Gum disease is common in the population, especially among adults. In fact, the CDC recently reported that periodontitis is diagnosed in more than half of Americans over the age of 30 – that’s about 64.7 million people!
5 Facts about Gum Disease
We often talk about the importance of oral health for cavity prevention. But it’s just as important to know about the dangers of gum disease. This inflammatory disease can affect the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth, eventually leading to serious dental problems in the future.
Here are a few interesting facts that every patient needs to know about gum disease:
- Silent Disease: It’s possible that you have gum disease and don’t know it. The earliest symptoms are easy to miss, which is why it’s recommended that you have a dental exam at least twice a year.
- Any Age: Even though gum disease is more common in adults, it can affect people of all ages. Even children need regular checkups and consistent daily health habits to monitor for potential signs of gum disease.
- Bleeding Gums: When you are brushing and flossing, it might seem normal to spit out a few spots of blood. Th truth is that it’s not normal to see “pink in the sink.” Your gums shouldn’t be bleeding. If you see blood, then you should talk to your dentist about gum disease prevention and treatment.
- Overall Health: Gum disease affects much more than your mouth. Doctors have found links between gum disease and other serious health conditions, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and heart disease.
- Bad Breath: Chronic bad breath isn’t only about your food choices or morning breath. If your mouth has an unpleasant smell often, then it could be an indication of a bacterial problem that needs to be treated. Gum or mints might cover up the smell temporarily, but you should address the root issue: gum disease.
Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
Gum disease is relatively easy to treat when it is diagnosed in the early stages. Regular brushing and flossing are the foundational habits that keep the mouth clean and free of infection. Make sure you are consistent about daily flossing since gum disease starts between the teeth or below the surface of the gums – where your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don’t like using traditional floss, then you might try using flossing picks or a water pick.
When gum disease is left untreated, then it can progress to cause more serious infections in the gums. At this point, flossing and brushing isn’t enough to resolve the infection. Your dentist might recommend a deep cleaning appointment known as scaling and root planing, which is a process that reaches below the gums to remove tartar and plaque. Serious cases of gum disease might be treated with local antibiotics, gum grafts, or bone grafts.
The earliest signs of gum disease can be identified during a dental exam. Make sure to stay consistent with regular cleanings so you can be proactive with minimally-invasive treatments. For more information, talk to our team at myDental. Contact our one of our nearby locations to schedule a dental exam.