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Is Gum Disease Sabotaging Your Smile?
If youre not using your toothbrush and dental floss as often as you should, then you could be sabotaging your smile. To keep it looking great through mid-life and beyond, you have to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Retaining teeth is no more natural and inevitable than losing them. Tooth loss happens over time, and gum disease is the main reason why. Dentists encourage regular visits because
At first, there are no symptoms of gum disease;
Even in the very early stages, gum disease can cause soreness, bleeding, puffy gums, and bad breath;
Over time your gums can recede, exposing tooth roots to decay-causing bacteria and making teeth sensitive to heat and cold;
Eventually, the bone that supports your tooth is destroyed leading to tooth loss and limiting your restorative options;
Gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease and systemic diseases like diabetes.
If you neglect your oral health you can lose teeth to root cavities as well as to root canal infections and bacteria that has seeped beneath worn out fillings. Prevention is the key to preserving your smile.
When plaque, the bacterial film that forms on your teeth, builds up, it turns into hard tartar or calculus which causes gum inflammation. Prevention is the best way to combat gum disease. The most effective form of prevention includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day and keeping your dental appointments.
Two of the most common forms of gum disease are Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. Gums may look normal or you could notice redness or puffiness, a bad odor, and bleeding during brushing. If left untreated, Gingivitis will progress into Periodontitis. Periodontitis is more serious than Gingivitis and can lead to tooth and bone loss. It will cause gums to shrink away from the crowns of the teeth and expose some of the roots, risking decay and making teeth look longer. To determine if you may have gum disease, ask yourself the following questions
Do your gums ever feel swollen or tender?
Do your gums ever bleed when you brush your teeth or when you eat hard food
Have you noticed any spaces developing between your teeth?
Have any of your family members had gum disease?
Have you noticed that your gums are pulling back from your teeth?
Do you have persistent bad breath or a persistent bad taste in your mouth?
Have you ever had gum inflammation, infection, or disease?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions visit your local dentist immediately to help prevent or treat gum disease before your smile is sabotaged.
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