Do You Have Healthy Gums?
Have you been seeing a bit of blood in the sink when you brush your teeth? That bleeding can be one of the first warning signs of gum disease. When people think of keeping their teeth healthy, they sometimes neglect to consider the importance of gum health. The mild variety of deteriorating gum health is called gingivitis, which infects only your gums. If it is not treated, the infection can travel below the gumline and into your bone. Then, it becomes a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis. In fact, both gingivitis and periodontitis can cause damage not just to your teeth and oral health, but also to your overall health by increasing your chances of major health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Gum disease occurs when plaque (the sticky film of bacteria on teeth that causes tooth decay) hardens into tartar, leading to inflamed and swollen gums. Gum disease is often only detected in it’s advanced stages because, early on, the warning signs can be easy to miss. Watch out for:
- Gum bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Gums that become tender or sore
- Bad breath
- A receding gum line
- Sensitive teeth
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- A change in the way teeth fit together when biting
Proper and consistent oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease. There are a few basic strategies known to maintain correct oral hygiene. Making an appointment with a dentist at least twice a year for a thorough examination is at the top of the list. Brushing twice a day using a gentle brushing technique is recommended, as is flossing between teeth daily to remove the buildup of bacteria that is left behind after brushing. Another recommendation is to avoid eating or drinking anything high in sugar. Sugars greatly encourage the growth of bacteria and can easily cause someone’s oral hygiene to diminish, leading to gum disease. The same could be said for snacking frequently between meals. If frequent brushing after snacks or meals isn’t possible, that is when the increase of bacteria and decay becomes evident.
If you are located in the Burton, MI area and feel that you may be suffering from gum disease, call our office to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to your visit soon.