An essential part of a happy smile is healthy gums. While around 60 million Americans experience some sort of gum disease, there are ways to prevent it. As September is National Gum Care Month, it’s the perfect time to brush up on habits to keep your gums healthy.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common and progressive oral health condition that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It begins with the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, on the teeth and gums. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar, leading to inflammation and irritation of the gum tissues, a condition known as gingivitis. When left untreated, gingivitis can advance into periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease.
In periodontitis, the gums may recede, forming pockets between the teeth and gums that can become infected. Over time, this can result in bone loss, loose teeth, and, in severe cases, tooth loss. Gum disease can also have systemic health implications, as research suggests it may be linked to other health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. Early detection and proper oral care are key to preventing and managing gum disease, underscoring the importance of regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene practices.
Symptoms to Look Out For
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Consistent bad breath or taste in the mouth
- Signs of infection at the gum line (pus, pain, tenderness)
- Gaps or pockets along your gum line near your teeth
- Gums that have recessed or pulled away from teeth
- Permanent teeth that begin to separate or become loose
Tips for Gum Care
Gum Disease is preventable when time is invested in caring for your teeth and gums properly. Simple yet effective ways to reduce your chance of gum disease include:
- Brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes
- Floss once daily
- Replace your toothbrush every three months or when the bristles become frayed
- Schedule regular dental cleanings
- Drink an adequate amount of water daily
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, or it’s time for your next dental cleaning, schedule an appointment at Beall Dental Center. We’re here to provide you with compassionate care while assisting with all of your dental needs.