September is National Gum Care Month. This is the perfect opportunity to better understand periodontal disease—also known as gum disease—and implement healthy gum-care practices moving forward. Though periodontal disease is a common condition that affects half of all Americans, the issue can be avoided with proper preventative care. Below, common signs of gum disease are discussed in more detail, along with a few prevention tips.
When plaque builds up, it generates bacteria that can infect the gums; this is a telltale sign of gum disease. Infections produce an inflammatory response in the body, which is why you will often see red or swollen gums with periodontal issues.
The gums are also typically very tender, which makes them prone to bleeding, even with gentle brushing or flossing. A person with periodontal disease could experience gum recession as well. The gums start to pull back and expose more of the teeth, leading to sensitivity, loose teeth, or even tooth loss.
What better way to celebrate National Gum Care Month than by taking steps to prevent gum disease? First, be sure you're following good dental hygiene practices: Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once, ideally before going to bed. Fluoride strengthens the teeth and protects against the plaque that causes gum disease, so always brush with a fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to start using a fluoride rinse with each brushing.
If you smoke, make a plan to quit. Smoking increases the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth and is a leading contributor to severe gum disease. Maintain routine visits to your dentist. Schedule twice-yearly exams, regular cleanings, and have any dental work performed promptly and according to your dentist's recommendations.
If you notice signs of gum disease, visit your dentist. C.R. Sfeir D.D.S., General Dentistry, has been serving patients throughout the Lorain County, OH, area for over 20 years. Dr. Sfeir and his team offer general and cosmetic dentistry procedures. From preventative exams and fillings to dental implants and teeth whitening, they provide comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Call (440) 960-5200 or visit them online to schedule an exam today.
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