woman smiling with healthy gums

Gum Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

January 23, 2019

If you’re one of those people who are diligent about brushing and flossing every day, then good for you! But what if you don’t? What can happen if you ignore your oral health?

Causes of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious matter as it not only affects your teeth but your overall health, and it all starts with BACTERIA. We all have bacteria in our mouth—we are actually born with it. But we can control the level of bacteria by flossing and brushing regularly.

What happens if you don’t brush or floss is the bacteria starts to multiply, and that is NOT good. Some bacteria produces acid that damages your teeth, eventually causing cavities. Other bacteria affects the gums or bone that supports the teeth Loose teeth or bleeding gums is a clear indication you probably have gum disease Bacteria causes inflammation that is similar to chronic illnesses like diabetes, liver disease and heart disease Studies have show that inflammatory periodontal disease is associated with other systemic conditions.

Symptoms of Gum Disease

The bright side is you can protect your oral and overhealth by being aware and catching it early on. Some of the most common warning signs are:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Red swollen or tender gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Loose teeth or teeth that are separating from each other
  • Persistent bad breath

Treatment of Gum Disease

Gum disease can be treated either surgically or non-surgically. The main goal is to control the infection before it gets too severe. Regardless of the treatment plan, you will always be required to keep up good oral care at home afterwards. The treatment selected by your dentist or periodontist will depend on the extent of the disease. Your dentist may also suggest changing behaviors like stopping smoking to improve the outcome of the treatment.

It may seem like common sense, but it’s still worth noting that if you incorporate healthy behaviors into your lifestyle, it will definitely help overall to prevent or control the severity of gum disease.

See a periodontist for a baseline exam anytime after age 21, then follow the recommendations offered.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

Here are some general guidelines all dentists and periodontists suggest:

  • Brush and floss daily
  • Visit your dentist at least twice a year, or up to 4 times/year if you have active gum disease
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain an active lifestyle

Following these guidelines will help you enjoy good oral and overall health for your lifetime!

For further information, visit us at www.deltadentalnj.com For additional tips and information, check out Dental Central, our oral health and wellness site.

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