February is gum disease awareness month. Why does gum disease awareness get a special month, you ask? Gum disease is a serious problem among Americans – it is the number one cause for tooth loss in adults, despite being preventable! Keep reading to learn more about some of the causes of gum disease and how you can protect yourself.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque along and under your gum line. Plaque irritates the gums and can result in infection. So where does plaque come from? Plaque is often the result of poor oral hygiene – it is a sticky biofilm filled with oral bacteria.
What Are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?
Luckily, gum disease is usually treatable if it is detected in the early stages. If your gums bleed easily, are swollen, red or tender, or are pulling away from you teeth, you may have gum disease. Bad breath or a persistent bad taste can also be signs of gum disease. If you think you have any of these symptoms, let your Gastonia Family Dentistry team know during your next visit. We offer a full suite of periodontal services to restore your gum health.
How Can You Keep Your Gums Healthy?
You can reduce your chances for developing gum disease with just a few easy steps. First, you should brush your teeth twice daily, for two minutes each time. And don’t rush through brushing – vigorous brushing can irritate your gums! You should also floss once every day. The time you floss doesn’t matter, but make sure you do it since it removes plaque and food that your toothbrush can’t reach. Dental hygiene cleanings every six months also play a big role in keeping your gums healthy.
Are There Other Risk Factors for Gum Disease?
Beyond poor oral hygiene, there are other risk factors for gum disease. Some people are naturally more susceptible to gum disease based on genetic factors. Smoking also increases your risk for gum disease. Smoking weakens your body’s immune system. This makes it harder for your body to resist gum infection and harder for your gums to heal once they’re damaged.
Gum Disease Prevention in Gastonia, NC
To learn more about how you can keep your gums healthy, contact Gastonia Family Dentistry today. We offer a wide array of services designed to prevent oral health problems. Additionally, we offer services to repair and enhance your smile. Click the contact link or call our office for more information.