According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about half of American adults have some form of periodontal disease. If left untreated, these oral issues can cause infections and inflammation of the gums that lead to tooth loss. Knowing how to spot the warning signs of advanced gum disease can literally save your smile.
As a licensed dentist, I’ve treated many patients with gum disease. Fortunately, the most common form of the disease is also the least serious one. Gingivitis is essentially an inflammation of the gums caused by dental plaque. With proper treatment and care, it will not adversely affect your dental health. But if it is allowed to progress, it could become periodontitis.
A serious gum infection, periodontitis can damage the gums and the jawbone. Common symptoms include chronic toothaches, bad breath, loose teeth, receding gums, and eventual tooth loss. To prevent or control gum disease, it is important to follow these simple tips.
A rigorous oral hygiene routine is absolutely essential to fight all forms of gum disease. In addition to brushing twice each day and flossing once, you should also gargle with an antimicrobial mouthwash to maintain your dental health.
As your dentist always told you, eating too much sugar can harm your teeth. What actually occurs is that sugars increase the acidity in your mouth, which creates an environment where the bacteria that causes gum disease can thrive. Limiting your sugar consumption can dramatically reduce your risk of periodontal disease.
Numerous studies have shown that some types of food are good for our dental health. Milk, for example, has been shown to reduce acid levels in the mouth. Leafy vegetables like spinach can also help remove harmful bacteria through the act of chewing. Raw onions, apples, cheese, and celery may also have a healthy effect on your smile.
Follow these simple tips to maintain your dental health over the long haul.