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5 Things You Need to Know About Gum Disease

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article by Raha Sepehrara

When we think of our smiles, we often don’t look further than our teeth. Similarly, we usually talk about caring for our teeth, but there’s more to dentistry. Although often overlooked, our gums are essential aspects of our smile, and they serve an important role. 

Your gums protect the roots of your teeth by stopping bacteria from penetrating below the foundation. Gums also add balance to your smile. 

Just like your teeth, caring for your gums is vital. Like tooth decay, gum disease is caused by bacteria and can have a considerable impact on your oral health. 

In this article, we’ll share five essential facts you need to know about gum disease. 

1. There Are Two Different Types of Gum Disease

Gum disease has two stages. Gingivitis is the milder form; however, you should not ignore its symptoms because it will become periodontitis if it’s left untreated. At this stage, you may experience inflammation and irritation around the gums, which may appear red and swollen. 

You may notice small amounts of blood while brushing your teeth, and you may also have bad breath. 

Periodontitis is a severe form of gum disease. If the disease progresses to this stage, the symptoms include pockets of infection between your teeth and gums. As these pockets grow, your teeth become loose and could fall out. 

Chronic periodontitis can also affect your jaw, causing bone loss. This can impact your facial structure, leaving you with a prematurely-aged appearance. 

2. Gum Disease Is Often the Result of Poor Oral Hygiene

Gum disease results from plaque buildup in your mouth. Bacteria mixed with food debris and saliva create a clear, sticky substance that coats the inside of your mouth. This is easily removed through brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. 

If you’re not spending enough time thoroughly brushing your teeth or completely skipping this essential task, plaque will build up and eventually become tartar. Tartar on the edges of your teeth will irritate your gums. 

3. You Can Easily Miss the Early Signs of Gum Disease

Let’s be honest, you probably don’t look at your gums very often. They’re tucked away from sight, and unless they feel inflamed or irritated, or you can see blood on your toothbrush, you might not know you have gingivitis. 

The best way to spot the early warning signs of gum disease is to come and see us for regular checkups or visit our dental hygienist. Because we can look at the areas of your mouth that you can’t see, we can spot the signs while they’re reversible. 

4. Gum Disease Is Very Common

Like tooth decay, gum disease is a prevalent problem. In fact, many people with gum disease don’t know they’ve got it until the symptoms become more severe. Certain factors increase your risk of gum disease. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Genetic factors
  • Stress
  • Certain medications
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding) 
  • Diet

5. Gum Disease Is Easily Prevented

As with tooth decay, gum disease is easily preventable, and there are a few things you can do to keep it at bay. You should: 

  • Brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily using fluoride toothpaste
  • Use a soft toothbrush that doesn’t irritate your gums
  • Floss daily
  • Use mouthwash   
  • Drink plenty of water 
  • Limit the amount of sugar you consume
  • Quit smoking 
  • Have regular dental checkups
  • Visit a dental hygienist

Preventing Gum Disease in Nottingham

Gum disease is a preventable condition. If you ignore the first signs of gum disease, it could have a severe impact on your health. 

Call us to schedule a checkup and start fighting gum disease today. 

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