Your gums are the foundation for a healthy smile. However, you probably don’t focus on their health as much as you do your teeth. Cavities aren’t the only danger to your dental health. Here are 5 facts about gum disease you should know.
1. Half of Adults Have Gum Disease
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 50% of adults over the age of 30 have gum disease. Unfortunately, many people do not recognize the early signs of the infection, allowing it to go untreated until it causes irreversible damage.
2. Gum Disease Causes Tooth Loss
Cavities and trauma aren’t the only culprits of tooth loss. Advanced gum disease can cause your teeth to fall out. The infection destroys the supporting structures of your teeth with no treatment. Not only can they fall out on their own, but they can be beyond repair. As a result, your teeth may need to be extracted.
3. Gum Disease Affects Your Health
Your oral and general health are closely connected. Besides tooth loss, gum disease has been linked to various health issues, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, respiratory illness, and diabetic complications. The bacteria responsible for gum disease can also lead to preterm delivery and low birth weights. It can enter your bloodstream through the pressure of regular chewing, wreaking havoc on your health as it circulates throughout your body.
4. Gingivitis is the First Stage of Gum Disease
Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease, which is treatable and won’t cause long-term damage. Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are the first signs of an infection. You may also experience chronic bad breath or gum recession. A dental cleaning and changes to your home oral hygiene habits can stop the infection and prevent it from recurring.
5. Gum Disease is Preventable
Although gum disease is common, it is preventable. Flossing is the best way to keep your gums healthy. Your toothbrush is effective at keeping your mouth clean, but it can’t reach everywhere, like between your teeth. Dental floss removes anything your toothbrush missed to prevent plaque and tartar buildup. The American Dental Association recommends flossing your teeth daily.
With good oral hygiene at home and regular care from a dentist, you can keep gum disease at bay. If you notice any signs of gingivitis, don’t wait to contact your dentist.
About Dr. Anthony Giamberardino
Dr. Giamberardino achieved his dental degree from the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and has regularly continued his education to provide many specialties, including restorative, preventive, and cosmetic dentistry. He is an award-winning dentist and is affiliated with several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. Contact his office through his website or call (339) 674-6725.