Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a common inflammatory disease and is a leading cause of tooth loss in the United States. Almost half of adults over 30 have some form of gum disease, and nearly 10% of adults have severe stages of the disease. Gum disease risk grows as you age, with around 70% of adults 65 or older suffering from the condition.
Despite its prevalence, gum disease is easily prevented with good oral hygiene and some helpful habits. Even if you already have gum disease, mild cases can be reversed with proper care.
Do you think that you may have gum disease or do you want to protect your oral health? If so, come see our team at First Dental Associates in Reading, Massachusetts. Our practice, led by Nasrin Sadeghi, DMD and Medha Singh, BDS, DMD, MS, is proud to deliver exceptional care at every level, with state-of-the-art equipment and high-quality treatment for patients of all ages.
Here, the doctors discuss gum disease and how it can be prevented.
Gum disease develops when plaque, a white, sticky substance primarily composed of bacteria, builds up on your teeth. These bacteria infect gum tissue, causing inflammation. Eventually this inflammation develops into gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is easily treated.
Untreated gingivitis, however, leads to true periodontal disease as plaque hardens into tartar, which is much more difficult to remove. With continued neglect, the bacteria continue to thrive and trigger a chronic inflammatory response in which the body essentially turns on itself. Your immune system and the bacteria start to eat away at the tissues and bone that support your teeth, leading to tooth loss.
Early-stage gingivitis may not have any symptoms, although you may see some blood when brushing your teeth. Gum disease has a long list of symptoms, including:
Gum disease can also cause your teeth to shift, meaning you may see a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite.
Some causes for gum disease are hard to prevent, including hormone changes, certain illnesses, and a family history of dental disease. However, most people can prevent gum disease by changing their habits and oral care routines.
The best way to get rid of plaque on the surface of your teeth is by brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
While you may be accustomed to flossing after your brush, flossing beforehand loosens up any food particles and bacteria between your teeth so the toothbrush can easily scrub them away.
While this is easier said than done, smoking harms your oral health and is a risk factor for the development of gum disease.
The bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches from food, and junk food is filled with sugar and starches. Proper nutrition also helps your body fight inflammation and infection.
Floss, brush, rinse. According to the American Dental Association, antibacterial rinses can reduce bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease.
Come see us at First Dental Associates every 6 to 12 months. Our preventive dentistry and professional cleaning visits will help keep your mouth in tip-top shape.
Don’t let gum disease creep up on you. At First Dental Associates we’ll make sure your mouth stays healthy. Request an appointment online or over the phone with First Dental Associates today.