Gum Disease 101

gum disease - dentist in sherwood ORDid you know that gum disease is responsible for about 70% of adult tooth loss? This makes it a serious concern for those who want to protect their oral health. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease and find out how to protect your teeth.

What causes gum disease?

Gum disease is also sometimes called periodontal disease. It is caused by bacteria in the mouth. If plaque and tartar build up on your teeth and gums, eventually the bacteria will infect your mouth. In most cases the buildup of plaque and bacteria is a result of poor dental hygiene, but in some cases people who are extra vulnerable to gum disease can still have problems even with good oral hygiene. Pregnant women, people undergoing cancer treatments, and those with diabetes need to take extra precautions.

Left untreated, the disease will cause the gums deteriorate and pull away from the teeth, which leaves even more space between the teeth and gums for bacteria to thrive. Eventually the bacteria can make it into the bone that holds your tooth in place.

What are the signs of gum disease?

Common signs of gum disease include:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Sensitive gums
  • Receding gums
  • Teeth that look long
  • Chronic bad breath

How is gum disease prevented?

Simple habits are the best way to prevent gum disease.

  1. Brush your teeth after each meal for two minutes.
  2. Floss every single day.
  3. Use an anti-bacterial mouthwash.
  4. Avoid drinking soda and other sugary beverages.
  5. Eat foods with calcium, vitamin C, and other important nutrients. Foods that are good for your teeth include dairy products, leafy greens, strawberries, and crunchy vegetables.
  6. Avoid acidic foods and beverages that weaken your teeth. If you do eat or drink these things, rinse your mouth out with water afterward.
  7. Drink 8 glasses of water each day.
  8. Visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. Early detection can prevent gum disease from progressing.

Gum disease is very treatable if you catch it early and very, very serious if it is left unchecked. To learn more about protecting yourself and your family against gum disease, visit New Smiles.

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