How To Catch Gum Disease Early

Close,Up,Shot,Of,Gum,Inflammation.,Cropped,Shot,Of,A Happy Gum Disease Awareness Month! Did you know that gum disease is one of the most common health problems in the United States? Approximately 47.2% of U.S. adults over 30 have some form of gum disease. This month, we are exploring how you can catch gum disease early, which can protect your smile and prevent negative effects on your health.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place. You can dramatically lower your risks by regularly brushing and flossing. Without routine care, your teeth build up plaque along the gum line. That sticky plaque can harden into tartar, which is harder to clean and causes more significant gum health damage.

Gum Disease Is Progressive

Catching gum disease early means preventing it from worsening, as it is a progressive disease that starts with gingivitis, evidenced by inflamed gums that bleed when you brush or floss. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, when the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets at risk for infection.

As expected, your body fights these bacteria, and that internal battle in your gums can cause your bones and connective tissue to break down. Then, you have no support to hold in your teeth.

Risk Factors for Gum Disease

You may be at greater risk for gum disease if you smoke, are female (hormonal changes), have diabetes, or take medications that reduce your saliva flow. Yet, you can still catch gum disease early before it has a chance to progress.

5 Best Practices for Catching Gum Disease Early

The good news is that you can positively influence and prevent most gum disease just by following these five steps:

  • Get regular dental check-ups: Visit regularly for check-ups and cleanings, so your dental care provider can look for early signs of gum disease.
  • Practice good oral hygiene: That means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, and using an antiseptic mouthwash to reduce the potential buildup of plaque and bacteria.
  • Be aware of symptoms: Keep watch for early signs of gum disease, like those red, swollen gums, consistent bleeding when you brush or floss, persistent bad breath, and, of course, loose teeth.
  • Eat a balanced diet: When you eat a healthy diet low in sugar and high in essential nutrients, you’re also working to keep your gums healthy.
  • Quit smoking: Easier said than done. Yet, consider that smoking is a significant risk factor for gum disease. Your gums and the rest of your body (and your loved ones) will thank you.

The best way to catch gum disease early is to care for your teeth daily and visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams. If you notice any symptoms emerge, such as your gums bleeding when you brush or redness, schedule an appointment rather than waiting until your next routine visit.

Take the First Step to Catching Gum Disease Early

Inspired to get that dental check-up and cleaning? Priest Dental in Ashland, OH, is ready to help you on your journey to dental wellness. Call 419-528-5562 or contact us online to get started.


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