Your mouth literally says everything about you, so the last thing you need it to announce to the world is that you’ve got poor dental hygiene habits! It’s important that you take care of your teeth and gums. While many people know to brush their teeth on a regular basis, they often drop the ball when it comes to their gums. Neglecting one’s gums can lead to gum disease. Gum disease, which is also called periodontitis, can lead to really serious issues, including tooth loss and bone deterioration.
What exactly is gum disease?
It’s easy to detect gum disease and its symptoms. Pockets form in the mouth where the gums have pulled away from the teeth; these little pockets then collect food and acids, ultimately causing infection. Toxins and poisons that are created by the resulting bacteria break down the bone and the connective tissue that hold your teeth in place. Over time, the pockets get deeper and the destructive process continues. Your teeth are now at risk of actually falling out.
What causes gum disease?
There are several different reasons that gum disease can develop. They include the following:
- Women going through hormonal changes like menopause, puberty, and monthly menstruation often have more sensitive gums, leading to gingivitis, one of the main causes of gum disease.
- People struggling with illnesses, like cancer, HIV, or any other illness that deals with the immune system, often end up suffering from gum disease. Because the immune system has been
- compromised, it’s not able to fight and kill off bacteria, which in turn makes the gums susceptible to infection and breakdown.
- Bad oral hygiene can lead to gum disease. There are many people who don’t floss or brush on a regular basis; this leads to gingivitis, and ultimately, diseased gums.
- Gum disease can also be inherited. If your parents are prone to gum disease, chances are you could be susceptible to it as well.
How can you prevent gum disease?
There are several things that you can do to reduce your chances of getting gum disease, and they all involve preventing gum disease by attacking its causes.
- Gingivitis is one of the main causes of gum disease. In order to stop gingivitis in its tracks, you’re going to need to practice plaque control. This means visiting your dentist at least every six months for a professional cleaning and plaque removal.
- Brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day—and preferably after every meal. Regular brushing helps to prevent plaque buildup. By also flossing on a regular basis, you’re preventing plaque buildup between your teeth as well as along the gum line.
- Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash or rinse. These products help reduce the amount of rot and debris that accumulate on your teeth during the day. If you’re not able to brush your teeth, at least give yourself a quick rinse.
- If you smoke, then quit. Tobacco is a huge cause of gum disease. Smokers are seven times as likely to get gum disease as people who don’t smoke. Even worse, many gum disease remedies out there won’t work on smokers.
- Choose foods that have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help strengthen the immune system so that it can fight infection and help repair damaged tissue.
You may need to see a dentist for Periodontal Therapy.
If gingivitis persists and the gum disease advances to periodontitis you may need to visit a dentist which may recommend scaling and root planing treatment and other forms of antibiotic therapy. This treatment is the first line of defense against early-stage gum disease. This cleaning and plaque removal technique eliminates the bacterial toxins and biofilm around teeth and root surfaces, therefore mitigating gum disease.
Remember, advanced gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss for adults. If you are looking for a dentist in Holland MI that is a clinical expert in the field of periodontal therapy contact our dental office or send us an email. It’s always best to start treating gum disease in the early stages to avoid loss of teeth and diminished oral health.