Gum disease is one of the most common health conditions across the globe. It’s a health condition that results from poor oral health and affects people of all ages. It can lead to further health complications if left untreated.
Disease in the gums begins when plaque starts to build up along the gum line at the bottom of the teeth. Over time, built-up plaque accelerates bacterial growth in your mouth and increases the risk of infections.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
When gum disease worsens, it can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis, both of which are very serious conditions. Gingivitis leads to tenderness, swelling, bleeding, and inflammation around the gums.
Periodontitis impacts the bones of your teeth and can cause damage to the gums, bones, and surrounding tissues. The risk of this condition is increased by certain health conditions, such as diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), and some respiratory disorders.
You might be wondering, can you reverse periodontal disease?
Sadly, if periodontitis is left untreated, it can lead to advanced periodontitis. The supporting structures around the teeth are destroyed and they often need to be removed.
What Are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Visiting the dentist as soon as you spot the signs of gum disease reduces the risk of it developing into something much more serious. Yet, many people fail to recognize the key signs and symptoms of gum disease. As a result, they don’t take action to prevent the condition from getting worse.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), the most common signs of gum disease include:
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Tenderness, swelling, and inflamed gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Separation of the teeth
- Separation between the gums and teeth
If you notice any of the above signs, book a consultation with your dentist so that you can get treat if necessary.
Top Tips to Prevent Gum Disease
Prevention is always better than treating a condition after it has already developed. Here are some top tips to reduce the risk of gum disease.
- Avoid Sugary Foods and Drinks
Sugar can coat the teeth and encourage bacteria to grow around the gum line. Bacterial build-up can eventually lead to plaque build-up and infections around the gums.
Consuming lots of high-sugar foods and drinks can increase the growth of bacteria in your mouth and speed up tooth decay. Try and limit your intake of cakes, cookies, pastries, candy, soda, and fruit juice to keep your teeth and gums nice and healthy.
If you do eat sugary foods or consume sugar-filled drinks, follow up with a glass of water or brush your teeth shortly after to wash away the excess sugar and limit bacterial growth.
- Brush Your Teeth Every Day
It’s easy to forget about brushing your teeth when you’re rushing to get to work or you’re tired after a long day but it’s vital for your oral health.
Brushing your teeth every day can help to keep bacterial growth to a minimum and remove plaque before it has a chance to harden. It also reduces halitosis and keeps your breath smelling minty fresh.
Try and prioritize brushing your teeth once in the morning and once just before you go to bed, after you’ve finished eating for the day.
- Use Products That Contain Fluoride
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that we all need to maintain healthy teeth and gums. It can prevent or reverse early tooth decay, which reduces the risk of gum disease further down the line.
Public water supplies, toothpaste, mouthwash, and bottled water all contain fluoride. If you’re concerned about your intake of the mineral, increase your consumption of bottled or distilled water and search for high-fluoride oral health products.
You can also visit your dentist and get a fluoride treatment on your teeth. They may also offer you fluoride supplements.
- Visit the Dentist Regularly
The thought of going to the dentist strikes fear into many of us. However, visiting the dentist regularly is important to catch gum disease in its early stages and treat it before it gets worse.
Ideally, you should visit your dentist at least twice a year for a full check-up. Your dentist will assess the health of your teeth and gums, and provide expert guidance on how you can maintain a great oral hygiene routine.