Don’t Let Gum Disease Take Hold
As dentists, we here at American Dental Excellence know a thing or two about the harmful effects that gum disease can have on a person’s overall oral health. Gum disease is one of the most common oral health conditions in the United States, with some estimates stating that almost half of the adults residing in the country aged 30 years or older suffer from some form of gum disease. In our opinion, this is an unacceptable number of people suffering from a disease that, for all intents and purposes, can be prevented with just a little care. In today’s post, in order to help all of our patients better understand gum disease, we are going to go over the different types of gum disease and the best techniques to help prevent gum disease from occurring. Keep reading below to learn more.
Gingivitis: The Disease
Without a doubt, gingivitis is the most common form of gum disease that people experience. This condition involves the inflammation of the gums surrounding the bottom of the teeth and is caused by excessive plaque buildup around the gum line. Symptoms of gingivitis can include bleeding, swollen, and red gums and often results in a person having chronic bad breath. While many factors can cause gingivitis to occur, such as hormonal changes during puberty or pregnancy, the vast majority of gingivitis cases are caused by a less than effective oral hygiene regimen and a lack of visits to the dentist office. Once plaque has formed around the base of the teeth, the only thing that can get rid of it is a professional cleaning by a dentist. If regular dental visits are not adhered to, these cleanings cannot occur, further propagating the development of the disease.
While gingivitis is a serious disease, fortunately, it does not cause any bone loss around the teeth and can, for the most part, be easily treated and prevented. To decrease the risk of developing gingivitis, brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Doing this will go a long way in preventing the development of plaque. Additionally, it is important to floss after brushing in order to further break up the bacteria that tend to form in between teeth and along the gumline. To take your prevention game one step further, you can also make use of mouthwash, water picks, and other devices to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. Lastly, the best way to make sure that you don’t develop gingivitis is to visit your dentist at least twice a year.
Periodontitis: The Disease
The second most common gum disease amongst adults is periodontitis. Like gingivitis, periodontitis is caused by bacterial plaque, however, unlike gingivitis, periodontitis can cause the loss of bone support within teeth. Periodontitis most commonly evolves from gingivitis and, while the disease can be treated, the effects of the disease can rarely be reversed. As periodontitis develops, it can cause the gums near the roots of a person’s teeth to open up, exposing the jaw bone and root of the tooth to further bacterial infection. If left untreated, this condition will lead to tooth loss and, in some cases, the compromising of the jaw bone.
A Proper oral hygiene regimen is the most important first step to take in making sure that you don’t develop periodontitis. Beyond that, it is important to visit your dentist twice a year to make sure that plaque does not develop into tartar. Once tartar has developed, the only way for it to be removed is through the scaling of the teeth around the gums in order to break up the hardened substance. As long as you take proper care of your teeth and make the effort to visit your dentist as you are supposed to, periodontitis is something that you should never have to worry about.
Thank you for taking the time to read our short blog on the most prevalent gum diseases in America and what you can do to prevent these diseases from affecting you. If you are in need of dental services in the Westminster area, please get in touch with us today by phone or through the contact form on our website.