Believe it or not, the leading cause of tooth loss in America for adults is gum disease.Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is the infection and/or inflammation of the gums. Left untreated, this infection can advance and gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth, which can lead to tooth loss.
Causes of Gum Disease
Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that often forms on your teeth due to the sugars and starches they’re attracted to from the foods you eat. If you do not consistently brush or floss, this plaque can harden to become tartar. Furthermore, if you also neglect to visit our office for regular cleanings, the plaque and tartar on your teeth can begin to irritate your gums, which can lead to redness, swelling, and bleeding—the early stages of gum disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Some symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding, red, or swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Sensitive teeth/gums
- Loosened permanent teeth
Preventing Gum Disease
Unfortunately, gum disease can often be a silent disease; most people do not realize there is a problem until the disease has become quite advanced and they experience discomfort or have loose teeth. Therefore, it is important to schedule a regular dental exam and cleaning with our office routinely so we can screen for this disease and use preventative methods to prevent it from developing or advancing. In addition, practice the following healthy dental habits to lower your risk of gum disease:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss in-between your teeth at least once a day.
- Continue to eat a balanced diet filled with fruits and vegetables.
- Schedule regular dental appointments every six months.