When it comes to maintaining your oral health, people are often most concerned about their teeth, but your gums are equally important. For many adults, checking for gum disease or taking action to prevent it is a secondary thought. Because gum disease is usually painless, most people aren’t aware they have it until they visit their dentist or it becomes more serious.
The reality is, gum disease is far more prevalent in adults than most people realize. According to findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every two Americans over the age of 30 has periodontal disease, and in adults 65 and older the number gets even higher with 70.1 percent of those adults suffering from some form of gum disease.
Gum disease begins when plaque builds up along the gum line. Plaque, which is filled with bacteria, also gets up under the gum line and can cause infections that damage the gum and leads to periodontitis, tooth decay, and other dental illnesses.
With 64.7 million American adults suffering from mild, moderate, and in some cases, severe periodontitis, it’s clear that adults everywhere could be better informed on what gum disease is and how adults can take preventative action to care for their gums.
Understanding Gum Disease
The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis which causes your gums to become inflamed, tender, red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. This early stage of gum disease fortunately doesn’t cause long term damage to the gums and bone, but if left untreated can lead to more serious forms of gum disease.
The next stage, periodontitis, affects the bone that keeps your teeth in place. Periodontitis can cause significant damage to your bones, gums, and tissues along your teeth leading to the most advanced stage of gum disease: advanced periodontitis. Here, the bone supporting your teeth could become damaged, which could require teeth to be removed.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
Some signs that you might have gum disease include constant bad breath, loose teeth, gums that easily bleed or have receded. Fortunately, there are ways you can prevent gum disease, which include:
- Daily flossing – Helps remove plaque and food that you aren’t able to remove through brushing.
- Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste – This helps remove food and plaque trapped between your teeth and gums. For some people, an electric toothbrush may be more effective than a manual one.
- Regular dental visits – With regular visits you dentist can check for early warning signs of gum disease and treat them before they become more serious.
- Not smoking – Smoking has a significant association with gum disease, and because smoking also weakens your immune system making it harder for your body to fight off gum disease.
Schedule a Checkup Today
While a trip to the dentist can cause anxiety for some, it’s crucial to make sure that you understand gum disease and schedule routine checkups and cleanings to make sure your gums and teeth are healthy. The team at Babylon Dental Care offer sedation dentistry to help put you at ease and make it a painless experience for you, each and every time! Contact us at (631) 983-6665 to schedule your appointment today.