There is a good chance that you or someone you know has a type of gum disease. It is important to know there are multiple types of gum disease that can affect your oral health. If left untreated, some gum diseases can increase your risk of other health concerns. Learn about gingivitis and periodontitis, which…
Popular Ways to Protect Your Gums
It is very important to protect your gums. They serve a very important purpose, holding teeth and the network of tissues and nerves that make the mouth work in place. Gum disease is just as prevalent as tooth decay. Unlike the latter, the symptoms of gum disease are a lot more difficult to spot. Since most cases of gum disease are painless during the early stages, most patients are not even aware that there is something wrong.
The main cause of gum disease is a plaque build up underneath the gums. Plaque is a sticky film that develops on teeth. It is a haven for the bacteria that lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque can cause infections that damage bone and gum tissue in the mouth. It also leads to the two most common dental diseases: tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque also leads to the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. This condition can lead to:
The first stage of gum disease is easily reversible since the tissue and bone holding the teeth in place are not yet damaged. Once these areas have been compromised, it cannot be reversed. When gingivitis is not properly addressed, it leads to a more advanced stage of gum disease called periodontitis. This affects the bones that hold teeth in place and it can damage the tissues, bones and gums that are connected to teeth. The last stage of gum disease is called advanced periodontitis. This occurs when the bone and fibers supporting the patient's teeth have been destroyed. It can affect the person's bite and it can lead to the permanent loss of teeth.
Common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Constant bad breath or taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Gums pulling away from teeth
Fortunately, however, it is possible to protect your teeth from gum disease.
Protecting teeth from gum disease
1. Floss daily
Flossing goes a long way when it comes to keeping gums healthy. It helps to remove food particles and plaque from places in the mouth that a toothbrush cannot reach. Dentists recommend flossing at least once a day.
2. Brush twice daily
Brushing is just as important as flossing. This cleans the majority of the tooth surface, removing food particles and plaque. Brushing should be done at least twice a day: once in the morning and again right before going to bed. Food particles and plaque build up in the mouth during the day and saliva production is reduced while a person sleeps. Saliva serves as a natural tooth and gum cleaner so teeth are more vulnerable to decay while a person sleeps.
3. Visit a dentist twice a year
Regular visits to the dentist help to ensure that tartar buildup is removed from teeth and developing issues are detected in their early stages. As was mentioned above, it is a lot easier to protect your gums and treat gum disease in the early stages.
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