By Dr. Laura Kearney
What is Gum Disease?
Gum Disease, also known as Periodontal Disease in the advanced stages, is a common inflammatory condition caused by plaque irritating and inflaming the tissue surrounding your teeth. Plaque is formed on everyone’s teeth but buildup can be avoided through regular flossing and thorough brushing. However, if you do not practice daily flossing and brushing, the bacterial plaque releases toxins which can cause major damage to your gums. Over a long period of time, gum disease can begin to affect not only your gums but also your teeth and overall wellbeing.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Gum Disease in the early stages is referred to as gingivitis. With gingivitis, your gums are red, swollen, and may bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. These symptoms may be mild or painless but regular dental checkups should be performed to detect and treat gum disease before it progresses to periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a more advanced gum disease than gingivitis. At this stage, the toxins released by the bacterial plaque have broken down the natural fibers bonding your gums to your teeth. This means your gums will appear to have pulled away from your teeth. Your teeth may feel loose like they may have moved or do not fit together as they used to. Chronic bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth are other symptoms of gum disease.
How Can I Improve the Health of My Gums and Oral Health?
Maintaining regular flossing, brushing, and trips to the dentist for checkups and professional cleanings is essential to the health of your gums and mouth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once a day, and use a mouth rinse daily. These daily oral hygiene steps will help remove plaque from your teeth.
At your next checkup or professional cleaning, Dr. Laura Kearney can recommend oral care and gum treatment products that will help you to maintain a healthy smile. If you are showing any signs of gum disease, act fast to treat the infection. Make an appointment today online or by calling (919) 847-3899 for a checkup to keep your smile beautiful.
References: The Journal of the American Dental Association