Periodontal disease is an incredibly common condition, affecting as many as 3 out of 4 adults, that affects the gum tissue around the teeth. Plaque, the cause of periodontal disease, consists of bacteria that forms a film on the surface of the teeth. This bacteria releases gum-damaging toxins that can only be removed through frequent flossing, brushing, and dental cleanings. Without proper oral hygiene habits, the first result will typically be gingivitis, the earliest and least severe form of gum disease. If left untreated, periodontitis will inevitably occur in which both the teeth and gum become compromised, leading to the eventual loss of teeth.
Signs That You Might Have Gum Disease
There are many symptoms of gum disease which include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Pockets of pus between the gums and teeth
- Red and bleeding gums
- Change in bite
- Loose teeth
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is certainly preventable as long as you develop and maintain healthy dental habits. The following are a series of tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy:
1. Brush After Each Meal
First of all, choose a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste that has a seal of acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA). Place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the teeth and clean all surfaces using small strokes.
2. Floss Daily
Toothbrushes can’t reach the area between the teeth. This is why interdental cleaners and floss are so necessary to remove food and bacteria. Flossing and brushing are powerful tools. The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, can sometimes even be reversed if proper habits are started.
3. Eat Well
Stay away from high sugar and acidic foods that are more likely to form plaque. Instead, choose to eat more raw fruits and vegetables and steer clear of frequent snacks between meals.
4. See Your Dentist
Make sure to stay on top of your professional cleanings. This will go a long way towardpreventing gum disease.
Treatments for Gum Disease
Even if you are exhibiting symptoms of early gum disease, there is no reason to despair. With proper flossing, brushing, and dental checkups, gingivitis is quite treatable. Although the treatment plans will vary depending upon your particular situation, they will typically consist of a combination of the following:
- Dental exams
- Proper oral hygiene
- Root planing and scaling
- Gum cleaning
- Procedure to reduce gum pockets