Oral health is a health aspect which is important to maintain from a young age. Dental hygiene is one of the most common and effective ways to maintain and improve oral health. However, over time, it is not uncommon to develop some oral problems like gum disease.
Also known as periodontal disease, gum disease is inflammation of the gums and infection of the bones under the gum. Most of the time, it is accompanied by gingivitis.
One of the main causes of periodontal disease is the bacteria that form around the teeth and in the gaps between the gums, mainly because of plaque buildup.
While anybody can get periodontal disease, some factors could increase your chances of getting it. They include smoking, a history of the disease, age, diabetes, medication, and hormonal changes. A vitamin A and C deficiency have also been seen to be a common cause of periodontal disease.
How To Notice Early Warning Signs
Just like other diseases, there are some early warnings you can look out for to indicate that you could be suffering from periodontal disease. Some of these signs include:
- Sensitivity and bleeding from the gums when flossing or brushing
- Receding gum lines, which make your teeth look longer
- Bad breath that does not reduce or go away even after brushing
- A change in your bites or how the teeth meet when you chew or close your mouth
- Pockets that become bigger and deeper between your gums and the teeth roots
- Tender, swollen, or red gums
- Shifting or loose teeth
- Painful chewing
Why Is Gum Disease Bad?
Like other diseases, periodontal diseases can become fatal and cause more serious health issues if left untreated. As the disease progresses, the bacteria in the pockets near the gums continue eating away the bone underneath and eventually cause tooth loss.
If the disease progresses, it poses the risk of developing other health complications like stroke, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. It also increases the chances of pregnant women giving birth to low-weight babies or giving birth prematurely.
Prevention is one of the best ways to keep yourself from the disease and other health complications that come with it. Some of the most effective ways to prevent the disease include:
- Brushing and floss- dental hygiene is one of the easiest yet most effective ways to prevent not only periodontal disease but also other dental problems.
Dentists recommend that you should brush and floss twice a day to help remove any food and plaque buildup on the teeth. When brushing, ensure to concentrate on every tooth and all sides of the teeth that is biting surface, outer side, and inner side.
- Have regular dental checkups- Visiting the dentist regularly enables them to detect early signs of the disease and advise you on the best way to prevent the spread. You can also have your teeth professionally cleaned during those visits to remove any plaque and tartar buildup.
- Quit smoking- Smoking not only weakens the immune system but also makes it difficult to treat a gum infection. The nicotine also settles on the teeth and gums, causing them to wear off.
- Use mouthwash- Mouthwash not only helps in eliminating bad breath but also kills any bacteria that could cause the disease.