It goes without saying that gum disease isn’t something you want to have, and it doesn’t take a dentist to know that having it means bad things for your oral health. However, exactly how gum disease affects your oral wellness may not be understood by everyone. We’re here to shed some light on the mystery.
Gum disease can be used as a broad term, but commonly refers to periodontitis, or inflammation of the gum line around a tooth. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease, where affected areas are red, swollen, and can bleed easily. Causes of gingivitis include unhealthy eating habits, infrequent brushing, and smoking. Periodontitis is a much more serious issue, as it occurs when food debris and bacteria accumulate and begin to break down the soft tissue and bone structure holding teeth in place. At this stage of gum disease, the risk of tooth loss becomes very real. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into full blown periodontitis, but this is easily preventable with proper daily brushing and flossing. Some illnesses can also increase your chance of developing gum disease, especially if they have affected your gum line.
Gum disease is characterized by red swollen gums that bleed easily. A receding gum line can also be an indicator, though it could also mean a number of other things. Because gum disease can eventually change how your teeth are anchored, a shift in your teeth or bite pattern can also be a sign. By far, the best way to know for certain whether you have gum disease is to go to your dentist and have him or her check.
What Can you do?
Proper brushing, flossing, dental check-ups, and all around good oral hygiene can easily prevent gingivitis and gum disease. Plaque is usually the root from which gum disease grows. By eliminating it early on, you can stop it from ever affecting your gums and teeth. Brushing at least twice daily and flossing frequently are always great options for not only preventing gingivitis, but keeping strong oral hygiene in general. Finally, make sure to express any and all concerns you may have to your dentist.
Gum disease is nothing to smile about, but with the proper care it can be easily stopped in its tracks. Have any further questions? Give the friendly Calgary dentists at Centennial Smiles a call at (587)353-5060 to book an appointment, or visit our website for more information.