Now that it’s February, everyone is thinking about love, chocolates, and…gum disease? That’s right! February is also National Gum Disease Awareness Month. Although periodontal (gum) disease is easily prevented, researchers believe that up to 80% of Americans suffer from this common condition. What starts off as a simple gum infection can lead to much larger issues to your oral health and overall wellbeing. Here’s what you need to know about the prevention, symptoms, and treatment of gum disease.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
The plaque and tartar that build up in your mouth are brimming with bacteria that can attack and infect your gum tissue. This bacterial infection is known as gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. At this point, the bacterium is only strong enough to irritate and inflame the gums. However, if allowed to evolve into periodontitis, the infection will become widespread and strong enough to cause jawbone deterioration, tooth loss, and even potentially heart disease.
Thankfully gingivitis can often be prevented, treated, and even reversed with simple healthy habits like:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes.
- Flossing all your teeth thoroughly on a daily basis.
- Seeing your dentist every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning.
Warning Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
Unfortunately, even though this common oral health condition is easy to prevent, an overwhelming majority of the population suffers from it. To keep your mouth healthy and your smile intact, it’s important to be on the lookout for the tell-tale warning signs of gum disease, like:
- Inflamed, tender, or bleeding gums.
- Receding gums or chronic bad breath.
- Shifting, sensitive, or loose teeth.
Gum Disease Treatment
The earliest stage of gum disease can often be treated with better oral hygiene at home, or with the help of a specialized mouthwash from your dentist. However, in more moderate cases, specialized gum disease treatment may be required. One such procedure is called scaling and root planning. Using specialized tools, your dentist will remove all the harmful bacteria hidden beneath your gumline. Then, the tooth roots are smoothed out to prevent reinfection and encourage gum reattachment. Sometimes this method is supplemented with antibiotic therapy to help fully eliminate the infection.
The earlier gum disease is identified, the easier it is to treat. Regular dental checkups and cleanings twice a year is an easy way to keep your gums happy, healthy, and disease-free!
About the Practice
The skilled and friendly team of Shore Dental in North Port, FL is focused on providing all our patients with exceptional dentistry that’s both convenient and comfortable. While we’d much rather help you prevent gum disease with routine dental checkups, our highly trained dentists are here to help if you develop this common condition. They’ll help you get your oral health back on track and keep it that way so you can get back to enjoying your beautiful healthy smile. If you’re concerned about the health of your gums, feel free to contact us via our website or at (941) 257-8555.