red, tender, swollen gums
Typically, gum disease starts with inflammation along your gum line. Tender, red, and swollen gums that bleed easily when flossing or brushing is usually one of the first signs of gum disease.
- Bad breath
The bacteria in your mouth feed off the plaque on your teeth. If you have a buildup of plaque, the bacteria in your mouth will have a feast and release irritating toxins that smell unpleasant.
- Receding gums
Untreated gum disease can cause your bone to start to break down. As your bone breaks down, your gums will separate from your teeth, making a pocket. That pocket is more bad news for you because of the bad bacteria that will bury themselves in there.
- Sensitive teeth
Are your teeth suddenly more sensitive than they were before? Sensitive teeth and receding gums usually go hand-in-hand when it comes to symptoms of gum disease. When your gums recede, a portion of your teeth that is more sensitive is exposed to cold and hot temperatures that can make you wince.
- Loose or moving teeth
Unless you still haven’t lost your baby teeth, you shouldn’t have any wiggly teeth. Additionally, the adult teeth you do have should stay in place. When gum disease attacks your bone, it can potentially cause your teeth to shift and change the way your teeth fit together.
Gum Disease Prevention
To prevent gum disease, you can start at home by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. It may seem simple, but getting in the habit of thoroughly brushing your teeth for at least two minutes at a time, at least twice a day, can make a world of difference for your teeth. Additionally, flossing between your teeth helps get rid of plaque and the bacteria to cause gum disease. One of our dental hygienists at First Dental Associates would be more than happy to show you how to floss properly, to be sure you’re removing as much plaque as possible.
Gum disease prevention is another reason to quit smoking or give up tobacco products. To reduce your risk of gum disease, give up the habit.
Additionally, be sure to maintain regular checkups with your dentist for professional cleanings. Visiting us at least twice a year allows us to spot any trouble areas and thoroughly clean your teeth to prevent future problems.