Good Dental Care Helps to Prevent Gum Disease

prevent gum disease, brush, floss, family dentist, Rochester Hills, mi

Did you know half of adults age 30 and older suffer from some form of gum disease? May 12th is Gum Health Day, the perfect time to give a little extra attention to this key oral health issue and do your best to prevent gum disease.

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is caused by plaque forming on our teeth that is not removed through brushing and cleaning. This plaque can harden into calculus or tartar, causing an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is usually painless so many may not even know they have gum disease.

What Are the Symptoms?

Some warning signs that you can look out for are:

  • gums that bleed easily
  • red, swollen, tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath or bad taste
  • permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • any change in the fit of partial dentures

What Are Some Common Risk Factors?

Certain factors can increase your risk of gum disease:

  • poor dental care
  • smoking or chewing tobacco
  • genetics
  • crooked teeth that are hard to keep clean
  • pregnancy
  • diabetes
  • medications, including steroids, certain types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives

What is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Usually the gums are red, swollen, and bleed easily. If the infection is caught early, the effects are reversible with good dental care and regular cleanings.

What is Periodontitis?

If not halted, gum health can continue to deteriorate and result in periodontitis. It usually advances slowly but it can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time.

Good dental care is key in helping to prevent gum disease. Regular dental checkups and exams and good dental care at home are important things you can do for your health. If you have questions about your gum health or are ready to schedule your next dental appointment, call our office at (248) 852-3130.

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