To avoid gum disease it is important to know what the causes and symptoms of the condition are. Since gum disease can lead to tooth loss along with other oral health problems, it is wise to take preventative measures to avoid the condition in the first place. This can prevent discomfort, save time, money and make it easier to live a healthy life.
What are the causes of gum disease?
In order for gum tissue to be healthy, there needs to be sufficient blood flow to the area. This is why doing things like smoking and chewing tobacco can lead to gum disease. It restricts healthy blood flow, making the gums and other areas of the body more susceptible to health problems.
Diabetes can also lead to a greater risk for gum disease because of blood flow restrictions and white blood cells being inhibited by out of control blood sugar levels. Otherwise, the main cause of gum disease is a buildup of plaque and tartar under the surface of the gum tissue.
Do’s and Don’ts of dental care
When plaque forms on the portion of the teeth that is hidden, it is impossible for patients to remove it at home. This is something that can occur on a regular basis when teeth are not brushed frequently, flossed or a patient does not visit the dentist on a regular basis.
- Brush teeth twice per day
- Floss daily
- Visit the dentist twice per year
- Smoke cigarettes or cigars
- Use chewing tobacco
- Drink excessive alcohol
- Eat too much sugar or processed carbohydrates
- Skip dental appointments
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Watching for the symptoms of gum disease is an important step for prevention. It makes it possible to visit the dentist right away and have the condition treated before it has the opportunity to cause further damage. Symptoms to watch for include:
#1. Bleeding gums
Gums may bleed occasionally when brushing or flossing but this should not be happening on a regular basis. If it is, it is likely that gum disease is present and an appointment should be scheduled with the dentist.
#2. Sensitive gum tissue
Gums that are overly sensitive or hurt when eating or brushing teeth could be sensitive because of the irritation being caused by the plaque and tartar underneath them. Consistently sensitive gums are an indication that a deep dental cleaning is necessary.
#3. Teeth appearing longer than normal
When gums begin to recede, the teeth will look larger or longer than normal when smiling or brushing teeth.
#4. Pockets in the gum tissue
Pockets or holes in the gum tissue is a sign that gum disease has progressed to a critical point. At this stage, teeth are likely to become infected and may become lost if the condition is not treated right away.
Call right away
If any of these symptoms are present, it is critical that a patient call our office and schedule an appointment right away. We can treat the gum disease and ensure that it is not allowed to progress so that the future health and stability of the teeth is not put in jeopardy.
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