Preventing Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is caused by a bacteria-laden substance called plaque that forms on your teeth after your eat. If not removed by brushing, plaque hardens into tartar and results in inflammation, infection, and ultimately destruction of the connective tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place. What begins as mild gum inflammation called gingivitis becomes the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease may be present in isolated areas, or it may affect your entire mouth. It may or may not have early symptoms. Gum health may even affect your general health; researchers are investigating links between gum disease and serious medical problems like heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes.
8 Risks for Periodontal Disease
- Poor oral hygiene practices
- Teeth that are crooked or too close together
- Use of tobacco
- Hormonal imbalances in women
- Prescription medications such as oral contraceptives, cancer therapies, calcium channel blockers, anti-seizure drugs, and steroids
6 Signs of Gum Disease
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums, especially when brushing
- Gums that are pulling away from teeth
- Loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath or unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Changes in natural bite or in the way dentures fit
Because gum disease can occur without any warning signs, it is essential to schedule routine dental checkups. Treatment options depend on the type of gum disease and how advanced it has become. Keeping your teeth healthy and clean with twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, healthy eating habits, and professional dental care will prevent periodontal problems from causing early tooth loss.
See your dentist in West Chester as soon as possible if you have symptoms that suggest gum inflammation or infection. Early treatment of gum disease delivers the best results.
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