When you think about why you should brush and floss your teeth every day, you probably think about preventing cavities. Indeed, tooth decay is a big problem, but don’t forget about gum disease! Periodontal disease is another concerning dental issue that is best prevented with superb oral hygiene, a nutritious diet, regular dental visits, and no tobacco use. In this blog post, we’ll go over some facts about gum disease, as well as red flags to watch out for.
What Causes Gum Disease?
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis usually occurs when plaque and tartar build up along the gumline due to poor oral hygiene. This accumulation of bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed and irritated. If not addressed, gingivitis will advance to periodontitis. In this stage of gum disease, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, creating pockets where debris and bacteria can collect. These pockets can lead to infection, tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, and eventual bone loss and tooth loss. This latter stage of gum disease poses a serious threat to your oral health, as it is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Warning Signs of Poor Gum Health
Gum disease is serious business, but there’s good news; gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can serve as a warning sign that something is wrong. And not all cases of gingivitis will advance to periodontitis. Typically, gingivitis can be resolved with improved oral hygiene, a nutritious diet, and regular dental visits. In some cases, poor gum health could require other intervention, especially if the cause is due to a nutritional deficiency, an underlying systemic condition like an autoimmune disorder, or a side effect of a medication. So be sure to contact us if you notice any of the following:
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing
- Painful, swollen, or discolored gums
- Persistent bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
- Gum recession
- Loose adult teeth
We Can Help Improve Your Gum Health!
Let us know if you’ve noticed any of the aforementioned issues, especially if they’ve persisted for more than a few days. However, even if you feel like your gums are healthy, we still recommend you visit us at least two times per year for cleanings and checkups! Here at Las Cruces Dental Solutions, we help patients of all ages treat AND prevent gum disease.
Image from Authority Dental under CC0