Why You Should Never Neglect Your Gums: The Alarming Consequences
While most people know the importance of brushing and flossing their teeth, many do not realize that taking care of their gums is just as important. Gum disease can be caused by several things, including plaque buildup, smoking, and even certain medications. Here is everything you need to learn about its consequences and ways of prevention.
Alarming Consequences of Gum Disease
This type of disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It is usually caused by plaque, a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed properly, it hardens into hard tartar, promoting gum inflammation. Left untreated, gum disease can damage the gums and bones that support your teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, your gums may swell and bleed easily. You may not even know you have it. If not treated well, this condition can advance to periodontal disease and cause severe damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. It can also lead to coronary disease, stroke, and other serious health problems. Periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of the American adults aged 30 and over have periodontal disease.
How to Prevent Gum Diseases?
The best way to prevent gum-related disease is to brush and floss regularly and see your dentist or periodontist for regular checkups. Brushing removes plaque from the surfaces of your teeth, and flossing gets rid of plaque between your teeth. Professional cleanings remove tartar (hardened plaque) that brushing and flossing can not. If you have gum problems or chronic conditions, your dentist or periodontist can clean your teeth and perform other treatments to reverse the damage. These include scaling and root planing, which involves removing tartar from your tooth and root surfaces below the gumline. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to help control the infection. In severe cases, gum surgery may be a necessity to clean the teeth and root surfaces below the gumline or to repair damage caused by bone loss.
If you are ever concerned about the state of your gums, be sure to consult with our dentists.