Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common dental problem that affects the gums and the tissues that support the teeth. It’s caused by bacteria that build up on the teeth and gums, forming a sticky film called plaque. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious complications, including tooth loss and other health problems. Therefore, it is essential for you to seek treatment if you begin to notice symptoms of gum disease.
Side Effects of Gum Disease
One of the most common side effects of gum disease is bleeding gums. If you notice blood when you brush or floss your teeth, it could be a sign of gum disease. Other signs of gum disease include swollen, tender, or red gums, bad breath, and loose teeth. Additionally, you may notice a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite.
Gum disease can also cause your teeth to become more sensitive. As the gums recede, the tooth roots will become exposed. In addition, you may experience discomfort or pain when you eat or drink hot or cold foods and beverages.
In addition to dental problems, gum disease has been linked to other health problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and respiratory disease. Researchers believe that gum disease causes inflammation and may contribute to these conditions. This is why making it is even more important to take steps to prevent gum disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The good news is that gum disease is preventable.
Brush and Floss Regularly
One way to prevent gum disease is to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, using fluoride toothpaste. Flossing at least once a day can help remove plaque and food particles between your teeth and under your gum line.
Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash
Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to help kill bacteria and freshen your breath. Mouthwash is beneficial because it can remove plaque from places your toothbrush misses.
Smoking is a major risk factor for gum disease. If you smoke, you are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Therefore, quitting smoking can improve your oral and overall health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent gum disease and catch any problems early.
If you do develop gum disease, treatment will depend on the severity of the condition. In the early stages, you can often fight gum disease with a professional cleaning and improved oral hygiene habits at home.
With more advanced cases, you may need scaling and root planing, which involves removing the plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smoothing the tooth roots to help the gums reattach to the teeth.
In severe cases, gum surgery may be necessary to remove diseased tissue and restore the health of the gums and other tissues that support the teeth.