How to Identify and Guard against Gum Disease
Studies predict that half of the adults in the United States have gum disease. Without regular dental checkups, this potentially dangerous disease can go unnoticed for years. Consider how you can guard against gum disease and the steps you can take if you have it.
Gum disease is when the tissues and bones that support the teeth become infected. It is caused by the growth of bacteria on the gums and teeth and abounds in a sticky substance called plaque. When you eat or drink sugars, the bacteria will generate toxins and other chemicals that can lead to infection. Some of the first symptoms of gum disease are swollen and bleeding gums, particularly when you brush your teeth.
Overtime, plaque will form into a hard substance called tartar. By this point, the gums will become so irritated they will start to pull away from the teeth. If your gums are red, swollen, tender, or sensitive, particularly when you floss or brush, schedule a dental check-up immediately. It is vital that gum disease is treated immediately so as to inhibit further development and long-term consequences like tooth loss.
To guard against gum disease, there are basic adjustments you can make to your daily routine. First, be sure you stick to a consistent teeth cleaning schedule. This should involve brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash will help clear out bacteria and freshen breath. A diet high in vitamins and minerals will help guard against bacteria development, while a diet high in sugars and carbohydrates will encourage plaque growth.
If you use tobacco products, you are more likely to develop gum disease, and if you do get it, it is more difficult to treat. If you have gum disease in your family, you are more likely to develop it yourself. Those with high stress, diabetes, leukemia, or AIDs have weakened immune systems and are more likely to develop gum disease.
Remember, the best way to guard against gum disease is to consistently visit your dentist for cleanings. Your dentist is specially trained to identify the signs of gum disease and develop a treatment plan. Don’t hesitate to schedule your cleaning with Montefiore Medical Center. Call us today at 888-700-6623.