February is Gum Disease Awareness Month
As part of National Gum Disease Awareness Month, people are encouraged to practice better oral health practices to prevent, diagnose, and treat gum disease. In addition to providing regular checkups and cleanings, our team is here to educate you about gum disease and how to prevent it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, sometimes called periodontitis, is an inflammation of the gums that wreaks havoc on your mouth’s soft tissues and bone, and in some cases even destroys the bone and soft tissue in your mouth. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen or red gums, tenderness, bad breath, receding gums that pull away from your teeth, gums that bleed easily, pus in between teeth and gums, loose teeth, pain when chewing, and any kind of change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Plaque, a white, clingy bacterial coating, is what causes gum disease. While plaque is continually forming on your teeth throughout the day, periodontitis can result if it is not regularly cleared by brushing and cleaning. Furthermore, tartar, a hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional, forms as plaque accumulates and hardens on your teeth over time. This is why it’s crucial to maintain appropriate oral hygiene practices every day to remove plaque and lower your chance of developing gum disease. Beyond bad oral health, there are some other factors that can increase your risk for periodontitis including using tobacco, hormonal changes, age, obesity, genetics, substance abuse, poor nutrition, certain medications that cause dry mouth, and diseases like leukemia, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and more.
How Can You Prevent Gum Disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease is by practicing good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste to ensure your tooth enamel stays strong. Maintaining a nutritious diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and low in sweets and carbohydrates is also crucial. Last but not least, it’s critical that you visit our office every six months for routine examinations and cleanings so that our team can give your teeth a thorough cleaning and examination for any indications of oral health problems.
Thankfully, you can prevent the infection from developing in the first place by brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash every day. It is essential to maintain excellent oral hygiene to keep your gums in good condition. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our team right away to make sure your gums are healthy.