Gum disease is one of the most common dental concerns, with more than 3 million cases in just the United States alone. This is because its early stage symptoms often go ignored. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss. Additionally, patients who experience gum disease are at a higher risk for cardiovascular and respiratory issues. It’s important to know that your gums play a major role in your overall health. By taking these three preventative steps, you can help yourself avoid the serious consequences of gum disease.
Visit Your Dentist Every Six Months
Even the most thorough brushers and flossers experience plaque buildup on their teeth. Our mouths are constantly filled with bacteria, making it an easy place for germs to hide and harden. When plaque hardens into tartar, only a dentist can remove it. If it stays on your teeth for too long, you will soon start experiencing gum inflammation and bleeding. These are the symptoms of gingivitis and should be reported to your dentist as soon as possible.
Scheduling regular dental cleanings allow your dentist to examine your teeth and remove any plaque or tartar buildup before they develop into gum disease. Some people experience chronic gum disease due to pre-existing medical conditions or family genetics. If this is the case, talk to your dentist about scheduling even more frequent visits or daily antibacterial rinse solutions. Open and honest communication with your dentist is the best way to prevent gum disease. Together, you and your dentist can look for necessary adjustments in your dental hygiene routine and come up with a treatment plan that meets your needs.
Flossing Really Does Help
Brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste for at least two minutes is always recommended for the betterment of your overall dental health. However, even if you are making sure to brush along your gum line, there are some spaces between your teeth that plaque loves to hide in. You can combat plaque buildup on your own by flossing each time you brush your teeth. Just slide the floss or floss holder up and down between the spaces of your teeth. Curve the floss around the base of each tooth to ensure you are reaching your gum line. Take extra care and be gentle with the floss to avoid cutting your gums.
Know The Symptoms
Many people overlook the symptoms of gum disease until it begins to cause serious damage. If you are experiencing bleeding gums, gum pain, sore gums, receding gums, shifting teeth, or persistent bad breath, you are experiencing the symptoms of gum disease. Seeking help as early as possible for gum disease often means that minimally invasive treatment options are an option.
Dr. Spink has incorporated laser dentistry into his Vestavia Hills dentist office, providing treatment options for gum disease as well as treatment for gum related dental concerns. If you are in the Birmingham, Alabama area and suspect that you have been showing signs of gum disease, schedule an appointment with Spink Dentistry today.