Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gum tissue and bones surrounding your teeth, and is an increasing health risk that requires professional treatment. But what is gum disease and how is it prevented? Keep reading to find out!
What Is It?
Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can eventually damage the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth.
In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums become red, swell, and bleed easily. The disease is still reversible at this stage, and can usually be eliminated by careful daily brushing and flossing. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth become seriously damaged. If the disease is left untreated, it can eventually lead to loss of teeth.
Signs of Gum Disease
Any of the following conditions may indicate the presence of gum disease, and your Snow Family Dentistry dentist should be consulted. If your gums:
- bleed when brushing teeth
- are red, swollen or tender
- have pulled away from the teeth
Or if one of the following conditions are present:
- bad breath that doesn’t go away
- pus between teeth and gums
- loose teeth
- a change in the way the teeth fit together when biting
- a change in the fit of partial dentures
Remember that pain usually is not present in the early stages of gum disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease can be prevented by taking good care of your teeth and by having regular Snow Family Dentistry dental checkups that include a periodontal examination. Here are some suggestions to help keep teeth, gums and supporting bone structures healthy:
- Brush teeth thoroughly twice a day. This removes the film of plaque (germs) from the teeth. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush that is in good condition and anti-plaque toothpaste.
- Clean between teeth every day. Cleaning between teeth with floss or interdental cleaners removes bacteria and food particles from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach.
- Eat a balanced diet. Choose a variety of foods from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals and other grain products; fruits; vegetables; meat, poultry and fish; and dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt.
- Visit the dentist regularly. It is important to have regular dental checkups, which include a thorough periodontal exam. Professional cleaning is essential to prevent periodontal diseases.
- Avoid use of tobacco.Tobacco use can inflame gum tissue and aggravate existing periodontal disease.
Why Choose Snow Family Dentistry
Think you may be in the early stages of Gum Disease? Schedule a free consultation with Snow Family Dentistry today!