Gum disease. Maybe you don’t think about it much, but this condition is all too common, with current estimates saying as many as half of adults over the age of 30 have it to some extent. Also known as periodontitis, gum disease can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy mouth, and can even extend to affect your overall health as well. Below, we cover more on gum disease in Belmont, including how to prevent it.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is the inflammation of gum tissue as a consequence of bacteria, which are located between the teeth and gums. It begins as gingivitis, which is when the inflammation is limited to the gingiva only. During this stage, bacteria in plaque builds up and makes a home in pockets next to the teeth. The gums are inflamed, but the jawbone remains intact. If left to worsen, the pockets get deeper as gingivitis turns into periodontitis, which slowly eats away at the foundation that supports the teeth. Eventually, periodontitis leads to tooth loss.
Gum Disease Prevention: 6 Tips
Fortunately, gum disease is preventable as long as you take the right steps. To keep your periodontal tissue healthy and your teeth sturdy in the gums, remember to…
- Brush your teeth twice daily: Using a fluoride toothpaste to clean in gentle, circular motions with an electric toothbrush will help to reduce bacteria and prevent plaque buildup. In fact, gingivitis can actually be reversed with improved brushing and flossing.
- Flossing once daily: After you brush your teeth, remember to clean between them with dental floss. This is the only way to remove the plaque and bacteria from tight spaces that your toothbrush just can’t reach.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco: A nicotine habit is detrimental to your mouth. Smoking and tobacco use restrict blood flow to the mouth and change bacterial composition, leaving it more vulnerable to infection and reducing its ability to heal.
- Visit your dentist at least every 6 months: Early detection results in successful treatment of gum disease. In addition to maintaining excellent oral hygiene at home, commit to seeing your dentist for a checkup and cleaning as often as recommended. For many people, this means twice annually. People with gum disease should receive a cleaning four times a year.
Gum disease is a serious condition, but it can be prevented with these tips. Even if it does develop, however, a periodontist can help you manage the effects and provide treatment. No matter your needs, don’t put off getting professional attention for your continued periodontal health!
About the Author
Dr. Alexander Schrott is a trusted periodontist in Belmont offering services focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of gum disease. To learn more about gum disease or how to protect your smile, feel free to contact Dr. Schrott’s team by calling them at 617-870-0460.