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Gum disease can strike the best of us. According to the, 47.2% of Americans age 30 and older have periodontal disease. While gum disease can be reversed in its early stages, the same can’t be said once it progresses into periodontitis.
Here’s how to prevent gum disease from getting worse.
Recognize the Symptoms
If you suspect you have gum disease, don’t waste any time scheduling an appointment with our dentist. We can help protect your smile, even if you’ve already been diagnosed with periodontitis.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
- Sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Tooth loss
Know What Causes Gum Disease
Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque buildup on the surface of your teeth and gums. When the bacteria in plaque consumes sugar and starch left inside your mouth, it produces an acid that erodes tooth enamel. You have a higher risk of gum disease if you neglect your oral health by not brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once daily.
You may also have a higher risk of gum disease if you don’t see our dentist every 6 months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral examination. During your preventive care appointment, we’re able to spot the early signs of gum disease so you have a better chance of being able to protect your oral health.
There are three factors that affect your prognosis for gum disease: (1) what you do at home, (2) what our dentist does for you, and (3) your genetics. Working with our dentist can help you control at least two of these three factors.
When you first become our patient, we have you fill out a form regarding your medical and dental history so we can better serve your oral health needs. This is just one of the many ways we look out for our patients.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Early gum disease (also called gingivitis) can be reversed by practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist every 6 months for a teeth cleaning and examination. During your appointment, we’ll be able to and monitor your oral health. However, it’s important that you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily to keep plaque at bay.
To learn more about this, check out our blog post on how to prevent gum disease.
See Our Dentist for Scaling and Root Planing
Advanced gum disease (also called periodontitis) cannot be reversed. However, our dentist is able to mitigate the damaging effects of periodontitis through scaling and root planing. Periodontal treatment can help you avoid some of the more serious side effects, such as receding gums and tooth loss.
People with periodontitis tend to have deep gum pockets around teeth that get filled with plaque. During periodontal treatment, our dentist will be able to deep clean these pockets and smooth out your tooth roots. Not only doesremove plaque, but it also encourages receding gums to reattach to teeth.
Understand How Gum Disease Affects Your Overall Health
It’s important to understand that your body is made up of interconnected systems. That’s why we often see connections between oral health and overall well-being. For example, did you know that people with poorly controlled diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease? This is because people with diabetes are more susceptible to getting infections.
High blood sugar can also contribute to dry mouth. While it may seem weird to think about, you depend on your saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria. This is much harder to do if you have dry mouth from high blood sugar.
The link between diabetes and gum disease is just one of many examples of how your oral health affects the rest of your body. It’s vital you understand these connections if you’re trying to manage periodontitis.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Habecker
Dr. Brenton Habecker offers scaling and root planing to help patients mitigate the damaging effects of periodontal disease. To schedule your appointment with our family dentist in Holland, MI, call Macatawa Smiles at (616) 396-7524.
This blog post has been updated.