As you age, you become increasingly at risk for developing gum disease. But even among young and middle-age adults, gum disease is a primary cause of tooth loss.
So, are you at risk?
Gum disease (known as periodontal disease) has serious consequences for your dental health. It’s a chronic condition that can proceed quickly in different people. In the worst cases, it results in teeth that are infected and loose and need to be removed.
We know that bleeding gums is closely connected to how we brush and floss. And most people that I see in the dental practice don’t brush and floss enough. But removing plaque is one part of the story. Gum disease is a sign of many other problems throughout the body.
If you’re suspicious you have gum disease, then these five signs may tell you it’s time to see the dentist.
- Gums that bleed often
- Gums that appear tender, swollen, or very red, or gums that have visible pus in between them when they are pushed
- Your bite changes or your teeth suddenly don’t seem to fit together
- Gums that are loosening from the teeth
- A bad taste in the mouth or chronic bad breath
Since the main cause of gum disease is plaque, taking good care of your teeth is essential. By itself, brushing is not enough. Make sure you floss every day. Twice a day is better. Your routine should also include a checkup and cleaning every six months.
Remember, an ounce of prevention of worth a pound of cure. Good oral hygiene and preventative dentistry can dramatically reduce your chances of getting gum disease.