Gingivitis and Gum Disease Prevention
Your gums are an absolutely vital part of protection for your teeth. They are the tissues that surround and support them. The foundation they stand on. The wind beneath their wings. Gum disease, also referred to as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is an infection of these tissues and is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. One very scary fact about gum disease is that you may not even know you have it because it is usually pretty painless in its early stages! It is reversible in its earliest stage called gingivitis and can usually be treated with professional teeth cleaning or root scaling and planing in a dental clinic. That’s why regular check-ups and affordable dental treatment are very important.
Gum disease is caused by plaque, the clinging film of bacteria that is continuously forming on our teeth. Plaque then turns into tartar which cannot be removed without a professional cleaning. If this does not take place, over time, your gingiva, the part of your gum around the base of your teeth, become inflamed and thus begins the scary and not so long road to gum disease. The sooner this disease is caught the better.
If not treated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and rapid tissue loss which can then lead to tooth pain, tooth extractions, tooth implants, dentures and partials which cost you time and money…and could have been prevented if caught early enough.
Indicators that could be symptoms of gingivitis and gum disease:
- gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss
- swollen or puffy, red, tender gums
- receding gums, or gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- constant bad breath or bad taste
- permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- changes in the fit of partial dentures
Factors that could increase the danger of advancing gum disease:
- poor oral care habits
- smoking or chewing tobacco
- older age
- dry mouth
- poor nutrition, vitamin C deficiency
- crooked teeth or dental restorations that are hard to keep clean
- pregnancy and other hormonal changes
- some anti-epilepsy drugs, blood pressure drugs, cancer therapy drugs as well as some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives