We do not always consider our gums when we think of our straight, white smiles. However, we need to take our gum health seriously too. Although it can be prevented with simple and disciplined oral hygiene habits, gum disease is a major oral health condition. In fact, periodontal disease affects up to 75% of people in the developed world in some form. Gum disease can be a mild and easily treatable form called gingivitis or it can progress to advanced periodontitis and cause your teeth to become loose. Unfortunately, among those that have gum disease, only 2% are believed to actually seek professional treatment. It is important that you find a dental practice that also provides expertise in periodontal care. Group Health Dental has an on-staff, certified periodontist to ensure patients get the top quality and specialized care they deserve when it comes to their gum health.
Gum disease is an essential oral health topic that you should be aware of so that you know when to see your dentist. There are some warning signs of gum disease that may seem obvious, and others that may surprise you. Although it is possible to have gum disease without any symptoms at all, the major warning signs are:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, tender and/or swollen gums
- Appearance of pus between teeth when gums are pressed on
- Loose teeth or gums that seem to be pulling away from teeth
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
- Change in your bite
As you do your part at home to keep gum disease away, your daily oral hygiene habits must include more than just brushing. If plaque is not removed by brushing and flossing daily, it will harden into tartar and cause infection in your gums. A professional cleaning is the only way to successfully remove the tartar build-up and toxins that destroy tissue and bone in your mouth during gum disease.
The good news is that treatment of gum disease is very effective if you see a periodontist early. They have the extensive training and expertise you need to make sure your mild gum disease is eliminated or your advanced gum disease is under control. By taking action to seek professional treatment for your periodontal disease, you are tending to other serious health conditions that have been linked to gum disease, which include heart disease, diabetes and even some forms of cancer. What steps can you take to ensure your smile shows off healthy gums too?