Gum disease starts with gingivitis, but left to progress, it becomes the foremost cause of tooth decay and tooth loss. In fact, seven out of 10 Canadians are expected to develop gum disease at some point during their lives. That’s an astonishing 70 percent of the population! When you learn the facts about gum disease, they will show you why proper dental care is more important than ever.
Your gums are the tissues that hold your teeth in place. Disease occurs when they become infected from the overgrowth of plague and bacteria inside your mouth. You may or may not have pain with the initial symptoms, but these are things to watch for:
- Worsening tooth sensitivity
- Unpleasant breath
- Redness or swelling
- Tenderness or bleeding
- Painful chewing
- Receding areas
- Loss of teeth
Gum disease develops over time and involves four stages that include:
- Gingivitis – Swelling and bleeding are the most common symptoms. This is the only stage at which gum disease is completely reversible.
- Slight Periodontal Disease – Untreated gingivitis advances into the bones and begins to cause deterioration.
- Moderate Periodontal Disease – The infection in your gums reaches your immune system and your bloodstream.
- Advanced Periodontal Disease – Teeth and bone mass are lost quickly.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there about gum disease. Perhaps you have heard one or more of these false statements:
- Gum disease only affects your mouth.
- Gum disease is always painful.
- Gum disease is reversible.
- You can’t have gum disease if you don’t have cavities.
- All you need to do to prevent gum disease is brush and floss.
If only these things were true, we would have a much easier time caring for our teeth. In reality, there are nine facts you should know about gum disease that will help you to understand more about what it is, how it works, and why you should be concerned.
It Can be Hereditary
Genetics may put you at greater risk.
People of All Ages Can Get Gum Disease
Gum disease doesn’t discriminate according to age. It affects children, elderly people, and even our family pets.
We can actually pass on the bacteria in our mouths to others through activities like kissing, sharing utensils or toothbrushes, and biting from the same morsel of food.
It’s Connected to Other Serious Diseases and Illnesses
Research has found links between periodontal disease and diabetes, cancer, and high risk for strokes.
It’s a Cause of Bad Breath
Unpleasant breath that becomes chronic and is not relieved by brushing, using mouthwash or mints, or avoiding aromatic foods is likely caused by a bacterial infection.
Unborn Children Can be Affected
Bacteria can pass from a pregnant mother through her bloodstream to her unborn child.
Cavities are Not Included
You may think that not having cavities means that your mouth is healthy. The truth is that you can have gingivitis without experiencing cavities or other tooth issues.
Consuming Dairy Products Helps to Protect Our Oral Health
Cheese, milk, and plain yogurt help replenish minerals in our teeth, restore enamel, and reduce acidity levels in our mouths that encourage tooth decay.
Brushing Alone Isn’t Enough of a Defense
While flossing and using mouthwash help a great deal, there is no substitute for the care you receive from your dentist. He or she can be certain that plaque along your gum line has been removed and treat the earliest symptoms of gingivitis.
There are things you can do to prevent gum disease since in the greater sense, everyone is at risk for gum disease. Establishing and keeping a regular routine that involves brushing and using mouthwash twice per day, flossing once per day, and seeing your dental care provider every six months for checkups and cleanings are your best weapons for gum disease prevention.
If you are experiencing the warning signs of gingivitis or other dental issues, contact Atlantis Dental Roundhouse for a checkup and cleaning. Our experienced dental care professionals can help you reach optimum oral health for a better smile and a better life.