Ways to Keep Gum Disease Away
Many people still associate oral health only with the health of the teeth. While the health of your teeth is essential, the health of your gums is just as important to keeping your mouth healthy. According to the American Academy of Periodontology, over 75 percent of adults over the age of 35 have some stage of gum disease. Gum disease can be prevented and even reversed (but only in the very earliest stage), but unchecked gum disease can advance into a problem that wreak havoc on both your gums and the bones that support your teeth.
Havoc Caused by Gum Disease
Gum disease is initially caused by bacteria, plaque, and/or tartar building up along the gum line. The earliest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. At this stage, the gums will become irritated by this built-up bacteria, and eventually the tissue will become inflamed and possibly infected. Early gingivitis may be reversed with an improved oral hygiene routine or a professional cleaning. If gum disease remains unchecked and untreated, it can worsen into periodontitis, where the built-up bacteria will get beneath the gum line. As your body tries to fight the inflammation, it can begin to cause the degradation of gum tissue and the bones that support the teeth. The gums may start to recede exposing the roots of your teeth. This can create instability for your teeth leading to possible tooth loss. Gum disease can also increase your risk of developing overall health complications like diabetes, kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke.
You can maintain healthy gums with good oral hygiene that includes brushing and flossing twice a day to prevent the buildup along the gums. If your dentist or hygienist identifies gum disease during a twice-a-year checkup or cleaning, it may be recommended for you to get a deep periodontal cleaning. A deep cleaning involves a thorough cleaning beneath the gums and sometimes even a cleaning of the bones under the gums. A deep cleaning can manage gum disease to lower your risk of complications.