When thinking about your smile or your dental health, it is common to focus on your teeth. However, it is a serious mistake to neglect the part of your mouth that holds your teeth in place: the gums. The gums are soft tissues that, when healthy, give your smile a firm foundation. Unfortunately, when they are not healthy, your dental health as well as your body health is in danger.
Although it can be prevented with proper oral hygiene habits and regular dental visits, gum disease is a top oral health condition. In fact, periodontal disease affects up to 75% of people in the developed world in some form. Gum disease can be a mild and easily treatable form called gingivitis. However, it can also progress to advanced periodontitis, in which your teeth may lose stability and even fall out. Studies show that among those that have gum disease, only 2% are believed to actually seek professional treatment. It is critical that you recognize the signs of gum disease and seek professional care as soon as possible.
Periodontal Disease Warning Signs
Although it is possible to have gum disease without any symptoms at all, the major warning signs are:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, tender and/or swollen gums
- Appearance of pus between teeth when gums are pressed on
- Loose teeth or gums that seem to be pulling away from teeth
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Change in your bite
What You Can Do to Prevent Inflamed and Infected Gums
Gum disease takes its foothold when there is excess bacteria and plaque lingering on your gum line and between your teeth. This irritates the gums, causing them to pull away from the tooth root. Without treatment, the infection within the gums spreads and can destroy the underlying bone and lead to tooth loss. Unfortunately, the consequences don’t stop there. Advanced gum disease has also been linked to stroke, heart attack, diabetes and premature birth.
How can we prevent gum disease? By making sure the mouth is cleaned daily of bacteria, food debris and plaque. This is done by proper brushing and flossing habits. It is also important to include bi-annual visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and x-rays. Your dentist can often detect signs of gum disease at its earliest, most treatable stages.
If you are concerned about the health of your gums, please contact Dr. Wayne Suway. We proudly offer periodontal treatments using the best that modern dentistry has to offer.