Gum disease is one of those quiet issues that can develop over time and cause major problems down the line. It is caused when plaque builds up between your gums and teeth, which causes inflammation. This inflammation deteriorates your gums and bone structure, which can lead to tooth loss and gum recession.
Not only does gum disease cause problems in your mouth, but the effects of gum disease can reach your entire body. Gum disease has been proven to raise your risk for a host of diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and cancer.
Warning signs can be easy to miss. That is why it is so important to schedule dental exams every six months. However, there are a few warning signs to watch out for. Red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding gums, receding gums, and persistent bad breath can all be red flags and should be addressed with your dentist.
Routine dental visits can also end up saving you money in the long run. Most insurances cover the cost of copayments for dental cleanings and exams. This makes it easy to visit your dentist regularly, which can help detect any early warning signs for gum disease.
Proper dental hygiene and routine visits to the dentist are essential to prevent and detect gum disease.
Tips to keep your risk of developing gum disease at a minimum.
Brush: Make a habit of brushing your teeth after meals. This helps to remove food debris and plaque. It’s best to brush for two to three minutes, at least twice a day. Practice good brushing technique by brushing gently over your teeth, along the gum line, and on your tongue.
Floss: Flossing daily helps to remove stubborn plaque and food particles that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing removes plaque from between your teeth, a common place for cavities to form and gum disease to develop.
Use mouthwash: Finish up your brushing and flossing routine with a swish of mouthwash. This can remove any remaining plaque or food particles that you missed in the first two steps.
Lower your risk: A healthy diet that avoids starchy and sugary foods can help lower plaque buildup. Meanwhile, habits like smoking can increase your risk of gum disease.
Visit your dentist: Regular dental visits are essential for preventing and detecting gum disease early on. Dentists recommend scheduling regular checkups every six months to help your teeth stay clean and promote healthy teeth and gums.