Having bright, white, healthy teeth is great. It makes your smile more radiant and confident, but it’s also important that you don’t disregard your gums. Your gums play an important role in keeping your teeth healthy and stay in place. Remember, having healthy gums contributes to your overall dental health. The bad news is, you can be cavity-free, and your teeth look whiter, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have gum disease. Having gum disease is usually painless in the beginning stages, so you won’t know you already have it.
What is gum disease?
Gum disease is commonly called periodontal disease. It’s a serious gum infection that can damage your gum’s soft tissue, and when left untreated, it can destroy the bone that supports the teeth. As a result, it can lead to complete tooth loss. We all know that our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria interact with starches and sugar and build up plaque on the teeth. When not removed, this plaque can harden and form tartar that brushing alone can’t eliminate.
Plaque can cause gingivitis, the first type of gum disease you will encounter where your gum tissue around the base of your teeth gets irritated and inflamed. When left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. Periodontal disease causes deep infections, which can cause a loss of tissue and bone, leading to tooth loss. You will know if you have periodontal diseases if you get these symptoms:
- Red or swollen gums
- Painful when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Receding gums
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Tender gums
- Sensitive teeth
Having periodontal diseases can be common but is preventable. Here are some ways to keep your gums healthy and preventing periodontal diseases from happening:
It is important that you floss at least once a day. Flossing helps in removing plaque and food particles in places that your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Get dental cleaning
It’s not enough that you brush and floss your teeth daily. Make some time to visit your dentist and schedule a dental cleaning. Your dentist can check your mouth and detect early gum disease symptoms; therefore, it can be treated before getting worse.
- Quit smoking
If you smoke, it’s time to contemplate quitting it. Smoking can make your immune system weak, which means it’s harder for your body to fight off an infection – including gum infection.
- Use fluoride toothpaste
Make sure too that you use fluoride toothpaste that has the ADA seal of acceptance. Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens enamel which protects from dental decay and plaque buildup.
- Use a mouthwash
For added protection, you can use mouthwash to help reduce plaque and prevent the early onset of periodontal diseases. A quick rinse can help remove food particles and debris from your mouth.
Periodontal disease can cause tooth loss and other serious complications, so it is important to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Contact Thomas Eaton, DDS, to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup! (209) 274-2429.