Gum disease impacts half of adults over the age of 30, according to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. Despite the widespread nature and seriousness of the disease, you can take steps to help protect your smile. How do you prevent gum disease?
Frequently Asked Questions About Gum Disease Prevention
Question: What causes the disease?
Answer: The disease starts as inflammation, also known as gingivitis. At this stage, the problem can be reversed. However, as the gums pull away from the teeth due to inflammation and form pockets, bacteria can enter the pockets and allow the disease to form. At this point, you will need treatment to help you manage the disease and prevent the later stages, which can cause tooth loss. Inflammation can be caused by poor oral hygiene, hormonal fluctuations, smoking, or certain illnesses.
Question: How do I recognize the warning signs?
Answer: The warning signs of gingivitis include soreness in the gums, redness, or gums that easily bleed. Don’t ignore these potential symptoms. See your dentist for a through diagnosis.
Question: Can the dentist help prevent the issue?
Answer: Yes. In the gingivitis stage, the doctor can perform a perio cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing. We use an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and from under the gum line. Healthy gums can then adhere to the teeth, reversing gingivitis and for patients with the disease, managing periodontal disease.
Question: What steps can I take to help prevent periodontal disease?
Answer: To strengthen oral health and reduce the risk of the disease, we need to make sure we brush our teeth twice a day and more importantly, floss each night before bed. Doing so reduces the risk of gum inflammation from poor oral hygiene. You also need to see your dentist every six months for a routine cleaning.