Good dental care is about more than just glistening white teeth. We encourage and help patients to take care of every part of their oral health in order to prevent diseases that start small but can have a big impact down the road. One common problem facing nearly half the American population is gum disease.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease (officially called periodontitis) is a bacterial growth in your mouth that affects your gums and teeth. Is it really that bad? Yes! If it’s not quickly caught and properly treated, it can lead to destruction of the tissue surrounding your teeth and subsequent tooth loss.
What causes gum disease?
Plaque, which develops from consuming starches and sugars, is the main cause of gum disease. There are other factors that can contribute to pushing plaque buildup into gum disease, including hormonal changes, some illnesses that impact the immune system, some medications that lessen the flow of saliva or impact the growth of gum tissue, family history of gum disease, and, of course, poor oral hygiene habits.
What are the signs of gum disease?
Warning signs for gum disease can include red and swollen gums; painful or tender gums; bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods; receding gums; loose teeth; mouth sores; persistent bad breath; or changes in the way your teeth fit together or your dentures fit in your mouth. Sometimes symptoms of gum disease do not appear until the advanced stages of gum disease. It’s important that you regularly practice good hygiene and consult your dentist if there are any changes to the appearance or feeling of your teeth or gums.
How can you stop gum disease?
Whether your goal is to control gum disease that you have or to prevent gum disease from occurring, the first step to stopping gum disease is to visit your dentist for a professional exam and cleaning, and consultation on how you can improve your hygiene habits. If you’re not already in the habit of daily flossing and brushing twice a day, try to tie these habits to your other habits and find space for them in your daily routine.
Have a question about your oral health or our services? The experts at Cottonwood Dental Group can help! Give the Cottonwood Dental Group a call today!
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