Thoughtful woman surrounded by question marks.

Would you say that you have good oral health? According to theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, many of us are forgetting to take care of a key part of our mouths: our gums! Their research estimates that nearly half of the adult population in the US have mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease. Not only is this condition incredibly common, but it’s also cited as the leading cause of tooth loss in America. Thankfully, treating gum disease in its earlier stages can prevent permanent damage and keep your gums happy and healthy. Read on as your dentist in Scarborough breaks down what gum disease is and what simple habits can prevent it.

Defining Gum Disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis

If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on your gumline, the bacteria they contain can cause an infection in your gums. This causes them to become bright red and swollen, making them feel tender and bleed easily. This is known as gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Fortunately, these symptoms don’t cause any permanent damage or very much discomfort.

However, the same cannot be said for periodontitis. This more advanced stage of gum disease indicates that the infection has begun to attack your jawbone. If left untreated, it can destroy the connective tissues that hold your teeth in place, causing them to become loose and fall out. To keep your smile intact, it’s crucial to catch gum disease as early as possible and begin treatment right away.

Tips to Prevent Gum Disease

Thankfully, treating and preventing this common condition is an easy task. You can keep your gums healthy with:

  • A complete dental routine. Regularly brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes is a great start to controlling the amount of bacteria in your mouth. However, a full dental routine isn’t complete without daily flossing. Flossing is essential to cleaning out the bacteria hiding in places that your toothbrush can’t reach, like just below the gumline.
  • Specialized dental products. Antiseptic mouthwash and fluoride toothpaste can also be powerful additions to your regular dental care. These products are designed to prevent plaque buildup and neutralize harmful bacteria. For the safest, most effective results, always buy name-brand options that have the American Dental Association Seal of Approval.
  • Dental checkups every six months. Since the early symptoms of gum disease can be easy to overlook, it’s important to have your gums regularly examined by your dentist. Not only can they help you detect it as early as possible, but your dentist can offer gum disease therapy to treat and reverse the symptoms before they cause damage.

Remember, a healthy smile means more than just taking care of your teeth! With these easy but crucial oral hygiene tips, you can prevent gum disease and protect your happy, healthy smile from gum disease.

About the Author

If you’re worried about gum disease, White Willow Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Scarborough, ON is here to help. Dr. Samantha Amaro is dedicated to supporting great oral health with regular cleanings and examinations that are comfortable for the whole family. If evidence of gum disease is found during your dental checkup, she can offer several options for revitalizing your smile. If you’d like to know more about gum disease treatment or prevention, she can be contacted at her website or at 1(416)285-4545.