Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, begins with gingivitis or gum inflammation. Over time, gum inflammation can lead to gum and bone deterioration. Excess plaque is the main cause of gum disease. It is a bacteria that builds up on your teeth anytime you eat or drink foods that contain sugar or starch. The bacteria release acids that attack the tooth enamel, which leads to gingivitis. Once the gingivitis progresses into an infection, it will destroy gum tissue and degrade the bones in the mouth. Our dental office can help patients treat periodontitis in Fallston, MD, to stop the progression of gum disease.
Gum Disease Signs and Prevention
Some common signs of gum disease include:
- Receding gums
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Bleeding gums
In addition to brushing and flossing, you should schedule a visit to our office every six months for a professional tooth cleaning to help remove plaque buildup. Another way to prevent gum disease is to maintain a healthy diet. You will need to limit the number of sweets and snacks in your diet.
While vegetables and fruits are great natural options for meals and snacks, you should be aware of your selections. Some snacks that contain fruits and vegetables can also contain sugar.
Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated because this will help reduce bacteria in the mouth. Water helps produce saliva, which can wash away bacteria. Cutting back on caffeine and tobacco products can also help reduce harmful bacteria. Tobacco products in particular can cause problems like dry mouth.
Oral Health and Overall Health
Gum disease can also lead to other health issues such as dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation brought on by gum disease may also increase inflammation throughout the body. Patients who may have any of these conditions are at further risk for their overall health if they have poor oral care habits.
This is why brushing your teeth no less than twice a day and flossing at least once daily is important. Regularly visiting the dentist can prevent problems like cavities. Preserving the health of the teeth and gums also keeps your smile functional. Patients with gum disease can feel gum pain or sensitivity daily, making it difficult to eat comfortably. A gum infection can also make it painful for patients to care for their smiles if they do not use non-abrasive toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
Dr. Melissa Elliott and the team at Harford County Dentistry are passionate about patient education and helping patients maintain their oral health. If you have noticed the symptoms of gum disease, please call (410) 994-2627. You may also schedule a dental appointment with our team online.