Gum disease is one of the leading oral health problems in the world today. However, many people do not realize that they are affected by it. It is estimated that over half of adults in the Western world are currently affected by gum disease. Many of those who are not suffering from gum disease at the moment may have it or will get gum disease at some point during their adult life. We wrote a recent about about Periodontal Disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an umbrella term for a collection of diseases which affect the gums and subsequently the teeth and bones. It causes an inflammation of the gums and can result in serious health consequences.
The first sign of gum disease is normally bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, or spotting that your gums seem to be redder or puffier than normal.
Gum disease can also cause bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Once the disease progresses into its later stages, you are likely to notice that your teeth start to feel loose or wobbly, and your gums begin to become painful.
Eventually if left untreated you will be plagued by gum abscesses and you will start to lose your teeth. If the infections in your gums become serious enough, they may start to affect the rest of your body too.
What can be done about Gum Disease?
The good news is that gum disease is treatable and it is entirely preventable. If you follow a proper oral care routine including regular dentist visits.
One of the main causes of gum disease is the harmful build-up of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and in the mouth. A dentist is able to give your mouth professional cleans using special techniques which help them to reach the areas that you might miss as part of your normal dental care routine. These treatments will help to alleviate inflammation and minor gum disease.
If your gum disease has already progressed to its later stages, there are still plenty of options available to you. Talk to your dentist and they will advise on the best course of action in your unique case.
How to Prevent Gum Disease at Home?
A proper mouth care routine will help to prevent you from developing gum disease. Brush your teeth properly twice per day (or 1 hour after each meal if you would prefer to be more thorough). See this American Dental Association article on various tooth brushes. Also, regular flossing between your teeth at least once per day. Read more about flossing from ADA.
Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups at least every six months.