Have your gums been irritated lately? There is a possibility you may have gum disease.
The start of gum disease is when plaque builds up under and along the gum line. Plaque is a sticky film substance that’s filled with bacteria and can cause an infection. This infection hurts the gums and bone of your teeth. The early sign of gum disease is called gingivitis. It occurs in 3 out of 4 Americans during their lifetime. In addition, 75% of Americans will experience gum disease at some point in their life.
Causes of Gingivitis:
- Poor nutrition
- Chronic diseases
- Smoking/tobacco use
- Poor oral hygiene
Symptoms of gingivitis are:
- prone to bleeding gums.
The next stage in gum disease is periodontitis. This will impacts the bones that hold your teeth in place. If you leave periodontitis untreated for a long period of time, it can destroy the gums, bones and tissues connected to your teeth. As a result, your dentist will recommend scaling and root planing cleaning.
The final stage of gum disease, Advanced periodontitis, is when fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed. Unfortunately, this may cause teeth to be removed.
Signs you might have Advanced periodontitis: consistent bad breath, losing permanent teeth, bleeding gums, or receding gum line.
Ways to help with prevention:
- Get regular dental cleanings
- Quit smoking
- Brush twice a day
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Use therapeutic mouthwash
- Limit sugar
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months
When should you see your dentist?
The sooner the better when it comes to gingivitis because this will better the chance for a quick and full recovery. Most dental hygienist will do a scaling and root planing cleaning, but if the condition was left untreated too long, they will refer you to a Periodontist. Therefore, costing more money and they might prescribe you a medicated mouthwash or even antibiotics.
Lucky, Gingivitis is reversible. Rather than waiting, make an appointment with your dentist at the first signs of irritated gums.