We hope your new year is off to a great start. Here in the office, it’s our goal every year to help keep our patients’ dental health in check. During your routine checkups, we take time to not only clean your teeth but to check for any signs of dental issues. In particular, we want to make sure we catch a certain oral disease before it progresses and causes complications such as tooth loss.
Studies have found that over half of US adults have some form of periodontitis (or gum disease). Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is the build up of food debris on your teeth. Left untreated, the bacteria then hardens into tartar. Tartar can irritate the gums and lead to gum disease.
Prevention of gum disease starts at home with proper brushing and flossing, as well as keeping up with dental cleaning appointments twice a year. It’s a simple step, but critical in preventing this disease.
Know the Signs of Gum Disease
If you notice that your gums are red and swollen, or bleed when brushing and flossing, you could have a common form of gum disease known as gingivitis.
When left untreated, gingivitis causes the gums to become inflamed and irritated. There may also be bleeding and soreness. As the disease progresses, the jawbone will become infected and the gums will begin to recede. In worse cases, tooth loss can occur.
Besides poor hygiene, those with the following conditions are at a higher risk of contracting periodontitis:
- Tobacco users
- Uncontrolled diabetes due to saliva that promotes harmful bacteria growth
- Obesity leads to overall inflammation in the body
We want to help keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. You can be sure we will be on the look-out for any signs of gum disease at your next visit. In the meantime, if you have any issues with your oral health, please contact our office so we can get you treated as soon as possible.