Are You At Risk Of Periodontal Disease?
There is a good chance that someone you know has gum disease right now.
It might be you.
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of American adults have some form of gum disease.
We aren’t trying to put anyone on the spot, but we also know from our own experience and from American Dental Association surveys, that gum disease is more common than people realize.
Unfortunately, too many people dismiss their bleeding gums as not a big deal. In truth, they often are a sign that you should be probably be flossing more often.
Today, we want to point out some factors that increase your risk for developing gums disease, what you should do to prevent gum disease, and how we treat periodontal disease at our Sunrise Dental offices in Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.
Gum disease is an infection of the gum tissues in your mouth. Bleeding, red, and swollen gums are signs that you are in the early stages of gums disease.
If left untreated, you could experience receding gum, sore and tender gums, lingering bad breath, and tooth loss.
Anyone can develop gum disease, but some groups are more likely to develop this disease than others.
◼︎ Females are more susceptible to gum disease at certain times in their lives, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. During these times, hormones are affecting your body in ways that make gum disease more likely.
For instance, pregnant women produce more progesterone. This is good for the development of their babies, but it also helps the bacteria that cause gum disease.
◼︎ If gum disease runs in your family, you should pay close attention to your gum health. Your parents have given you a lot. Your height, your eye color, and your likelihood of developing gum disease are just a few of those things.
◼︎ Smokers and other tobacco users are practically inviting periodontal disease into their mouths. Tobacco use hurts your immune system, which can make it harder to fight off gum infections. Tobacco use weakens the gums and other soft tissues of your mouth.
And tobacco use also can make gum disease treatments less effective and can increase the odds that your periodontal disease will return.
◼︎ Diabetes and gum disease are like a couple who bring out the worst in each other. Researchers are still trying to figure out the exact connections between these two diseases.
One hypothesis is that dry mouth is a common symptom of diabetes and a factor that makes periodontal problems more likely. At the same time, gum disease can make it more difficult to control your blood sugar levels.
There is no 100 percent guaranteed way to stop all gum disease. However, you can greatly reduce that risk by practicing preventive dental care.
This means following the ADA guidelines to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and to floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day.
Both brushing and flossing remove the bacteria that cause gum disease. Flossing is necessary because it cleans the spaces that you can’t reach with a toothbrush.
The third thing you should be doing as part of your preventive care is visiting Sunrise Dental for professional cleanings and examinations. We will remove plaque and tartar, and we will let you know when we see the symptoms of gum disease.
If your gums bleed when you floss, this indicates that you have early gum disease. Often you can reverse the situation by following the ADA recommendations above.
If your gums bleed at other times, that’s a clue that you have advanced gum disease. You will need to see us to remove the infection at this stage.
This involves going beyond a standard cleaning. This deep cleaning process is known as scaling and root planing.
During this procedure, a dentist or hygienist will remove plaque and tartar formations around the roots of your teeth. He or she also will clean out the pockets in your gums (another symptom of advanced gum disease), which is where plaque can become trapped.
Do The Right Thing For Your Mouth
Your gums may not be the most prominent part of your smile, but without them, you wouldn’t have much to smile about.
To keep your teeth in line, take care of your gums by brushing, flossing, and visiting the nearest Sunrise Dental for routine care and for periodontal treatment when needed.
You can make an appointment with our online form or by calling one of our dentist offices in Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh.