February is Gum Disease Awareness Month!
Gum disease, which is sometimes known as periodontal disease, is a chronic pathological inflammatory condition. This results in health issues with your gums, bone, and connective tissues. If left untreated, it becomes irreversible and could lead to a loss of teeth.
Gingivitis is the warning sign of gum disease– when your symptoms are still in the reversible stage. So if you think you may be suffering from any of these symptoms, make sure to see your dentist and discuss what you can do to prevent gingivitis from turning into irreversible gum disease.
What to Look Out For: bright red or purple gums, tender gums that may be painful to the touch, bleeding from the gums when brushing or flossing, halitosis, or bad breath, inflammation or swollen gums.
How It Happens:
- Your teeth start off healthy
- As your oral routine worsens, plaque begins to build up, leaving you with bad breath
- Gums become irritated/swollen
- Loss of tooth bone, gums recede (this may cause teeth to fall out!)
Good oral hygiene should be followed daily, even if the teeth and gums are healthy, to prevent infection. Proper dental care involves brushing teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day.
Visit your dentist regularly- Perception is the key in treating periodontal (gum) disease, you should see your dentist on a periodic basis, every 3-6 months depending on your individual situation for dental hygiene. The Hygienist is instrumental in removing calculus and tartar which cannot be removed by brushing alone.
How to Prevent Gum Disease:
- Brush twice daily
- See your dental hygienist regularly
- Don’t share saliva with people who have poor oral hygiene
- Irregular visits to the dentist
- Sharing food and drink
- Sharing a toothbrush