If it has been some time since you’ve visited your dentist, and you feel that something is not quite right, then it might be time to do so. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a genuine risk for those who aren’t taking the best care of their oral health.
Do you think you might have early signs of gum disease? The following information may be of assistance. You can then book in with your local dentist and see how they can help.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease, which your dentist may refer to as periodontal disease, is an infection within the tissue that keeps your teeth firmly in place. Typically, inadequate flossing and brushing habits can be to blame, as you’re not getting rid of the sticky bacteria film that sits on your teeth
Failure to remove this film can result in it hardening. You may then notice that your gums are sore and bleeding, or you have problems chewing – or even tooth loss.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Whether you believe you have early gum disease or you’re just intrigued, it’s helpful to know what causes it. You can then do everything possible to prevent it.
Have you ever noticed that you’ve got a thin film on your teeth? This film is full of particles, bacteria, and mucus. Brushing and flossing can get rid of it, but it turns into tartar if you don’t. After that point, only a general dental worker, like a dentist or dental hygienist, can get rid of it.
Some people are more at risk of gum disease than others, such as if you smoke. You may also be at risk if you have diabetes, are on certain medications, or are a girl or woman experiencing hormonal changes.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Most people will notice that something’s not quite right in their mouths. However, getting to a gum disease diagnosis can require a dentist’s input. In saying that, there are some signs of periodontal disease that you can notice for yourself.
- Consistently bad breath
- Tender, red, and/or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive or loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- Receding gums (your teeth may appear longer)
If you notice any or all of these signs, seek dental treatment. They can examine your gums, use a probe to measure pockets around your teeth, and identify risk factors that could aid in a diagnosis.
How to Treat and Prevent Gum Disease
The treatment and prevention methods can differ, depending on how advanced the periodontal disease is. The best thing you can do is ask your dentist for advice. They may recommend quitting smoking if that’s increasing your risk and cleaning out any infections.
You can also do your bit by visiting your dentist at least twice a year for checkups, flossing regularly to remove plaque between your teeth, and brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, infections, and other serious problems. The sooner you act on what you think is gum disease, the sooner you can rectify the situation. Why not make an appointment with your dentist today to find out more?