Did You Know?
- Gum disease afflicts nearly half of Americans over 30.
- Men succumb to gum disease more than women.
- Periodontal disease is the biggest factor of adult tooth loss.
- Pregnant women with gum disease can give birth to their babies prematurely.
- Men or women over 35 often lose more teeth to gum disease than they do to tooth decay.
- 30% of people get gum disease from their family tree.
- Periodontal disease can leave you with serious health issues.
As you can see, gum disease is no joke, but it also doesn’t just happen overnight. It means you can practice good oral hygiene habits to avoid succumbing to the ravages of this preventable oral disease. And if you do, your teeth, gums, smile, and body will be healthier.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease starts small as plaque and tartar that isn’t removed daily by brushing and flossing collects on the gums then irritates and inflames them. Left untreated, it will only worsen until you have severe gum disease (periodontitis) that could cost you your teeth.
STAGE 1 – Bleeding Gums Gingivitis: An early, mild form of the disease. You’ll notice redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gum tissue. Diligent oral hygiene with gum-specific toothpaste can help reverse the condition.
STAGE 2 – Mild Periodontitis: Here, periodontitis attacks supportive gum tissue and bone anchoring teeth. Getting dental treatment along with consistent gum care at home can keep it from worsening.
STAGE 3 – Moderate Periodontitis: Now, you’ll notice deep pockets forming between teeth and gums. As the harmful oral bacteria builds up, it will destroy gum tissue and bone needed for healthy teeth.
STAGE 4 – Severe Periodontitis: Once periodontitis advances too far, the soft tissue and bone supporting teeth are so damaged that the teeth loosen and eventually fall out.
What Can You Do?
The easiest and simplest way to keep gum disease from invading your mouth is to brush and floss thoroughly every single day. This daily removal of harmful oral bacteria and consuming a healthy, balanced diet so gums get the essential nutrients needed to regenerate can ward off gum disease. Combined with regular dental cleanings, these steps give your smile the protection it needs to thrive.
- Choose a toothbrush you enjoy using (manual, electric or sonic), and use it at least twice a day.
- Find a flossing tool of choice you also like using, and don’t skip a day cleaning around the gumline and in between teeth. It can be flossing tape, floss holder or threader, water flosser, or an interdental brush; whatever works best for your needs!
- Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams where they can diagnose gum disease in the early stage when it can be most easily treated and reversed, possibly with a good mouthwash that contains the antibiotic chlorhexidine.
- If you have advanced periodontitis, you have come to the right place for treatment! Our periodontal team specializes in all things gum-related so you can get the most effective, targeted treatment.
November Holidays: National Brush Day & Thanksgiving
Since November 1st is also National Brush Day, this is a good time for you and your family to recommit to a dedicated tooth and gum care routine. The busy holiday season brings with it its indulgences in extra sweet treats that can harm teeth and gums. So be sure to stay on top of your daily oral hygiene routine for yourself and your family. If your gums need some extra care, give our periodontal team a call today to learn more or schedule a visit. Your teeth and gums will thank you!