If you like having teeth, then it’s very important that you take care of your gums. Periodontal disease is the single biggest cause of tooth loss in the United States.
And it’s more common than you may realize. The American Dental Hygienists Association estimated that 80 percent of the American population will have gum disease during their lives.
Our team at Alabama Family Dental doesn’t want you or your family to have gum disease, and we are assuming that you don’t either.
Today, we will review what you can do to prevent gum disease. One of those things is receiving routine cleanings and examinations at our dentist office in Mobile, AL.
We also will explain the symptoms of gum disease, and we will share some factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best thing you can do to prevent gum disease is to follow the American Dental Association recommendations on dental hygiene.
Bacteria that cause gum disease (and other oral health problems) live inside your mouth. Every day they are reproducing, so you need to remove as many of them as you can each day.
This starts by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Get a soft-bristled toothbrush and add a dab of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a pea. (You don’t have to cover the entire brush head unless you actually are in a toothpaste commercial.)
Be sure to scrub your teeth on all sides, and then brush your tongue. Spit out the toothpaste when you are done.
The next step, flossing, is something you should be doing once each day. ADA surveys have indicated that less than half of people do this, however.
You can use any kind of dental floss, just as long as you really do use it. When you floss, you are cleaning the parts of your teeth that you can’t reach with a toothbrush.
Get about 18 inches of floss and wrap the ends around your middle fingers. Hold a small section of floss with your index fingers and thumbs. Work the floss between each of your teeth and around your back teeth. Be sure to work the floss under your gumline as well.
Last, but not least, schedule and keep your appointments for routine dental cleanings. Your dentist or hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar buildup that you may have missed.
Symptoms Of Gum Disease
Gums that bleed when you brush or floss.
Those are the signs of gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease. At this stage, you may be able to treat and reverse your periodontal disease on your own.
How? By following the ADA recommendations mentioned about brushing and flossing. Many times, gum disease takes hold when people are not as careful about their oral hygiene as they should be.
If you don’t act soon enough or you just ignore your gingivitis completely, it can turn into periodontitis. This is a more serious condition, and it can only be treated effectively by a dental professional.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, call us to make an appointment:
- Gums that feel sore or tender
- Gums that are separating from your teeth
- Gums that have pus leaking from them
- Teeth that feel loose in their sockets
- Persistent bad breath or taste in your mouth
Risk Factors For Gum Disease
You may be doing things that increase your risk of developing gum disease. Other factors that increase your risk of periodontal problems are out of your control.
The first is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t take care of your mouth, you are inviting problems like gum disease and tooth decay to take hold.
Using tobacco will damage your gums as well. It also makes it more difficult to treat gum disease.
People who have diabetes are more likely to have gum disease as well, and gum disease can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels.
Women who are going through puberty, pregnancy, or menopause are more susceptible to gum disease because of the hormonal changes in their bodies.
Genetics can play a factor, too. If gum disease runs in your family, then you need to be particularly careful about preventive care.
Brush, Floss, Come See Us
Prevention is the best approach to dental care. You can help yourself by brushing, flossing, and having routine cleanings at our dentist office in Mobile, AL.