Gingivitis: Don’t Lose Your Teeth
Many U.S. adults currently have some form of gum disease ranging from simple gum inflammation to serious damage of the tissue and bone supporting your teeth. Gum disease is a serious issue, with health implications worsening as the condition develops, allowing it to spread to other areas of your body. What is the good news? In most people, gum disease is preventable. Maintaining everyday oral hygiene by properly brushing and flossing, coupled with professional cleanings twice a year, could be all that is needed to prevent gum disease – even reverse the early stage of gingivitis – and help you keep your teeth for a lifetime with a healthy, glowing smile.
Signs of Gum Disease
As gum disease progresses, the bone tends to recede. In some cases, the root of your tooth can become exposed, causing tooth sensitivity. Since bone recession is not visible to the naked eye, left untreated it, may contribute to tooth loss. It is very important to visit your dentist for professional examinations and dental cleanings to effectively and properly identify gum disease in its earliest stages.
Some common signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums during tooth brushing or flossing
- Sensitive, red or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Teeth that are loose or appear to have shifted
Because gum disease doesn’t always present obvious symptoms, many people may not even be aware that they have gum disease. Additional gum disease symptoms include mouth sores, itchy gums, an unpleasant taste and gum recession.
Gingivitis Prevention and Treatment
Untreated gingivitis (the earliest stage of periodontal disease) will usually progress into more serious stages of gum disease, which cause irreversible bone loss and potential tooth loss. Prevention is essential in the maintenance of your smile. The best way to prevent gum disease is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, visiting your dentist for regular checkups and maintaining a proper, nutritious diet.
Choosing the proper toothbrush is important in prevention as well. Softer brushes are less likely to injure your gums, and electric toothbrushes often encourage better brushing habits. Remember not to brush too vigorously, though. Brushing too long or too hard can do more harm than good.
Regular dental exams are necessary to remove tartar and to detect early signs of gum disease, but your own dental health regimen also plays a major role in preventing the build-up and progression of tartar. Some preventative steps you can take at home to keep your teeth healthy include: Brush your teeth twice a day, eat a well-balanced diet, use a mouth rinse in conjunction with brushing and flossing, avoid cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
When gum disease is detected in its earliest stages, it is extremely manageable and reversible. If you are experiencing bleeding white brushing or any other symptoms of gum disease, contact your Rockville, MD dentist for further examination.