Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body
Did you know that over 75% of Americans over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease? Its more common than you think.
Gum Disease and Gingivitis What are They?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a form of inflammation and infection that occurs in the mouth. Gingivitis an early phase of gum disease and easiest to treat is an inflammation of the gums caused by the accumulation of plaque, a soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria above the gum line.
Plaque provides a shelter for over 400 species of bacteria and other microorganisms to grow and proliferate. If not routinely removed by proper brushing and flossing, plaque can build up on teeth and gums and lead to gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis can be treated, which can help prevent it from developing into periodontitis, a more serious and damaging stage of gum disease.
How Do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?
Classic signs of gingivitis include red, swollen and tender gums that may bleed when you brush. It is important to remember that only a dental professional can thoroughly assess your dental health and determine whether you have gum disease, including gingivitis. Since some symptoms of gingivitis are not painful, the disease may remain untreated for many years unless diagnosed by a dental professional.
Signs of periodontitis, a more advanced stage of chronic gum disease, include the presence of gum ulceration, gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth, permanent teeth that are loose or separating, any change in the fit of your teeth when biting, any change in the fit of partial dentures, and recurring bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Regular visits to your dental professional can help to prevent periodontitis from developing.
How Can I Help Prevent Gingivitis?
The key to preventing gingivitis is to remove the plaque and bacteria that accumulate on your teeth. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are extremely important. Good at-home oral hygiene is also crucial.
You can help stop gingivitis before it develops by
Brushing and flossing to remove plaque and debris
Eating right to ensure proper nutrition for your jawbone and teeth
Avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco
Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist