You might scoff at your dentist’s urging to brush, floss and care for your gums. It might sound like a broken record, but all of us here at Southeast Family Dental are willing to sound like broken records if it can prevent our patients from having to deal with gum disease.
Gum disease is much more common than you might believe. It begins with gingivitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. Gum disease varies in severity and is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed.
Poor dental hygiene
Most often, gum disease, beginning with gingivitis is the result of poor dental hygiene. Inflammation is caused by bacteria that is trapped between teeth and gums and allowed to grow. Without intervention, gingivitis can become periodontitis and cause loss of the bone support around the teeth. For this reason, gum disease causes tooth loss.
Patients don’t recognize gum disease as a problem because it often presents itself as localized in one area of the mouth. A sore gum next to one tooth doesn’t seem like such a big deal to some. However, left untreated, one small sore place can become a major oral health issue.
Besides noting red, swollen gums, dentists check for gum disease by measuring the pockets between the gums and teeth. That’s why they probe and record depth measurements during your check-up. Changes in those measurements can indicate the presence of gum disease.
Steps to reduce your risk of developing gum disease
There are steps every person can take to reduce their risk for developing gum disease:
- See your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings
- Brush your teeth at least twice each day
- Floss daily
- Rinse your teeth after meals when you cannot brush
Preventive care with the Southeast Family Dental practice is the first step to oral health. In fact, it is not uncommon for Dr. Bohnert, Dr. Geiger or Dr. Austgen to find evidence of gum disease. Studies have shown that up to 75% of adults over age 35 are affected by gum disease and they don’t even realize it. Gum disease can affect your overall health condition. For that reason, you will find that Southeast Family Dental provides extensive gum disease therapy.
Our goal is to keep your teeth healthy – as well as to reduce the risk of other conditions like diabetes and heart disease through good oral health. Contact us today to make sure you aren’t risking your health because of unrecognized gum disease.