Gum Disease: What is it? And How to Prevent It…


Gum Disease is a Common Condition to Watch Out For!

Here’s something to chew over. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that one out of every two American adults has periodontal disease, caused by gum disease (aka, gingivitis). Gum disease is also the leading cause of tooth loss in adults! This is sobering news for dentists, who see many cases of gum disease, and want their patients to be aware that this common condition is both easily preventable and typically reversible.

We’ve compiled all you need to know about gum disease here – including what to watch out for, and how to prevent and treat this common condition – with help from your dentist, of course!

Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis?

Gum disease occurs when the tissues surrounding your teeth become infected, usually due to poor dental hygiene. Plaque forms and builds over time, and if left untreated, the build-up can advance into periodontitis. While gingivitis incites inflammation around the teeth, periodontitis causes the bone below the gums to become infected. As the teeth pull away from the gums, pockets are formed which collect debris and bacteria. Gum and bone tissue progressively weaken. This deterioration puts you in danger of losing one or more teeth without proper intervention and treatment by your dentist.

Detecting Gum Disease Symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms of gum disease isn’t necessarily easy. Gum disease is initially painless, so many patients don’t experience the warning signs and aren’t even aware of the onset of gingivitis. That’s why it’s so essential to see your dentist regularly. Here are the common symptoms of gum disease to watch out for:
• Bleeding gums
• Inflamed or swollen gums
• Gums that appear to have pulled away from teeth
• Chronic bad breath (or bad taste in mouth)
• Any change in your bite

Addressing (and Reversing!) Gum Disease

The great news is that gum disease can be controlled – and even reversed – when simple actions are taken. It usually comes down to plaque control. So, regular brushing and flossing and professional cleanings typically keep plaque in check.  During your dental exam, your dentist will remove any tartar causing gum irritation by methodically cleaning and scaling your teeth. This is why regularly scheduled professional cleanings are so crucial for the prevention of gingivitis and maintenance of proper oral health. In addition, patients can do the following on their own to help prevent gum disease:

  • Brush and floss regularly (we can’t stress this enough)!
  • Use an antibacterial mouth rinse
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Avoid sugary food, drinks, and tobacco products

Now that you know all about gum disease symptoms, risks and treatments, it’s up to you to take the necessary steps to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It starts with scheduling your regular visit to Dr. E. Family Dentistry.  So be sure to contact us today to keep your dental health on track:


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