Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? While you may not feel any discomfort, bleeding gums can often be one of the first signs of gum disease. This oral health issue not only brings numerous symptoms and risks to your smile, but recent research has also shown a direct link between gum disease and your overall wellbeing. With evidence continuing to indicate the ways that your gums can affect your health, it’s more important than ever to understand this disease and how you can prevent it. Keep reading to learn about the dangers of gum disease and how you can protect your smile!
How Does Gum Disease Affect You?
Gum disease is an infection and inflammation of your gums that is typically caused by poor oral hygiene. When plaque and bacteria aren’t cleaned from your gumline, your tissue will become irritated. They may be sensitive, puffy, red, or bleeding, which are common signs of the earliest stage: gingivitis. This stage can be completely reversed through positive oral healthcare and dental visits, but if left untreated, it can persist into periodontitis.
Periodontitis (gum disease), can permanently damage your gum tissue, supportive bone structure, and teeth. However, what’s more alarming is the recent findings that show gum disease can affect much more than your smile. In fact, gum disease has been linked with higher risks of diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, and even Alzheimer’s. Additionally, this oral health issue increases your chances of cardiovascular disease by 20%.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Thankfully, these problems can be completely prevented by following these easy yet integral oral healthcare tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each session.
- Floss once a day to remove plaque and bacteria from in between your teeth.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- See your dentist at least twice a year.
- Avoid poor lifestyle habits like tobacco use, drug use, or heavy consumption of alcohol.
What if You Already Have Gum Disease?
If you’re already experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it’s important to see your dentist right away to prevent some of the hidden dangers of gum disease. If it’s early enough, you may just need a regular cleaning followed by a good oral healthcare routine. However, if this disease has persisted into periodontitis, you may need gum disease therapy.
The most common type of treatment is called scaling and root planing, where your dentist removes all of the plaque and bacteria from your smile. Then, they will smooth out your tooth roots to make it harder for plaque to collect under your gums. For some cases, your dentist may recommend laser treatment or surgery.
Are you ready to keep your oral and overall health in check? Use these tips to prevent the hidden dangers of gum disease!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Matthew Nawrocki is a board-certified prosthodontist who is committed to providing the best care to his patients. He understands the relationship between gum health and the rest of your body, which is why he wants you to be aware of the risks of gum disease. For any questions, he can be contacted through his website or by phone at (904) 272-1588.